Flashback Friday: Fire Emblem

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

These past few months have been spent trying to find comfort with some favorite games, both old and new alike. While I haven’t found Animal Crossing New Horizons to be too bad so far, I’m finding myself drawn right back to some old favorites.

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When Super Smash Bros. Melee first became a thing, there were a couple of Japanese-speaking characters that rose in popularity. Marth was a favorite fighter of mine and Roy was Rachel’s, with me favoring the speedier characters and Rachel enjoying the stronger attacks Roy had (and fire). Meeting these characters in Melee made me interested enough to find our more about the games they came from.

Fire Emblem was a series that used to be only available in Japan because of the difficulty level. Being a grid- and turn-based strategy game that pit two armies created with characters of various fantasy classes that included permanent death for fallen units, it wasn’t a series that I would have picked up myself had I not been intrigued by Marth and Roy. Sacred Stones was my first Fire Emblem game — I distinctly remember finding it amid Toys R’ Us’s much smaller video game section at the time — and it hooked me onto the series.

I was still interested in playing the installments that touched upon Roy’s and Marth’s history, but considering not many of the Fire Emblem games had been localized in the west, Sacred Stones was my best option at the time. The game simply titled Fire Emblem in North America existed, of course, but it was a difficult game to find.

Against all odds, my parents found a used copy of Fire Emblem but, unfortunately, the game’s internal battery was dead, not allowing me to save any of my progress. Years later, the game became available on the Wii U’s virtual console and I had restarted the game while waiting until Rachel and I could get a Nintendo Switch. It was great to go back to the game, but once we did get a Switch about a month later, I forgot about it.

My love affair with the Fire Emblem series has not waned, especially with me still putting hours into Three Houses. Considering how much I enjoy the series, I’ve realized that there are a couple of Fire Emblem games — aside from Three Houses — that I still need to finish. It may be time to turn my Wii U on again and finally finish Fire Emblem.

Have you played Fire Emblem? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Rune Factory 4 NPC Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Rune Factory 4 Special Edition was released for the Nintendo Switch a couple of months ago. I have the game for the 3DS and I enjoyed it enough to justify buying it again for the Switch. It was great to re-meet some of the colorful characters in the game! This Friday Favorites is dedicated to my favorite NPCs in the game.

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Illuminata

I adore Illuminata’s design! I want her hat. Aside from her design, she has a fun personality. Running the flower shop as her day job but being a detective at heart, her mind is always on the move. I always found it fun to run around with her trying to solve nonexistent cases, especially when she refers to your character as her “Watson.”

Bado

Bado amuses the hell out of me. The resident blacksmith, he looks like one of the strongest guys around, but he’s also one of the laziest. There is plenty of evidence that proves he would go out of his way to give anyone a hand that needs it, but it was always a bonus if he could make an easy paycheck.

Blossom

I always seem to have a soft spot for the older characters of games (like Evelyn in Stardew Valley and Wendy Oldbag in the Ace Attorney games). Blossom is no exception. The sweet old lady makes the town feel just a little more homey, and I enjoy her relationship with Doug, especially when she scolds him for his recklessness when she used to be just as reckless!

Volkanon

Butler characters are always cool. Alfred Pennyworth, anyway? Volkanon is an excellent butler, being an expert in all sorts of areas, while never being afraid to show a more tender side to those he cares about, complete with manly tears.

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Friday Favorites: Fighting-Type Pokemon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Considering how some of my favorite types of attacks in Pokemon are more physical than special, it’s a bit of a wonder why I don’t think of Fighting-types more often. Nevertheless, I do have a few favorites!

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Lucario

Probably one of the first Fighting-type Pokemon that I included on one of my main teams, Lucario was a great asset. Perhaps he’s a bit overused, but I enjoyed having the Pokemon on my team.

Gallade

Gallade’s design is awesome — especially his Mega evolution design — and I enjoy the dual psychic and fighting typing Gallade has. It was a challenge to balance out his attacks to accommodate both types, but I always had fun with both him and my Gardevoir in double battles.

Chesnaught

I always pick the grass starter in Pokemon games, and X and Y were no exceptions. Chespin and its evolutions were, probably, the least popular design-wise when it came to the starters, but I was pleased with Chesnaught and its power.

Clobbopus

This little Pokemon made me laugh when I first saw it. Considering it investigates stuff by punching them and it has the intelligence level of a toddler, the very existence of Clobbopus makes my day.

