High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Chapter 2

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

This Friday, we are continuing my Pokemon Shield Nuzlocke, “High Hopes.” If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Otherwise, hope you enjoy this piece!

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Chapter 2:

Current Team: Bond the Sobble
Body Count: 0

My first experience with the overgrown grass in Route 1 was tripping over a Blipbug.

I decided to blame Hop. He had taken off down the route towards Wedgehurst, saying how we needed to meet the professor, and I was just trying to catch up. I was lucky I didn’t land on and squash the poor thing. Instead, it ran right into Bond, who was startled enough to Pound it with a tongue-lashing. Considering it was dazed, I tossed a pokeball and caught it.

“Well, what do you know,” I murmured to Bond as I picked up the Blipbug’s pokeball. “We got ourselves a new teammate.”

Said new teammate was dubbed Piccolo and — after reaching Wedgehurst, meeting the professor’s assistant and granddaughter Sonia, and receiving a Pokedex from her — was then almost eaten on Route 2 by a Rookidee.

At my shout, Bond leaped to Piccolo’s defense, soaking the offending Rookidee with a Water Gun. The Flying-type gave off a shrill scream before flapping up into the air, avoiding Bond, and diving at Piccolo again. On reflex, I chucked a pokeball at the bird, both the ball and the Pokemon colliding together.

As the pokeball stilled, signalling another capture, Bond, Piccolo, and I all took a collective deep breath.

“I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this,” I muttered, returning my Pokemon and picking up my new Rookidee’s pokeball. I backtracked to Wedgehurst, figuring that Hop and Leon could wait a bit longer for me. I wanted to get appropriate food for my Rookidee so he didn’t try to eat Piccolo again.

Heading back to Route 2, there were a few other beginning trainers that gave my team some experience, and it wasn’t until it was nearly sunset that Professor Magnolia’s house appeared on the horizon. Hop was there in front of the property, gazing towards the lake, but he gave me a grin when he spotted me finally showing up.

“‘Bout time,” he said. “I thought you got lost, but I figured if Leon could figure out how to here, then you’d be just fine.”

“It’s a straight way from Wedgehurst to here,” Leon said dryly, catching Hop’s words as the pair of us caught up to the champion by the professor’s door. Leon ruffled his brother’s hair, adding, “I’m not that bad.”

“He kinda is,” Hop whispered to me as we followed Leon into the house, and I stifled my chuckles as we were introduced to Professor Magnolia.

She was a nice old lady, talking about the wishing pieces and dynaxing Pokemon, and spoke up for Hop and me when Leon seemed hesitant about endorsing us. To be fair, I was as hesitant as Leon, but before I could blink, it was decided that Hop and I would battle to see if we were worthy of the champion’s endorsement. As Hop and I got into position on the makeshift battle arena outside of Professor Magnolia’s house, I wondered if Hop would hate me if I told him that I really wouldn’t mind if Leon didn’t endorse us for the Galar Gym Challenge.

I mean, sure, it would probably be a good time. Growing stronger with my Pokemon wouldn’t be a waste and it would be a good excuse to go off and explore the region more thoroughly. Yet, unlike Hop, I didn’t feel that pull to become the next greatest trainer in the region.

I’ll play the role of rival in The Legend of Hop and support him as well as I could, but if Leon could only endorse one of us after our battle, I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it was Hop.

“C’mon, Kris!” Hop was stretching from the opposite side of the makeshift battle pitch, his grin infectious. “Come at me with everything you got!”

“Alright, alright,” I said, making a show of brushing off imaginary lint from my shirt and giving my friend a crooked smile at his excitement. Glancing over at Leon, I saw Professor Magnolia join him on the sidelines, the older woman interested in seeing how well Hop and I battled. 

Leon said, “Listen up, you two,” and gave us a pep talk about always learning from every battle. I mulled over the few battles I’ve had with other trainers on the route when heading towards Professor Magnolia’s house, trying to figure out if there was anything I learned aside from paranoia whenever my Pokemon took a little too hard of a hit. Leon snagged my attention again as he added, “So show me something good in this battle!”

“You got it!” Hop wasted no more time as he tossed out his first Pokemon. Predictably, his Wooloo bleated as it emerged and shook itself.

I knew his Wooloo. It was gentle and sometimes showed a little more common sense than its trainer. Taking a deep breath, I called out my own Pokemon.

Piccolo blinked her big eyes as she stared at the Wooloo before her. My Blipbug didn’t seem too surprised, probably from having seen plenty of wild Wooloo on Route 1. What Piccolo was surprised about, apparently, was me commanding, “Struggle Bug.”

