There’s been plenty of buzz about the Switch Lite, and Rachel and I will share more of our thoughts on that later next week. In the meantime, considering the Lite is purely a handheld console, I dove back into my bucket of 3DS games to reminisce on some of my favorites.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Awakening is one of the games at the top of my favorite “Fire Emblem Games” list. I enjoyed the characters and the more involved role the avatar took in the game. The child unit angle was interesting as well and, in my opinion, done much better than the Fates trio of games did. Ever since I’ve played Sacred Stones, Fire Emblem has been an enjoyable franchise, and Awakening has gotten quite a few play-throughs from me.
Kind of just rediscovered this game, but if you never played it, it’s a great little casual RPG starring your Mii and whatever other Miis you want. It’s a little silly, story-wise, but the creativity, music, and the art style of the backgrounds are brilliant.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
The Ace Attorney games are all great, but I really enjoyed coming back to the familiar characters when Spirit of Justice came out a few years ago. It gave some satisfying conclusions to some of the characters, despite Rachel and me being worried about it being one of the “final” Ace Attorney games with Phoenix and company. It probably is, if I’m being honest, but I’m hopeful for more.
What are some of your favorite 3DS games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Guys, June is pretty much over. The year is half over. How have you all been doing? We’ve been going through our older games, figuring out games to return to amid all of the new releases that have been coming out lately.
Tomodachi Life was a game that I was a bit skeptical of when I first heard about it. It sounded so silly but I was looking forward to it nonetheless. Anything else that we could do with the Miis was amusing to me.
Tomodachi Life came out for the 3DS in Japan in April 2013 and in 2014 for the rest of the world. It’s a simulation game where one has an island of Miis that can interact with each other. It’s not a gameplay-heavy game. Rather, you move various Miis onto the island where their personalities influence the activities they do, such as eating, collecting outfits, and developing relationships — both platonic and romantic — with each other. It had positive reviews, inspiring the mobile app Miitomo and, a few years later, Miitopia.
It’s actually a fun little game that I need to return to and see what my Miis are up to. I’m pretty sure my “look-alike” Mii is married and has kids. I’ve been thinking about the game lately, mainly because I’ve returned to Miitopia.
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.
Title: Diddy Kong Racing DS Developer: Rare, Ultimate Play the Game Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Category: Racing, Adventure
Release Date: February 5, 2007
How we got the game: I got it as a gift long ago
Diddy Kong Racing will always have a special place in my heart. I remember playing this game originally on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, not that I was any good at it. I believe I got the Nintendo DS version for my birthday or Christmas the year it came out. Picking it up again, it was certainly a fun trip down memory lane.
This is a racing game so, of course, you choose a character and you race through various courses. The roster isn’t huge with only eight playable characters plus four more to unlock making a total of 12 playable characters. Still, that’s not too bad considering the time the game was originally made. Also, instead of playing as Banjo or Conker, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong.
In the regular adventure mode, you choose a character, a vehicle, and a track. Then you race. There are three different vehicles to choose from – kart, hovercraft, or plane. I was only good with the kart. The hovercraft was okay to control, but I was horrendous with the plane. These vehicles can be used in most of the tracks. Some tracks allow all three while other tracks allow certain vehicles. For example, you can’t use a kart or plane in Pirate Lagoon because it’s mostly water.
Speaking of tracks, there are six different areas, each one with four racing courses for a grand total of 24 tracks. Each course has balloons scattered about which give you an item. There aren’t too many items in this game and you get a certain item depending on which color balloon you pop. For example, a red balloon will give you a missile. You can upgrade your items by collecting Rareware coins that are scattered about the tracks. However, I mostly through my items blindly because I was too focused on trying to stay on the road.
There is a story mode to this game, one that I didn’t complete. Taj the Genie is a blue elephant that rides around on a magic carpet. He aids you by giving you new vehicles and the like. Of course, to unlock them you need to beat him in a race and… well, that plane. As I said, I was horrendous with it.
Anyway, long story short, we need to race in order to stop Wizpig from taking over the island when Timber’s parents go away on vacation. Timber can’t fit Wizpig alone, so he calls on Diddy and the rest of the gang to help him out.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s just a way to unlock more tracks and characters, which is a pretty clever way to do things. Although, I don’t think this particular game really needed a story.
Graphics-wise, this game is definitely better than when it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Still, I don’t think the graphics are great. I’m not complaining though. It’s still charming.
The music is probably the best thing about this game. The beats are so energizing that even if I haven’t played the game in a while, I find myself humming the main menu tune.
