Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer [Game Review]

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer | Game Review | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Life simulator
Release Date: 
July 30, 2015 
How I got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

I love the Animal Crossing series. If you know me and have been following this blog for a while, you’d know that. I can’t get enough of Animal Crossing. I was excited when Happy Home Designer was announced because building and decorating houses is my favorite part of playing The Sims. Now I could do it with my Animal Crossing friends… except it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped.

gameplay

The gameplay is simple enough. The touchscreen on the 3DS is a big portion of the controls. At least it was for me. I found it easier than pushing the buttons.

You get a client and go to their house to decorate the interior. Your character doesn’t have to move too much provided you utilize the touchscreen. The bottom screen has a grid showing off the size of the house. You go into your inventory and place items down and make sure it looks nice and pretty and goes along with what you’re client likes and wants. Eventually, you can choose where you want the house to go and decorate the exterior as well as the interior.

This isn’t a bad concept, but what bothered me was that you have a certain amount of items you can use. With each client, you gain new items. Those items are what your current client likes and wants. So when you decorate there’s no trying to “guess” what your client will enjoy. It’s all laid out for you. Plus, whenever you put something down your client will react positively, negatively, or indifferently. So you can tell by that as well.

Another thing was the search option. You could find items through their category (clothes, chairs, beds, etc.), you could type in the name, or you could just see all the items you need for that current client… Yeah, it lays it all out for you so there’s no thinking involved. It’s a casual game, yes, but that was a little too casual for me. I would have liked to have figured out myself what furniture to put down based on my client’s clues.

After you finish working for a client you write in your journal and the day ends. The next day you can find another client or Isabelle may show up and asks you to help with the town. There are many projects she has such as a school, hospital, office, stores, and more. Later she may ask you to add to them, like adding a second classroom to the school. It’s not much though and neither project was challenging or took a while.

Each project from Isabelle had a checklist of items you had to use. For example, when creating the concert hall the only item on the checklist was a microphone. So, that’s all I put down, despite the many new options I had for musical instruments and seating and the like. Isabella absolutely loved it and it was a hit. A single microphone in an empty room… all because I added the item from the checklist. In other words, it didn’t matter how well you decorated the room. If you used all the items on the checklist, it counted as a win and the clients were happy. Again, no challenge.

Isabelle didn’t come every day and even when she did you had the option to go out and find another client before helping her. I did Isabelle’s projects first to get them over with. However, when you finish all of that the credits roll and the game is “over.” At that point, I had only helped 10 clients. It was a short game.

You can continue playing and get new clients as well as redecorate old clients’ houses after the credits, but that was enough for me.

graphics-music

Like all Animal Crossing games, the graphics and music are great. I enjoy the 3D graphics and being able to turn the camera all the way around to get each and every angle of the characters, the homes, and any place you currently are. The design has a cutesie feel to it which is so calming and really brings out the casualness of the game.

The music is one of my favorite aspects of the game. It’s always soothing and allows you to just get immersed in the gameplay. While I felt as though the soundtrack for Happy Home Designer could have had a little more to it, I enjoyed it all the same.

The sound effects are as silly as ever between placing something down, turning it around, or not being able to turn it around. I enjoy interacting with the objects as well, especially the musical instruments. It’s something small and simple, but it really adds a lot.
storyThere’s not much of a story to this one. You create a character and join Nook’s Homes as an employee. Then you go out, find clients, and help design their homes. Isabelle will show up a few times with some town projects such as building a school or hospital. Once you finish helping her own, the credits roll. That’s just about it.

replay-value

There’s a lot more for me to do in the game. There are so many villagers who need help decorating their homes. I have a lot of more items and furniture to unlock. However, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up this game again. It was a nice casual game to play, but it was repetitive and got old quick.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon [Game Review]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon | Video Game Review | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS | DoublexJump.com

Title: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Developer: Nintendo, Next Level Games, Nintendo Software Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo 3DS
Category:
Action-adventure game
Release Date:
March 20, 2013 
How we got the game:
I bought it

 

 

 

Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube is one of my favorite games. I could play and replay it, but I realized I hadn’t played Dark Moon in a while. For some reason it was calling me and I was eager to pick it back up again. I’m glad I did.

storyProfessor E. Gadd is in a predicament and he calls on Luigi for help. Poor Luigi is sitting at home sleeping in front of the TV when the professor uses his Pixelator on the unsuspecting plumber. Gadd brings Luigi to his bunker, a hideout outside of the mansion. Since the first Luigi’s Mansion game, Gadd has been living in peace with the ghosts in the mansion. The ghosts have been helping him with his research as he invents new tools and discovers new information.

