Breath Of The Wild Gushing

Breath of the Wild Game Review

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This is more of an informal review because everyone and their dog has already reviewed Breath of the Wild. And, while we’ve done a lot of praising for the game because it is phenomenal, we haven’t yet gushed about the ending of the story. Considering we just recently beat it, we can finally do just that!

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We took our time getting to the end of the main story because there was just so much to do in the game. We wanted to complete and beat everything, not just Ganon. The open world was amazing, but it made me feel like we had no attention span at all. We’d be doing one thing and then get distracted by something shiny and new on the way there. It was easy to get off track. Our to-do list kept growing and it was great.

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After finding the memories and unlocking the key elements of the story, we needed to find and complete all the shrines before going after Calamity Ganon. We’re not those kind of speed-runners who were able to rush to the final boss of the story immediately after waking up from the Shrine of Resurrection! Considering I can be a bit reckless at times with exploring, I needed to gather all of the stamina and hearts I could from the spirit orbs.

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Though… I do want to try barging into the castle right away next time we play. I think that would be interesting. But yeah, we wanted to get everything. The memories, all the orbs from the 120 shrines, and I also wanted to collect all the clothes, upgrade all the clothes, and complete all the side quests and such. It got to the point where we were so eager to just battle Ganon, that we just did it.

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We have about 20 side quests left to do, along with finding and upgrading the rest of the clothes. Hyrule Castle was amazing to explore, though! I adored all the areas that we could barge into, from the Library to Zelda’s Room to the Lockup area. All of the attention to detail just gave me so many feelings of nostalgia, excitement, and adventure!

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Yes! The castle was definitely my favorite part. We didn’t get to explore it all though. We somehow found ourselves outside the room where Ganon was waiting and ended up just going for it. So we have to finish exploring the castle among getting and upgrading the clothes and finishing the side quests. Other than that, we’ve done all we can in the game. What was your favorite part, Kris?

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Oh, yes, there’s definitely more to see in the castle! We seemed to stick more to the west side while climbing up to where Calamity Ganon was waiting. Wait, I have to pick a favorite part of the whole game? The final boss battle — with the Champions cut scene and Zelda finally appearing — was amazing, even if it did take only about twenty minutes to complete. I spent much more time wandering around and getting lost in the Divine Beasts. I just adored the open world and all the nods to previous games in the Zelda franchise. Taming a horse and wandering around while it took the lead while I enjoyed the scenery was fantastic. What about you?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The final battle and the cutscene before it was fantastic! It really made you feel something for the characters and the whole atmosphere of the game. It was epic. I certainly loved tracking down all the memories. I loved piecing the story together and it was fun to explore the world. It was like a big scavenger hunt. I also loved hunting down all the shrines as well. At the beginning of the game, they seem to be all over the place, but towards the end we really had to keep our eye out for them and solve puzzles to find the hidden ones.

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It was really satisfying to see the end of the story after finding all of the memories and speaking to those who remembered what had happened 100 years ago. Rachel and I sat Link outside of the castle and rewatched the memories in order to get a really good feel as to the events that lead up to that moment. It was breathtaking to see the Champions all band together one last time to help defeat Calamity Ganon! Now we need to beat the game in Hard Mode!

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We need to “beat” the game by getting one divine beast, two divine beasts, three, and none as well. Apparently there are alternate endings. We must get them all! The game is “over,” but there’s still so much to do!

Breath of the Wild gets…
10 out of 5 lives.

Soooo, what did you think? Were you satisfied with the ending of the story? Let us know in the comments! 

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36 Fragments Of Midnight [Game Review]

36 Fragments of Midnight game review

Title: 36 Fragments of Midnight
Developer: Ratalaika Games | Petite Games 
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
September 14, 2017 (for Switch) 
How we got the game: 
We won a free review code from Miketendo64

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This game was cute and engaging. There wasn’t much to it, allowing us to easily just hit the start button and start playing.

