[Review] Batman: The Telltale Series

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Title: Batman: The Telltale Series
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform:
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Category:
Graphic Adventure
Release Date:
Original episode was released August 2016
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

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Batman was one of my first loves when I was introduced to the Geek Life. With the comic books and the animated series, Batman turned into one of my favorite superheroes. Seeing the release of the Telltale Series, I was always interested in the point-and-click graphic adventure. After having it downloaded on Steam for… longer than I intended, I finally got around to sitting down and playing it.

gameplay

I’ve never played a Telltale Series game before and, considering all of the titles they have out, I was interested in seeing how they pulled it off. Part action, part graphic adventure, Batman: The Telltale Series was definitely fun with its gameplay.

The game is split evenly between Batman and Bruce Wayne, with the player taking their roles during the game. While the game looks similar to a visual novel, the player’s input in the many critical choices affects the branches of the game’s narrative.

Part of the gameplay involves the player making quick decisions, whether it is during an action sequence or when speaking with NPCs of the world. Case in point were the multiple choice responses peppered in throughout the narrative. When responding to key points in the story to the NPCs, you are given only a few seconds, measured by a bar beneath the response choices. If you failed to respond, it was taken as mere silence, which is also a valid response to these situations. The first few questions I had to answer, I nearly panicked that I couldn’t try to carefully think through and pick the best response. Instead, I had to answer quickly and let the chips fall where they may!

The action sequences generally involve the player reacting quickly to hitting a certain key or button, a mouse-click, or even a combination of keystrokes to perform actions. Successfully performing these actions during a fight scene will fill up a Batman symbol found in the bottom-left corner of the screen — once the symbol is filled, Batman can perform a final move to completely take down the opponent he is facing to move onto the next scene.

During investigative scenes, you check evidence and the surrounding area, using a technique called linking to “link” pieces of evidence together to help piece the story of what went down in the area. I was actually really impressed with this part of the gameplay, finding it intriguing as we moved around as Batman to investigate. Seeing his gadgets do their thing was fun, too!

It’s not combat-heavy and relies more on quick reflexes and thinking, allowing you to manipulate the story and enjoying the narrative you help to weave.

graphics-music

The graphics aren’t bad at all. The semi-realistic graphics of the people and the settings are pretty good, even if sometimes the faces of the characters can look a little… derpy. I really enjoyed the images of the Gotham, the settings of Wayne Manor, City Hall, and the other scenes. I thought they were well done.

The music was fun as well, the tunes fitting into the story well. Fight and investigative scenes were accurately punched up with the music, keeping you focused and getting you amped up when necessary.
storyThe game begins with Batman investigating a break-in at Gotham City Hall. Aside from mercenaries, he meets Catwoman stealing a drive, which Batman takes before she can escape. He returns to Wayne Manor as Bruce, hosting a campaign party for D.A. Harvey Dent running for mayor against the current, corrupt mayor of Gotham. Among other party guests, the infamous mobster Falcone makes an appearance, who offers Bruce a spot in his crime family in exchange for “help” in getting Harvey elected.

This prologue effectively introduces the major players to episode one.

The story does well going back and forth between the Bruce Wayne and Batman personas, giving equal play time for both “characters.” While Batman is focused on decrypting the drive that Catwoman had attempted to steal, Bruce Wayne is stuck playing politics for Harvey Dent and Falcone. During the investigation, Falcone appears to be the link between the two faces of the titular character.

With this link, accusations against Bruce’s parents come to light, accusations that painted the Waynes not as benevolent benefactors to the city but as one of the biggest crime families of Gotham. While Batman confronts Falcone for his part in stealing and delivering a chemical weapon, Falcone delivers evidence of the Waynes being involved with Falcone and his crime organizations. Episode one ends with Bruce demanding answers from Alfred, his closest confidant and the Wayne family butler and friend.

The story continues with episode two, with Bruce digging up the secrets of his family’s past. The Telltale Series does well playing in Batman’s universe, but the story itself does not tie in with any other existing Batman lore. I’m definitely intrigued by the beginning of this game and am looking forward to continuing the story of this game with the next episodes!

replay-value

Batman: The Telltale Series had great replay value, especially if you want to exhaust all the different important choices you can pick throughout the game. Not only are the episodes themselves different due to the choices, choices in previous episodes can affect the outcome of future episodes.

