Stardew Valley [Game Review]

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

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

Release Date: Originally February 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stardew Valley gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Reunion in Mineral Town

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

If you follow us on Twitter or Tumblr, fairly recently, I made little posts just celebrating my excitement at the fact that there will be remakes of a couple of my favorite games from the Harvest Moon series.

Harvest Moon | Story of Seasons | Video Games | Gaming | Mineral Town | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

I’ve been playing Stardew Valley recently, mostly because it reminds me of the simpler, older Harvest Moon games from when I was younger. While some of the more recent Harvest Moon games aren’t too bad, I do feel that some of them are somewhat gimmicky and have moved away from the charming gameplay that was just, “Build up your farm however you want, make friends, maybe get married and have a kid,” that the original games had.

My first Harvest Moon experience was Friends of Mineral Town for the Gameboy Advance and the idea of designing my own farm and taking care of the ranch animals was addictive and satisfying. I became more hooked on the series when More Friends of Mineral Town became a thing because, hey, I was able to play as a girl. Now, there are reports of a remake of Friends/More Friends of Mineral Town for the Switch coming out later this fall!

Rather, the fall date is for Japan, but it has been confirmed that the game will come out in North America as well. I am very excited and I’m hoping that maybe Rachel would like this one better than Light of Hope.

The only concern I have for it is that I’ve become accustomed to Stardew Valley’s lack of regard for gender when it comes to marriage. I don’t marry in these kind of games often at all, but the freedom is nice. Hopefully this is one of the updated mechanics that I’m sure this remake will have!

Have you played Friends/More Friends of Mineral Town? What do you think of this remake news? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Luigi’s Mansion 3 Cover Art

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I’m anticipating the arrival of Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch. The official box art was revealed yesterday and it’s made me more excited than ever to play the game.

Luigi's Mansion 3 Cover Art | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

I came across the official cover art of Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the Internet yesterday and I was impressed immediately – though not surprised. The graphics for the Nintendo Switch have really come a long way compared to previous consoles and games. So, the fact that they added as much detail to the cover art as possible is not a surprise to me at all.

The flat, yet the 3D effect of the title looks like gummies to me that I could eat. Or those slime stickers that you can easily peel off the paper and stick to your windows. No matter what it looks like to you, it looks good. Gooigi, at the top, looks just like the title. Just less sticky and gooier, I guess.

I remember when Super Mario Odyssey came out and so many people were impressed by Mario’s hair and the slick effects on Bowser. Now, it’s Luigi’s turn for the spotlight. What stands out of the most to me is his hat. You can clearly see the thread lines in the “L” the fabric of his hat overall. Of course, Luigi’s hat is his trademark in a way, similar to how Mario’s hat is his own. Having the main feature and details in Luigi’s hat was a great choice.

On the other hand, I feel like the rest of Luigi looks like clay. Especially his mustache, eyebrows, and the sweatdrop on the side of his face. It doesn’t look bad, though. I think it looks cool.

Overall, the cover art looks great and I’m excited more than ever to play the game. The end of 2019 can’t come soon enough. (And yet, I hope the summer lasts a long time.)

Luigi's Mansion 3 Cover Art | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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Mario Kart Choices

Mario Kart Choices | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has always been a staple when it comes to playing with friends and family. It’s generally simple enough for new gamers to pick up the concept, even if it does take practice to get used to the controls. Those who are more competitive tend to take a good look at the racers, the karts, and the karts’ components to optimize speed and handling for when racing around the tracks. While I glance at my character’s stats, I usually just go with a couple of favorites.

rachmii
I honestly never paid too much attention to the stats of the karts. As the Mario Kart franchise grew and newer games came out, picking your kart or bike along with the wheels and other accessories evolved. I always look at the different options and combinations as though I’m really thinking about the stats. In truth though, I just pick out what looks cool.

krismii
My current picks tend to be just what I favor in terms of style rather than stats as well. Now that Link is go-karting with Mario, I tend to pick him with one of the Hyrule-themed bikes and parachutes. If I decide to pick a kart rather than bike, I think Koopa Troopa is adorable on a kart with the biggest wheels we have available. Before the game became saturated with characters — many of them near clones of each other — I don’t remember having a favorite. In Double Dash’s time, I think I always just picked Daisy because she was the “tomboy princess” rather than actually liking her as a character.

rachmii
I always go for the Standard Bike along with the azure wheels. Why? Standard is standard and the wheels are blue. I’ll change the parachute depending on my mood that day. When it comes to the characters, I basically pick King Boo each time. I used to use Yoshi all the time but then our cousin liked to use him so I always chose Luigi, despite having the ability to use different colored Yoshi. Then, one day, I decided to be King Boo for some reason and I never went back.