Falinks

I didn’t know what the heck this thing was when I first saw it, but when I was able to battle it, I was quite amused at the Pokemon’s little individual units marching together. Its signature move — No Retreat — is pretty cool, too. Aside from raising all of its stats, it’s reminiscent of a desperate last stand in a battle. Never give up, never surrender!

What are your favorite Fighting-type Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Bug-Type Pokemon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Bug-type Pokemon are few and far in between on my teams throughout the eight generations of the series. However, the Galar region did reignite my interest in this type!

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Ninjask

When I discovered Ninjask in the third Pokemon generation, I pretty much added it to my team because it was classified as the “ninja Pokemon.” It’s high speed stat quickly made it one of my favorites on the team, and I’ve always found it interesting how unique it’s evolution method was to receive Shedinja.

Joltik

Who doesn’t love this adorable, tiny Pokemon? It’s evolution can definitely be scary, but a Joltik is a cute addition to your team, not to mention the electric moves it can learn to bolster your team’s special moves.

Araquanid

Dewpider, the pre-evolution, was adorable and despite how I would probably avoid Araquanid Pokemon at all costs if I ever encountered one in real life, my Araquanid in my Moon game was a fantastic teammate. Its bug typing negated some of the weaknesses of a typical water type Pokemon, and vice-versa, making the Pokemon fairly versatile.

Orbeetle

A little Blipbug was one of my first encounters in Pokemon Sword and it became one of my best team members, especially when it fully evolved into Orbeetle. The dual psychic and bug type Pokemon, Orbeetle was one of my strongest battlers during the endgame.

Frosmoth

This Pokemon is so pretty! It’s one of my favorite designed Pokemon from the Galar region, and its pre-evolution Snom has developed quite the fan following. Frosmoth is a late addition to the Sword and Shield games, but it was fun and challenging raising one at that point.

What are your favorite Bug-type Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Games of the Decade

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m looking back on some of my favorite games that I’ve played these past ten years and I can’t believe how many gems I’ve found. It was difficult to narrow these lists down!

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Considering it’s 2020, the first year of the new decade, and we were challenged to figure out what our overall Game of the Decade was when Rachel and I joined Jett from In Third Person on his Twitch show Boss Rush this past Wednesday.

This homework was hard.

Nevertheless, I was able to create a list of my top games from the years 2010 to 2019. These are listed by the year rather than a ranking system, and this is all my personal opinion.

2010: Pokemon Heartgold/Soulsilver

Heartgold and Soulsilver were a couple of fantastic remakes for the original second generation of Pokemon. Considering the Crystal version was one of my favorite installments of the franchise, I was pleased with the way the remakes were handled. Updated graphics, music, and the fact that Pokemon could follow you around were all wonderful aspects of these games! (Honorable mention – Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)

2011: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

While the motion controls can be hit or miss, Skyward Sword was such a fun adventure with some of the brightest graphics I’ve ever seen at that point for a Legend of Zelda game. The world itself was a bit linear, but I enjoyed the areas that we did explore. My favorite part of the game, though, had to be the characters themselves. Zelda and Link, Fi, Ghirahim, Impa, and even Groose all had awesome designs and character development throughout the game.

2012: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon was a series that I always enjoyed, but more so the older installments than the newest ones. A New Beginning was a happy medium for me. Allowing me to build up and create both the farm and the town was a fun project and it was always satisfying to meet the requirements needed for certain buildings. I enjoyed the graphics as well, and the online features worked great when there was enough people playing the game.

2013: Fire Emblem: Awakening

If you know me at all from this blog, you’ll know that the Fire Emblem series is a love of mine, particularly Awakening. It reignited my passion for the franchise, with the characters and story line, even if some of them were a bit more cliche than unique. I loved customizing the avatar, especially since they had more of a personality, and pairing up the characters is always a guilty pleasure of mine. (Honorable mention – Pokemon X/Y)

2014: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Ace Attorney series is near and dear to me, and I was always curious about the Professor Layton games, hearing that they involved crimes to solve as well but with little puzzles dotting the story here and there. When this crossover game came out, we seized the chance to be introduced to Professor Layton and were not disappointed. The mesh of two casts worked well and the story was well done! (Honorable mentions – Tomodachi Life, Sims 4)

2015: Undertale

This game took the world by storm with its unique characters, metafictional elements of storytelling, and near perfect scores by critics. It was unlike anything I’ve ever played before, an RPG where you didn’t have to harm anyone. The success story of the creator Toby Fox is amazing and inspiring to anyone who knows his name. That, and the music is some of the best!

