Journey to Pokemon Home

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

I finally got Pokemon Home and gave it a whirl over this weekend. My first main experiment was to see how many Pokemon from some of my old favorite teams could go to the Galar region!

Pokemon | Pokemon Home | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Right before the weekend, I finally got Pokemon Home. It’s been out for about three weeks now — February 11 —  and I honestly kind of kept forgetting about it until recently. The successor to Pokemon Bank, Home is both a mobile and Nintendo Switch app for Pokemon storage. While there is a basic, free plan for Home, there are so many more options and storage for your Pokemon with the paid plan. Considering the paid plan is only 15 or so bucks a year, it’s not too bad. If you’re an avid Pokemon collector, it’s well worth it.

When I turned on Pokemon Home, I gave it a test run to see how it works and was greeted with this dude:

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I’ll admit, I was a bit startled.

After doing all the updates that were necessary for my original 3DS, I booted up Pokemon Bank to see if I even still had Pokemon in there. I had about half a box of legendary Pokemon that I received throughout special events during past years, so I figured they would be the first residents for Home.

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This little guy popped up once and then I never saw him again. I wonder how well this would have gone if Nintendo gave this job to the Pokeball Guy from Sword/Shield…

The process was simple enough, although it was interesting trying to juggle both my 3DS and my Switch Lite on my desk. During the move from Bank to Home, you need to input a Moving Key and have a limited amount of time to do so. Once the key is accepted, it takes a few good minutes for the Pokemon to move from Bank to Home, a progress during which you cannot use the software. It was nice to see the Pokemon in Home, and once you connect your Sword/Shield game to Home, the software allows you to easily move the Pokemon from Home to the boxes in Sword/Shield.

If Sword/Shield allows the Pokemon, that is. Conveniently, Home has icons that indicate whether or not a Pokemon can move from Home to Sword/Shield. Hopefully, there will eventually be DLC or a patch that allows more Pokemon in Sword/Shield, but for now it’ll be interesting to see which Pokemon from my past teams will be able to join my Rillaboom and company in Galar.

So I grabbed my Y version and got to work.

As a bit of background, my Y version is probably my Pokemon game with the most time sunk into it. I have a little over 210 hours on my Y version — first started on December 25, 2013 and I entered the Hall of Fame for the first time a mere three days later — compared to the almost 80 hours on my Sword version. While I don’t have my Y Pokedex complete, I have spent the majority of those hours collecting my favorite Pokemon to recreate my preferred teams from generations 1 through 5 to go alongside my generation 6 team from Kalos:

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Here are all my babies! 

Including my main Kalos team on the right, all these Pokemon were raised up to level 100 with the help of a plethora of Elite Four runs as well as challenges from the Battle Chateau.

It’s a bit bittersweet to think about, actually. Pokemon Bank, which came out in 2014 for the Americas, was first used to allow me to gather all of these Pokemon for the then-current Pokemon game so I could have all my favorites together. Now, Pokemon Bank will help me move all of these guys to Pokemon Home where we’ll see just how many of them I can bring to Galar.

Considering how much of a soft spot I have for my Y version, I was honestly considering breeding and hatching eggs of these guys to then move into Home. However, I realized that it’s been literally a year and a half since I last turned on Y. Case in point was a poor Eevee that was apparently stuck in an egg since July 2018. Instead, I spent a little time to get said eggs, but decided that the baby-versions of my favorites will remain behind in Y while the adults will travel to Home.

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SO. MANY. EGGS. Featuring Brady the Shiny Butterfree, who had been my first encounter/capture in Y as a little Caterpie.

If and when I decide to return to Pokemon Y, I’ll have a grand time hatching and raising my favorite Pokemon again, which is one of the best parts of these games.

With all the eggs created, it was time to actually move my teams to Pokemon Bank then to Home. I decided to just move my teams from generations 1 through 5 first; I haven’t quite figured out if I will leave my original Kalos team in Y and create eggs of them for Home and Galar, or if I will eventually also move my original Kalos team over as well. My Alola team will be for another time and day.