The Dark Moon in the sky is what keeps the ghosts in a caring state. So, when King Boo knocks it out of the sky, scattering the pieces, and tainting each piece with dark magic, the ghosts go awry and Gadd is forced to hide. Now it’s up to Luigi to save Gadd as well as the ghosts.

gameplay

Gameplay is similar to how the first game worked. Luigi has the Poltergeist 5000, an invention created by Professor E. Gadd, designed to capture ghosts. This time it’s new and improved. It has a Strobulb and a Dark-Light Device.

Using the vacuum is simple enough. Luigi has his flashlight, which you can’t click on and off anymore – it just stays on. The Strobulb is like a super flashlight. It opens certain doors and safes and it’s what you use to stun the ghosts. When stunned, you then press R to suck them up (or L to blow stuff out). The other mechanic, the Dark-Light Device, is used to find invisible items. This can be anything from furniture, lights, or even doors. Boos are hiding throughout all the areas turning things invisible. There’s one Boo hiding in each level and if you catch them all you’ll unlock a new level in that area.

There are five areas in the game each with four levels plus a boss. Gadd will tell you what you have to do and where to go next. All you do is follow what he says, go where you need to go, and the game will do the rest. While you have to do each level in order, you can always go back to previous levels to capture a missing Boo, get more money, or find those gems (each area has a set of 13 gems to collect).

There are news kinds of ghosts in this game. Greenie, Slammer, Hider, and Sneaker are the main four. The ghosts get stronger the farther you get into the game as there are “strong” versions of each ghost. They have a shield you need to break before you’re able to suck them up. Normally this isn’t too much of a problem, but when you have multiple ghosts in the room, it can get pretty tough.

While there’s a nice variety of ghosts in this game, I felt as though it wasn’t as challenging as the first game. In the Gamecube game you’d walk into a new room and there’d be a ton of ghosts. In Dark Moon, most rooms barely have any ghosts. If they do it’s only one or two. There are some levels where you get ambushed and it’s a little challenging, but it’s not too often. There definitely could have been more on the ghost front.

I will say this, the final boss and leading up to it was pretty tough. That took me a few tries to do.

graphics-music

For a 3DS game, the graphics were up to par. Luigi had a good amount of facial expressions and there was more variety in the cut scenes. I found myself watching each cut scene carefully as though I would miss something.

The music, as always, was fantastic. I get the main theme stuck in my head. In fact, I’m listening to it on a loop as I write this review. The music was spot on for each area in the game as were the sound effects. Collecting the money was my favorite sound effect… just saying.

replay-value

This is the second time I’ve playing this game and I can definitely see myself going back for more. It’s a fairly short game and despite knowing what happens, there’s a lot to do. You can always go back and try to beat your scores such as time, money, or even gem and Boo collecting.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Detective Pikachu

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

A special announcement was made a few days ago and, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited!

Detective Pikachu is finally a thing after so many years of Nintendo casting it a few side-glances here and there.

This game for the 3DS will be releasing in late March 2018 and I couldn’t be more excited. I love Pokemon and I love mysteries and detective stories, so I am all for this.

The trailer below makes the game look pretty dramatic and, for a Pokemon game, I believe it will be. We’ll see how well it works.

As for Pikachu’s voice… I’m going to have to get used to it. Pikachu has always had such a high-pitched tone that the voice just doesn’t seem to match his body. Who knows, though? Maybe it’ll wok the more I play the game.