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It was certainly not at all what I was expecting. But it was charming and we had a lot of fun with it!

gameplay

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36 Fragments of Midnight is a simple game to just pick up and play. As a little square of light, you explore various areas of a large map to retrieve star fragments. With the analog stick, you move left or right and the A button allows you to jump and double jump.

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It’s that simple and that hard. As you collect the star fragments, you have to dodge spikes, saw blades, and lasers. Sometimes dodging those things are as simple as just waiting for them to pass by or you have to do a quick double jump as the fragments happen to be right on top of a saw blade.

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The map itself consists of several levels, with you hopping up or gentle falling from area to area. Each section of the map contains a star fragment and an obstacle or two in an attempt to prevent you from reaching it. The areas themselves change where they are on the map each time you load the game, providing you with a fresh challenge every time you hit start.

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I found the map to be pretty cool. I wanted so badly to zoom out and look at it overall, but then that would have defeated the purpose. The puzzles were simple and quick, but it was enough to keep up going and playing.

graphics-music

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The graphics were probably one of my favorite parts of the game. It was sleek and clean, with your character and the star fragments being the brightest aspects of the game. The background was darkening night, allowing shadows to aid the traps and tricks in providing you with a challenge around the puzzles.

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I found the background to be gorgeous. There was no map at all so you had to use the background as an indication of whether you were near the bottom of the map or near the top. It was snowing or something throughout the game, which added a certain ambiance to the gameplay. Midnight, the square of light, was cute and it was very satisfying watching a beam of light trail after you.

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There was more ambient sounds rather than music, which was fitting. The scene appeared to be a wintery evening, with howling winds being a prominent sound that you heard while playing the game. I would have liked to hear more of a tune or other ambient sounds to help round it out, but the winds did help to keep you focused rather than distracted when trying to time your double jumps over a spinning blade.
story

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There wasn’t much of a story to this game. At least, we don’t know what it is. Still, I’m intrigued. You, Midnight, is trying to retrieve the 36 star fragments that these black spike-ball-looking-demon-things lost. I want to know who they are, why they need the fragments, and… how they lost them in the first place. Then again, I could be overthinking things.

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Perhaps that’s also the writers in us, haha! What’s the point of this plot? Who are these characters? Were the black, spikey, fuzzballs even the friends that had lost the star fragments? We had believed they were enemies at first, trying not to touch them if possible. Short and simple, the story was for Midnight to retrieve the star fragments for, I presume, friends. That’s it. The puzzles and controls were engaging enough for us to play the game without a need for a deeper storyline.

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Yes, that’s true. It was a good enough game without a full story. The gameplay, music, and graphics were good enough to keep our attention as we tried to collect all the fragments in one go.

replay-value

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Being a quick game, one that players can beat in less than ten minutes if they wished to, 36 Fragments of Midnight has a little replay value in the fact that it is so quick and easy to pick up. That, and the puzzles and map vary each time you load the game, disallowing you from memorizing all the spots that the star fragments are.

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The puzzles are more or less the same, but they’re in different spots on the map. This is a fun, casual game to play anytime. Not to mention that once you beat the game, you’re going to want to play again to beat your time score.

36 Fragments of Midnight gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Miitopia Game Review

Miitopia game review

Title: Miitopia
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
July 2017 
How we got the game:
We downloaded it onto our own Nintendo New 2DS XLs. 

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Holy crap, this game is adorable! Designed to let you create whatever characters you want from Nintendo Miis and thrust them into classic and not-so-classic RPG roles on a fun adventure, Miitopia was enjoyable to play every time we turned the game on.

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This was certainly an addicting game! From the moment I started playing, I knew I was going to fall in love and not want to turn the game off.

gameplay

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The gameplay for Miitopia is simple, with you as the player being fairly passive when it comes to the game unfolding. You read along with the story and the word bubble dialogue of the characters when they spoke, along with controlling your main character in battle. The battles were a turn-based, classic RPG style where you would pick to attack with a basic, physical move or with a magic or skill move based on your character’s class. You could also choose to run from the battles or eat a snack to help improve your characters hit points or magic/skill points.