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Quite a difference between this screenshot and the previous cell phone pic of them all in Y, huh?

It didn’t take long at all for a box of 30 Pokemon to move from Pokemon Bank to Home. In fact, I’m sure it took a few minutes longer for Bank to actually just load up on my 3DS. It was rather exciting to see most of my favorites with updated sprites in Home!

Now the big test was to see just how many of them could be moved into Sword. I’ll be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the results:

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It was disheartening to see all of the glaring, red, “do not transport” symbols amid all of my favorites, particularly with the starter Pokemon (I want my Grovyle!). After separating the Pokemon that could go to Sword from the ones who are staying in Home, 13 out of 30 — almost half — of my trained Pokemon can visit Galar. Yet, the only true new Pokemon that can join me is my Venusaur (unless you count the pink Gastrodon, since I’ve only seen the blue version of the Pokemon in Sword); considering my Galar pokedex is complete, I have all the other Pokemon in my box already, albeit not as trained as the ones from Y.

Not only are the majority of my teams unable to come to Galar, some of the ones who can join me don’t have all of their moves available. The Pokemon with an exclamation point beside them indicate that at least one of their moves cannot be used in Sword/Shield, which I didn’t even think about but in hindsight wasn’t surprising. I expected the moves that weren’t available in Sword/Shield to just disappear from my Pokemon’s move pools, but apparently you need to do that yourself, if you read the moves’ descriptions:

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I never realized “Return” wasn’t in Sword/Shield until this happened, to be honest. “Flash,” “Hidden Power,” and “Flame Burst” were the other moves, in case anyone was curious.

I was initially hesitant to do this move with my teams generations 1 through 5 because I was afraid most of my favorite Pokemon would be forced to retire, so to speak, in Pokemon Home. I can’t move the rest of my teams back to Bank to bring them back in Y. All those Pokemon that I spent over 200 hours raising for battles are now stuck in Home.

To be honest, it’s okay that these Pokemon are retired. It was a startling realization that I hadn’t visited my Y game in well over a year, and at least I now have my favorites with me on my Switch Lite. With that said, Nintendo, I would love a feature in Pokemon Home reminiscent of My Pokemon Ranch — give me a mode where I can see all of my Pokemon milling about together, maybe even give me the ability to pat them or give them little treats here and there, please!

This move from Y to Bank to Home to Sword answered some questions, but also brought up new ones. Do I need to wait until the expansion pass in June for the pokedex to fully expand to bring over more of my teams? Or, considering this is a mere 30 Pokemon out of almost-900, are my particular favorites unlucky enough to be left out of the additional 200 Pokemon that are joining the Galar region? I know the Alolan starter Pokemon are invited to Galar — are the majority of the 200 additional Pokemon from Alola as well? Perhaps we’ll see when I decide to go through my Pokemon from my Moon games along with other Pokemon from Kalos.

In the meantime, I’ll be back in Pokemon Sword where I will be hard at work leveling up my Sword team to level 100 to match some of their veteran teammates.

What do you think of Pokemon Home? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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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.

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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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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.

rachmii
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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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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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: Galar Gym Missions

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Something that I love about Pokemon Sword and Shield is that that they brought back traditional gyms. The missions and hyped-up stadium battles got me excited again to be the very best. This is a list of my favorite gym missions and leaders from Pokemon Sword!

Pokemon | Pokemon Sword and Shield | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

Hulbury Mission

The mission in the water-type gym in Hulbury was fun to me as a puzzle. It wasn’t particularly difficult, no, but to see the sheer size of the puzzle and the graphics of the water was awesome. I do wish it was a bit more challenging, but I was enamored with the art style of the place.

Turffield Mission

Yes, this mission was simple, but I was delighted at the adorable Wooloo that you had to herd and the occasional Yamper that was around to disrupt said Wooloo. It was ridiculous, but having the opportunity to somewhat engage with Pokemon outside of battle was fun.

Stow-on-Side Mission

This gym’s mission had your avatar sit in a carnival ride and spin your way down a course, bouncing off the walls and spring-loaded punching gloves. If this was something I’d have to do in real life, I’d get sick — seriously, I can’t ride Disneyworld’s tea cup ride — but it was amusing to do in the game.

