Mario Party Advance [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Mario Party Advance | Nintendo | Gameboy Advance | Video Games | Gaming | Review |

Title: Mario Party Advance
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Gameboy Advance
Release Date: 
January 13, 2005
How we got the game: 
I bought it




I love the Mario Party series. Of course, there are some games that are better than others. When I went through my bucket of handheld games the other day, I found this gem. I forgot I had it and wasn’t even sure if I had ever played it. So, I turned it on. And, well… it exists.

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I was looking forward to an “old fashioned” Mario Party game and this was not what it was. When I turned the game on, there were a ton of things unlocked so I had played it before. In fact, I had so many coins that I must have enjoyed the game at one point in my life. But today is not that day.

The main mode is called Shroom City. You can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi to play as. Depending on who you choose, you start at a different spot on the board. I don’t know why this is and the others don’t join you. There’s no multiplayer, there are no NPCs playing against or with you on the board. It’s all you and you have mushrooms as dice blocks.

Now, they give you four mushrooms to start off with. I kept rolling a 3 and got nowhere fast. When you run out of mushrooms, it’s game over. Do you see my dilemma?

Of course, you can get more mushrooms by winning mushrooms in mini-games (which is a space you have to land on) or by landing on mushrooms spaces. The object of the game is to keep moving along the board and fulfill “quests” from the NPCs scattered about. For example, Shy Guy is at the train station and needs help. So, you need to somehow make it to the train station.

You can move anywhere you please on the board, which was a fun feature. However, when you have limited moves through your lack of mushrooms, it makes the game ten times harder.

Completing quests gives you Gaddgets (you know, like Professor E. Gadd?) though I didn’t care too much for the Gaddgets. I wanted to compete against NPCs and play mini-games.

The mini-games weren’t all that bad. I played quite a few of them in the free-for-all mode and had a good time. Again, it would have been more fun if I were playing against friends or NPCs, but the games worked out just fine as personal challenges. In fact, that’s the goal for most of the games – beat your high score.

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It’s a game from 2005 and for the Gameboy Advance. The graphics certainly aren’t what they are now, but they were pretty good for their time and it was charming to look back on. The characters all had their own poses and such, however, there was no voice acting. So that was kind of weird not to hear.

The music was good. Like all Mario Party music, it’s catchy and upbeat.

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I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one… maybe ten years from now when I come across it again and forget I had it, I’ll turn it on and unknowingly relive this whole moment. Overall though, this is a Mario Party game to skip.

Mario Party Advance gets…
2 out of 5 lives.

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

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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? 


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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Flashback Friday: The Legend of Zelda Minish Cap

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

One of the last posts for Zelda Month, this Friday we’re talking about a game that came out for the GameBoy Advance. The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap was a charming installment for the franchise.


The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap was a game released for the GameBoy Advance back in 2005 for North America. Rather than traveling through time, morphing into a wolf, or sailing the seas, Link has a sarcastic hat that helps him shrink in size. It was a prequel, if you will, to Four Swords Adventures, wherein the main villain was Vaati the Wind Sorcerer. The Minish Cap helped to expand the backstory of that particular villain and the birth of the Four Sword.

The Minish — or Picori — are a race of bug-sized creatures that live in and around Hyrule. They are the ones who bestow green clothes and a sword to a boy to drive back the darkness. Vaati petrifies Zelda, and Link uses the aid of the Minish to collect the ancient artifacts to restore the Picori blade to its former glory to seal Vaati away.

I’ve played through this game back when it first came out and I found it enjoyable. The graphics were vivid and colorful, and the characters were amusing. Ezlo, the talking hat, was like a squawking, sarcastic bird, and poor Link just went along with it. The dungeons were fun and I don’t recall anything too frustrating. However, I never finished the game due to rage-quitting at the final boss.

The final boss battle is timed, and not by a ticking clock, but by the sound of bells. Vaati’s wizard-like form (not to be confused with his flying eyeball form in Four Swords Adventures) has three phases, and if you spend too much time beating him down, the final bell will chime and Zelda will be encased in stone forever.

Which is definitely what happened when I played the game.

Still, I remember the game being a fun time and it’s a game that I almost forgot existed until recently when Rachel and I started playing Four Swords Adventure on our Twitch channel. Perhaps one day I’ll return to it.

Have you played The Minish Cap? What did you think of it?

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Friday Favorites: Harvest Moon NPCs

Double Jump Kris MiiTime for another weekend!

Per Rachel’s and my last debate — Harvest Moon vs Animal Crossing — this Friday is dedicated to my favorite NPC characters of the franchise, minus the characters that are eligible to marry.