That, and it’s Batman. What’s not to like?

Batman: The Telltale Series 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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Undertale [Game Review]

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Title: Undertale
Developer and Publisher: Toby Fox
Platform:
PC, Playstation 4, future release for Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-playing
Release Date:
Sept 2015 (PC), August 2017 (PS4), 2018 (Switch)
How I got the game:
I bought it on Steam.

krismii
When this game first came out a couple of years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to think of it. It’s popularity surged, but it wasn’t until we saw a Let’s Play of the game last year that I was actually interested in playing it. I finally got the game on Steam a little while ago and then, lo and behold, the game got announced for the Nintendo Switch this year!

gameplay

Undertale is a role-playing game where you play as a child who has fallen Underground, a dark place filled with Monsters. It’s in a top-down perspective, and you move about the overworld, navigating the land while interacting with other characters and, usually, solving puzzles. Depending on how one solves the objectives of the game determines the kind of ending one will receive.

When encounter enemies, the battle mode will trigger. The battle mode involves controlling your character’s soul, which is represented by a red heart. In each battle, as the heart, you must avoid attacks from the enemy that attack you similar in a bullet hell shooter. Various elements to the battles are introduced further in the game, such as different obstacles to dodge and conditions for controlling the heart.

Players have different options in battle. You can either choose to attack, act (such as talking to, mimicking, or even flirting with an opponent), use an item, or mercy, which allows players to either flee from the battle or spare the opponent if the time is right to do so. Depending on the players actions will sway the battle and, ultimately, the ending of the game. It is possible to beat the game without harming any enemies.

Undertale also employs metafictional elements. When a player replays the game, dialogue and certain sections of the game will be altered depending on the previous play through. How the player interacts with the game’s characters — by slaying, sparing, or befriending them — determines how the end of the play through will go. A player can achieve a True Pacifist run, Neutral runs, or a Genocide run, and subsequent play throughs will be effected by the ending of the previous play through.

graphics-music

Undertale’s graphics are pixel-y and charming, reminding me of older video games from the NES and SNES days. Despite that, every character — whether they were major, minor, or just background — was distinct in its looks, dialogue, and even sound. When characters spoke, their words typed out to distinct sounds, giving the characters voices without voice actors.

The game, being set in a place called the Underground, was filled with dim colors, dark blues, grays, and some red-hot areas. Some spots were a little spooky, or tried to be, but the music was always coupled well with the areas, such as a relaxing waterfall setting or the snowy town at night. I was very impressed with the quality of music and sound effects, especially since the composer was also the developer and publisher.

storyUndertale’s story opens up with a child falling into Mount Ebott, which brings them to the massive Underground that is populated with Monsters. The first character that the player encounters is Flowey, a sentient flower that explains the basic mechanics of the games before attempting to kill the player. The player is then saved by Toriel, a kind, goat-like, maternal monster who teaches the player how to navigate through puzzles and how to end battles without killing.

Once the player leaves Toriel’s home, you explore the vast Underground while meeting many other new characters, such as Sans and Papyrus the skeleton brothers, Undyne the Head of the Royal Guard, and Alphys the royal scientist. The player’s main objective is to get home. Along the way, you learn about how the Monsters came to be Underground.

Long ago, there was a war between humans and Monsters. Humans, with their stronger souls, pushed the Monsters Underground, sealing them with a barrier. Despite their magic, Monsters are not strong enough to break the barrier. However, if the Monsters collect enough human souls, they will grow powerful enough to break the barrier. As the child, you learn that that is what Asgore, the King of the Monsters, intends to do.

And you are the last needed human soul.

As you explore the Underground and meet other characters, your interactions with them will determine the outcome of the adventure. Many Monsters will want your soul for their king, and it is up to the player to either befriend or kill them. When it comes to escaping the Underground, it is up to you on whether or not you want to help the Monsters… or just yourself.

replay-value

With the charming graphics, awesome music, and quirky characters, Undertale is a game that I would boot up multiple times just to visit the characters over and over. Along with the fact that there are different endings with metafictional elements, Undertale has some great replay value.

…Although, because I enjoy the characters so much, I’m not sure if I really want to do a Genocide route! I prefer the happier endings, haha!

Undertale gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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New Game: Glitched

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Has anyone else really explored Itch.io? It boasts a way to find and share indie games. It’s a fun site to search around, see what kind of games talented coders, writers, and artists come up with.