Hammerlocke Mission

While this mission wasn’t a puzzle, it was probably my favorite. Raihan pits you against his gym trainers in double battles, testing your ability to strategize with your own Pokemon. Double battles are my favorite battling format due to being able to do just that, so I enjoyed being given the chance to use my Pokemon in double battles.

What are your favorite Sword and Shield gym missions? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Indie World Direct

Our Thoughts On Indie World | Nintendo Direct | Indie Games | Nintendo Switch | Gaming News | DoublexJump.com

krismii
It’s always nice when a Nintendo Direct coincidentally falls during my lunch break. We were able to watch most of the 20-ish minute direct live, getting hints of the upcoming Indie titles that will grace the Nintendo Switch next year.

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This direct was unexpected but one I looked forward to. I enjoy indie games and was eager to see what’s upcoming for the new year. In total, Indie World announced 16 games coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2020. While there were a few I’m interested in trying, there were four games that I’m truly looking forward to trying – Sports Story, Bake’n Switch, Supermash, and Murder by Numbers.

krismii
Most of the games looked pretty, while there were a couple that puzzled us. I believe I’m more interested in some of the games that had unique art styles and stories to tell, such as Gleamlight, Liberated, and Dreamscaper. Murder by Numbers, though, also seems great — we’re suckers for visual novels, and the music was created by Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney’s composer Masakazu Sugimori — and Supermash is definitely interesting as well. I wouldn’t mind trying Survivalists, if only because it features local and online multiplayer. If it was a single-player experience,  I probably would pass.

rachmii
I’d be willing to give most of those games a try. Survivalists looked cool as well. I thought it was going to be a Minecraft mimic at first, but it seems to have more to it than just crafting and gaining experience points. And who wouldn’t want to have monkeys on their side?

krismii
The monkeys made me laugh, admittedly. As stated, though, I’m more interested in joining up with friends to try to survive, similarly to how I’d like to try Stardew Valley in co-op mode. Another game that made me laugh was SkateBIRD. I’m not interested in the premise of it, but it seemed cute! I’m a bit surprised you haven’t mentioned Sail Forth, Rachel. I thought sailing around the high seas for treasure would be right up your alley.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
SkateBIRD looks cute. I’m not sure if that’s one I’ll get, but I’d love to see what it’s all about. Sail Forth is a game I’d get. It looked pretty and I do like my treasure. Plus, it’s a simulation game. However, when they showed off the game, I didn’t get what it was “about.” Maybe I wasn’t paying too much attention to it, but the game just didn’t stick out in my mind like the other four games I listed did. Boyfriend Dungeon sticks out in my mind. While the gameplay looks cool, I’m iffy with the premise. It’s definitely a unique kind of game.

krismii
Boyfriend Dungeon just made question marks dance around my head, but that could just be me. I don’t mind dungeon crawlers or dating sims, but with the way it was combined together was a bit odd to me. Still, kudos to the developers for taking that leap. The art style is interesting, and while I’m most likely not going to get the game, I’ll keep an eye out on the reviews out of curiosity.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The art style looks great, I agree. I do enjoy dungeon crawlers but the mechanics of the whole boyfriend thing seem odd to mean. I’m sure it’ll be one of those hidden gem games though. It looked solid and if we ever come across it, I wouldn’t mind giving it a try. Overall, all the games coming to the Nintendo Switch in 2020 looked smooth and solid. I think 2020 is going to be a great year for gaming.

Did you watch the Indie World direct? What do you think of some of the games coming next year? If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Pokemon Sword & Shield [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Game Review | Pokemon | DoublexJump.com

Title: Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: GAME FREAK, Inc.
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-Playing, Adventure
Release Date: 
November 15, 2019
How we got the game:
We pre-ordered both games

krismii
We were wicked excited for Sword and Shield to finally come out on the Switch! To have another core Pokemon series game, one in a new region, was fantastic. Despite some of the backlash that was seen on the Internet, we always had faith that we would enjoy the games.

rachmii
I was extra excited about this game because there weren’t too many spoilers on what the new Pokemon looked like. I was able to go into this game fresh.