2016: Stardew Valley

This game, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is everything that I wish the newer Harvest Moon games are. The premise is simply to raise a successful farm, try to improve the community, and become friends with the townsfolk. Without any gender locks when it came to relationships as well, it’s a big step for LGBT+ representation as well. It’s an easy game to get into, put down, and then pick right back up again. Considering how well it’s been kept up to date with content and features, it’s no surprise that this game is on many people’s top games of the decade lists. (Honorable mentions – Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Death Road to Canada)

2017: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This game was my choice for my personal Game of the Decade. It was a tough choice, I’ll admit, but the Legend of Zelda franchise has always been near and dear to my heart. This series helped introduce me to video games, after all. Breath of the Wild was such a fresh and gorgeous take on the franchise. The graphics were beautiful, the exploration and world was fantastic, and I adored all the nods to previous entries in the franchise, with familiar areas, snippets of dialogue, and the memories. I’m so excited for Breath of the Wild 2! (Honorable mention – Miitopia)

2018: Octopath Traveler

I was in love with this game from the moment I saw the first trailer. The art style — reminiscent of a pixel-like pop-up book — was beautiful to me, and the music has turned into one of my favorite soundtracks. The battle system was fun and the character classes in this RPG were great to explore and grow. While I enjoyed the characters, I do wish they were given just a little more depth and interaction with one another. Still, Octopath Traveler was a great game to dive into and lose yourself in the world. (Honorable mentions – Deltarune, Gris)

2019: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This was probably one of the most difficult years of gaming for me to narrow down my played list and choose just one game. However, after mulling it all over for a while, I finally decided on Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Considering I was lukewarm about Echoes and Fates, and I was a little perplexed about the school setting of Three Houses, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this game. My main critique for this game is that there was no “golden ending;” I want to protect all of the students! And I totally never trusted the church. This game was one of my runner-ups for Game of the Decade. (Honorable mentions – Arcade Spirits, Pokemon Sword and Shield)

What were your top games of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Golden Sun

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

The year is three-quarters over, and there are about ninety days left until Christmas. Isn’t that crazy?

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Golden Sun is a game that I need to play again. I never actually owned it, but I remember a friend lending it to me sometime in sixth grade. She scolded me at one point when I told her where I was in the story and what level I was at. Apparently I wasn’t keeping up with my characters’ levels while advancing the story!

This game was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, and the RPG was critically acclaimed, getting almost perfect reviews. It was traditional for the genre in which the players controlled four characters in a party and traveled throughout a fantasy land as they advance the story. Like most RPGs, there is a magic system, with Golden Sun’s magic being based on the classical elements. The magic is called Psynergy and wielders are Adepts. However, the magic that is involved in the game is also used outside of battle for solving puzzles. Instead of playing completely linear, players are allowed to return to previous locations to solve puzzles they couldn’t before after unlocking the magic needed to do so.

Golden Sun also employed little creatures called Djinn. Djinn are found in the world and can be set to a character, helping with the character’s magic and class, among other attributes. Djinn have their own elements and can be mixed and matched when put with a character, offering a wide variety of spells and effects for battles.

I honestly don’t remember too much of this game, but I do remember that I enjoyed the game enough to ask for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn when that had been released for the Nintendo DS back in 2010. With that said, I haven’t played too much of Dark Dawn. Perhaps I should rectify that…

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Zelda Games I Need To Play

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Going through our list of video games and keeping an eye out on our release date calendar, I’m acutely reminded that there are so many video games and so little time to enjoy them all. Despite the Legend of Zelda franchise being one of my favorites, there are quite a few games that I haven’t played through.

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Cadence of Hyrule

While this may be considered old news, it’s still a game on our radar to play. I’ll admit, I’m not that great with rhythm games but the fact that there is a Legend of Zelda twist to this game made me curious about it. I haven’t heard anything bad about the game (not yet, anyway) so it’s on the list to try.

Link’s Awakening

Yes, I know, the remake is coming out in a week and we already have it on pre-order thanks to Rachel’s birthday from the beginning of the month, so no worries there. With that said, this doesn’t hold as much nostalgia for me as it does for others, despite the fact that I have the Gameboy game. Link’s Awakening on the Nintendo Switch will essentially be my first playthrough through that world!