Felicia from Island of Happiness/Sunshine Islands

Felicia is one of the “moms” of the setting in these games. She has a sweet disposition, helps with the shipping so you can turn a profit and, in the case of Island of Happiness, treats you like family almost immediately due to being shipwrecked together. Being one of the first available NPCs, and with such a kind nature, helps ease you into the game.

Hana from A New Beginning

Hana is the little old lady who runs the General Store in A New Beginning. She’s adorable and is quick to become friends with you. If you find and talk with her on rainy or stormy days, her dialogue is cute as she mildly scolds you for being out in the rain just to check on her.

Bo from Animal Parade

Bo is the quieter of the two carpenter apprentices, and his chill personality is one reason why I like the NPC. The other reason is that I find it funny how exasperated he can become — going so far as to even apologize for — the antics of Luke, the other carpenter apprentice!

Gotz from Friends of Mineral Town/More Friends of Mineral Town

The carpenter from the Mineral Games, Gotz is a bit gruff, but softens up once you befriend him. Like many of the other Mineral Town characters, he has a deeper backstory, one that I enjoy learning about whenever I play these games, as sad as it is.


Have you played any Harvest Moon games? What are your favorite characters from the games?

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A New Toy [Nintendo 2DS]

Nintendo 2DS XL

We both have the original Nintendo 3DS (2011). They both work fantastic, despite them being six years old. Nintendo has decided to let go of the original 3DS since they’ve come out with many other versions since then. We both knew we’d have to get a new handheld at some point and were thinking of upgrading to a 3DS XL. Then Nintendo announced the 2DS XL.

While our Nintendo 3DS systems still work, their battery life definitely isn’t what they used to be. It was no problem, of course, and they both still have plenty of room for game storage. However, we figured that the 2DS XL would be nice upgrades, new handhelds with bigger screens and without the 3DS slide that we honestly never used from the 3DS systems. We’re both enjoying our 2DS systems, with Miitopia being the first game on them!

I’m definitely enjoying the new system. I felt like it was Christmas (after we went to two GameStops so we could each get a system). Yes, there’s only Miitopia on the system, but the handheld itself is great. I enjoy the bigger screen and I think it’s cool that the game cartridge gets shielded and locked at the bottom. It won’t fall out and it won’t get ruined. It’s right next to the teeny-tiny SD card and the stylus. I’ll admit that I have a hard time getting the stylus back in. However, I tend to use my fingers anyway.

I nearly forgot our quest to get the two systems… We went to our favorite GameStop at the mall, and the employee mentioned how they only had one system. Rachel immediately told me, “I’ll fight you,” and the employee rolled with it, stating that he’d “put the system in the middle so [we] could duke it out.” To prevent us from ruining the store, though, he kindly offered to call the nearest GameStop to see if they had another system to hold for us, which they did. The bigger screen is my favorite aspect of the 2DS XL. Going back to the 3DS is strange because the screen looks so much smaller!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
You would have beaten me anyway… With that being said, we both ended up with the black and blue 2DS. Both of us liked that color better than the white and orange, but to differentiate it a bit, I would have gone for the white and orange. (I’m most likely going to put Pokemon stickers on it anyway.) But both stores only had the black and blue left, which was fine by us. And yeah, we’ve both been playing Gameboy Advance games so while playing Miitopia so I’m going back and forth between the 2DS XL and my original DS. Not 3DS, just a regular old Nintendo DS.

I would have loved a black and red color scheme, but the black and blue is pretty. Considering my original Nintendo DS’s top screen is coming apart at the seams, I’ve been using my GameBoy Advance SP for my game. It’s itty-bitty compared to the 2DS XL! It’s amazing seeing the growth and change in technology when it comes to the handheld systems. Now we have the Switch to add to that lineup, with many wondering what Nintendo’s plans are for the future of their handhelds…

Do you have a 2DS system? What do you think of Nintendo’s line of handheld consoles? Let us know in the comments below!

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Currently Playing: Fire Emblem Blazing Sword

Double Jump Kris MiiOur attempt to get a Nintendo Switch this past weekend did not work out… Cross your fingers for us that we somehow get one this week!

In the meantime, Rachel and I are keeping ourselves busy so we don’t end up wallowing in self-pity that we still don’t have the latest console.



While we don’t have the Switch just yet, we do still have the Wii U and the lovely Virtual Console with plenty of games to explore. One of the first games that I remember downloading on the Virtual Console was Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword.

I have the actual GameBoy Advance cartridge of the game, generously gifted to me from my parents for one Christmas or birthday years ago. It was probably fairly soon after I had just gotten into the franchise after Sacred Stones, eager to dive further into the Fire Emblem series.

It had been a little difficult for my parents to find the game, but they eventually found a used one, which was more than okay with me. I burned through the first section of the game, Lyn’s story, on that day. However, when I picked it up again the next day, none of my progress was saved. I was a little disappointed and confused, sure I had saved it, but I figured the only thing to do would be to play it again.