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

krismii
Like most Pokemon core games, Sword and Shield have the typical gameplay formula. As the avatar character, you explore the region while catching and battling with the Pokemon you encounter. The routes and towns are usually diverse with different Pokemon and people for the avatar to interact with, with opponents getting stronger the further in the game you go. Moving is intuitive with the analog stick — and you can make your character spin around and strike a pose! — and speaking with people and most general interactions are simply with the A button.

rachmii
The major point of Pokemon is to explore the world and “catch ‘em all.” Sword and Shield don’t disappoint in that regard. I honestly felt as though the Galar Region is more of an “open-world” in some cases. For example, the Wild Area is a new feature added in this game. The Wild Area stretches for most of the Galar map and it’s where just about every Pokemon imaginable lives. The Wild Area has different areas from snow to desert to grasslands and more. It’s easy to stay there for long periods of time and not progressing with the actual gameplay.

 krismii
The Wild Area is also where it’s easiest to connect with fellow players. While there may be lag depending on the servers and the strength of your Internet, it’s awesome to see so many other trainers zipping about the world. Talking to one another usually nets you free items, mostly for curry in the Pokemon Camp, which we’ll get to in a minute. You can also trade and battle one another, as well as battle with each other in what’s called Max Raid battles against special wild Pokemon.

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Pokemon have the ability to Dynamax in Sword and Shield. It’s the new Mega Evolution and Z-Move. Dynamaxing enlarges the Pokemon to about ten-times its size and gives them all-powerful moves depending on what they’ve already learned. However, you can only Dynamax in certain areas – like gym battles and max raids, for example.

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Admittedly, we weren’t sure about this game mechanic when it was first introduced. It sounded a little gimmicky, like the mentioned Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves from the sixth and seventh generations, respectively. Keeping the Dynamax technique to certain areas, though, made it a bit more special and exciting to use, especially in the gym battles. It works out pretty well and even makes you use a bit of strategy in that Pokemon can only Dynamax for three turns in gym battles.

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I really enjoy the graphics on the Switch consoles themselves, and Sword and Shield were no exception. Our avatars actually get expressions this time around, and the animations of the Pokemon and other characters were great. The open world-like Wild Area and several towns of the Galar region were just absolutely beautiful!

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I love how our characters actually have expressions. Knowing the sort of graphics that can be on the Nintendo Switch, I feel like Pokemon could improve a bit. However, I love it just the way it is because it’s how Pokemon is. The characters always moved in a certain way that screams “Pokemon”. As for the new Pokemon in this region? I absolutely love all the new designs. I think the Pokemon are really unique and outside the box. (Even though Galarian Meowth and Perrserker look like they belong in Where The Wild Things Are.)

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Anyone who’s played these games and said they did not enjoy the gym battle themes are liars. The battle themes were definitely my favorite tunes, but hearing all the background music as you traveled through the region was also wonderful. They were familiar and new at once, familiar in the sense that you knew the music was from a Pokemon game, but new for the Galar region itself.

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Any music from Pokemon – songs, sound effects, Pokemon cries – is fantastic. Sword and Shield were no exception and I agree with Kris. The gym battle themes were the best. Coupled with the cheering crowd in the background, it made it all the better. It really hyped me up.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

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The typical storyline of most core Pokemon games is that your avatar journeys throughout their home region on a quest to “catch ‘em all” and “be the very best.” Sword and Shield are similar, in which there is a Gym Challenge for trainers to partake in. With their teams of Pokemon, trainers challenge all eight gyms in an attempt to participate in the Pokemon League or, in this duo of games, the Champion’s Cup.

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On the flip side, while you journey around the world, you typically have to stop an evil group of Pokemon trainers with a fancy (or not-so-fancy) name who wants to dominate the world or steal Pokemon or what have you. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t the case in Sword and Shield. There is a bad guy team called Team Yell, yes, but they’re not bad in the way you’d assume them to be.

