Monday Memories: Red, Blue, and Yellow

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

Today brings us back with another Monday Memories, this one dedicated to the Gameboy Color Pokemon games: Red, Blue, and Yellow. These games were introduced to me by a couple of close friends of mine from a couple of decades ago…

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Way back in elementary school, I was friends with a pair of twins.

Hanging out at their house, they had a Nintendo 64 hooked up to a little television in their parents’ bedroom. Thinking back on it now, I wonder if the parents had the console there due to being sure the kids wouldn’t spend too much time playing, but I also don’t remember them having any other television. That could also be due to our days — when not playing video games — being spent playing school, pool days in the summer, walking their dog, but I digress.

It was due to these friends that I was introduced to games such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, and Pokemon Snap, along with Pokemon Red and Blue for the Gameboy Color. I was just beginning to get interested in Pokemon, not really understanding the games themselves, but knowing that there was a cartoon and fun little cards that apparently had more of a purpose than just being pretty. I got suckered into the casual fun of taking pictures of Pokemon in Pokemon Snap and started asking for a Gameboy Color from the Easter Bunny with the Pokemon games.

The next time I had a play date with the twins, I just remember excitedly showing up at their house with my own copy of the games and Prima’s Official Strategy Guide for Pokemon Yellow. My friends were impressed, claiming that the Pokemon Yellow version was the “rarer” game (which, years later, doesn’t make sense but, hey, we were in elementary school). We spent much of that day with each of us on our respective Gameboy Colors, with each twin playing either Red or Blue and me playing Yellow.

While I unfortunately haven’t been in touch with these old friends in years — since they moved away before we even reached middle school — I do credit them as part of the reason why I enjoyed the Let’s Go titles when they came out for the Nintendo Switch. The nostalgia alone of seeing and hearing Pikachu by my character’s side throws me back to those times when I was sandwiched between my friends on the floor of their living room as we cheered each other on in battles.

I do wonder occasionally how they are doing. I hope they are doing well and, maybe, if they also have the Let’s Go Pokemon titles that they’re marveling at the evolution (pun intended) of the games as well as share this bittersweet feeling about a dissipating friendship as I do.

Do you have any old friends that you connected with over video games that you may not see as much now? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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: Beauty and the Beast – A Board Game Adventure

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

February is almost gone, another month down from the year. I hope everyone had a great February and that you’re all looking forward to what March will bring!

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Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular Disney movies. While dogsitting this past week, one of the go-to Netflix movies I would stick on for background noise while playing with the puppy (and writing during the few times the puppy napped) was the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie with Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Bard, and a bunch of other big name actors. It’s not my favorite adaptation of the movie, but I didn’t find it bad. Seeing the movie again reminded me of one of my first Gameboy Color games.

Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure was released in October 1999. It was like an extremely watered down version of Mario Party but with the characters from Beauty and the Beast. You pick a character and race around the board, occasionally landing on mini game spaces. There were only ten mini games, such as helping Lumiere avoid water drops or finding Chip among identical teacups. One of the selling points was that up to four players can play by passing around the system, “no cable link required!” There was also a Story Mode, where you would race Gaston in each of the boards.

Considering I got this game the same time I got Pokemon Yellow, Blue, and Red, I don’t believe I played it too often. I do remember having a fun time when I did play it. The mini games got stale after a little while — really, there were only so many times you can play as Beast hopping and ducking from wolves — but the game itself wasn’t a bad way to pass the time.

Have you played Beauty and the Beast: A Board Game Adventure? What did you think of it?

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Throwback Thursday: How I Got My Pokemon Blue Game

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

With the announcement of Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! it’s got me thinking about the original Kanto games that game out in the 90s.

TBT: How I Got My Pokemon Blue Game | Nintendo | Gameboy Color | Pokemon | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

I didn’t officially start my Pokemon journey until Johto because I was pretty young with Red, Blue, and Yellow came out. The first time I played Kanto was when FireRed and LeafGreen came out, though I had played Yellow and Blue later in life.

I still don’t have Pokemon Red – it’s the last game I need in order to complete my full Pokemon games collection. However, the Gameboy Color games are pretty hard to come by these days.

I ended up getting Pokemon Blue on a whim on day years ago. I was searching eBay (I have no idea why) and I noticed there was Pokemon Blue on auction for a dollar – and there was only 10 minutes left of the auction.

I immediately texted my friend, who I knew had an eBay buyers account, and she let me sign into it so I could give it a go.

Once I was on, I set up a bid and waited. I constantly refreshed the page, but I realized if people hadn’t bid on it yet, who would?

People who wait until others bid on it first because, apparently, people like to wait until the last possible minute to bid so they can get it. Clever, definitely.

Let me tell you – those 10 minutes were the most stressful of my life. I ended up in a bidding war with one other person. For 10 minutes, I upped my bid just just a little bit every few seconds as the other person wasn’t letting up.

I won, needless to say. I remember I refreshed the page when the timer ticked to zero and the other guy’s username was still the latest bid. I’m not sure how I won, but I somehow managed to get my latest bid in right before the end.

I ended up getting Pokemon Blue for $8.00. That’s it.

And it still works.

Are there any games you’ve gotten in a special way? Let me know in the comments below!

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Flashback Friday: Legend of Zelda Oracle Series

Double Jump Kris Mii The end of June means half of 2017 is over already… How crazy is that?