This game is fun to play if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m sure I’ll get back to it and play it again at some point in my life, though this isn’t a game I’d go to all the time. It’s fun to play once in a while though.
Diddy Kong Racing DS gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Title: Animal Crossing New Leaf Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Monolith Soft Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: November 8, 2012
How we got the game: I bought it when it came out many moons ago
If you know me, then you know Animal Crossing is one of my favorite games ever. I recently got into the mood to play Animal Crossing New Leaf again and realized the only Animal Crossing game I’ve reviewed on this site is Happy Home Designer. So, I visited my New Leaf town, which is apparently called, “Kalos.”
Like the Animal Crossing games before it, New Leaf isn’t too different in gameplay. You have your human villager move into a town inhabited by various animals. The goal is pay off the debt on your house, upgrade said house multiple times and paying off that debt, all the while decorating your house, collecting various items to boost the town and make friends with your many villagers.
The shops can upgrade depending on how much money, or bells, you spend there. There’s a general store, garden shop, clothing and shoe store, the post office, and more. Some of these shops don’t open until you meet certain other requirements in the game, though none of it is hard.
You’re also mistaken as the new mayor of the town so you can do some extra stuff – like created public works projects or put certain ordinances into effect. There are four ordinances – beautiful town, night town, early town, and bell boom town. Beautiful means no weeds will appear and your villagers will water and plant more flowers on their own (even if you stop playing your game for a while). Night owl and early bird are as it sounds – villagers and shops will either wake up and go to bed earlier for the early bird town or they’ll stay up later and wake up later in the night owl town. Bell boom makes everything more expensive, which in turn allows you to make money faster.
I personally have the night owl town on so I can go to my private island at night and collect the various beetles and sharks. I make anywhere between 100,000-200,000 bells per trip.
The public works projects are fun as well. Granted, the villagers don’t do much to help it out – it’s basically more money for your to put into the town yourself. Still, it adds more depth to the town. You can add a fountain, benches, and best of all, bridges. Each town layout is large and there’s only one bridge connecting the two halves over the river that splits them up. I personally picked a town map with a bridge on the right-hand-most side. Now I also have a bridge in the middle and on the left to make it even.
While I wish the villagers did more and had more of a variety when it comes to personalities (even though there are a decent amount of personality traits), I find them amusing all the same. I love each and every one of my villagers and will not let any of them leave until I get their picture. Then they can move on so I can collect more villagers.
New Leaf also has “Welcome Amiibo” which I haven’t used. There’s a campground where you can visit certain NPCs in a trailer and buy some of their stuff. You can also put an Amiibo in and they can become a villager in your town. New Leaf allows nine villagers in your town, but you can have ten if it’s from an Amiibo.
I haven’t tried this yet because all my Amiibos are still sealed. Someday, when I open them, I will add Boo into my town or something.
As always, the graphics in this game are great. On the 3DS (I play on the 2DS XL), they’re crisp and bright. The water rippling in the ocean and river are satisfying, the flowers sparkling when watered are great. Everything about this game is aesthetically pleasing to me and the various themes of furniture and such are too much though I’m determined to get it all.
The music is one of the best parts of this game, I think. There’s a new song every hour and it’s so relaxing and calm. I love playing this game whenever I’m stressed or having a rough week. It’s easy to get absorbed into this work and not feel better afterward.
There’s always something to do in this game even after you “beat it” and pay off all your debt. There are so many things to collect – furniture, clothes, bugs, fish, fossils – and the villagers especially are the most fun (and difficult) to collect. I’ll be going back to this game forever and forever.
Animal Crossing New Leaf gets… 5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
We’re nearing the end of April, which means the end to a lot of different things. We’ve been continuing #GamingTogether on our social media and there’s one question that’s really got me thinking.
If you could only have one console, what would it be?
I’m pretty sure I’m the one who came up with this question and it’s totally an unfair one. I’m torn between the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Gamecube, and the Nintendo Switch.
I think, between home consoles and handhelds, I prefer handhelds. Of course, I love playing games on the big screen, but I love being able to put the handheld in my bag and bring it places with me. That said, I would choose the 3DS over the other two.
Except, the Switch has that portability. Can I fit it in my pocket? No. Can I fit it in my bag? Yes, though I do need a traveling case. I have one that fits in my bag, but we recently got the deluxe travel case for the Switch, which is like its own bag. It even carries the dock.
Needless to say, I can bring the Switch but also with a lot of other stuff meaning I have to carry more. I don’t have to do that with the 3DS. Although, with the carrying case for the Switch, I have more game options to bring with me.