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Sword and Shield do have a bit of lore behind them, with part of the story involving the region’s professor’s assistant (well, granddaughter) looking into the history of the Galar region itself. Involving two ancient heroes, one with a sword and one with a shield, and what was called the Darkest Day, you try to help unravel the mystery of why the lives of the heroes are not known more.

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The story of the game doesn’t come together full-force until the very end of the main gameplay. The game itself is quick because of this and then it all comes together at the end. To avoid spoilers, I won’t say too much else other than I enjoyed how they did it this time around.

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While Sword and Shield have a fairly linear plot to follow, the replayability value lies in all the Pokemon you can tame and battle with. Considering there’s hundreds of Pokemon to find in the game, and a huge community to trade with, replaying the game with a new team every time helps to keep the plot fresh.

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This is certainly a game I’ll go back to quite often, like all the other Pokemon games. I will be sure to reach level 100 with my Pokemon, catch them all, and hunt for shinies. I’m in this for the long haul.

Pokemon Sword & Pokemon Shield 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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Luigi’s Mansion 3 [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Luigi's Mansion 3 | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Luigi’s Mansion 3
Developer: Next Level Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date:
October 31, 2019
How we got the game: 
I received a physical copy for my birthday

 

 

 

It’s finally here! Luigi’s Mansion 3 finally exists! And boy, oh boy, it didn’t disappoint!

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Luigi’s Mansion 3 begins with Toad driving a bus. Why they chose Toad to drive is beyond me. However, Red Toad is driving while Blue Toad, Yellow Toad, Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi d their own things in the back. The opening cutscene with them on their way to some sort of destination with their suitcases packed is hardcore adorable and stepped up ten notches from any other game.

Luigi is sound asleep in the back next to his single suitcase when Polterpup wakes him up reminding him (or giving us, the player, information about what’s going on) of an invitation he received. Luigi and friends have been invited to a fabulous stay at the Last Resort Hotel. None of them find this odd. However, it’s a good thing for us otherwise there would be no game.

When they arrive at the hotel they seem to be the only guests there. Helen Gravelly, the owner, gives them a warm welcome and shows them to their room. The hotel itself and the rooms are huge and looks as though it’s all too good to be true. The gang says goodnight, heads to their own rooms, and Luigi falls straight to sleep.

He awakes in the middle of the night to screaming. He investigates to find the entire hotel has changed. It’s no longer gold and sparkly, but dark and dusty instead. The Toads, Mario, and Peach have all disappeared.

Luigi runs into Helen Gravelly, revealing her master plan to please the one and only King Boo, who she had saved from E. Gadd’s gallery. Luigi escapes a fate of being stuck in a portrait and thus the game begins.

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The opening sequence took me about 15 minutes to get through. It’s a mixture of cutscenes and a tad bit of exploration, which I did a fair amount. There’s a lot to explore in this game and when you get the Poltergust G-00, the exploration gets so much better.

You, of course, play as Luigi as you explore through the entire hotel in an attempt to find all the portraits of your friends and save them. There are 15 floors to the Last Resort, which I thought was fabulous. Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube was a fabulous game, but it was short and sweet. Dark Moon had a larger mansion, but it was still on the quick side. Luigi’s Mansion 3 has so much content in and out of the main story. The main story, however, will keep you busy long enough though. And yet, I still wish there were more.

But I’m getting off-topic. There are 15 floors and there seems to be only one elevator in the entire hotel and no stairs. So, when the ghosts steal all the elevator buttons, Luigi needs to go on the hunt for the buttons so he can explore different floors of the hotel in hopes to find his family. These buttons, of course, are held by boss ghosts.

Each floor contains a boss ghost holding onto a button. Most of these bosses are sort of like mini-bosses and some floors are fairly quick and easy because they’re a big boss. Meaning, they not only have an elevator button but they’re also guarding a portrait as well. The boss ghosts were all fun, each one harder than the previous boss. Most bosses had a puzzle to them in figuring out their attack style and also how to stun them long enough for you to suck them with the Poltergust G-00. The mini-bosses were easier, but there was always a puzzle of some sort that needed to be figured out so you could make it to the boss.