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Browsing around on Tumblr, I found a post about a game called Glitched. It’s slated to come out to PC and Mac this fall, with releases on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later.

The premise of Glitched is that the main character — Gus — becomes aware of the player. Throughout your journey together, Gus will have conversations with you about reality, self-awareness, the meaning of life. As you have these conversations and make choices for and with Gus, Gus’s personality with change which, in turn, effects how the other characters react to him. Characters will be attracted or repulsed by you and your party depending on how you act, drastically altering the story.

While the main mechanic of the game is to interact with other characters throughout your journey, there are also battles. Battles are simple turn-based RPG-style that include a card system. With the ability to build up your deck and multiple paths to choose, Glitched certainly sounds as if it’ll have plenty of replay value.

It seems like a great game! The demo is out right now, if anyone would like to give it a try. The trailer below showcases a charming, 8-bit pixel-like world for the game, along with decent music:

What do you think? Are you up for giving Glitched a try?

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Fight Or Flight Method In Video Games

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When it comes to playing video games together, Rachel and I tend to have different play styles… We like to compare them to our Player One or Player Two syndromes, but they can also be commonly compared to one’s Fight or Flight instinct. We’ve further proven this when we tried playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds together.

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When Kris and I play games together, I typically run and hide. In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures for the Gamecube, Kris would kill the enemies and then I would nab the force gems before she could get to them. We had to take turns playing PUBG because we only have one copy of the game, but I know Kris would end up carrying our team if we played together in a duo.

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Well, we’ll have to see about that. While I was eager enough to find a weapon and try my hand at earning some kills, it was Rachel that was able to loot faster with her wish to find decent hiding spots, haha! Rachel did tend to have the luck when it came to random drops during the few times we played. I wanted to explore the areas, yes, but I was concerned about enemy fire.

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I was concerned about enemy fire as well. I was lying in the grass for a while at some point. I heard a motorcycle and someone nearly ran me over because they didn’t see me. I didn’t know what direction they were coming from either. When they passed me I stood up to shoot them from behind, but I suddenly forgot the controls and froze in fear and panic. Most of the rounds I played, I made it in the top 20 or teens because I just sat and hid only moving when the blue was closing in.

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That motorcyclist completely missing you was hysterical, not going to lie. I didn’t do too badly in the ranks either, but Rachel definitely got farther than me. I at least got some hit points in, which I was proud of. The only game I can think of that we didn’t follow our usual M.O. for Fight or Flight was in Minecraft. When we played Minecraft together, Rachel was mining and bashing enemies while I was crafting and taking care of the base while trying to find wolves to tame.

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Yeah, you were actually proactive and attacked people when you spotted them. I panicked and hid like I would in real life. Minecraft is interesting that we switched our usual roles. Then again, Minecraft is more cartoony and the controls are easier and less to handle. You get a sword and hit people as opposed to finding various guns and bullets having to load, aim, shoot, and reload.

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It was interesting, yes. For the most part, we have our roles down pat and, even though our usual methods were switched in Minecraft, we almost always work well together. It’s probably why we always sabotage others when it comes to Mario Party games when we can’t actively be on a team together, haha!

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I guess it all depends on the game, mechanics, and the situation you’re put in! Either way, it’s fun.

What’s your gameplay style? Fight or Flight? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Cold Case Of Noella Bejerot [Demo Review]

Demo Review of The Cold Case of Noella Bejerot | Visual Novel | Video Games | Murder Mystery | DoublexJump.com

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The Cold Case of Noella Bejerot is a comedic murder mystery visual novel game for PC and Mac. It was created by Marty Duff and Caty Herndon. The demo was released in December 2017 and, after talking with the developer, Kris and I were eager to try the game out.

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We enjoy mystery video games, especially those that have a comedic twist to them, like the Ace Attorney franchise and the Professor Layton series, and visual novels seem to be the perfect medium for these kinds of games. The demo of Cold Case seems to include the first case, a trial both for the player and the main character.

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It was quick, taking us about an hour, and everything was laid out for us to explore and learn the mechanics of the game. I knew what it was going in, but the game turned out to be much more than I expected. Not only do you have to pick what to do next and where to go, like most visual novels, you can interact with the background in search for clues and evidence. You can also talk to your partner and she’ll show you statements of the suspects as well as brief information on each of them.