Then again, there are so many digital downloaded games we have. My 3DS is loaded as is my Switch.
I’m not even mentioning the Gamecube all that much right now. I can’t download any games onto it. The games are much bigger to carry around with me. The console itself is big to carry around, though doable. The Gamecube is a decent size, has a handle, and is a cube so it’s pretty compact and fairly easy to fit in your suitcase. We used to bring our Gamecube with us on vacation all the time. My cousins brought their Gamecube when we drove down to Disney and we played it in the car – which you can easily play the 3DS and Switch in the car too, I guess.
Plus, it can have wireless controllers. Granted, the Switch has wireless to begin with. The 3DS has no controllers.
The Gamecube has cables to hook it up to the TV. The Switch does too and also has a dock. Although, you don’t have to hook it up to the TV if you don’t want. The 3DS doesn’t need any controllers or wires – unless you count the charger.
That’s another thing, too. You can only play your 3DS for so long before it runs out of battery. The Gamecube doesn’t have that problem. The Switch does, but you can also just hook it up to the TV and keep playing. You can keep playing your 3DS as well, but sometimes you have to move because the wire can only reach so far.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I have no idea which one I’d choose if I could only have one. I thought I’d be able to pick one or the other, but I don’t think I can.
I believe I’ve put an equal amount of time into all the consoles. The majority of my games are on those three consoles. The only other thing I could argue is maybe I’ve put more time into playing games on the 3DS and Gamecube.
As of writing this post, I’ve racked up 285 hours on YouTube on the Switch… Yep.
So, there you have it. I have no clue which one I would pick. To the point, that if I had to choose, I’d probably ask someone to make the decision for me. I wouldn’t be able to.
Which console would you choose? Let me know in the comments! If you like this post, please share it around!
Kris and I completed our Pokemon Trio-Type Challenge not too long ago. I ended up playing Pokemon White 2 and it’s been a while since I’ve played the Unova region that I decided to talk about my favorite Unova Pokemon.
Emboar is the final evolution form of Tepig, the fire starter for the Unova region. I always go for the fire starters and Emboar is a bulky guy. I love his design and his moves.
I don’t normally have normal type Pokemon on my team, but Audino is pretty sturdy. While its attack isn’t all that great, it has a great defense. I think Audino is a pretty Pokemon too and I like how it’s associated with the Pokemon Center.
I raised a Stoutland for the first time recently for our challenge and I loved every moment of it. Stoutland is a great companion and has awesome defense and attack. Plus, who doesn’t want a pupper on their team?
Zebstrika was the first electric type Pokemon I chose when White and Black first came out. He was on my team and he has a wonderful move set. I think he’s one of my favorite electric types of all time.
Unfezant is the final evolution of Pidove and is the “Pidgey” of the Unova region. I absolutely love this Pokemon though. The bird Pokemon, especially found in the beginning of the games, are always great. I enjoy Unfezant’s design and the move set overall is awesome.
What are some of your favorite Unova Pokemon? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Last month, Rachel and I decided to put a new twist on our Pokemon games. Generally, both of us go on our journeys in the core series with well-rounded teams — Rachel usually has an idea as to which types and Pokemon she wants, while I just go and collect Pokemon of different types that I think are pretty cool. For this challenge, we were each randomly assigned a trio of types that we could use, as well as a random region to go through.
Kris had to only have Pokemon that had the types Ground, Dark, and Dragon on her team. I was only allowed Normal, Electric, and Bug on my team. We also randomly generated which region we’d be in. Kris got a Hoenn Pokemon from the generator so she played Alpha Sapphire. I got a Unova Pokemon so I played White 2. It was… actually harder than we thought it would be.
While I’ve trained my fair share of Ground and Dark type Pokemon, Dragon was a type I wasn’t too experienced in and it was a bit difficult to find Pokemon that fit those three typings. I played by the rule that if at least one of a Pokemon’s types matched one of my three, then I could use it, such as Numel being Fire and Ground type. I also caught a Swablu due to its evolution being part Dragon. My Nincada, on the other hand, will never evolve as it’ll lose its Ground typing if it becomes a Ninjask.
I played a little differently than Kris. I wanted all my Pokemon to exclusively be Bug, Electric, or Normal. So, my party consisted of Stoutland, Audino, Karrablast, Shelmet, Galvantula, and Tynamo. So I had at least two Normal, two Bug, and two Electric. I look at the game guide and made up my team before I started playing to make sure it was doable. The thing was, I went through the first five gyms with just Stoutland and Audino because the other four weren’t available to catch until later. At that point, the grinding to get the other four caught up in levels was a pain.