The floors all have different themes to them as well, which was pretty cool. Floor five was the room suites, for example. However, there was a fitness floor, a shopping floor, a pirate-theme floor, and so many other cool ones. My favorite? The dance floor. (I won’t say why due to spoilers, but if you play the game, I’m sure you’ll easily guess why that floor in my favorite.) Ghosts hide throughout all the areas in hallways and the rooms. However, they were few and far between.

In the first two Luigi’s Mansion games, you’d enter a room and be bombarded with ghosts. You’d have to catch them all to clear the room before being able to explore the room. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, it’s sort of the opposite. There are some rooms where there are ghosts right off the bat, but for the most part, you got to explore the room, did what you needed to, and then ghosts would appear after you did a certain something or tried to leave the room. Sometimes, no ghosts would appear at all until you went back to that room later. But here’s the thing – there’s never any real reason for you to go back to those rooms again later.

Especially at the beginning of the game, it seemed as though there were little to no ghosts in the hotel at all. This made the game a little too easy at first. Polterpup (and even E. Gadd) are there hand-holding once in a while as well. Even as the game picked up in difficulty, I missed walking into a room and being pestered by ghosts.

The Poltergust G-00 can do a lot. There is money all over the hotel and you can suck up anything. By anything, I mean couch cushions, plants, anything, and everything. I believed I vacuumed more of what I “shouldn’t” rather than ghosts.

In terms of what the Poltergust G-00 can do… well, it’s powerful. It can suck up things and it can also blow air out. Your flashlight is attached and you get the Strobulb, which was a mechanic introduced in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon. In fact, that’s the tool you use to save your friends from their framed fates.

It can do way more as well. E. Gadd added a Suction Shot where a plunger shoots out of the vacuum with a rope at the end. Luigi can suck up the rope and slam whatever object it’s stuck to. This helps him open certain things as well as move stuff that’s blocking his way. The Poltergust G-00 also has a Burst in which the vacuum shoots out a blast of air from the bottom almost like a rocket. It can blast enemies away from him and act as a jump mechanic for Luigi since he can’t jump otherwise in the Luigi’s Mansion series. In addition to all that, sucking up ghosts is easier as well.

In the previous games, you’d stun the ghosts and vacuum them by tilting the analog stick in the opposite direction the ghost was trying to pull away from. It works the same in Luigi’s Mansion 3 except a meter will appear above Luigi. If he holds on long enough, you’ll have the chance to hit the A-button. Keep doing so and Luigi will slam the ghost repeatedly into the ground knocking some of their health away each time. Plus, you can slam them into other ghosts that happen to get too close. They’ll flatten on the ground and also lose a bit of health and will automatically be stunned until they’re able to pick themselves back up.

There are two more mechanics the Poltergust G-00 can do. One was the Super Suction (I honestly can’t remember the name of it). It was only used twice in the entire game. You didn’t even get the mechanic until about halfway through. You got it, used it once. Then use it one more time at the end of the game – and no, not even for the final boss battle. It was a cool mechanic. The suction was powerful to the point that Luigi needed the vacuum to be plugged in order to do it and it ripped the walls right off. I didn’t see too much of a point to it. I would have rathered found a key for the door like the other floors instead of ripping the door, frame, and wall down to get where I needed to go. Especially since the mechanic was barely used at all.

The final mechanic was, of course, Gooigi. Gooigi can do a lot of things. He can do anything Luigi can (using the vacuum as normal) and can squeeze through grates, fences, and the like. However, he’s weak to water. That’s his only downfall. You can switch between Gooigi and Luigi. In fact, this gameplay is crucial in at least two boss battles. If you want to get to a certain place to get one of the collectible gems, for example (there are six gems on every floor to be collected), Gooigi will most likely be able to get to it. There are also some puzzles that require Luigi to be in two places at once.

This is also meant to be a co-op game where player two is Gooigi. You’re supposed to communicate and work together. I’m glad the game is playable with Gooigi by yourself though. It actually made certain parts of the game more challenging when I had to keep track of both of them.