Whether she was surprised I was reminding her of the only move she knew or just to attack in general, I wasn’t sure. Being tiny meant that Piccolo hadn’t spent too much time helping Bond and Ryder the Rookidee battle the few other trainers on Route 2.

Unfortunately, her pause meant that Wooloo, who had no such problems with listening to Hop and attacking, barrelled into Piccolo with a Tackle.

Oh, shit.

Piccolo flipped backwards with a somersault as Wooloo rolled right on over her and back to position in front of Hop. She gave a delighted bleat as I debated on whether to return Piccolo already. My Blipbug, however, shook off the Tackle and charged as fast as her species could — which, really, wasn’t wasn’t that fast — at her opponent. Wooloo stared at Piccolo as she went closer.

Hop didn’t waste time in commanding a second Tackle, and I preemptively winced. Wooloo, again, ran over Piccolo, but Piccolo hung on to Wooloo this time around.

Wooloo tried shaking itself to dislodge Piccolo, but Piccolo nearly buried herself in Wooloo’s thick wool, biting as she used Struggle Bug on her opponent. In a desperate move to get Piccolo off, Wooloo rolled right into the stone wall surrounding Professor Magnolia’s property, knocking itself out.

“Great try, Wooloo,” Hop said, returning his Pokemon. Piccolo stumbled back towards me as I congratulated her. Immediately, I returned her when Hop tossed out a Rookidee.

“Ryder!” My own Rookidee exploded from his pokeball, eager to battle again, and dove at Hop’s Rookidee with a Peck attack.

The two birds traded Peck attacks a couple of times until Ryder broke off and honed his claws against the professor’s stone wall. Hop’s Rookidee chased it, getting another hit in, but Ryder’s sharper claws snagged it so Ryder could get one more good Peck in.

“Ryder, enough!” I called my Pokemon back as Hop called his to return. Together, Hop and I sent out our starters to face off once again.

Scorbunny set the battlefield on fire with an Ember and Bond nearly panicked. He leaped onto one of the nearby trees, using Water Gun to put out the few flames that Scorbunny kept kicking up.

“Aim for the rabbit!” I said, ducking from one such wayward Water Gun.

Bond got the hint and directed his next attack at Scorbunny. Scorbunny’s ears flopped with the water and it shivered before Hop commanded it to Tackle my Sobble. Scorbunny dashed up the tree, its feet connecting with Bond enough to make both of them tumble back to the ground. Bond got up first, using his tongue to Pound the Scorbunny even further into the field before his Water Gun met Scorbunny’s next Ember attack.

Another Tackle to Bond, another Pound to Scorbunny, an Ember, and one last Water Gun revealed Bond — and me — as the victor.

“Heh…” Hop returned his Scorbunny, giving me a lopsided smile. “I’d expect nothing less from my rival.”

“It was a good battle,” I said, hoping that I could avoid every other wild Pokemon and trainer on Route 2 to get back to the Pokemon Center.

“Well.” Leon came up to the pair of us, pausing only to stomp on one last little ember on the battlefield to snuff it out. “After seeing a battle like that, I’ve little choice but to give you both an endorsement as Champion.”

“YES! Thanks, Lee!” Hop cheered, and I thanked Leon as well, before Hop turned to me. “Alright, Kris! You and me are going to train up against one another to aim for that Champion’s title!”

I paused, but Hop’s enthusiasm was contagious. I couldn’t let him down.

I returned his grin. “Absolutely.”

Who knows? Maybe becoming Champion wouldn’t be such a bad goal after all.

Have you ever failed a Nuzlocke challenge? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Kind Words [Video Game Review]

Kind Words | Video Games | Gaming | Indie Game | PC | Doublexjump.com

Title: Kind Words
Developer: Popcannibal
Publisher: Popcannibal
Platform:
PC
Category:
Indie, chill word game
Release Date:
September 13, 2019
How we got the game: 
Bought and downloaded it on Steam

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

krismii
Kind Words has been on my radar since I heard about it a few months ago, and it came right back up to the front of my to-play list thanks to the Game Awards having it as a nominee for the Games for Impact award. I was finally able to download it, and I am not disappointed in it.

Note that this review doesn’t use our typical template. Mechanically speaking, there’s not much to this game. You have a little avatar that relaxes in a small bedroom while scribbling away letters to other people. The goal is, simply, to be kind, to send words of encouragement, to give advice in response to other people’s letters, or to just let them know, “I am here and I hear you.”

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The menu on the side allows you to see requests that you can answer, send a request yourself to receive advice, send a paper airplane that floats through everyone’s room, and see your inbox, among options for the credits and settings. The setting is minimal, clean, and calming with the soft lights and the chill mix of music that you can adjust to your liking by clicking on the radio above the bed.

