I’ve Been Doing More Buying Than Playing

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

There are too many games and not enough time. That’s pretty much what I’m going to rant about in this post.

More Buying Than Playing | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

I remember when the Nintendo Switch came out over a year ago. Kris and I got the console late because they were all sold out. Honestly, we were bummed, but other than Breath of the Wild, we didn’t mind because there weren’t too many games out at the time.

Now there’s a ton.

In addition to the review copies we get as well as re-discovering our Steam accounts and new games coming out for the Switch and then also going through our old games to play because “we have no games,” there’s just so many games to get through and not enough hours in the day.

Ideally, I would love for my life to just be me, my pets, the couch, and all my gaming consoles. I would love to have the chance to sit and play a game in its entirety in one day.

I’m tried coming up with a “schedule” for myself and nothing’s worked since something always comes up. So, in the meantime, I just have to play when I can. Usually it’s at the end of the day so I can kick back and relax.

I’m looking forward to a lot of games coming up and also some new releases as well as oldies that I’ve just discovered.

Kris and I downloaded Minit on our Steam account, I’m playing The Witness for the first time on the Xbox, The Lion’s Song on the Switch, Octopath Traveler for the Switch is coming tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to getting Overcooked 2 both for the Switch when it comes out.

I’m sure there are plenty more I’m missing, but those are the ones that are on my brain for the moment.

What games have you gotten lately? Any you’re looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below!

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Sims 4 Seasons Expansion Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello, everyone!

The Sims franchise is a favorite of mine ever since a coworker back from college let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 expansion packs. Sims 2 turned into Sims 3, which I still have installed, before Sims 4 came around. Sims 4 is how I find myself wasting and enjoying time nowadays, especially with the newest expansion pack, Seasons.

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The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack came out a couple of weeks ago on June 22. Being a Sims expansion pack, I bought it for myself just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, a monthly writing challenge, and I’ve been playing it as a reward for whenever I reach my word count goal for the day.

The Pets expansion packs always tend to be my favorites, because who doesn’t love virtual dogs and cats? Aside from that, though, Seasons is right up there as it gives so much more variety to the world that you’re playing in. The temperature changes, holidays, the new clothes and accessories for the sims, Seasons was always a coveted expansion pack for the Sims.

The Sims 4 Seasons comes with all of those. The temperature changes bring about new deaths and interactions for the sims, depending on how hot or cold the weather is. A thermostat is a new item for homes and businesses, allowing sims to make the temperature inside the house comfortable… supposedly. I still had my sims automatically dress up in their outdoor winter gear around the house in the colder weather despite the thermostat being set to warm (not to mention a fireplace or two in the house).

Holidays were interesting, especially since you can create your own. A calendar button is included in the interface, allowing the player to see the coming seasons and holidays in the next couple of weeks. Each holiday has “traditions” that you can assign it, actions that your sims can take in order to really celebrate the holiday. For example, Lovefest is the Valentine’s Day equivalent, and traditions can include gifting flowers to someone or going on a date, while Harvestfest’s main tradition is eating a Grand Meal. A sim’s personality traits also effect how they feel about the individual traditions. A romantic sim loves the idea of going on a date during Lovefest, while a loner sim ignores the same tradition. It’s pretty interesting to play around with, creating your own holidays as well as being able to plan events like birthday parties in advance.

The biggest addition to Sims 4 Seasons is the Gardening career. The gardening skill got an overhaul, making plants seasonal, while also adding the Flower Arrangement skill. With the Gardening career, you can either become a botanist or florist. Botanist focuses more on research and the gardening skill, while florist utilizes the flower arrangement skill as well. Gardening is the type of career that allows you to work from home if you wish like the careers from City Living, or you can create your own retail store for your floral arrangements if you have Get to Work.

One of the disappointing aspects of the expansion pack, in my opinion, is that there was no beach world or beach area to allow the sims to swim in the ocean or just hang out, really. Imagine being able to have a 4th of July-based holiday on the beach or just a beach party to go with Seasons. In Sims 3, with its open world, being able to swim in the ocean was a major development, and I feel that Sims 4 is missing out on this.

Still, there are plenty of extra activities, such as rollerskating, ice skating, beekeeping, having snowball and water balloon fights, along with the new holidays and Gardening career to keep you entertained should you choose to purchase the expansion pack. If you’re a big fan of the Sims and have the cash to spare, Seasons is a pretty good expansion to add to your game.

Do you play the Sims 4? Have you gotten the Seasons expansion pack? What do you think of it?

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Friday Favorites: Simulation Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday!

One of the last few game reviews Rachel and I did was for Game Dev Tycoon, and it reminded me of how much fun I have with games in the simulation genre. This Friday celebrates some of my favorite simulation games and franchises.

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Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon franchise was probably my first foray into the simulation genre. Valuing hard work and fostering healthy relationships with the community are key aspects in the game, and I enjoyed the virtual farm life with the animals. I definitely prefer some of the older games to the newer games, but the Switch’s Light of Hope seems to cater to some of the more nostalgic story and controls from the older titles.