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It is up to you to click through what you believe to be important evidence in the crime scenes as well as picking through the suspect and witness statements to determine who is the likely culprit. After searching the crime scene, you bring the evidence you collected to forensics, where another character gives further details about the clues to help you connect the pieces of the case. Sounds pretty standard in a mystery visual novel, but there is one catch — Grace faints at the sight of blood.

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This adds a little intensity to the game. You have five chances to look at bloody items in the room before Grace passes out. This means you have to pick and choose what you think may be important before you even look at it. That’s what I enjoyed the most, I think. The characters were all very quirky and the dialogue was witty and funny at some points.

krismii
Each character is fairly distinct with their voices, mannerisms, and looks. The graphics were cute, giving way to a few character tropes that are found in mystery games and books, such as the hardened, deadpan head detective and the brightly colored main character. The music was well done, too, and we’re looking forward to seeing how the rest of the game comes out!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Cold Case of Noella Bejerot will officially release on April 21, 2018. In the meantime, you can download the free demo HERE. Enjoy! We’re looking forward to April.

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

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First Impressions: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

The first few weekends of a new year tend to be spent playing the new video games that you may have gotten during the holiday season. Whatever you’re playing, I’m hoping you’re having a great time!

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds | PUBG | Video Games | Double Jump

You’ve all heard of this game, I assume? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (usually shortened to PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale that took the video game world by storm last year, despite being only in Steam’s beta mode until December. Steam has over 24 million copies sold, while the Xbox One version sold over one million copies in just three days after its release.

I’ve never really played a shooter game. They weren’t the types of games that we had in our house, with us growing up with family-friendly Nintendo consoles. However, Rachel and I have seen Let’s Play from some of our favorite Twitch streamers and YouTubers, and we wanted in on it. PUBG was one of the first games we bought and downloaded on Steam, and we finally got the chance to play it the other day.

We, uh, didn’t do too badly? We don’t think so, anyway, haha! We took turns doing the solo player campaign, and our gaming styles showed through with our strategies. Rachel did very well with looting and trying to avoid others while making her way to the safe zone. I was interested in finding a gun as quickly as possible and exploring enough to find someone else to try to take them out. Neither of us got any kills, but I did get hit points in a couple of matches! Rachel, with her hide-and-sneak strategy, tended to last longer than I did.

We’d like to be able to play together in a duo match soon, but I believe you’d need two separate Steam accounts and games for that. Considering we each got a couple of Steam gift cards for Christmas, perhaps we’ll splurge on that at some point. Another option would be to wait until there is cross-play between the Steam and the Xbox One versions of the game. We shall see!

Have you played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? What do you think of it?

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Friday Favorites: Missed 2017 Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

While we played a good chunk of games this year, there are plenty of games that I wanted to play but, for some reason, was unable to do so. Here is a simple list of games that are still stuck on my to-play list — here’s hoping they make their way off of that list next year!

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Batman: Telltale Series

We’ve honestly had this bought and downloaded on our Steam account for quite a while now… We just haven’t booted it up. Batman in a story-driven game that takes your choices into account sounds like a perfect game, and I can’t wait until we actually get a chance to sit down and play it!

Monster Hunter Generations

I really don’t know much about this franchise, aside from you creating a character to go out and, well, hunt monsters. A couple of the YouTubers that Rachel and I watch regularly enjoy the series and, upon seeing a few Let’s Play videos from them, it seemed interesting enough to try our hand at it. However, the 3DS game has just been chilling with my other games, having not been touched yet.

Has-Been Heroes

We got this action, strategy video game with our Nintendo Switch bundle, and it has unfortunately been shoved aside in favor of Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips, 36 Fragments of Midnight, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey, to name a few. We still have the little cartridge waiting patiently for us to stick it in the Switch console, and hopefully we won’t forget about it next year.

Yooka-Laylee

Technically speaking, this just came out for the Nintendo Switch, but it has been available on Steam since April. It’s been hailed as the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, which… was not my favorite game as a kid. Still, Yooka-Laylee never looked bad to me, and it’d be interesting to see how the developers grew on the Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia.

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This game won two Game Awards and we were really invested in a Let’s Play done by a couple of our favorite YouTubers that it made me itch to see how well we could play the game. It may be one of the first games that we download from Steam next year!

Have you played any of these games? Were there any 2017 games that you missed that you wanted to play?

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