The game itself opens up and you meet the Mail Deer. This adorable creature claims that they are the one who sends your letters along, letting you know the gist of the game as well as warning you that you are communicating with real people and to be careful about giving away too much personal information. Mail Deer also speaks about how important they take cyber bullying or dangerous messages, and urges players to report any requests that fall under those categories. Security and safety are this game’s utmost priorities, and it shows in the community and how swiftly those reports are handled.

kindwords2

One of the main criticisms of this game — and there are very few of those — is players asking for more room on the letters and paper airplanes to write their requests or advice. Sometimes the main point of a request gets lost when not all the context is there due to the lack of room, and the advice that follows doesn’t quite work.

While it can be somewhat of an issue to not have the full story, I do like the fact that the letters must be shorter. It helps with the anonymity of the game and helps to illustrate that one may not receive all the advice they hope to from a stranger online. Indeed, strangers helping out one another with advice and words of encouragement is wonderful, but there is only so much that a stranger can do. To help with that, Kind Words does have a link to mental health resources that is prominent at the bottom of the screen whenever a letter or airplane is written. If one truly needs help, that link is there for when simple advice cannot.

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Another criticism that I’ve heard about the game is that there is no method of keeping in touch or continuing to send and receive letters from the same strangers. Some have found that certain people give fantastic advice, others are wondering how well their advice was received or how someone who had written a particular letter is doing. While it would be nice to be able to keep in touch with someone else, especially since — despite the dangers — online relationships can be wonderful, I believe the one-time reply does its job well. People inherently want to help others, but it can be dangerous to be so involved with others’ problems, dangerous for both parties’ self-esteem and their mental health. To harp on a stranger’s issue, as well-meaning as one may be, can be destructive for both parties.

As the Mail Deer, sometimes the best you can do is to send along a kind word, and you have to hope that will be enough. Know that you did your best for a stranger in the form of an anonymous letter and that they will be able to take strength from your kindness.

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I believe every person has a little bit of, “I want to save the world,” in them, but it can be overwhelming when it appears that you, as only one person, can’t make as much of an impact as you think. To be able to help just one person enables one to realize that perhaps they cannot impact the whole world but, for that one person they helped, they were able to impact that one individual world, hopefully for the better.

Kind Words enables us to do just that.

Kind Words 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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Friday Favorites: Games of the Decade

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m looking back on some of my favorite games that I’ve played these past ten years and I can’t believe how many gems I’ve found. It was difficult to narrow these lists down!

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Considering it’s 2020, the first year of the new decade, and we were challenged to figure out what our overall Game of the Decade was when Rachel and I joined Jett from In Third Person on his Twitch show Boss Rush this past Wednesday.

This homework was hard.

Nevertheless, I was able to create a list of my top games from the years 2010 to 2019. These are listed by the year rather than a ranking system, and this is all my personal opinion.

2010: Pokemon Heartgold/Soulsilver

Heartgold and Soulsilver were a couple of fantastic remakes for the original second generation of Pokemon. Considering the Crystal version was one of my favorite installments of the franchise, I was pleased with the way the remakes were handled. Updated graphics, music, and the fact that Pokemon could follow you around were all wonderful aspects of these games! (Honorable mention – Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)

2011: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

While the motion controls can be hit or miss, Skyward Sword was such a fun adventure with some of the brightest graphics I’ve ever seen at that point for a Legend of Zelda game. The world itself was a bit linear, but I enjoyed the areas that we did explore. My favorite part of the game, though, had to be the characters themselves. Zelda and Link, Fi, Ghirahim, Impa, and even Groose all had awesome designs and character development throughout the game.

2012: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon was a series that I always enjoyed, but more so the older installments than the newest ones. A New Beginning was a happy medium for me. Allowing me to build up and create both the farm and the town was a fun project and it was always satisfying to meet the requirements needed for certain buildings. I enjoyed the graphics as well, and the online features worked great when there was enough people playing the game.

2013: Fire Emblem: Awakening

If you know me at all from this blog, you’ll know that the Fire Emblem series is a love of mine, particularly Awakening. It reignited my passion for the franchise, with the characters and story line, even if some of them were a bit more cliche than unique. I loved customizing the avatar, especially since they had more of a personality, and pairing up the characters is always a guilty pleasure of mine. (Honorable mention – Pokemon X/Y)

2014: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Ace Attorney series is near and dear to me, and I was always curious about the Professor Layton games, hearing that they involved crimes to solve as well but with little puzzles dotting the story here and there. When this crossover game came out, we seized the chance to be introduced to Professor Layton and were not disappointed. The mesh of two casts worked well and the story was well done! (Honorable mentions – Tomodachi Life, Sims 4)

2015: Undertale

This game took the world by storm with its unique characters, metafictional elements of storytelling, and near perfect scores by critics. It was unlike anything I’ve ever played before, an RPG where you didn’t have to harm anyone. The success story of the creator Toby Fox is amazing and inspiring to anyone who knows his name. That, and the music is some of the best!

