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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Friday Favorites: D&D Classes

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

It’s no secret that my favorite kind of characters in video games, especially RPGs, are those that focus on speed and stealth. When Rachel and I played our first Dungeons & Dragons sessions with some friends, I was immediately drawn to the pre-made rogue character and had a grand old time rolling the dice to see what kind of loot I could lift from NPCs. We’ve made our own characters since then and there were several other classes I wanted to try.

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Ranger

Ranger is actually the class that I went with when we all began creating our own characters. I found the idea of having proficiency in animal handling and the possibility of having an animal companion down the line to be wonderful motivators. Bow and arrows have always been a fun weapon in video games to me as well, so to translate that into a Dungeons & Dragons character was another good point.

Cleric

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been one to play any kind of healing character. I’d rather be a character who is on the front lines or able to sneak up and stab the enemies. Yet, the idea of being a cranky cleric has crossed my mind more than once. Perhaps one who is quite aware that they are the ones who decides who lives and who dies when it comes to healing.

Paladin

Whenever I play video games, it’s to be the hero, to help save the world. The paladin class sounds the closest to the ideal “hero” archetype, with strong attacks and being able to heal as well.

Bard

The power of music is amazing, and bards are there to make sure you don’t forget it. One of our friends plays bard characters in our campaigns, and she enjoys belting out songs while performing her characters’ actions. My favorite was when her character was being a distraction for some guards while the rest of us almost got our asses kicked by monsters in another room.

What are your favorite classes from Dungeons & Dragons? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Sonic Battle

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Hey, guys, with the end of March, 2019 is a quarter of the way over. Isn’t that kind of scary to think about? 

Kris_Post_FlashSonicBattle

Sonic the Hedgehog has an interesting reputation. The majority of people believe his earlier games are the best examples of the speedy hedgehog, but his later games seemed to do well enough for them to keep on coming. I was always a fan of the character, even if his games weren’t the best quality, and one of my favorite games that featured Sonic was Sonic Battle for the Gameboy Advance. Considering Sonic is known for his super speed, a fighting game starring the character was a bit unorthodox, but I found it fun.

Sonic Battle was released in Japan at the end of 2003 and North America and Europe at the beginning of 2004. It got mostly mixed reviews, with most of its fighting and arena aspects being praised but its story and some mechanics being criticized. The battles themselves were fought in 3D stages, each with their own design, while the characters themselves were 2D, reminding me briefly of the graphics in the Paper Mario series.

There were a plethora of characters, each with their own standard attacks and combos, as well as heavy attacks, air attacks, upper attacks, and aim attacks. Sonic’s attacks relied mostly on speed, Shadow had the use of Chaos Control in his combos, Knuckles was one of the heavier hitters, etc. One character, Emerl, is the most unique in the game. As an ancient Gizoid, Emerl has the ability to copy attacks from the other characters after engaging them in a fight. These attacks are represented as cards and the player can build a custom move-set for Emerl to use throughout the story. It gave the game some replayability, even with the linear storyline.

Still, it was fun. It had the characters I cared about in a light that wasn’t seen too often. Sonic Battle is one of the few Gameboy Advance games that, even to this day, I would play casually when given the chance.

Have you played Sonic Battle? What did you think of it?

Save the date! We’re doing a special Twitch Stream to celebrate the Nintendo Switch! You can learn more about it here.

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Friday Favorites: Sword & Shield Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Like a couple of weeks ago, this Friday’s Favorites post is dedicated to a wish list. With Nintendo’s latest Pokemon direct, there is so much speculation and hope about the newest Pokemon games coming out, Sword and Shield. Here is what I wish to see in the games.

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True Co-Op

I have no idea how plausible this is. However, when the Let’s Go duo was released and boasted a co-op mode, Rachel and I were disappointed at it. Granted, it was fun seeing another trainer run around with you in the over world and help out with battles, but it wasn’t what we expected or wanted. I would love to see a co-op mode where your trainer is exploring and battling on their own, but your friend’s trainer is still there in the over world doing their own thing as well. I want to experience the journey with my friend’s avatar there beside mine, even if all we get is just seeing the other avatar running around. Of course, granting us the option to do double-battles together, each with our own Pokemon, against NPCs would be awesome. We’re able to go online with Smash and Mario Kart together — why not Pokemon? (Or would this be too close to a Pokemon MMORPG?)

Pokemon Following the MC

I don’t remember seeing Pokemon following the main characters around in Sword and Shield’s footage from the direct. I understand that not all the footage was from the game and the game itself wouldn’t be finalized just yet, so I’m remaining optimistic that they keep the option of having your Pokemon follow you around as you explore the region. It was adorable, fun, and since random battles seem to be back rather than over world Pokemon, it’ll help the game seem more alive.

A Good Story

I want to be completely invested in the plot line of Sword and Shield’s adventure. I’m sure it’ll boil down to the world needs to be saved by your young MC, but still. Give me a story to truly care about. I adored the story lines involving the regions’ legendaries in the earlier generations, especially Johto and Hoenn, and I severely miss the extra oomph that the stories received in the third-tier games. Speaking of which…

A Third Game

This is obviously a long way off, but I would love it if Nintendo went back to bolstering the story lines of the games with a third game for the region. Crystal and Emerald were some of my favorites and I was seriously disappointed that Black 2 and White 2 existed instead of Pokemon Gray for the Unova region. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon didn’t bring much of anything new to the Alola region, and poor Kalos was skipped out entirely when a plot line involving Zygarde could have been created to balance out X and Y. I’m hoping Sword and Shield will break the trend of “sequel” games for the Galar region and give us a more in-depth story with a third Galar game.

Are you looking forward to Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield? What are you hoping for in the new Pokemon generation? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Friday Favorites: N64 Games I Wish I Played

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

The Nintendo 64 was a highlight of my early gaming years, but thinking back on it… I didn’t play too many Nintendo 64 games. Rather, the GameCube is our largest collection of physical games. This week’s Friday Favorites is dedicated to the Nintendo 64 games I wish I had tried as a kid.

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Harvest Moon 64

I didn’t get into the Harvest Moon franchise until an old friend gifted me with Friends of Mineral Town for my birthday one year. I wonder how I would feel about the franchise had I started with Harvest Moon 64, a game that I’ve heard is a favorite in the community.

Star Fox 64

My first introduction to Fox McCloud was in Super Smash Bros. I had no idea who he was and, even then, I didn’t really think to look up any other N64 games that he could have been in. After Smash Bros., my first taste of Star Fox was Star Fox Adventures for the GameCube which, apparently, is a bit of a departure from the normal formula of a Star Fox game. It would have been great to give the N64 Star Fox a try!

Donkey Kong 64

Technically, I believe we have this game cartridge, although I’m fairly certain we “borrowed” it from family or a family friend and never returned it. I don’t remember playing much of this game, just a few levels here and there while at another’s house, but the idea of the game intrigued me. That, and the theme song was just so damn catchy.

Any Nintendo 64 games you wish you had gotten the chance to try? Are you amused like I am that these games all have 64 in the title? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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