Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy [Video Game Review]

Lady Layton | Professor Layton | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Title: Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
Publisher: Level-5
Developer: Level-5
Platform: 
iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch
Category:
Puzzle, Adventure
Release Date: 
July 20, 2017 (iOS, Android), October 6, 2017 (Nintendo 3DS), November 8, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game:
Received it for Christmas 2019 on the Nintendo Switch

krismii
Layton’s Mystery Journey — or Lady Layton, as we’ve been calling it — has been a game that’s been on our radar since it was announced for the 3DS. We’ve enjoyed the few Professor Layton games we’ve played, and we were looking forward to seeing what Lady Layton was all about.

rachmii
Lady Layton, of course, is not Professor Layton himself. However, we enjoy the puzzles and characters so we were interested in seeing how Lady Layton presented herself after playing so much Professor Layton.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Lady Layton has similar gameplay mechanics as the Professor Layton series. Navigating through different scenes, you point and click on the environment to interact with objects and people, finding clues to the current mystery as well as short puzzles that bolster the gameplay. While you don’t directly control the main character’s movements, you are able to go between scenes via the handy map.

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All you need is the ability to point-and-click with your Joy-Con and have enough brain power to solve some puzzles. Lady Layton is part visual novel where the characters interact. We took turns reading dialogue from certain characters though some parts were voice-acted with a short anime cut scene here and there.

 krismii
That’s pretty much all there is to the gameplay mechanics. Some puzzles include literally rotating pieces to solve them, others include more mathematics, and still some are more logic puzzles. Aside from the puzzles and main storylines, there are also a plethora of minigames that tie in to the few cases — puzzles that have to do with shopping or food or Sherl the canine sidekick — as well as a wardrobe change function for Katrielle. We didn’t really explore these options too much, to be honest, as we weren’t too interested in them.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I play the Layton games mostly for the puzzles. In this particular game, however, the puzzles were too easy. Normally there are puzzles we get stuck on and need to use our hint coins a lot or rope our parents in to help us. The majority of the puzzles in this game we breezed right there. There were only a handful of puzzles we got stuck on.

krismii
We did feel a bit more bored by the majority of the puzzles than we have in other Professor Layton games, yes. This game felt like there was a lot more fluff rather than substance when it came to the actual gameplay.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, it was pretty light-hearted for the most part. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I enjoyed the banter between the characters. Overall, though, the main gameplay could have issued a little more of a challenge for me.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The graphics of the game are cute, the same style that has been used for previous Professor Layton games to keep them connected. While some of the more exaggerated designs for characters I could do without, the art style is engaging and keeps me interested in continuing the story.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I enjoy the art style. I think it’s charming overall. There are certainly some interesting looking people but it’s fun nonetheless.

krismii
The music for this game is cozy. Relaxing and soft, the tunes do well being paired with the characters — the main cast being comprised of a gentlewoman and her eager, polite assistant — and the locations of the game. I enjoyed the music, but it was low-key for a game about solving crimes.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree that it was low-key for a crime-solving game. Then again, none of the “crimes” were dire so it seemed as though the music fit. Lady Layton is a fairly light-hearted game. The music was catchy regardless though.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
The title of this game is Katrielle and The Millionaires’ Conspiracy, which gives one the impression that there is a larger, overarching story amid the multiple cases that this game provides. Within the dozen cases that the game provides, the “millionaires” are introduced but there is no larger case that you are always trying to discover. Each case is individual before it brings all the characters together during the last case of the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I don’t mind having multiple cases throughout the game. Having 12 cases to solve seems fun. However, other than the characters, none of the cases had anything to do with… anything, really. The cases introduced the characters but never hinted at a bigger conspiracy until the final case. Even then, the solution seemed out of the blue.

krismii
The solution both seemed like it came out of the blue, but it wasn’t particularly surprising either. We had guessed who the true culprit was before the answer came about and, even now, there are parts of the last case that don’t make sense to me for the culprit to be who they were. The story could have been a lot stronger when it came to the characters. The characters themselves were interesting enough, but there wasn’t enough of a plot to really show their strengths.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Not to mention that Sherl, a talking dog, approached Kat the beginning of the game wondering who he was and how he got turned into a dog. Supposedly, he was human at one time and has no memory. That mystery was never answered. After the credits, it hinted at a sequel, but I would have liked more mention of that. Once he initially asked for her help figuring out who he is, his “case” was never mentioned again throughout the entire game.

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

krismii
The cases themselves are fairly linear, with the one outcome each. Likewise, the puzzles usually only have a couple of ways to reach the answers as well, if they have more than one way to the outcome in the first place. The only replayability this game may have is if the player missed some puzzles and wanted to go and find them again. There are some minigames to play as well but nothing that we found particularly striking.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m not sure if this is a game I’d pick up again. The puzzles were fun but pretty easy compared to the Professor Layton games. The mini-games weren’t great and overall, each case didn’t allow you to solve it alongside Kat. It made some parts boring. The game was okay overall and the characters were certainly enjoyable.