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This is the definition of a casual game. There’s a world map where you bounce from area to area. In each area you watch your team wander through until a random encounter happens: they talk to each other, they find a treasure chest, enemies arrive, etc. New areas and levels arrive as you finish each one so that you may progress through the game.

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While it was casual, there was the challenge of being sure your team grew, both in levels for fights and with their friendship status with each other. One of the most unique aspects of Miitopia was the relationship growth among the characters, where their relationship status could help or hinder the fights. As their affection for each other grows, allies will help one another out more in fights, from praising, showing concern, attacking together, or even taking hits from enemies for one another.

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However, when traveling together for such a long time, one can get on another’s nerves. Not to mention that some attacks can annoy your teammates. For example, you can use your teammate as a human cannon or feed them spicy food so that they’ll breathe fire on an enemy. This attacks can annoy your teammates, thus putting them into a “fight.” Instead of their friendship growing, they need to make up with one another first. This is helped by putting them into the same room at the inn.

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Having characters room at the inn raises their affection for one another, which is helpful in making them hug it out whenever they’re arguing! The inn serves as the main save point in the game, and Miitopia is rife with them — after every level, there is an inn for your Miis to comfortably stay. It’s also at the inn where you can see if a character wants a new weapon or outfit. If you can afford it, it’s best to shell out the cash so they can raise their offensive and defensive stats for the battles ahead.

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At the inn, you can also play “games” like rock, paper, scissors to win 500g or spin a roulette wheel where you can win a new outfit or weapon, food or extra experience points, a travel ticket (that helps two of your Miis gain friendship faster), or an HP banana or MP candy. However, these games are only available if you have game tickets. Those tickets go fast, but you can find them pretty easily throughout the game. In addition, you can also feed your Miis at inn with whatever food you find from defeating monsters. Each food helps increase either attack, speed, defense, magic, etc. However, if they don’t like it, it won’t boost it as much.

graphics-music

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The graphics were charming, using the Nintendo Miis as the characters to populate the world. The locations and field areas were designed to fit the mood of wherever you were on the map, with colors and shapes falling into the background in favor of watching your Mii characters travel along the predetermined road. Everything about the game was pleasing to my eye.

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I’m glad they made a game surrounded by your Miis, other than Tomodachi Life, but you actually play in Miitopia. The graphics were adorable and your Miis could make all sorts of expressions. The backgrounds were pretty and certainly fit each area whether you were in a desert, a forest, space, or a snowy area.

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The backgrounds were engaging enough to complete the scene, but they didn’t take away any focus from the characters themselves. The music accompanying the areas and battles were fitting, completing the mood without disrupting anything from the storyline. The final boss song, especially, was utterly amazing!

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The music was amazing throughout the whole game. This is definitely a soundtrack I would buy and listen to all the time. When first turning on the game, before officially “starting” the game, the menu screen sings a different song depending on where you are in the game. It can be cheerful or somber or omenous. It was certainly an interesting feature!

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I wouldn’t mind just sitting there and listening to the menu screen for a while, in all honesty. It’s just adorable gibberish, but it’s amusing and catchy!
story

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In Miitopia you begin as a simple traveler. It’s not until you run into monsters with odd faces that you realize something is amiss. You run to the nearest town and there you meet the Dark Lord. He’s stealing faces from others and putting them onto monsters to terrorize Miitopia. With the help of a spirit guardian, you get a “job” where you choose to be a mage, cleric, thief, warrior, pop star, or chef and take on the task of saving Miitopia.

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Every so often, another party member will join your team in your quest to take on the Dark Lord. Throughout this quest, you will meet many other characters in the hubs of Miitopia, and helping them will help you with your ultimate goal of defeating the Dark Lord. The story itself is broken into three parts, each more challenging than the last for your Mii characters, even if the basic concept is the same — your main character is your first Mii, party members will join throughout the story, and together you will defeat enemies to rescue the faces and the land of Miitopia.