Detective Pikachu is already available for pre-order at Gamestop. I haven’t grabbed a copy yet, but I’m sure I will.

Are you looking forward to Detective Pikachu? Let me know in the comments below!

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Currently Playing: Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I played and reviewed a lot of games in 2017. Most of them were from the Nintendo Switch, the latest craze in gaming. While I’ll still be playing my share of Switch games, I wanted to look back at some games I haven’t played in a while.

Currently Playing: Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon | Luigi's Mansion | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS | DoublexJump.com

Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube was one of my favorite games ever. I loved playing as the “sidekick” who finally gets his moment to shine. I enjoyed playing as the younger brother being a younger sister myself and always being “player two.”

I was excited when Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon came out for the Nintendo 3DS on March 20, 2013. I bought it, I played it, I didn’t beat it.

I mean, I did eventually. The final boss was difficult for me. It was a pain and it was timed and I panicked and no matter how many times I tried I just could not defeat the final boss.

It wasn’t until my cousin, who is now 13 – you do the math – got the game and brought it with her when we went on vacation about three or four years ago. I had brought my game as well to play with her.

I warned her about the final boss and how difficult it could be and such, but she had breezed right through the entire game like it was nothing!

That was my motivation to beat the game. My competitiveness came out.

I ended up beating the game that week while on vacation, but that was after countless tris. While I beat it before my cousin, she too finished the game that week. The boss took her a couple of tries, but she ultimately defeated it in fewer tries than me.

I was getting in the mood to play Luigi’s Mansion again. I made Kris play Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube during our challenge in 2016 and realized it’s been a while since I’ve picked up Dark Moon.

I’ve been enjoying myself while playing it. While the story isn’t as strong as the first game, it still brings back a lot of memories.

I’m happy to be playing as Luigi again. Let’s see how long it takes me to defeat the boss this time.

Have you played Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon? Is it one of those games you loved or hated? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Trials In Pokemon Ultra Sun

Happy Tuesday!

While Pokemon Ultra Sun didn’t have any huge differences from Pokemon Sun, there were some slight changes to some of the trials, which I enjoyed much better than the other version.

 

3. Acerola’s Trial

I’m pretty sure this is the same as the trial from Pokemon Sun. However, it was one of my favorites then and it’s a favorite now. I like ghostly things and going through that abandoned area is creepy and keeps you on your toes, especially since you have to use the camera to search for ghosts.

2. Sophocles’s Trial

They really changed this and made it for the better. You have to solve a couple of puzzles in order to get the generator working that calls the Totem Pokemon. While the puzzles are super easy, it was a nice change of pace from everything else.

1. Mina’s Trial

Mina is the last trial you go through and it makes sense why. She wants to make you a special flower for completing all your trials, but you have to collect rainbow petals for her to create it. In order to get these petals, you must go back to the other captains and battle them. If you will, they’ll give you a petal. While I was disappointed this trial had nothing to do with Mina herself, I enjoyed that I had to go back and battle everyone. Battling is Pokemon, after all.

What are some of your favorite trials? Did you like them better in Ultra Sun/Moon rather than Sun/Moon? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Where Exactly Do The Ultra Wormholes Lead To? [Pokemon]

Happy Tuesday!

I’ve officially beaten Pokemon Ultra Sun and I’m currently working on filling my Pokedex. This will be the game I 100% the dex, I can feel it!

I started overthinking of the main story points though and now I can’t seem to get that thought out of my head.

The Ultra Wormholes are portals to other dimensions — or maybe it’s just one other dimension? In Pokemon Sun and Moon you’re able to travel to this other dimension and catch Ultra Beasts. There’s not much to it though. In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, they expanded on the Ultra Wormhole idea and created Ultra Megalopolis.

In Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, there are four types of Ultra Wormholes. Type one being the most common and type four being the most rare. Or, you have to travel farther to get to it, I mean.

There are also different colors. White lead to Ultra Beasts, Blue leads you to a waterfall where you can catch certain Pokemon. Red is a cliffside, green is a field, and yellow is a cave. Each color, other than white, has a set of five Pokemon that can spawn and you can catch. Each color has its own legendary Pokemon as well.