A Link Between Worlds

Ah, yeah, I haven’t played this one yet either. I’ve had the game since it came out, but I prefer the Legend of Zelda games on the consoles to the ones on the handhelds. Unfortunately, Link Between Worlds wasn’t a priority on my list, despite all of the rave reviews for it. I’ll rectify that mistake at some point.

Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons

 It’s been quite a while since I’ve played these games, mostly due to the fact that they were for the Gameboy Color and my Gameboy has been lost since our basement flooded eons ago. I remember enjoying the two games, even getting decently far in Oracle of Ages, but I didn’t play enough to beat the games. If I could find a decent emulator for the games — or, better yet, a working Gameboy — I would love to give these two titles another try.

Are there any Legend of Zelda games still on your to-play list? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: Three Houses Students

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Golden Deer are my children. I will admit that I have yet to try out game files with the other houses since I am so invested in the Golden Deer and their stories. However, I love exploring the monastery during free days to talk to everyone, regardless of house. Excluding the house leaders — because Claude would probably win by a landslide, and I feel I cannot properly invest in Edelgard and Dimitri without playing their routes — here is a list of some of my favorite Three Houses students so far.

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Ashe

This kid is adorable. Despite him not starting off in my house, I got invested in his background and story due to one of the earlier chapters before the time-skip. He was the first student I invited to join me on a mission and the first I recruited into Golden Deer after figuring out the logistics of it. His gentle and amusing supports with other students, like Marianne and Caspar, were fun to read and listen to, and I’m enjoying his perseverance despite his background.

Caspar

I just laugh out loud from this kid. His zeal for justice is admirable but the fact that he’s willing to throw down with whoever is in his way or causing trouble amuses the hell out of me. I loved his second support conversation with Hilda, him trying to avoid a fight before deciding, “Nope,” and diving in. That, and he’s a pretty decent unit if you train him enough.

Lysithea

Admittedly, at first I was a touch annoyed at how her attitude was always on the defensive side with everyone “treating her like a child.” However, reading some of her supports with other characters opened her up in ways I was not expecting, and I admire her tenacity for bettering herself with whatever time she has left in the world. She’s also a beast with her magic in battles!

Ignatz

Archers have always been some of my favorite units (hence, Claude and one of the main reasons why I picked Golden Deer) and Ignatz was such a shy deer dear that he soon became one of my favorites. His hobby of art and his friendship with the others in Golden Deer make me feel warm and fuzzy, and I’m proud of how more confident he is after the time-skip. He’s also a kick-ass assassin in my army.

Who are some of your favorite students from Fire Emblem: Three Houses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Tomodachi Life

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Guys, June is pretty much over. The year is half over. How have you all been doing? We’ve been going through our older games, figuring out games to return to amid all of the new releases that have been coming out lately.

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Tomodachi Life was a game that I was a bit skeptical of when I first heard about it. It sounded so silly but I was looking forward to it nonetheless. Anything else that we could do with the Miis was amusing to me.

Tomodachi Life came out for the 3DS in Japan in April 2013 and in 2014 for the rest of the world. It’s a simulation game where one has an island of Miis that can interact with each other. It’s not a gameplay-heavy game. Rather, you move various Miis onto the island where their personalities influence the activities they do, such as eating, collecting outfits, and developing relationships — both platonic and romantic — with each other. It had positive reviews, inspiring the mobile app Miitomo and, a few years later, Miitopia.

It’s actually a fun little game that I need to return to and see what my Miis are up to. I’m pretty sure my “look-alike” Mii is married and has kids. I’ve been thinking about the game lately, mainly because I’ve returned to Miitopia.

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Link’s Awakening

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Can you believe that E3 is right around the corner? I’m looking forward to the many new games that are waiting to be announced or for new information to be shown on games that we already know are coming… such as a certain remake of a beloved Legend of Zelda game!

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Hailed as one of the best video games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was released in 1993 for the Game Boy and re-released in 1998 for the Game Boy Color. The game itself is unique in that it’s one of the few Legend of Zelda games that does not take place in Hyrule or feature Princess Zelda and the Triforce relic.

Admittedly, I never finished the game. It didn’t appeal to me the way Ocarina of Time did, being all 3D and on the big television screen. I tend to enjoy the console Legend of Zelda games more so than the handheld games. I enjoyed the game play and the little nods to the Mario franchise, with the Chain Chomp and the Yoshi doll, but Younger Kris was more interested in other games at that time.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the Switch release of the game. Considering how little I’ve played of the original, this will be like a new Legend of Zelda game for me!

Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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