krismii
Yes, you betrayed Luigi, haha! Link was an obvious choice for me when we got the game, for he’s one of my favorite video game characters of all time, but it was also nice to have a choice that wasn’t simply a clone or color-swap of the other characters. The Mario characters are wonderful, but there’s a good chunk that are just Koopalings, the baby characters, and metal versions of each other. Having Link, along with the Animal Crossing and Splatoon characters, gave the character roster a bit of fresh air. Obviously, it’s Mario Kart, so it being mainly Mario characters makes perfect sense, but a little variety is nice.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
If they really want to add more characters, they should include Goomba, Piranha Plant, and other Mario characters and enemies. I mean, Piranha Plant is in Smash and Boo is driving with no legs, so Goomba should have no trouble driving with no arms. I think it makes perfect sense.

krismii
Especially since Goomba has joined Super Mario Party and does just fine in the mini-games with no arms, haha! I do wonder how much the stats affect the characters as they’re racing in comparison with the player’s skill. I’m not too bad at Mario Kart, but there are definitely times when I’m behind and am relying on the random chaos of items to try to catch up with a faster kart. Still, I enjoy playing with my favorite characters and karts rather than studying all the stats for the best chance of winning

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m not entirely sure how it all works together. Honestly, it could be all be in our heads. Still, it’s a fun time.

Do you have any go-to karts or characters in Mario Kart? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Animal Crossing Switch Wish List

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

E3 is right around the corner and I’m super excited to see what Nintendo has to offer this year! Like many, I’m sure, I’m eager to learn more about Animal Crossing for the Switch. I mean, I hope they talk about it.

Animal Crossing Switch Wish List | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

The Big Ideas

I had a list of three or four things that I wanted to see in Animal Crossing Switch. As I wrote them down (because I knew I’d forget them before getting the chance to write this post), I kept coming up with more and more ideas. The list has grown to nine now, so I’ll talk in depth about the ones I really want.

Outside/Yards

I have a kiddie pool in my back room in Animal Crossing New Leaf. It makes no sense to have a kiddie pool in the house – especially if you can’t even use it. A rubber duck is just floating around in it forever alone and, honestly, that’s quite sad. I want to be able to have an actual garden in my yard, not plant flowers randomly about town. I want to have a lawn mower or a shed (more inventory space!), lawn chairs, or something. I want the house to be unique from all the others, inside and out.

Interactive Villagers/Friendship Levels

There are a few different personality types the villagers have. However, they don’t really different from each other that much. I’d like to see more of those personalities, if not new personalities. Give the villagers more things to do and say. When they invite you over, have coffee or something. When they come over, let’s sit and watch TV together. They just roam around mindlessly.

Having friendship levels would be cool too. I mean, it might make more work for an Animal Crossing game, but people are always trying to move in new villagers or get the pictures of their current villagers. Having a friendship level would be a great indicator of that. Plus, the villagers can have friendships with each other and you can settle disputes and such.

More Villagers & Bigger Villages

There are a lot of villagers and only ten can live in your village at a time. Give us bigger towns with more room to build public works projects and allow 15-20 villagers to live in our town. Plus, I was watching a playthrough of New Leaf and they were saying how they would love to see the villagers have different styled houses depending on their personality, such as a mansion or a shack or whatever. That would be so cool.

Different Biomes

Most of the stuff on this list is a long shot, I know. This is probably the weirdest request from me to Nintendo, but… I would love different biomes. Think Zootopia or we could just have multiple towns to travel to and take care of. We could visit the Tundra, Rain Forest, Desert, and more. Animals who live in those areas in real life are most likely to appear in their respective biomes. They have the camping ground so I think they could add two or three biomes off to the side for your town. It’ll be a surprise what you get. Maybe you could add more biomes down the road after you meet certain requirements in the game. I know there are different seasons, but I’m sure there are different bugs and fish that would appear only in the desert and stuff… we could catch Blathers a scorpion!

Honorable Mentions

  • More inventory space – let us have our pocket space plus a backpack that has even more room.
  • More than one save file – yes, this already exists but for the same town. I want to have multiples towns on one game.
  • Interactive decor – some are interactive, but not all. Seriously, if my character has a coffee pot, I want to turn it on and actually drink the coffee.
  • Fishing net – I believe this is in Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. A fishing net can catch eight fish at once. Wouldn’t that make life easier? (But then, yeah, we would definitely need the more inventory space.)
  • Send letters to friends – whether they’ve visited your town before or you have their Switch friend code, we should be able to communicate and send gifts to friends.
  • Pokemon Crossing

Are you looking forward to Animal Crossing Switch? What would you like to see in the game? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King [Video Game Review]