The same thing happened.

Apparently the game was so used that the saving mechanic no longer worked. My young-self’s brilliant solution was to keep the GameBoy SP on 24/7, plugged in when necessary, so I could experience the game. I believe I had beaten the next section of the game, Eliwood’s story, before finally giving my GameBoy SP a rest. I never played the game again until I downloaded it on the Virtual Console.

Over the weekend, I started a new game on it, enjoying the nostalgic feelings as the GameBoy graphics popped up on the Wii U’s Gamepad. I don’t remember too much of Eliwood’s story, so I’m looking forward to playing through it while waiting to get a Switch.

What have you been playing lately (I mean, besides Breath of the Wild, haha)?

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Shiny Pokemon Galore

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy December! This year went by quickly…

Today, in the spirit of Pokemon Sun and Moon, I’m going to tell you all a story about a certain someone wanting shiny Pokemon because they’re rare and really cool.

This story is about me… if you couldn’t tell.

When Pokemon Sapphire came out way back in 2002 for Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance, I played it as soon as I got my hands on a copy.

I remember I was at my Uncle’s house when I started the game. Back in the old days, an NPC had to teach you how to catch Pokemon before you could get any Pokeballs. Yet, you had to play through some of the story before any of that could happen.

I was on the first route of the game, it was just me and my Torchic, when I ran across a Poochyena. It sparkled and had a funky color and me, being only nine-years-old at the time, had no idea what that meant. I asked Kris and she gasped saying I had run into a shiny Pokemon.

“They’re rare and unique, catch it!” she had told me.

I slumped down in my chair disappointed. Well, I would have caught it if I had Pokeballs in the game, but I wasn’t at that point yet. I was stuck.

I stared at that battle screen for a long time before I finally realized I was wasting my gameplay time and my battery. I defeated the shiny Poochyena with a heavy heart and forced myself to move on.

I never forgot that time, especially when Pokemon Alpha Sapphire came out in 2014, 12 years later, for Nintendo’s 3DS. I remember saying to Kris, “Remember that time…?” Well, guess what?

The. Exact. Same. Thing. Happened.

Torchic and I ran into a shiny Poochyena on the same route around the same time in the game with no Pokeballs. I was pretty upset, to say the least. I wasn’t as heart-broken as I was when I was a kid and I defeated the Poochyena right away instead of staring at it for an hour, but I was still disappointed.

The encounter rate of shiny Pokemon differs from game to game. I’m not entirely sure what it was for Sapphire and Alpha Sapphire, but the chances increased in X and Y and supposedly the chances in Sun and Moon are about one in every 4,000 or so.

Shiny Pokemon Carbink So, you could imagine my excitement when I accidentally came across a shiny Carbink this past weekend.

I had the volume off and wasn’t paying attention to the opening battle sequence since my Dad had the TV on, so I almost defeated it. If it didn’t call for help, I never would have known.

When its help came, I noticed the color difference. I assumed it was a gender thing because some Pokemon have those slight differences. Then I noticed Carbink doesn’t have a gender. So, I looked up its shiny form on Serebii and then proceeded to freak out.

I had to hand my game over to Kris because both Carbink had made two of my Pokemon faint already. I didn’t have anything strong enough against it. My sister was able to defeat its help and capture the shiny one with a nest ball.

I have three shiny Pokemon in my X game, but those all came from a hunt. Carbink is my very first captured shiny that I didn’t try to get.

Shiny Pokemon Diglett Now, the odds are about one in 4,000, so when I came across a shiny Diglett about an hour later, I nearly leaped out of my seat.

Okay, I did leap out of my seat.

I was able to easily tell Diglett was shiny because he was bright red as opposed to his subtle tan. I caught him no problem and then did another happy dance.

I still want a shiny Poochyena, but I think those two random encounters definitely makes up for Sapphire and Alpha Sapphire’s prank.

Have you ever encountered shiny Pokemon by accident or do you always hunt for them? How do you feel when you find a shiny? Let me know in the comments below!

Pokemon Emerald

Rachel Mii Double JumpPart three of my journey is complete!

I went through Kanto and Johto, and now I can say I’m the champion of the Hoenn region.


Pokemon Emerald game review Double Jump

Title: Pokemon Emerald
Company: Nintendo
Console: Gameboy Advance
How I got the game: I bought it

My Review:


Being a Gameboy Advance game, the graphics are subpar compared to what they look like these days. However, if you push the fact that it’s 2016 aside, the graphics aren’t bad at all. The screen is clear and in color to see what’s going on in the world of Pokemon. The sprites are still only an inch tall, but I find that great and amusing.


Like most Pokemon games, you use two buttons throughout the whole game, for the most part. It’s easy enough to play and to figure out. It’s not complicated, which is what I love when I play games. My fingers don’t have a lot to do.