2016: Stardew Valley

This game, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is everything that I wish the newer Harvest Moon games are. The premise is simply to raise a successful farm, try to improve the community, and become friends with the townsfolk. Without any gender locks when it came to relationships as well, it’s a big step for LGBT+ representation as well. It’s an easy game to get into, put down, and then pick right back up again. Considering how well it’s been kept up to date with content and features, it’s no surprise that this game is on many people’s top games of the decade lists. (Honorable mentions – Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Death Road to Canada)

2017: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This game was my choice for my personal Game of the Decade. It was a tough choice, I’ll admit, but the Legend of Zelda franchise has always been near and dear to my heart. This series helped introduce me to video games, after all. Breath of the Wild was such a fresh and gorgeous take on the franchise. The graphics were beautiful, the exploration and world was fantastic, and I adored all the nods to previous entries in the franchise, with familiar areas, snippets of dialogue, and the memories. I’m so excited for Breath of the Wild 2! (Honorable mention – Miitopia)

2018: Octopath Traveler

I was in love with this game from the moment I saw the first trailer. The art style — reminiscent of a pixel-like pop-up book — was beautiful to me, and the music has turned into one of my favorite soundtracks. The battle system was fun and the character classes in this RPG were great to explore and grow. While I enjoyed the characters, I do wish they were given just a little more depth and interaction with one another. Still, Octopath Traveler was a great game to dive into and lose yourself in the world. (Honorable mentions – Deltarune, Gris)

2019: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This was probably one of the most difficult years of gaming for me to narrow down my played list and choose just one game. However, after mulling it all over for a while, I finally decided on Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Considering I was lukewarm about Echoes and Fates, and I was a little perplexed about the school setting of Three Houses, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this game. My main critique for this game is that there was no “golden ending;” I want to protect all of the students! And I totally never trusted the church. This game was one of my runner-ups for Game of the Decade. (Honorable mentions – Arcade Spirits, Pokemon Sword and Shield)

What were your top games of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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That Time I Did Not Pick Legend of Zelda

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Something that I’m trying to do for the new year is to be a little more active on social media, such as Twitter. It includes trying to respond to more people, throw my opinion out there more, and just see what comes up.

Nintendo | Video Games | Nintendo 3DS | Legend of Zelda | Zelda | Doublexjump.com

Fairly recently, a Twitter account we follow — @GifZelda — posted an image of a plethora of Nintendo 3DS games and posed the following: “You can only choose three. What do you choose?”

I took a few minutes, looked at the list of games, and retweeted my top choices for fun:
Screenshot_20200107-153526_Twitter.jpg
Fire Emblem: Awakening was a no-brainer, as that is probably one of my favorite Fire Emblem games to date. Pokemon Y had to be included to represent my love of the franchise and, out of the three games presented, I enjoyed the Kalos region the most. Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney had a fun story with both old and new characters that I’ve grown to love. The three games encompassed most of my video game tastes, and it wasn’t too difficult to choose them.

Then I realized that the first line of games were all Legend of Zelda titles and I had a mini existential crisis.

The Legend of Zelda is a franchise that literally helped introduce me to video games and as since grown into one of my favorites. Our mom may not know too much about video games nowadays, but she knows the Legend of Zelda title and what the Triforce looks like, able to link the series with my love of gaming (pun originally not intended, but awesome enough to stay there). By not choosing one of the titles, I felt as if I was betraying the Legend of Zelda.

Granted, just because I preferred other game franchises for the Nintendo 3DS to the Legend of Zelda did not diminish my love for the series. The majority of the Legend of Zelda choices were remakes of previously released titles, for one thing. For another, this choice merely solidifies how I prefer to play certain series. The Legend of Zelda franchise was always a series that I preferred to play on a television console rather than handheld, just as I prefer Fire Emblem as a handheld series instead of console.

It’s a bit funny how I categorize the franchises I play, especially with the Nintendo Switch’s ability to, well, switch between handheld and docked modes. Being able to take Breath of the Wild on the go is wonderful, but the gorgeous world is better appreciated on a bigger screen. Likewise, seeing Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the television is great, but I enjoy seeing the smaller details on handheld mode. Indeed, Three Houses was one of the first game data that I transferred from the original Switch onto my Switch Lite so I could always enjoy it.