Blossom Tales | Video Game Review | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Title: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Developer: Castle Pixel
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Platform:
 Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Platformer
Release Date:
December 21, 2017
How we got the game:
Downloaded it on the Switch

krismii
While I’m a little late on this train, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Blossom Tales, especially from fellow gamers who also enjoy the Legend of Zelda franchise. Indeed, this game has some nods to one of Nintendo’s flagship IPs, and it was fun picking them out as I enjoyed the game itself.

gameplayBlossom Tales’ controls are intuitive. As the main character Lily, you explore and travel throughout the Kingdom of Blossom to rescue it from an evil wizard’s clutches. The analog stick is used to move while Lily’s weapons, shields, and items are assigned to the A, B, and X buttons. The gameplay has been likened to the Super Nintendo’s A Link to the Past, and Blossom Tales gives way to that same sense of discovery.

The game itself is a “story” that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren. Said grandchildren are not afraid to call their grandfather out on details that may seem too silly and their influence are able to change the story as you play. Small choices pop up here and there, such as the grandchildren deciding what kind of monsters Lily needs to slay in order to proceed. The “story” aspect of the game is charming rather than intrusive, and I enjoyed the little recap the grandchildren and grandfather give the player whenever they return to the game after taking a break.

graphics-music

Blossom Tales has such fun graphics, the art style being pixel-perfect. The colors are bright, painting the scenes beautifully while you explore the vast locations around the world as the main character.

The music was wonderful as well, really drawing you into the story as you explored the world. The cities, dungeons, and boss fights all had different and appropriate tunes, allowing you to be in the moment and focus on your current situation.

storyBlossom Tales is a story that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren, Chrys and Lily, much to their delight. The story stars a new Knight of the Rose, “Sir” Lily (as demanded by the grandchildren), in the Kingdom of Blossom. Shortly after Sir Lily was knighted, the king’s evil wizard brother puts the king into a deep sleep in an effort to take over the kingdom.

Thus begins Lily’s epic adventure to search for the three ingredients that will be needed to awaken the king again. Considering the rest of the knights seem to be incompetent, it takes the new recruit to explore and find the items. With her sword skills and special items, Lily will thwart all sorts of enemies as she braves through dungeons in order to rescue the king and kingdom.

replay-value

Blossom Tales is a cute game, one that is fun and easy to get into. While the story itself is fairly linear, there are a few choices throughout the game that you can make to change the course of the story. It’s a great game for anyone who wants a charming, relatively short action-adventure platformer, whether it’s for the first or seventh time.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Our Thoughts On Super Mario Maker 2

Our Thoughts On Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo | Nintendo Direct | Nintendo Switch | Super Mario Bros. | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Super Mario Maker 2 is coming out at the end of next month! We enjoyed the original Super Mario Maker on the Wii U and the direct from last week showed off some great new features for the sequel.

rachmii
We didn’t play too much of the first Super Mario Maker game. I think I enjoyed it more than Kris did, but when we watched the Direct of this upcoming sequel, we both were impressed and are excited to play the game.

krismii
While the idea of a story mode sounds a little silly with a game that’s so focused on creativity, I think I’m rather excited for it. I think it’s only single-player, but the idea of having being taught the different tools and aspects of the game through a “story” is great. With all the other new features, I feel that the story mode will help people feel less overwhelmed at all the options in the main mode.

rachmii
The story mode definitely seems odd, but I love the idea of it. I’m eager to play a Mario game from Nintendo that’s harder than the typical Mario platformer – even though it’s the same tools and elements. They’ve also added a lot more new tools as well, which I’m excited about. Although, that just means the levels people create are going to be that much crazier! But that makes it more fun.

krismii
Some of the new tools are the snake blocks, auto-scroll settings, on/off switches, and even Cat Mario to go along with the other Super Mario 3D World inspired content. Not only that, the direct showed Super Mario 3D World in a section of the level aesthetics that had plenty of room for other games… I wonder if they’re going to add any other games that your levels can be based upon as DLC or something?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I would love to see Paper Mario levels. That would be awesome. I’m most excited for the co-op part of the game though. I can’t wait for the two of us to create levels together and even go through some of the levels together as well. It will most likely be way harder, but it would be so much fun.

krismii
It will be fantastic for us to play together like that, especially with all the latest platform Mario games being up to four-player co-op. I think the multiplayer in Super Mario Maker 2 makes perfect sense. We’re going to be ridiculous trying to create levels together, probably even playing through them, but it’ll be fun! Not only that, it sounds like the online play will be great as well! I’m certainly looking forward to online multiplayer.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Online multiplayer is definitely another plus. I’m happy the game is coming out at the end of June. I’m eager to get my hands on a copy!

Are you excited for Super Mario Maker 2 to come out? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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