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The ending of the story is quite epic, I must say. I won’t say anything for the sake of spoilers, but it was certainly a fitting ending, especially for a Nintendo game. Each character gets their moment to shine and you find out the true meaning behind the Dark Lord, which is a bittersweet tale. But I loved it.

replay-value

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Even after I defeated the main story line, I wanted to dive right back into the game to keep playing. There were more options for quests for your party, as well as plenty of extra room to include even more party members, allowing you to try out as many classes and team combinations as you want. The only downside that I could find was that there are no extra save files that I saw. Other than that, it’s a game that I can see myself picking up to play here or there again to coo over my Miis completing quests and growing friendships with one another.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This game was perfect. It wasn’t too long, but it wasn’t too short. It was satisfying to beat, yet I didn’t want it to end. However, it seems as though there are so many other things you can do in the game even after the main story. I’m looking forward to diving back into it to see what else I can do and what other characters I can make.

Miitopia 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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Pokemon Stadium Memories

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Title: Pokemon Stadium
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo 64
Release Date: 
February 29, 2000 – NA
How we got the game: 
We bought it

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Pokemon Stadium was revolutionary for us Pokemon fans back in the day. To be able to have Pokemon battles on the big screen of a television — in 3D models, no less — was amazing! It gave Rachel and me the ability to play our Pokemon together without the cables and wires that were necessary back then.

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It was one of the best games. You could battle each other by picking your own team and just going at it, or there were tournaments you could enter and attempt to make it to the top defeating CPUs with a random team the game gives you.

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While we tended to pick our own teams to go head-to-head, there was also the option of importing your Pokemon from the Red, Blue, or Yellow version of the core games. Pokemon Stadium 2 allowed you to do the same with Gold, Silver, or Crystal. It was a treat to see your Pokemon in 3D for the first time!

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I remember we used to get the roaster up, at the time it was only the main 151 Pokemon, and we would leave the room while the other picked their team. That way our opponent’s team was a surprise to us. If I recall, we often ended up with a lot of the same Pokemon.

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Yes, we tended to stick close to our favorite Pokemon, or ones that we believed would be really powerful. We didn’t know much about strategy when it came to types and move-sets back then! I also remember us randomly picking types out of a hat to comprise a type-specialist team to surprise the other with. Those were fun!

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Yes, I remember that as well! I used to always pick Charizard and then the three legendary birds… Though I think we, at one point, made a rule that we couldn’t use any legendaries. Lapras was always a big hit with us.

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Yes, we loved Lapras for some reason. I don’t believe I ever trained one in the core games, though… Perhaps I should try to go for one soon! I remember you always having the Legendary birds, haha! Considering that Pokemon Stadium was one of the best-selling Nintendo 64 games, it’s a wonder that it never made it to the Virtual Console. I suppose Pokken Tournament is the spiritual successor of the Stadium games, but it would be nice to see an updated, free-for-all Pokemon Stadium at some point. It’d be code-heavy with all the Pokemon, but it’d be fun!

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The Switch may be able to handle it, who knows? It can handle Breath of the Wild, after all. It would just take up all the memory space! Still, I hope we’re able to play the same again at some point.

Do you remember Pokemon Stadium? Have you ever played it? Let us know in the comments! 

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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky [Game Review]

Title: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo DS
Release Date: 
September 13, 2007
How we got the game: 
I bought it

I had played the original Mystery Dungeon games for the Gameboy Advance, so when they came out with more, I had to get them.gameplayExplorers of Sky is played very similarly to all the other Mystery Dungeon games. You start off by taking a brief personality quiz and, based on your results, you turn into a certain Pokemon. Then you get to choose who you want your partner to be.

This time around, I was an Eevee and chose Vulpix to be my partner.

Together, you become an exploration team and go on various adventures in the mystery dungeons. Sometimes you’re simply just exploring, other times you’re chasing after criminals or finding a lost item or lost Pokemon for a client.