I never got the chance to test out the co-op side of the game. I never even tried out the other two modes of the game – ScareScraper and Scream Park. Though I’ve seen others do it and they look like great modes.

Honestly, I can talk about this game for the next week. I have so much to say about it, I loved it that much. The ghosts and puzzles were just challenging enough. The dialogue, voice acting, and cutscenes were perfect. The final boss was awesome. The Boo hunting was back and it was much better than the first game, though there weren’t many – there was just one Boo per floor. There was so much money to find and gems to collect. I explored (and vacuumed) every nook and cranny of that hotel.

My only complaint? Once you beat the game, you go back to your last save point. There’s an ending sequence, but your file is still there and it doesn’t show as though you’ve beaten the game. It shows your final save point, which is right before the final boss battle. You can’t even go backward at that point either so you’re kind of stuck in this limbo. In other words, there’s nothing when you beat this game. In the original Luigi’s Mansion, your file was wiped and you restarted the game in Hard Mode. I so wish Luigi’s Mansion 3 did that. I would have loved to play a hard mode version of this game.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 didn’t disappoint. I still wish there were more ghosts to be caught initially rather than going back to look for them later, but it was fun and challenging nonetheless. The new mechanics fit well and it didn’t seem like a lot of extra “stuff” that needed to be learned. It meshed together well. I already want more and can’t wait for Luigi’s Mansion 4. (It better happen!) And yet, I’m not sure how Nintendo can top Luigi’s Mansion 3.

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What can I say about the graphics? You can see the stitching on Luigi’s hat. These graphics are top-notch. The colors were crisp and bright, despite the dark setting. The ghosts were clear and had a nice aura around them. The backgrounds, individual rooms, and floors were unique and fun. Even the various boss ghosts had awesome designs. Again, everything about this game as a whole is fabulous.

The music is something else you can’t go wrong with. I’ve always loved E. Gadd’s theme from his laboratory in the original Luigi’s Mansion. I hum it to myself quite often on a regular basis (just ask Kris). This game so many different variants of that song, it was glorious (another reason the dance floor is my favorite). The sound effects were satisfying – sucking up ghosts, money, collecting gems, Luigi walking on carpet versus tiles – all of it was great.

The voice acting? I can’t get enough of it. Luigi speaks. Mario speaks. Peach and the Toads speak. They have conversations with one another. It was all great. (E. Gadd still talks like a Sim, but that’s charming in its own right.)

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I will most definitely play this game again. I need to go back and collect all the gems and all the Boos. This game is too much fun to play only once. While it was pretty easy in the beginning and there weren’t as many ghosts as I would have liked, this game is too good. It’s charming and it’s a must-play for all – especially if you adore the Luigi’s Manion series. You won’t be disappointed.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Friday Favorites: Sword and Shield Features

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

How is everyone enjoying Pokemon Sword and Shield? I’ll be honest, it was hard to tear myself away from the games in order to write this post! Despite the internet backlash that these games were receiving, I’m very much enjoying the games. Here are just some of my favorite features so far.

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Camp

Camping with your Pokemon in routes is wicked charming and a simple way for your Pokemon to grow more friendly towards you and get some experience points to boot. Being able to play with your Pokemon and seeing them play with each other is fun, and cooking curry isn’t too bad either. It’s fun to discover recipes and it doesn’t take too long to make the dishes, so I’m hoping it won’t become repetitive too quickly. Seeing others pop in and out of your camp is unique as well!

Raid Battles

I’ve always wanted a sort of open concept for a Pokemon game, one where Rachel and I can both go on the Internet and see each other wandering around as we went on our respective journeys, perhaps even join each other with battling wild Pokemon and NPCs. The wild area and raid battles come close, and it’s awesome seeing my sister’s and friends’ avatars right there with mine.

Gyms

I so missed the traditional gyms when our Pokemon journeys took us to Alola. The trials and totem Pokemon weren’t as challenging to me. I think the Galar gym challenges take the best of both worlds, giving the players a little mission reminiscent of Alola’s trials while finishing up with epic battles.

What’s your favorite part of Pokemon Sword and Shield so far? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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