This Friday showcases a pair of Legend of Zelda games that were originally released  for the Game Boy Color with a unique connection, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons.

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Released for the Game Boy Color handheld in 2001, the Oracle Series were a pair of games with parallel plots that gave Link the ability to control the element the game was named after, either the Ages or the Seasons. In Ages, Link travels back and forth in time, his actions in the past affecting the future in different ways, while in Seasons, Link controls the Seasons, allowing him to solve puzzles on this quest. Originally, a third installment — Oracle of Secrets — was going to be included that starred the third Hyrule goddess Farore, but she was instead included in both games to aid the player with linking the other two via passwords.

Both games were well received by fans and critics, with Oracle of Seasons scoring slightly higher than its Ages counterpart. According to the timeline of Hyrule Historia, the events of Seasons happen before Ages as well.

Each game starts off with Link meeting a performer, either Nayru or Din, before the performer is kidnapped by the villain of the game, Veran or Onox respectively. The performer is revealed to be the Oracle whose abilities the villain wishes to use for her or his own powers. Link embarks on a quest to save the Oracle, utilizing time-travel and the seasons to his advantage in order to rescue Nayru or Din.

The Oracle Series resembles Link’s Awakening in graphics and many game mechanics. Controls are similar, and even some of the sprites from Link’s Awakening are reused in the Oracle Series. Like many games in the franchise, the Oracle Series each have eight dungeons and a large over-world map to explore.

While the Oracle Series are each a full game in their own right, but the pair are marketed to be two halves of the same whole. Upon completing one of the games, the ending will reveal that there is a larger evil at play, hinting that the player should link the two games in order to play through the linear plot of the series. Linking the two completed games will give the player the extended ending and a battle with the true villain.

The Oracle Series were released on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console in 2013, and I almost immediately downloaded them. I had never gotten a chance to finish the original games. Unfortunately, I had seemed to have gotten a glitched copy of Oracle of Ages that did not allow me to progress through the eighth dungeon. Perhaps with the Virtual Console copies, I can finally see that extended ending for myself!

 

Have you ever played the Oracle Series? What did you think of them?

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Flashback Friday: Pokemon Puzzle Challenge

Double Jump Kris Mii Happy Friday, everyone! Are you all ready for the new year?

With New Year’s Day on the way, many people look toward the future, with resolutions and ideas on how we can improve ourselves and our lives. Today, however, we’re going to take a step back and soak in some nostalgia with Pokemon Puzzle Challenge.

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Released in North America in December 2000, Pokemon Puzzle Challenge was a side Pokemon game for the GameBoy Color. It was styled after the Japan-released Panel de Pon, which was then known as Tetris Attack in North America, despite having no resemblance to the actual Tetris game.

The concept — being faced with a grid of stacks of colored blocks that are cleared when three or more of the same colored blocks are arranged horizontally or vertically — was used with several side games from Nintendo, including a minigame in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Nintendo 64 version of this game Pokemon Puzzle League.

While the Nintendo 64 port of this game focused on the anime characters, Pokemon Puzzle Challenge follows the main Pokemon characters of the Gold and Silver games, like Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile, along with the second generation’s main protagonist. During the Challenge mode, the player battles with the Johto gym leaders and their Pokemon. The opponent Pokemon has an HP bar that the player and his/her chosen Pokemon partner for the battle can deplete with combos created by clearing blocks. Challenge also allows players to unlock even more Pokemon partners (and even eggs!) by defeating certain conditions.

Other modes include Marathon, Time Zone, Line Clear, Puzzle, and Garbage. Marathon plays until the player loses when the grid of blocks reaches the top of the screen. Time Zone is timed play, and Line Clear is beaten when a player clears blocks beneath a line. Puzzle involves certain conditions — such as a limited number of moves or combo requirements — to beat, and Garbage is a more difficult version of Marathon, where barriers fall and hinder the player.

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge was released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console for North America in November 2014, going for less than $10 at the time of this post. It’s a fun puzzle game that’s not too long or strenuous, a perfect game to sit and play while relaxing. And it’s Pokemon — what more could you want?

 

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?

I Have a Confession

Rachel Mii Double JumpHey, it’s Rachel.

Yesterday Kris and I talked about the wonderful lore of The Legend of Zelda games.

I thought now was as good a time as any to confess something about me and the Zelda games.

The Legend of Zelda is one of my all-time favorite video game series.

I can list my top 5 favorite Zelda games to you. I know absolutely everything (or mostly everything) there is to know about Zelda. Skyward Sword is on my top video games list.

Here’s the thing: if you know me then you know that I have Second Player Syndrome. With that being said…

Confession Time:

I have never played any of the Legend of Zelda games on my own.

True story. I’ve started playing Majora’s Mask for the 3DS, A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, Oracle of Seasons/Ages for the Gameboy Color, and I’ve even played bits and pieces of Skyward Sword for the Wii.

I never got very far in any of them, though. Not because I didn’t enjoy the games, but just because I get busy and forget to go back to it.

I’ve seen all of this games played from start to finish. This is where my Second Player Syndrome comes in… I’ve watched Kris play all of these games.

I grew up watching her play video games and to this day I still love watching her instead of playing the games myself.

Someday (soon) I hope to play through and actually beat all the Zelda games. But as of right now, I only know what I know because I take the backseat when Kris plays.