Then there are franchises that can go either way. It’s been awesome to see Pokemon on bigger screens, especially the latest installments with the new world details, but I still enjoy the handheld versions. C’mon, they’re called pocket monsters, after all. Professor Layton and Ace Attorney are also games that I like on handheld, the mysteries and smaller screens giving a cozy sense to the games, but since Rachel and I enjoy playing them together, having the game on the television is much better for our eyes and postures.

In the end, there’s usually no right way to play your favorite franchises, even when some lend themselves to one screen over the other.

Are there any series that you prefer on a handheld screen? Or a television screen? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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High Hopes (A Shield Nuzlocke): Rules & Chapter 1

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, Rachel started streaming a Pokemon Sword Nuzlocke over on our Twitch channel. While you can watch hers live or on a VOD, I’m joining the challenge with a Shield Nuzlocke of my own in fanfiction format. I hope you enjoy it!

Pokemon | Pokemon Nuzlocke | Nintendo | Pokemon Shield | Video Games | Fanfiction | Doublexjump.com

Shield Nuzlocke Rules:

  • Fainted Pokemon are considered “dead” and must be released.
  • Nickname all Pokemon to form deeper bonds.
  • Only the first randomly encountered Pokemon may be caught.
    • Duplicate clause: if random encounter is a Pokemon species that was already caught, you may try again with the second random encounter.
    • In areas with no random encounters, first wild Pokemon fight counts.
  • After the initial trip and first random encounter through the Wild Area, one new Pokemon may be caught in a new zone after each gym badge collected.
    • This was amended from a previous rule being that only 3 Wild Area Pokemon could be caught before Motostoke and before Hammerlocke; since 3 Pokemon were initially caught, the new rule will be instigated after the 4th badge is earned.

Chapter 1:

Current Team: Bond the Sobble
Body Count: 0

“Hop, this was a terrible idea.”

“Pretty sure this was your idea, mate.”

“Was not.” I huffed, squinting my eyes as if that would help me see better in the thickening fog.  “You would have gone straight into the Slumbering Weald after the Wooloo no matter what I said, and you know it.”

“Come off it,” Hop’s voice said from somewhere in front of me on the overgrown path, his outline just barely visible. “There was no hesitation from you when I asked what we should do when we saw the broken fence.”

I glared in Hop’s general direction. The Slumbering Weald had always been off limits for us. I thought it was just due to the wild Pokemon in the area, but if it was always foggy like this… Well, point taken, Mum.

“Bond, where are you?” I paused and glanced down at my feet just as my new Sobble smacked into the back of my leg. He placed a little hand on my calf, his few digits trembling despite the physical reassurance of my presence. I scooped him up and he heaved out a sigh.

“This is mad. I can’t even see my own hand in front of my face!”

“And I can’t see you,” I said in response to Hop’s voice, quashing down my own panic. Bond whined in my arms, and I tried to be brave for both of us. “Hop, come back!”

“Kris, I’m right here.”

“You are not,” I said, reaching forward blindly with my free hand. “We should have asked Leon to go and save the Wooloo…His Charizard would have been able to blow away this fog or something…” My hand collided with denim and I snatched it. “Please tell me this is you, Hop.”

“As long as you tell me that it’s you gripping my sleeve,” my friend said. His own hand reached out from the fog and nearly smacked Bond in the face. I grabbed Hop’s hand before he could.

“Let’s stay together,” I said.

“Yeah, sorry about going a little too far ahead,” Hop said as we walked together. “I’m just worried about the Wooloo. Can you imagine if we had sent Leon in here? With his sense of direction, he’d end up in Unova or something–”

A gust blew and with it came an eerie howl. My Sobble hiccuped in my arms as Hop and I stepped closer together. The howl washed over us, seemingly coming from every direction, until the fog opened up before us.

Stepping forward was a canine-like creature, crimson and blue fur standing out amid the silver fog. I had to crane my neck up to see its golden gaze scrutinizing us.

“Is that… Is that a Pokemon?” Hop asked, the pair of us trying to walk backwards before he tripped over my foot. He tumbled to the ground, me being yanked down with him, and Bond fell out of my arms.

The creature howled again, the sound vibrating through the air. Despite his shivering, Bond shot a blast of Water Gun at it. The attack only reached the creature’s ankles, if it had hit…

“It has no effect…” Cold dread sat in my stomach at the realization and I reached forward for my Pokemon. I just got my Sobble maybe half an hour ago, and I had no interest in it getting hurt by some ghost canine thing! We’d have to try to run.

The creature’s gaze was fixated on us, even as Bond tried a second Water Gun. I grabbed onto my Sobble as the creature howled again, its voice thickening the fog. Hop’s hand scrabbled for my sleeve.

“I can’t see anything,” he said, his shout wavering with panic. My head grew fuzzy as I tried to turn to him, but I couldn’t even respond when he asked, “Kris, are you ok? Kris…?”