Again, like most Pokemon games, you go on a Pokemon journey. You fill up the Pokedex given to you by the professor, you collect eight gym badges, and challenge the Elite Four and Champion to be the very best. In the meantime, you save the world from Team Magma or Team Aqua, depending on which game you’re playing.


It was fun to play Emerald again. I haven’t played it in such a long time, probably since it came out way back when. I’ve played Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire since they came out, but Emerald brings that nostalgia feeling back.

Pokemon Emerald gets…
5 lives double jump5 out of 5 lives.

Old Saves and Memories

Double Jump Kris MiiAs many of you know, Rachel is doing a run-through with all generations of the Pokemon games in preparation for Pokemon Sun and Moon coming out this November. She had just reviewed Pokemon Blue last week. Have you guys played the original first generation games?


With Rachel playing through the Pokemon games in anticipation for Sun and Moon, she is planning on playing the second generation games this month. In order to do that, she needs the games all prepped and ready to play.

She asked me if I wanted to join her on this venture, and I mentioned I would probably continue my HeartGold or SoulSilver versions. Rachel jokingly claimed that was cheating, as she plans on starting over with the oldest versions. My response?

“I’m pretty sure my games are so old the save mechanism doesn’t work anymore.”

This prompted the two of us to scour through our GameBoy Color games. While Rachel still has her GameBoy Color and GameBoy Advance handhelds, mine were unfortunately lost when our basement flooded eons ago from a storm. I still have my GameBoy Advance SP, however, and it was with that handheld that I tried to turn on my Crystal cartridge, my favorite version of the Johto region.

It didn’t work.

“Here,” Rachel said as she got her own SP, “try it with my GameBoy Advance.”

Thus we snowballed into a state not unlike headless chickens. For the next few minutes, all you could hear from us were statements and questions like:

  • “Where’s the power button on this?”
  • “Ohmigod, the screen is so DARK! There’s no backlight!”
  • “Wait, which way do we put in the game?”
  • “Why isn’t it working?!”
  • “Oh, look, the new game option is here. Maybe I hadn’t started it yet–Nope, the save function is just dead.”

It was kind of hilarious how inept we were at remembering how to use the older handhelds, despite growing up with them.

Thinking on it now, the first and second generation of those games are fifteen to twenty years old by now, and its been ten years since the fourth generation games have come out. How long do those internal game batteries last…?

Have you ever lost a beloved game due to its outdated mechanics and cartridges?

Friday Favorites: GameBoy Advance Games

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for Friday!

I hope everyone’s week went well! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite old games, ones that were for the GameBoy Advance system. That handheld console turned 15 years old this year!

5. Harvest Moon: (More) Friends of Mineral Town

This was my first foray into the Harvest Moon franchise, and I adored it. A friend gave me FoMT for Christmas, explaining that it was “much better than it sounded.” He and I had similar video game tastes, so I was happy with his recommendation (even if I was a little skeptical about the farming angle at first). Since then, I’ve played quite a few, but I tend to stick to the older ones for nostalgic purposes.

4. Sonic Battle

Before atrocities like Sonic Boom were a thought, there were some Sonic the Hedgehog games that I definitely enjoyed, and Sonic Battle was at the top of the list. With familiar characters and a new, adorable robot character, the levels consisted of duking it out with one another while the robot learned different fighting styles. As the robot Emerl, you could customize your moves however you wanted after mimicking the others. All sorts of customization could be had, and it had decent replay value for that feature alone.

3. The Legend of Zelda: the Minish Cap

Of course there’s a Zelda game on this list. There’s always a Zelda game on my favorites lists! This game was tons of fun, and Ezlo was amusing as a partner character. I have never actually fully beaten the game, unfortunately — I’ve been stuck on the final boss battle for years! Perhaps its high time to pick it up again…

2. Fire Emblem

The original Fire Emblem game, the first one brought over to North America, definitely earned a spot on this list. Although it wasn’t my first Fire Emblem game (that honor goes to Sacred Stones), it’s one of my favorite installments. I haven’t had the chance to finish it yet, though, considering the copy I have had never had a working save function. My parents were amazing enough to find a cartridge of the game, and I had gotten through Lyn’s story by always keeping my GameBoy Advance on the charger, but it’s been awhile since I was able to try again. I now have it on the Virtual Console, so it’s a game I need to get back to.

1. Pokemon Emerald

Why didn’t Emerald get a remake? It had been my favorite of the three Hoenn games, especially with the Battle Tents scattered throughout the region and the Rayquaza tie-in with the legendaries. Hoenn is home to some of my all-time favorite Pokemon, like Grovyle, Mightyena, Gardevoir, and Ninjask, and Emerald was a brilliant game to raise them in.

What are some of your favorite GameBoy Advance games?