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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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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Nintendo Switch Online Wish List

Nintendo Switch | Online | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
I’ll admit that we do not use the Nintendo Switch online services as often as we probably should considering we’re paying for it. I forget that it exists, to be honest. The idea of the catalog is wonderful, especially since we have good friends that we can’t play local co-op with, but there haven’t been too many games that we’re interested in playing just yet.

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The idea of the Nintendo Switch Online is a good idea in theory. However, a lot of the games we already own and can still play on our past consoles. Not to mention Nintendo released the SNES and NES Classic consoles so… it’s all sort of redundant.

krismii
I would like to see more SNES and NES games that are not on the Classic consoles offered with revamped online multiplayer if such a mode is applicable. Online Turtles in Time, anyone? I’m also hoping that some Nintendo 64 games will make their way onto the online service. I really think there should have been an online multiplayer mode for games like Super Mario Party. Imagine playing the original Mario Party games online!

rachmii
The NES and SNES were great consoles, but I really think the Nintendo 64 was the peak of it all. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a Nintendo 64 Classic or even games from that console added to the Switch online. It would be awesome to play through the old Mario Party games, especially since some of those games were never added to the virtual console on the Wii or Wii U.

krismii
I hope they’re thinking of adding Nintendo 64 games onto the Online service in the long run, as I believe Nintendo is adamant that there is not going to be an N64 Classic anytime soon. And, of course, the online service isn’t all bad. We would never be able to play Pokemon Sword and Shield or Smash Ultimate with each other and friends if not for the online service. Still, I wish there was more incentive than that to pay for using the Internet while gaming.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, the games that were added are games that we never played as kids. We don’t have much interest in trying some of them too. We should broaden our horizons, but we don’t. On the flip side, the games that we did play as kids, such as Turtles in Time, aren’t there.

krismii
We should explore the options a bit more, admittedly. I wonder how the Switch Online service is for those who do remember playing the currently available games? Perhaps because we don’t have as much nostalgia for the games is why we don’t care for the Online service, with the exception of the occasional Pokemon battle or Smash match with online friends.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That’s true. We were pretty young in the era of the NES and SNES. This is all the more reason as to why I would love to have some Nintendo 64 games on there. I’d be playing those all the time. Still, we definitely need to explore the games that are already on there a bit more.

Do you use the Nintendo Switch Online services often? What would you like to see on there? Let us 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.

Games | Video Games | Nintendo | Game Start | Gamer | Doublexjump.com

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.

Nintendo Switch | Remastered | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

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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Pokemon & Chill – GameChops

Pokemon | Music | Video Games | Nintendo | YouTube | Doublexjump.com

With the holidays and cold season upon us (well, in our neck of the woods, anyway), we wanted to find some chill music — pun intended — to combat the stress that no doubts comes with Christmas, despite how wonderful the holiday can be.

We found the YouTube channel GameChops, a record label that offers video game music and remixes, mostly in the chill out and hiphop genres. It has tons of videos dedicated to high quality music from video games, and they’re definitely worth checking out.

We hope you enjoy this video of relaxing Pokemon music remixes!

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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!

Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo DS | Ace Attorney | Miles Edgeworth | Doublexjump.com

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.

Video Games | Gaming | Social Media | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Switch Lite | Doublexjump.com

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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Friday Favorites: Top Games of 2019

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The end of 2019 is upon us. It’s been a great year, giving me some of my favorite games. While I haven’t played as many games as I would have liked, I am pleased with the games I have discovered during the year.

Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | 2019 | Pokemon | Fire Emblem | Doublexjump.com

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Considering my lukewarm feelings about Fates and Shadows of Valentia, Three Houses renewed my love of Fire Emblem games. I was hesitant with the academy angle from the pre-time skip, but I grew to enjoy the exploration, the characters’ growth and goals, and the supports. It was nice to have the supposed downtime activities to bolster relationships and stats alike, as well as giving the option to do skirmishes every week. That, and the cast of characters in Three Houses has been one of my favorites in some time.

Pokemon Sword

We’re huge Pokemon fans on this blog, if you haven’t noticed. Despite the criticism that had surrounded the eighth generation of Pokemon, I’ve really enjoyed Pokemon Sword! The new character designs are great, the world is fun, and the Wild Area has been an amazing feature to the series. I’m also certain that the Galar region has my favorite gym battle music!

Arcade Spirits

A visual novel set in a video game arcade sounded right up my alley, and I was not expecting the variety of choices and outcomes Arcade Spirits offered the player. With fun characters — both in personality and design — a great plot, and conscious enough to cater to non-binary and aroace folks, Arcade Spirits was an awesome experience.

Gris

I was enraptured with the images of the art style of this game before I even knew what it was about. This bittersweet tale of grief and moving on was wrapped up beautifully in its unique graphics and accompanying music, and was the first game of the year that made me tear up.

What were your favorite games of 2019? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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