Sounds cool, right? Yeah, it is. But what I want to know is where exactly these wormholes lead to.

Ultra Megalopolis is a place that’s out of this world. We know this because the Ultra Recon Squad resides there and are completely unfamiliar with Alola’s customs. So, I think it’s safe to assume these people aren’t from Kanto or Sinnoh or any other Pokemon region.

They dress different, they speak differently, and they don’t understand Pokemon and battling.

I think it’s safe to say that they’re “aliens” and live in a different dimension or world completely aside from our own.

And in addition to that, the Ultra Beasts are super Pokemon (for lack of a better way to describe them). They have types and moves like Pokemon, though they’re less tame. They can be captured in balls, but only in the beast balls. Not the Pokeballs. So, they can’t be caught like normal Pokemon and they’re not even called Pokemon, they’re called Ultra Beasts.

To sum this up, we know that Ultra Beasts are only similar to Pokemon, but not actually considered Pokemon, and also that the people who reside there have no clue what’s going on in Alola or Earth itself, plus you have to go through a special portal to get to their world. Are you with me so far?

So, why then, are we able to encounter our Pokemon in the Ultra Wormholes?

For example, I went through a yellow wormhole and found myself in a cave. What did I find in that cave? A Crustle from the Unova region.

Why is Crustle in an alien dimension?

You can come across Pokemon as common as Floatzel, Audino, and Swellow. Each color homes five different Pokemon across the many regions.

Why are we able to encounter and capture Pokemon from Earth through these other dimensions, if these areas are clearly not on Earth? How did these Pokemon make their home in these wormholes?

The legendary Pokemon I can kind of see… they’re legendary, like “myths” almost. You rarely see them, so where are they hiding all this time? Maybe they have the power to go through the Ultra Wormholes.

Kris mentioned the wormholes may just be portals to other regions, but I find that fishy as well.

One, because once you go through a wormhole, you’re in a small room with a single Pokemon to encounter. You can’t go anywhere else other than to go back out through the wormhole to get home.

Two, because each wormhole has five Pokemon you can encounter that are from different regions. For example, through the red wormhole, you can find Swellow (Hoenn), Altaria (Hoenn), Yanmega (Sinnoh), Sigilyph (Unova), and Swanna (Unova). Plus, Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, who are all from Kanto.

Three, that would suggest magic exists in the Pokemon world. I consider portals to go under the “magic” category. Pokemon is magical to us, yes, but every single people you talk to in Pokemon games are talking about Pokemon. It’s their life, it’s all they know. Pokemon is not magic to them, they’re like wild animals or pets similar to dogs and squirrels for us.

Does this make sense? Am I overthinking things? I just don’t understand why Pokemon such as Magcargo would reside in an Ultra Wormhole. Where exactly are we going when we go through an Ultra Wormhole?

What exactly do you think the Ultra Wormholes are? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Am I making any sense? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to have a discussion on this!

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Pokemon Ultra Sun And Ultra Moon [Game Review]

Title: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon
Developer: GAME FREAK, Inc.
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
RPG, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 17, 2017
How we got the game: 
We preordered physical copies

krismii
Of course we’re going to buy and play the newest core Pokemon game! Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon came out almost literally a year after their predecessors Sun and Moon, and… were extremely similar to their predecessors, in my opinion. They were still a lot of fun to play!

rachmii
Story-wise, super similar! However, I felt as though they added a good amount of side quests as well as other things here and there to make the game enjoyable. In my opinion, more enjoyable than Sun and Moon.

gameplay

krismii
Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon play much like every other core Pokemon game. Your main objective is to travel the land, catch and raise a team of Pokemon, and aim to become the strongest trainer in the region, all the while having the world’s fate rest on your 11-year-old shoulders.