The fog swallowed us.


“…ris…”

“…Kris…?”

“Kris, wake up…”

A groan reached my ears and I belatedly realized that the sound was from me. Something was shaking me by the shoulders and I lashed out.

“Ow!”

I blinked rapidly, trying to figure out where I was, only to see Leon in front of me rubbing his nose. Bond appeared in my view, my Sobble’s eyes wide and shiny with unshed tears.

“Uh… sorry?” I sat up gingerly, keenly aware that I probably punched the Champion in the nose. I reached over with one hand to rub the top of Bond’s head while the other held my own temple. “Did I just hit you?”

“Yeah,” Leon said, sitting back to give me more space. With a crooked smile, he added, “Think I was more startled than hurt. I’m glad you’re awake. You both seem to be okay.”

I glanced over to Leon’s other side, seeing Hop sitting there looking just as groggy as I felt. Just beyond Hop was Leon’s Charizard, its wings flared out protectively with the little Wooloo settled next to it, looking none the worse for wear. There was no fog competing with the shadows and flickering patches of sunlight peering down from the treetops.

“How’d you even get here, Lee?” Hop asked. “You’re pants with directions.”

“Gee, thanks,” was Leon’s deadpanned response. “I came looking for you two when you didn’t show to go to Wedgehurst. Let’s get out of here. You’ll be okay now that Charizard and I are with you.”

“Thanks, Leon.” I stood up, my legs only slightly wobbly but more than willing to leave the Slumbering Weald behind. I returned Bond to his pokeball, sure that my Sobble was more than spooked as well, and followed Leon and Hop out of the forest.

I only half listened as Hop told Leon about the creature we had encountered. Leon wondered if the rumors of the powerful Pokemon in the area was merely an illusion since Bond’s attacks went right through it. I bit my tongue to stop myself from arguing.

That Pokemon was no mere illusion.

“Hey, Kris.” Hop turned back to me with his usual grin as we reached Postwick again, the shadows of Slumbering Weald gone. “Don’t forget to tell your mum that we’re leaving for Wedgehurst. She’ll go spare if you leave without a word.”

“Don’t have to tell me that,” I said, already wondering how Mum would be just hearing that I stepped foot into the Slumbering Weald. “See you by Route 1.”

Mum’s heavy frown met me as soon as I walked into the house.

“Leon told me what was going on,” Mum said as a greeting. “I’m glad someone bothered to tell me! He mentioned how Hop and you were supposed to meet him to go to Wedgehurst and, instead, found the gate to the Slumbering Weald open.”

I took a deep breath and relayed what happened to Mum. “Hop and I have our own Pokemon now, more than just his Wooloo,” I reminded her. “We didn’t think it’d be that dangerous.”

“Kris, your Sobble is a sweetheart, but young,” Mum said, pinching the bridge of her nose as she tried to remain calm. “You both could have been seriously hurt.”

“…Yes, we can,” I said, my hand reaching to my belt where Bond’s pokeball was clasped. “Should we even go to Wedgehurst?” Bond and I could totally stay home with Mum. I’m sure he would like growing up amid Mum’s Budew.

Mum said nothing for a moment before I felt her hands cup my chin and make me look up at her. Her smile was small, but her eyes shone.

“Yes, you should,” she said after a moment. “Go out and see the world. You will make mistakes. You may get hurt. Your Pokemon, your friends may get hurt. It can be dangerous out there, but you’ll find plenty of opportunities and reasons to call the world beautiful.”

I took a deep breath and nodded. “Alright… Thanks, Mum.”

She kissed my forehead before shoving a small purse into my hand. “Here’s some pocket change and some pokeballs for Galar’s newest trainer. Go out there and follow your dreams.”

And Mum looked so excited, so proud of me that I could only think to say, “I will, Mum,” before giving her a hug and heading out the door.

I guess figuring out my dream would be my first goal of this journey.

Have you completed a Nuzlocke challenge? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Monday Memories: Game Start

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Welcome to the first Monday of 2020! I’m being a little nostalgic today, mostly due to the new year and the fact that my birthday is coming up. I started thinking about where my love of gaming all began.

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I’m going to be 30 years old this year, at the end of the month, actually. I’ve literally grown up with the internet and video games before me, and I was thinking about when it all started. While I never thought I would outgrow video games, I never expected them to take as much of a priority in my life as they do now.

I’m certain no one in my family thought that, least of all my uncle that mainly introduced me to gaming. Poor Uncle Ricky enjoyed his video games, mostly around the SNES and Nintendo 64 era, and he was probably amused when I used to watch him play games like Super Mario RPG and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He probably regretted introducing me to gaming when I used to bother him to play, particularly when I would “accidentally” wake him up during his napping for his third-shift at his current job.