Stardew Valley

Another farming simulation game, Stardew Valley is similar to Harvest Moon but with a few fantasy twists, such as defeating monsters in the mines, along with the ability to date whoever you want regardless of gender. The co-op mode is another plus to this game! Rachel and I are looking forward to giving it a go!

Game Dev Tycoon

Game Dev Tycoon is so much fun! The strategy needed to develop good games against the clock with the story events constantly evolving makes the game addicting. It’s a game I’ll keep going back to, and I’m on the hunt for more business-like tycoon games, if anyone has any suggestions!

The Sims

The Sims franchise is horribly addicting. Every time I turn the game on, it’s hard to want to do anything else in my free time. Recently, I’ve been testing the newer Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack, and I’ve been having a good time. With the expansions and free reign to act out whatever kind of stories you want, the Sims probably won’t be getting deleted from my computer anytime soon.

What are your favorite simulation games?

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Game Dev Tycoon [Game Review]

Game Review: Game Dev Tycoon | PC Games | Video Games | Gaming | Steam | DoublexJump.com

Title: Game Dev Tycoon
Developer: Greenheart Games
Publisher: Greenheart Games, Headup Games
Platform:
PC, Mac, Android, IOS
Category:
Economic Simulation
Release Date:
December 10, 2012
How we got the game:
We bought it on Steam

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Game Dev Tycoon is a fun, addicting simulation in which you try to become the best game developer you can be within 35 game years. We first heard of the game from one of our favorite YouTubers, ProJared, and we became obsessed.

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We both have a love of simulation, casual games, though it’s not often we come across a really good one like this one.

gameplay

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Game Dev Tycoon is played by clicking and selecting options from menus. For example, clicking on the screen will bring up options to create a new game, find contract work, find a publishing deal, or look at your game history. It’s very simple in terms of controls and the premise, but every action you make will affect your company, either for better or for worse.

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Every action affects your company, yeah, but a lot is luck. You might think you’re making a great decision and it completely backfires. You start off by yourself in your garage making small games here and there. Once you get enough money, you get your own office. Now you can hire two employees and create games faster.

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Eventually, you can get an even bigger office and hire a full team of six employees aside from yourself. Your employees affect your games as well, depending on their strengths in the design or technology department, as well as their speed and efficiency at research. You can train them to raise their stats, but it will cost money and research points, not to mention their monthly salaries and the rent for your office. With more employees, you can create even bigger games, which may bring in more fans and sales. Researching new topics and assets to your custom game engines — such as dialogue trees, soundtracks, open worlds, mini-games, just to name a small few — will also help drive up those game sales. As long as, you know, the critics like the games.

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You have to manage your time well too because the time in-game moves pretty quickly. You need to sort out who’s going to research what, train their skills and when. Don’t forget to train yourself as well… something I often forgot. I usually did all this in between games too because it’s much better to have everyone working on the game at once. You can assign what aspects of the game you want your employees to work on. Everyone has a meter that fills up a percentage of how much they’re working. Ideally, you want your employees and yourself to be under 100% so they don’t overwork themselves. They do have a tired meter as well. If that goes down their work will slow or stop altogether. You can simply click on them and send them on vacation for a bit.

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There are events happening all the time that can affect your work as well, such as big name video game companies coming out with new consoles, events that have to do with your fans, or market analysis news that tell you what kind of genre or target audience is popular at the moment. There is also “G3,” the game’s equivalent of E3, every year that you can attend. Depending on the size of the booth you can afford, you may get more fans and hype for the next game you’re making. The more hype for a game, the more sales you may generate. Beware, too much hype for a game that ends up being less than stellar may result in you losing fans.

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After 35 years in-game, the game “ends.” You get a list of your stats such as your best selling game, least sold game, most used topic and genre, and more. All of that adds up and you get a score. The points don’t really matter but it’s fun to check out anyway. After that you can either keep playing the game without any “story elements” or you can start a new game and try to beat your score.

graphics-music

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Game Dev Tycoon, being a casual simulator, doesn’t have a huge world or multiple levels to explore. Instead, you have the background of your office, your avatar and employees glued to their computer screens, and statistics and news bubbles around the edges of the game window. The graphics are very clean while being sure that you’re mentally focused on your budding game development company.

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It’s simple and it works. You’re so focused on pointing, clicking, and checking the stats in the top right corner that you barely notice anything else going on – which isn’t much. The colors are bright and fun and the backgrounds for each office are cool to look closely at as your employees get their work done.

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To go along with the chill graphics, the music is relaxing as well. It’s minimal, allowing you to zone into the work you have to do to develop the best games possible. There aren’t too many sound effects, either, but the best one is these little “bubbles” of productivity from your employees. While working on a game, the game earns bubbles of design and technology, depending on the speed and the workers’ strength in those areas, and it is extremely satisfying to see all the little bubbles go flying!