In the dungeons, you come across enemy Pokemon and battle them. Sometimes they’ll want to join your team or they’ll just faint. Either way, you’ll gain experience points and level up. You’ll learn new moves, evolve, and overall become stronger.

My only complaint was the final boss. No matter how many levels you’ve gained, when you get to that point in the game, you can’t go back. I had such a hard time fighting the boss because I kept dying, so I lost most of my items (meaning I lost my oran berries and reviver seeds) and I wasn’t at a high enough level. It was tedious and frustrating.

graphics-music

 

As a Nintendo DS game, the graphics are really well done. They’re not as good as they are now, of course, but for 2007 (ten years ago!) the graphics are enjoyable.

The music is wonderful. I always tend to get the songs stuck in my head and I hum along as I go through the dungeons. A few of them even remind me of music from Paper Mario, which makes me love the music all the more.
storyThe story begins with you waking up on the beach and your partner looking down at you. After you become quick friends, and you help get your partner’s relic fragment back from a gang of Pokemon, the two of you form an exploration team. Everything you do is done for the exploration team.

Time Gears are hidden throughout the world and they’re being stolen one by one. With each Time Gear missing, time stops in that area and, with all of them gone, time will freeze forever. So, you actually have to race against time in an attempt to stop a certain Pokemon from stealing the Time Gears.

I won’t say too much due to spoilers, but you find out who’s really on your side and who’s not. You also discover interesting things about yourself along the way.

Overall, it’s a great story. It’s corny, but it’s Pokemon, and it’s enjoyable all the same.

 

replay-value

 

I would definitely play this game again. Each time you enter a dungeon, it’s different. So, even though the story is the same, there’s always a chance to play a “new” game.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia Review

Double Jump Kris MiiHello everyone!

Being a sucker for the Fire Emblem franchise, I was very excited for the release of Shadows of Valentia, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden that was released only in Japan. As always, this is just my personal opinion. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

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Title: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
Company: Nintendo
Release Date: May 19, 2017
Console: Nintendo 3DS
How I got the game: I bought it.

Warning — there may be story spoilers!

gameplayLike the majority of Fire Emblem games, Shadows of Valentia is a turn-based tactical RPG franchise with a myriad of characters that the player raises into an army. Shadows of Valentia is based off of the Japan-only released Fire Emblem Gaiden. Considering I had never played any form of Fire Emblem Gaiden — emulated, translated, not even YouTube videos — the plot of Shadows of Valentia was completely new to me.

Despite the perma-death aspect that Fire Emblem games are famous for, I played the game in the Casual mode, allowing characters to come back after falling in battle as opposed to being out of the game entirely like they would on the Classic mode. While there is a special item called Mila’s Turnwheel in the game that lets players turn back a turn in the game should a mistake be made, the Casual mode allows me to fully enjoy and get to know the characters while also doing my best to unlock as many Support conversations between them as possible.

Unlike previous games with Support conversations, where various characters could be paired up, gain spouses or best friends, depending on how strong their supports were, Shadows of Valentia has a limited number of Support conversations. Characters have good or bad endings that are mostly dependent on whether or not their predetermined spouse or best friend lives until the end of the game.

Shadows of Valentia has plenty of the same character classes as previous games, with fairly strict class tiers. Unlike the Fates trio, Shadows of Valentia had gender-locked classes again, with Pegasus Knights and Clerics being female only, while males were the only ones who could be Mercenaries, Soldiers, and Archers. Mages and Cavalier class trees were accessible by both genders.

Tactical battles are similar to previous Fire Emblem games, with each side taking turns to move and attack. Each character class had access to specific weapons and magic, with many weapons unlocking special skills the more the character grew and used the weapon. Shadows of Valentia also had a navigable world map as well as dungeons that one could explore through a third-person behind-the-back perspective and towns that were explored like a visual novel, talking with villagers and allies, and point-and-click interaction with the backgrounds. I enjoyed this unique exploration take, even if some of the dungeons took a little too long for me to get into the next battle.