(Eight-year-old me thought I was being clever, sneaking up to his room to see if he was awake, but making just enough noise so he’d stir.)

I did learn patience, of course, tending to wait until he was actually awake to play until his job and schedule changed. He wasn’t at my grandparents’ house during the usual hours I was there as often and, like most young men, he had a social life. My mother says I was a bit put off when he started getting serious with my now-aunt. Suddenly there was someone else vying for his attention and supposedly I wasn’t thrilled.

I never hated my aunt, obviously, but my older sister didn’t play many games and Rachel wasn’t old enough to have a steady grip on the controllers just yet.

It was around that time, though, that my uncle gave me the Super Mario RPG game, encouraging me to give it a try on my own. There were parts of the game that I was always nervous to try, restarting the game over every time I reached those certain parts until I learned to have the courage to push past those obstacles, and I try to apply that knowledge, that proud feeling of achievement that little-me had when I beat that game on my own.

He let me play Ocarina of Time at my grandparents house, using his nearly complete file so I could spend my time riding Epona through the vast (to child-me) Hyrule Field. Because of that, I went from the Hyrule Field on the N64 to Breath of the Wild’s expansive world on the Nintendo Switch, and I’m not slowing down anytime soon.

Due to my birthday coming up, the fact that gaming has been a major part of my life is cemented in my mind. Unlike video games, this is my one life, and I’m glad I started down the path I’m on. Being a gamer has done nothing but bring positivity to my life, and it’s only helping me further with my creative pursuits.

Who’d have thought it would all start with me being a little nudge-of-a-child and bothering my uncle to play “the Mario game with the guy in the cool cape?”

What started you on your gamer journey? Are you grateful for that start? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Remastered for the Switch Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Nintendo Switch’s popularity has lent itself to getting plenty of older games that were remastered for the latest console. Link’s Awakening, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Assassin’s Creed III, Resident Evil 4 are just a few among many. With that said, there are a few older games that I wouldn’t mind buying again if it meant they were remastered for the Nintendo Switch.

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Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

If this game were to ever get a remaster, I hope the copyright issues between Nintendo and Square Enix wouldn’t be a problem with the partnerships that the two companies have had recently. Super Mario RPG is probably my favorite game of all time, with nostalgia being a heavy reason, and I would love to see it get polished up for the Switch. True, it’s on the SNES Classic, but that doesn’t quite have the portability of the Switch.

Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword

The first Fire Emblem game to make it over to North America, I would be delighted to get the chance to play this game. Years ago, after I had been introduced to the series with Sacred Stones and the Path of Radiance, my parents somehow found a copy of Blazing Sword to gift me. Unfortunately, it was a used copy with a dying internal battery; it wouldn’t save my files. Still, I was stubborn enough to reach at least the end of Lyn’s story, keeping my GameBoy on and charging all the while. Blazing Sword was available for the Wii U virtual console, and I had downloaded it onto there as well. Yet, I still didn’t get the chance to beat it, not with life obligations and our poor Wii U’s battery not lasting as long as it used to, either. With the revival of the series thanks to Awakening, the popularity of Three Houses, and the fact that remakes of older games have been proven successful with Shadows of Valentia, I think Blazing Sword would be an excellent contender to be remastered for the Switch.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

Technically (and apparently, since I just learned this), Turtles in Time already had a remastered version ten years ago called Re-Shelled, but it wasn’t on a Nintendo console. Since Turtles in Time was ported to the SNES so long ago, I would love to see it again on the Switch with both local and online co-op options. Even if the game is one day brought over to the Switch Online library and allows me to play with both Rachel and friends across country borders, I’ll be happy! (That will also give me more incentive to use the Switch Online service that I pay yearly for.)

Mario Party 1 through 3

Remember the Mario Party Top 100 game and how it was not what everyone expected it to be? Instead of having fun board games to go with the best mini-games throughout the franchise, it had one small board with watered down rules? I firmly believe Nintendo could have done much better if they had just remastered Mario Party 1 through 3 rather than make the Top 100 game. Considering the success Nintendo had with Super Mario Party, I think they would do well in remastering the first few games of the franchise for the Nintendo Switch.

What are some games you’d like to see remastered for the Nintendo Switch? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Fanart Monday: Hail

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday!

The last Monday of 2019… I’ve had a bit of downtime after the holidays, so I took advantage of some of the peace and quiet to play around more with some digital art.