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The music is smooth and relaxing, definitely. Even clicking on options for what to do next is a satisfying sound. The bubbles though were definitely my favorite! Their popping sounds were satisfying to listen to and yeah, to watch them fly across the screen was mesmerizing.
story

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Game Dev Tycoon starts off with your avatar sitting in a little garage-turned-office with a handful of money and big dreams to become a famous — or at least profitable — game developer. With only the ability to make small games with a few randomized topic options, you have to do your best to balance out design and technology to make the best games as possible so you can move up in the video game world.

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The point is to move up in the gaming world and become the best video game company ever. That’s all there is to it. The points and money only add up to give you stats and points at the end for a high score. While you can keep playing the game after it “ends” in 35 in-game years, there’s still a way to lose. Sometimes the market doesn’t go your way and you can go bankrupt. So be careful your business doesn’t go up in flames!

replay-value

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With the random events and beginning topics, Game Dev Tycoon has some great replay ability. The luck of the draw definitely keeps the game interesting, and with its addictive gameplay, you’re always trying to improve your games and overall high score. Year 35 is a good time for the game to “end,” for at that point we found ourselves to be so successful with fans and profits, that the quality of our games didn’t matter as much when it came to sales. At that point, I was ready to jump right into a new game and just keep going!

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The game topics such as virtual pet, mystery games, and more are random when you first start. So there’s never a playthrough that’ll be the same. This is definitely something I’ll play again soon.

Game Dev Tycoon gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Monday Memories: Warhammer

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Today we’re taking a stroll down Memory Lane. I was digging through some old school stuff the other day, finding some things that reminded me of one of my favorite college courses.

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Back when I was in college, I took a sci-fi and fantasy course as an English elective. It was probably one of my favorite classes, considering homework assignments included watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and we spent a class or two discussing the differences between the book’s and movie’s ending of the Watchmen. During about of month of classes, we focused on video games and their place in society. To go along with this theme, we played the MMORPG Warhammer.

At that time, I was fairly new to MMORPGs. Really, the only one I had played was City of Heroes, and it was mostly solo missions. Meeting the rest of the class in one of the study rooms of the library and loading up the game from the computer folder “Math Homework,” (so other students in the school wouldn’t find the game, of course) was a treat. We created our characters and explored the world either together or in groups, and our homework assignment consisted of playing with our characters enough to write up some fantasy diary entries or short stories.

While playing a session, we were told to create “dark” characters rather than heroes, and I was finding it absurd how little clothing the female dark elf I was being had on. The so-called armor was little more than a bikini and I lamented about it to the classmate I was playing with. “Andrew” was creating his own character and waiting for mine to materialize in the world, saying, “Eh, I’m sure it’s fine.”

As soon as my character appeared, his character — dressed fairly normal for a starting character — turned to look at mine and I just heard him say, “Wow… you’re really not wearing anything… But that’s okay, I won’t tell! Let’s go this way!” Cue my scantily-clad character running after his as he loped through the beach-like setting we were in.

In another session, my character was killed by a boar due to another player antagonizing it and the creature believing I was with him by proximity. This other player — who wasn’t in my class, mind you — continued to show up randomly throughout the session and I tended to get into trouble due to his antics.

Yet another session included someone — again, not in my class — following my character around and asking if I was really a girl. Pretty sure I ignored him until the previously-mentioned player appeared in the area and I ended up poisoned somehow.

While playing this game, we had one of my favorite writing assignments. We were told to put ourselves in our character’s shoes, writing diary entries or a short adventure story based on our play-through. Considering how much I enjoy writing, especially pieces that are inspired by the fantasy worlds of video games, this was right up my alley.

We didn’t play Warhammer for very long, but they were still a great couple of weeks. I didn’t play much of it on my own, and the online game itself has been shut down since 2013. It gave me a great taste of MMORPGs, aside from City of Heroes, giving me a new way to play video games. Considering how many online games there are now — PUBG, Fortnite, Overwatch, Star Wars, to name just a small few — playing MMORPGs more is something that is still on my bucket list.

Did you ever play Warhammer? Any other MMORPGs that you want to recommend?

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Unravel Two Is Not Coming To Nintendo Switch

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

E3 2018 is almost over. It’s been a wild ride.

Nintendo will have their conference later today though there’s one game they won’t be announcing.

Unravel Two is not coming to Nintendo Switch | Gaming News | E3 2018 | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Unravel Two was announced at EA’s press conference on Saturday, June 9th. It looks like a great game – fun and inclusive co-op, a pretty design, and overall cute.

I’ll be honest, I have never even heard of Unravel before. I didn’t realize it was a thing, so now that they’ve announced the sequel, I want to get the first one and play both.

Kris and I of course have a Nintendo Switch and XBox One, but we prefer the Switch. When they announced Unravel Two for PC, Playstation, and Xbox, I figured it would come to the Nintendo Switch later. But it’s not.

According to My Nintendo News, Unravel Two will not be coming to the Nintendo Switch. It’s too big of a game to port over with such a small team to work on it. It’d be too much. They would love to, but it’s just not an option right now.

Maybe someday, but in the meantime I’ll settle for PC and Xbox. We need more games to play on our Xbox One anyway.

Will you be getting Unravel Two? If so, on what platform? Let me know in the comments below!

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[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.

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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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