 

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As usual, I was pleased with the graphics of the game on the Nintendo 3DS. The few anime cut scenes were fun to watch, as was the opening video, and the character models were on par with the previous Fire emblem games. The battle maps and dungeons were mostly unique as well.

I definitely enjoyed the music too, the battle scores always leaving me eager to beat the map. This game also had full voice-acting, which was a pleasant surprise. I found myself really enjoying the voice acting, with each character’s tones being really well done. Exclamations, questions, pauses, everything said sounded full and natural.

story

Fire Emblem games revolve around wars and revolutions. Shadows of Valentia is no different, keeping the classic story formula that works so well for Fire Emblem games.

As a brief summary, the main plot involved warring gods, where each one ruled over one part of the continent of Valentia. The god Duma ruled Rigal to the north while the goddess Mila ruled Zofia to the south. Duma believed in strength while Mila believed in peace and pleasure, and the truce that the pair had was broken when Rigal’s Emperor Rudolf invaded Zofia to seal Mila in Falchion, a divine sword. It’s Mila’s disappearance that prompts Celica to start her journey to search for the goddess, while Rudolf’s invasion of Zofia compels Alm to leave his village to fight for the country he calls home. Eventually, Alm’s and Celica’s armies join up to take down the final boss to bring peace throughout the continent.

Shadows of Valentia has dual paths, letting the player switch back and forth between Alm’s and Celica’s routes with ease. Alm’s path consists of leading the Deliverance, a band of Zofia’s last remaining soldiers fighting to free their country from Rigal’s invasion. Even after Zofia is free and the larger plot looms before them all, Alm continues to lead his army into the heart of Rigal in order to break the land free of Duma’s influence. His path was my favorite regarding a variety of battles and scenes, along with plenty of interesting characters to recruit and speak to. However, his motivation for quite a few of his battles were saving a “damsel in distress” — literally all of the female recruitable characters except for Faye (who is even an optional recruit for Alm’s side) could be recruited after being rescued. Saving people is a fine motivation and all, but a little variety regarding who was saved or how the ladies were recruited would have been nice.

Celica’s route involves… mostly pirates, to be honest. Her path is about traveling to Mila’s temple and, upon finding Mila missing, searching for the goddess, pitting her against Duma’s most faithful follower Jedah. About half of her battles in the second act of the game took place on boats, which got monotonous for me quickly. The speed of the characters and their limited movement on boat maps were tedious unless I had the Pegasus sisters on my side. While her story and characters were more engaging to me than Alm’s was, there was in the second half of the story that bothered me about Celica’s character — she didn’t communicate as well as she could have with her closest allies. In order to move the plot forward, she needed to keep a secret, and it’s a common enough trope that just annoys the hell out of me. These people are putting their lives on the line for you, Celica, you owe it to them to tell them everything that’s going on!

All in all, the story was okay. The plot twists were simple enough to figure out long before the game revealed them, but it was still on par for a Fire Emblem game. I had fun creating strategies for the myriad of battle maps and raising my little army, which is what Fire Emblem games are all about.

replay-value

Like other Fire Emblem games, Shadows of Valentia has a decent replay value if one considers the different combinations one can use to create an army. However, in Shadows of Valentia, every recruited character is used in battle until the last dungeon where the player must pick nine additional members to go with Alm or Celica, depending on which side you are playing. Generally you pick and choose which members of your army joins you in a every battle in Fire Emblem games, giving them more replay value than Shadows of Valentia.

In addition to that, there are more varieties to character classes in previous Fire Emblem games than Shadows of Valentia had. In the beginning of Shadows of Valentia, players are able to choose a handful of classes for the few villager characters that join Alm’s side, allowing players to switch up what their beginning army will be like, but other than that, most classes are static and, depending on who you recruit, one side can get all swordsmen while the other is full of mages. Each presents their own challenges, of course, but I would look forward to replaying Shadows of Valentia more if I was given the chance to really choose my army with the classes and characters for each battle.

Of course, there’s plenty of DLC for the game as well, pricing at about $45 dollars for it all, which is more than the game is going for now on Amazon.