rachmii
It’s easy enough since the game, in a way, holds your hand throughout. Your Rotom Dex is also the map on the bottom screen of the 3DS. There’s an arrow that shows where you are and where you’re going along with a red flag for where you’re supposed to go. Not to mention in Pokemon battles, if you’ve battled a Pokemon before, everytime you battle it again, your Pokemon’s moves will tell you if it’s effective or not. Though, none of this is different from Sun and Moon.

 krismii
Thus, the gameplay itself is fairly linear, with clear goals in mind and your opponents always being around a similar level as your Pokemon team. While there is plenty to explore, you always know where you’re supposed to go. A strategy is usually involved when it comes to battling — with type weaknesses and strengths, using items effectively, etc. — but it becomes a bit of a moot point when your Pokemon’s moves tell you if they’re super effective or not against Pokemon you’ve already fought. It helps to speed battles up and is great for newer fans, but some challenge is taken away.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, they definitely catered it to younger players or first-time players. It is a cool feature, but I’d still like to learn it myself. A new gameplay mechanic was added and that was going through the Ultra Wormhole. It uses tilt controls on your 3DS to gain speed and head towards or away wormholes. You should always see how far you can get, but there are things in there that’ll slow you down. It’s one of those things that takes getting used to.

krismii
Using motion controls was a bit odd in a Pokemon game, but I didn’t mind it the few times I did it. I think I would have enjoyed the Ultra Wormhole aspect more had they been given more of a purpose. They seem to be just extra “pockets” of areas to catch rarer Pokemon. I would have liked to have more land to explore, such as the Ultra Megalopolis city. It was interesting to see and a great battle took place there, but that seemed to be it — granted, I’ve played enough to beat the main storyline, so perhaps there’s some post-Champion aspect of Ultra Megalopolis that I haven’t seen yet.

graphics-music

krismii
It’s utterly amazing how far the graphics and music for the Pokemon series has come since the original Blue and Red versions! Animated cut-scenes and battle stances, both for Pokemon and people, are fluid and crisp, and the scenery in the games are so pretty!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While this is also in Sun and Moon, I love how they added actual backgrounds to the Poke Refresh as well as the battle sequences depending on where you are. They updated some of the music for certain battles where were upbeat and a lot of fun to hum to; especially the Rainbow Rocket music. It was very nostalgic.

krismii
I noticed the Poke Refresh backgrounds as well, and was impressed — I wonder how much data and programming it took to be able to create so many individual backgrounds like that? Some of my favorite music was the Champion and Elite Four battle tunes, having come much farther than the original games.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, they did such a great job. It really makes me wonder what they’ll come up with next. Though, I will admit, they should have let your Pokemon follow you. I’d rather that than the backgrounds changes. But I’ll take what I can get.

krismii
I do miss that from HeartGold and SoulSilver! I don’t know how it would work with the different graphics style of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, but it would have been a nice aspect, especially since Hau always seemed to have his starter Pokemon out with him, haha!
story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
As far as story goes, it’s not much different from Sun and Moon. You help Lillie and Gladion stop their mother, Lusamine, from opening the Ultra Wormhole. Of course, you fail, but then you end up getting to go into the Wormhole itself.

krismii
It took much longer for the Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon stories to appear different enough from the original Sun and Moon than I thought it would, and I was a little disappointed at that. I thought it would be a brand new adventure rather than a rehashed version of the original story, and I honestly wasn’t sure if the money was worth it. The wormholes have more of a purpose in these versions and there are a few more post-Champion events for you to do, but they seemed as if they could have been DLC for Sun and Moon rather than an entirely new game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It definitely seems like just an “updated” version of Sun and Moon, but I found it different enough. I enjoyed collecting the Totem stickers (even though I didn’t really care for the Totem Pokemon, but I like collecting things). I expected Team Rainbow Rocket to be part of the story instead of an afterthought. I enjoyed their time, but I wish they had a bigger part.

replay-value

krismii
It’s Pokemon. Of course we’re going to keep playing these games. With how many creatures you can raise, each with customizable move sets, as well as being able to set your own challenges as you progress throughout the game, the Pokemon games generally have a high replay value.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I will not stop playing until I raise every single Pokemon to level 100. Then there are shiny Pokemon, of course.

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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