Fanart | Pokemon | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

I got my Wacom tablet… maybe a year ago? I’m not even sure at this point, to be completely honest, but it came with a few licenses to some art programs that I just recently remembered. One program was Clip Studio, and I’ve been having fun exploring it! The program does illustrations, comics, and animations, and I wish I thought to download it when I first opened my Wacom tablet.

Being December, I wanted to do something that had to do with snow and ice, and Frosmoth won out. I think Frosmoth has one of the prettiest designs of the Galar Pokemon, so I figured I’d take a shot and try to do a picture showcasing it. There were a few layers — one for the background, another for a quick sketch, a third for colors, and a forth for the speckles of hail and snow — and the program had some fun stamps and decorations to help with the quick background, such as the foliage. The sky itself was part gradient and part blending of a few different darker shades.

While Frosmoth isn’t as detailed as I would like, I am happy with the final result. It’s softer and bright against the background, and it was fun trying out all sorts of different tools to design it. Any kind constructive criticism is appreciated, especially if you have tips on use Clip Studio!

frosmoth

Do you create fanart? What do you think of Frosmoth’s design? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Ace Attorney Investigations

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Here we are, the last Friday of the month and the year! I hope everyone’s 2019 was as happy and productive as it could have been for you!

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Probably one of my favorite games from the past decade, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth was a spin-off of the popular Ace Attorney video games. Investigations arrived on the Nintendo DS internationally in 2010 and took place in between the third and forth Ace Attorney games, Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice, respectively.

One of the main hooks, so to speak, of this game was due to the fact that you took direct control of Miles Edgeworth in the game, being able to make him walk from destination to destination and interact with the environment rather than just pointing and clicking like the other games in the series. Investigations focuses more on the deductive reasoning aspect of the games, solving mysteries and crimes at the scenes rather than in the courtroom.

The game had generally favorable reviews and sold well enough in Japan to warrant a sequel. However, since the sales weren’t great internationally, the sequel was never released outside of Japan. A group of dedicated fans and gamers, however, have created an English translation patch, should anyone outside of Japan wish to try the game.

Considering he’s one of my favorite characters in the Ace Attorney world, being able to play a game dedicated to Miles Edgeworth was a treat. It was a little silly — sometimes it seemed liked Edgeworth was the only competent character in the game’s world — and repetitive with trial and error responses, but I enjoyed the stories and both new and familiar characters from the other Ace Attorney games.

Have you played Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Being Social with Video Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone is doing well with the holidays in full force this week! My holiday has been a little strange this year, with going back and forth between family and a couple of dogs.

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I originally planned on this post being one last game review for the year. Due to life and the timing of everything, that obviously didn’t happen.

The holidays have been a little strange this year. Neither Rachel nor I are home since we’re both dogsitting for different families. We’re going back and forth home, of course, for Christmas Eve and Christmas day, but it’s still strange.

I have two puppies upset that my lap isn’t big enough for both of them as I write this. They’re wonderful dogs, a couple of regular goofs, but it is quiet going from a full house to being the only English-speaking individual in a place. When I’m with the dogs, the time slows, and I’m looking forward to returning to my own family for any festivities, but the time goes by so quickly when I’m with them.

Rachel and I were a little hesitant to each get our own Switch Lite — I mean, we knew we would because it’s Nintendo, but we weren’t sure they were needed — and I’m honestly really thankful for them. Despite both of us being apart, they were able to hold onto their wifi connections enough for us to trade between our Sword and Shield games while we were texting each other.

Traditionally, Rachel and I would spend the day after Christmas in whatever new pajamas we happened to receive and play video games together. This is the first time in our lives we will not be able to do that while sitting next to each other, but Nintendo still has our backs. With the portability of our Switch Lites, and the power of other social media, we’ll still be able to play together.

It’s a stark contrast to the “moms” I hear in the office. I’m probably the only gamer in the building, to be honest, but I’ve heard the “adulter adults” who lament that the youth in their lives that only want video games and electronics for Christmas. It’s a shame that they don’t do a bit more research about the current video game industry, how it’s more social than ever before (among other benefits).

There was another article I read fairly recently about how proud a mom was that she doesn’t let her son play Fortnite, but did question whether he was missing out on social benefits from the game, considering his friends all enjoyed it. And, while Fortnite isn’t my cup of tea, I think he was missing out. Of course, it’s a double-edged sword — the woman had a video game-free house and when the friends came over, they got over their initial bafflement of no video games and enjoyed games that didn’t need to be plugged into an outlet.

Would the child have gained friends a little quicker if he had some time to play Fortnite? Perhaps. Are video games hindering social and creative skills? Absolutely not.

Because, personally, without the portability and the social aspect of the Switch Lite, I’d be a bit lonely over the holidays. I’m still connected with some of my best friends because of it.

Who are you able to connect with that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise thanks to video games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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