In my opinion, though, there are other Fire Emblem games that I will replay again before Shadows of Valentia.

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Game Review

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe | Video Game Review

Title: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
April 2017
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a souped-up version of the original Mario Kart 8 that had been released for the Wii U in 2014. The Deluxe version included all of the original DLC that had been available for an extra cost for the Wii U version, along with the Battle Mode.

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At first, we were iffy on getting the game because while it would look nice on the Switch, we had the game for the Wii U. Then we found out it included all the DLC, which we never bought, so we decided to go for it. And we weren’t disappointed.

gameplay

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Like the previous Mario Kart games, the gameplay of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe includes the player controlling his/her/their character of choice while driving around recklessly on extremely dangerous tracks with items that make said dangerous tracks even more dangerous. It’s tons of fun and so satisfying to speed by or pelt your opponents in order to climb the ranks!

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You can play using the Joy-Con as one controller (or the pro-controller) or you can play using one Joy-Con on its side like a steering wheel using the tilt motion controls. I prefer the motion controls while Kris prefers to move using the regular controls. In addition to that, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe also has smart steering. You can turn that on and your kart or bike will keep you on the road. This is more for younger kids playing the game, but we had ours on for a while because we had no idea what it was or how to turn it off. It’s a cool feature, but I do enjoy the challenge and getting frustrated when I fall off a track.

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For the most part, we had the smart steering off since we’ve been around the tracks before. Surely we knew what we were doing, right? Of course, for the 200cc races, the smart steering helped a bit, but it’s so much fun to do without! The 200cc speed is insane!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We definitely had the most fun doing the 200cc races, I think. I enjoyed having the smart steering on because it gave me a shot, but I liked the challenge of trying to steer and brake myself. Once we finished all the races, we tried our hand at the battle modes. The battle modes were never something we typically played, but we tried them out anyway.

krismii
The battle modes were a lot of fun! Instead of competing in races, you’re going against each other in set rules, such as popping your opponents’ balloons, collecting the most coins, or seeing how many other racers you can blow up with Bob-ombs. Runaway Renagades was like Cops and Robbers, with one side being the police and the other “dodging the law,” and Shine Thief was a game of keepaway with a Shine Sprite from the Super Mario Sunshine game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
All modes were a lot of fun and we enjoyed ourselves more than we thought. We actually ended up getting a little more competetive than we thought. Then again, that’s what Mario Kart does to you…

graphics-music

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With the game being on the Nintendo Switch, the graphics are wonderful. There hasn’t been an instance in playing Switch games where the graphics haven’t been well done, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has been no exception. Despite the fast pace the races move, the graphics are always smooth and it’s a delight to see the characters’ expressions so clearly.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
As stated earlier, we didn’t but the Wii U DLC for this game. So, a lot of the tracks are new for us. For example, we were amazed by Hyrule Circuit because the graphics were so well done. It was cool that there were rupees instead of coins and the layout of the track is awesome. Not to mention the music brings you right back to Hyrule.

krismii
Hyrule Circuit is one of my favorite tracks! It was also awesome to play as Link — the poor guy deserves a break from adventuring to join a go-kart race! I greatly enjoyed the music for all the tracks, to be honest. The majority of them were fun and fast-paced to match the races.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
For most of the tracks, I find myself humming along with the music. I blink and before I know it, the race is over. Though sometimes, I’ll admit, that I get distracted by trying to sing along with the music and dancing so I end up steering my character right off the edge of the track or get behind a tree or something.

replay-value

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With all the different modes, race courses, characters and karts, and online capabilities, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has tons of replay value. Not only do Rachel and I have each other as gaming buddies, but the online mode allows us to play with friends around the world, and it’s pretty damn amazing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is also a great game to get a group of friends together and compete against one another in real life. Ruining friendships is fun when you’re playing a Mario game. It’s also fun to play alone too. The challenge of going against the CPUs are fun as well as trying to train before you play against your friends.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 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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