Press “A” to Jump

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s President’s Day here in the US and where I’m from, we got the day off! I hope everyone else is having a lovely Monday and that you’re enjoying it!

Having time off of the day job on a winter’s day is a good excuse to curl up with a new video game… After you get past the tutorial, of course.

Many video games have tutorials for the players to push through before they can dive into the main story line, if not some very simple first levels so the player can get used to the controls. Tutorials are important in that they help introduce the game world to the players, and I definitely appreciate them whenever I turn on a new game.

people-who-skip-the-video-game-tutorials-when-playing-a-game-for-the-first-timeHowever, there are definitely games where I wish I could skip the tutorials. For instance, I’ve been playing the Pokemon franchise since Red, Blue, and Yellow two decades ago. Pretty sure I’ve figured out how to catch a Pokemon by now.

Of course, there are franchises where a tutorial is a nice refresher, such as the simple instructions at the beginning of the Legend of Zelda games when the franchise continues on the newer consoles. The controls may be different from the Wii to the Switch, so a short interlude on how to swing a sword isn’t bad once in a while.

Whenever games offer a tutorial, I tend to play it, especially if it gifts the player with experience or bonus items. Yet, I do wish  more were able to be skipped, especially on favorite games that I find myself playing over and over. Super Mario RPG and its spiritual successors in the Paper Mario line do this with the timed hits and action command tutorials, allowing the players the choice of whether or not they wanted to go through the tutorial.

What about you? Do you enjoy tutorials or just wish to be dropped into the game to figure out the mechanics for yourself? Any franchises that you think work better with or without tutorials?

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Flashback Friday: Mario Party

Double Jump Kris Mii Hey everyone, Kris here!

Today’s Flashback Friday is a game series that started way back on the Nintendo 64 and has reached out to the Wii U. Played with the right people, it’s right up there with ruining friendships like Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers.


Mario Party is a franchise that has been running since the end of 1998 with the latest installment having been Mario Party 10 and released in 2015. That’s about seventeen years of this party game!

With characters from the Super Mario franchise, players and computer characters roll dice blocks to move around an interactive board with mini games being played in between turns for coins. With these coins, the players buy stars and whoever has the most stars (and, in the case of a tie, coins) by the end of the game wins. The game uses luck regarding the dice block and some of the mini games, with strategy and skill coming in with the use of items (after they were introduced in the series) and, again, the mini games.

The franchise has gotten decent reviews, although most fans have seem to be disappointed with the direction it is going in regards to the ninth and tenth installments. Instead of every player traveling the board on their own, all the players travel around in a car, and the mini games seem to happen less frequently. It’s almost entirely based on luck as to who ends up with the most mini stars at the end of the game, not making it satisfying to actually win against the computer characters.

Most of the games in the series, however, are tons of fun, especially with other people. Working together or against each other, Rachel and I have great times playing these games whether it’s just the two of us or there are others to play with.

Have you played the Mario Party games? Do you have a favorite or a least favorite?

Friday Favorites: Adaptations

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for Friday!

Rachel and I have been watching some throwback old-school movies and television shows lately, namely the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It got me thinking about some the video games based on the shows, and what other video games we had that were adapted from movies, books, and television. Adaptations are generally known as bad, considering they’re usually just used to milk the cash cow of the franchise, but there are some that can still be fun.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I have this game for the GameCube and it was as close to being able to go to Hogwarts myself as Pottermore is for fans in the present. It was amazing controlling Harry Potter around in the wizarding world, even if the controls were a bit weird.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up

Okay, so this is basically Super Smash Brothers with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle characters instead of the huge roster of Nintendo characters. Still, it was enjoyable for a ninja turtle nerd like myself. There are also plenty of adventure and arcade-style TMNT games out there, with a new one slated for this summer, that Rachel and I have enjoyed over the years.

Lego The Hobbit

Rachel and I are hysterical while we play this game. First off was the fact that we couldn’t figure out the controls. Secondly, the objectives weren’t as obvious to us as they may be to other players. Still, it was a lot of fun, both for the familiar, amazing story and characters, and just the fact that it was great running around as lego people.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

I personally haven’t played this one (yet), but Rachel has. I was always impressed with the graphics, storyline, and gameplay. It’s definitely on my list to play, and judging by Rachel’s opinion of the game, I’m sure it won’t disappoint!

What do you think of video game adaptations?