My way of playing was just to go through the adventure naturally and only catch those that had at least one of my typings (with the occasional Zigzagoon when I needed HM help). The first three gyms I only had Mightyena and Nincada, and I was able to catch Numel, Swablu, Cacnea, and Trapinch later. Grinding was definitely annoying, and I found myself with fainted Pokemon much more often in trainer battles than I ever have before due to the type weaknesses. You have to keep your team a little over leveled to account for their type weaknesses, which slows down the game play a bit.
Yes, my Pokemon fainted a lot more than I usually let them too. As for HMs, I actually didn’t need to use any until after the fifth gym. It was surf – that Audino can learn – and strength – that Stoutland can learn. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to actually beat our games within our challenge timeline. I breezed right through the game up until right before the sixth gym where I needed to grind a lot. Though I plan on continuing to play this file and play at my own pace. I want this team to go through the Elite Four!
Oh, yes, I’m planning on continuing this file as well. We’re just about ready to face the fifth gym leader, so we’ll see how that goes! Aside from the grinding, it’s a fun challenge to try. Out of my team, Mightyena and Nincada are the only Pokemon I’ve trained before. The others are all brand-new to me, so giving them a chance in battle is definitely interesting. I wouldn’t mind trying a challenge like this again!
I agree, this challenge has allowed me to branch out with new Pokemon. I rarely have Normal or Bug Pokemon on my team. I would definitely try this challenge as well too. We’ll have to remember this idea for another time… Maybe even for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield down the line!
What did you think of the challenge? Did you try it? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
Title: Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst Developer: Engine Software Publisher: Tulip Games
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Category: Hidden Object
Release Date: April 3, 2014
How we got the game: I bought it on the Nintendo eShop on my 2DS XL.
Mystery Case Files is a series of hidden object games, Ravenhearst being the first in the series. I’ve had my eye on this game and particular series for a while now. When the games went on sale, I bought this one to try. The game were only $1 so I was going to buy a couple. I didn’t and I’m glad I only bought the one game.
Rumors have been spreading around about Ravenhearst Manor for years. When Emma Ravenhearst’s diary is discovered, you – the master detective – take it upon yourself to figure out the mystery behind the place. Unfortunately, some pages are missing so you must go through the mansion finding clues and searching for missing pages to put the story of Ravenhearst Manor together.
All in all, it’s not a bad idea for a story. A mysterious and haunted mansion is common for a mystery game and it certainly adds a creepy effect to it. However, with the lack of character interaction and not even really knowing yourself, the protagonist, the story becomes bland.
This game is just like it says it is. It’s an hidden object game. You go from room to room in the manor using your stylus to search for certain objects in a list. Each room is fairly large and you need to use your stylus to move the screen left, right, up and down, to get the whole picture. There are about 12 or so hidden objects in each room and some of the rooms can reset after you’ve completed it a first time. Once you have a certain amount of objects (typically about 40 or so) then you find a page of Emma’s diary.
The diary pages are torn and you need to fit them together like a puzzle. Now, I’m all for hard puzzles – I enjoy a jigsaw puzzle. However, the puzzles were one color with faint lines to show the picture. I understand it’s meant to make the pages look old, but it was so hard to see. The puzzle pieces needed to be rotated as well so it was such a pain to get the puzzles to fit together like they were supposed to. The puzzles themselves took much longer than they should have. I found myself brightening my 2DS screen and even then I needed to look so close at the screen just to see the picture.
That’s the whole gameplay. Except some rooms are “puzzles” and not hidden objects. These puzzle rooms are required as they typically hold a lock to get to the next floor of the mansion. None of these puzzles had any directions to them. I actually tapped mindlessly on my screen with my stylus until something happened. It was pretty stupid.
The graphics and music were what this game got right. For a hidden object game, the graphics were spot on. The hidden puzzles stumped me a few times with how well some of the objects were blended in together. I definitely had fun with the hidden object puzzles.
The music was pretty good too. They went with the creepy factor and the longer I played, I had to turn my volume off. Not because it got annoying, but because the longer I listened to it, the more it actually started to creep me out.
While the puzzles themselves wouldn’t be bad to play again, I don’t think I’ll be going back to this game. The hidden object part was the only fun part for me and I know there are other hidden object games out there that probably did it better. The story wasn’t good enough for me to come back to it either. I’m glad I gave the game a try, but I’m also glad I was able to get it on sale for a dollar. Maybe someday I’ll give the sequel and the rest of the series a try, but for now… I’m done.
Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst gets…3 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Since Kris and I went through all the video games we own recently, I realized that I still have two copies of Pokemon Black for the Nintendo DS. I laughed at seeing the second copy and I decided to write a blog post about it.
Of course, now I’m wondering if I’ve already shared this story. I’m sure I have at one point or another, but maybe it wasn’t through the blog.
I babysit a lot and the first family I ever babysat for had three kids. They were all avid gamers and their middle child was especially into gaming. As much as I love gaming, we often fought because he wasn’t allowed to be playing video games all the time. He had an hour a day and that was it because he was so addicted.
We had a lot of fun playing games together though – from Smash Brothers to Mario Kart and everything in between. Pokemon was another game we played together a lot. We’d trade Pokemon cards and I’d often bring my DS or 3DS so we could battle against each other or simple continue our journeys together.
Fast-forward seven or eight years later and I ducked out. They were a lovely family to work with but I needed to move on and so did they. Their oldest was going to be 17-years-old and their middle child was going into high school. Despite their disabilities, it was time for me to leave so they could have more independence.
It wasn’t until a year or two after I stopped babysitting for them, I realized I had two copies of Pokemon Black. I had assumed one was Kris’s so I gave one to her. But then she checked her bucket of DS games and had one in there. She turned on her game and sure enough, it was her profile. I turned on one of the games I had and it was my profile.
I turned on the third cartridge and guess who’s name was on the profile? Yep, the kid I used to babysit for.
I remember when he lost his game. He spent a while looking for it and I even spent a great deal helping him look for it. These kids lost everything too and their bedrooms were a mess, so I wasn’t surprised when he lost the small DS cartridge. We never found it.
Until I stumbled upon it in my own bucket of handheld games.
I have no idea how it made it home with me. I assume I saw the cartridge on the kitchen table or something and, thinking it was mine, I took it. Or maybe he had put it in my bag or DS thinking it was mine. Whoever thought it was mine though, never thought that maybe I had brought it home with me through those many weeks of us searching high and low for his game.
It’s been three or four years since I’ve stopped babysitting for them. I’ve forgotten about it here and there. I think, at this point, the game is mine. I don’t think I’ll get the chance to give it back to him and honestly, he’s probably long forgotten about it by now.
If I talk to him again in the near future, I’ll try to remember to tell him I have it. But I probably won’t remember I have it until I decide to play that game again or I go through my bucket again.
Are there any games you have multiple copies of? Have you ever borrowed a game – on purpose or by accident – and forgotten to give it back? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.
Going to change it up a little this week in that I’m doing a post in response to the challenge that Rachel and I gave each other way back in October. Did any of you forget about that? I promise we didn’t!
Way back at the beginning of October, Rachel and I challenged each other to play a game from the other’s favorite laid-back franchise. I challenged Rachel to play a Harvest Moon game — Light of Hope for the Nintendo Switch — and she challenged me to play Animal Crossing New Leaf for the 3DS. My goal was to pay off my debt enough to get the biggest house expansion as well as have my villagers like me, have a great town, and a high mayor rating.
And I failed.
What I did accomplish was get a 100% mayor rating (although it’s probably gone down by this point considering I haven’t visited my town in a month), make some villager friends, and paid off enough debt to expand the first floor of my house. I didn’t get the side rooms, but the front room is bigger.
I didn’t do too badly, in my opinion, but I obviously did not meet all of the requirements to complete the challenge, and I have no real excuse for not doing so. We had chosen October to do these challenges because we figured we would have enough time to do them before the decidedly busier months of November and December. Instead, New Leaf became a chore rather than something I wanted to do. Being competitive didn’t make me want to pick up the game.
It was nice meeting and seeing the villagers and Isabelle. The characters are adorable and they made me chuckle with their animations and the way they talk. When I did play the game, it was relaxing. I especially enjoyed the music while running around bug-hunting and fishing!
Yet, I was bored with the overall premise of the game. Sure, it was cute, but there wasn’t anything to keep me sustained. While my Harvest Moon games tend not to have huge stories to follow either, I’m able to create my own and, for the most part, figure out how to accomplish my goals myself.
It was interesting to actually make more of an effort in an Animal Crossing game but, when the Switch version comes out, I’ll probably leave that game to Rachel.
What do you think of Animal Crossing New Leaf? How would you have done with this challenge?