First Impression: Rocket League

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

We’ve been using our Xbox One more often lately, even if we really only have a couple of games on there. One such game is Rocket League.

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Rocket League is soccer with race cars and exploding balls. Neither Rachel nor I are really into sporty games, unless Mario Kart counts, so Rocket League was never on our radar.

Then our awesome brother-in-law got us an Xbox One with the game already on it. While we haven’t played it with him yet, we did get a couple of rounds in with another friend recently. Rachel and I were… not good, haha.

It was fun enough for playing the game the first time. We each got a goal or two into the opponents’ nets, all computer-controlled rather than other humans, with our friend being on our team and carrying us to victory. The only downside was some lag during the last couple of rounds. Rachel’s and my car would blink and teleport across the field, usually right when we were about to smack into the ball. Pretty sure Rachel’s car was frozen on the ceiling at one point, too.

It’s not a game that Rachel and I are raring to boot up again, but it wasn’t too bad. We’ll probably try it again soon, at least with our brother-in-law.

 

Have you played Rocket League? What do you think of it?

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Global Game Jam

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s a brand new week — how is everyone doing?

While there are plenty of conventions that Rachel and I have heard of, we recently just heard of something called the Global Game Jam. It sounds like an awesome competition!

 

We’ve showcased String Player Gamer on this blog before, as we really enjoy his music and covers of video game tunes. A couple of days ago he posted a video on YouTube titled, “I made a video game!”

Rachel and I love hearing about indie games, especially ones from brand new creators trying their hand at making a game for the first time. Apparently, that’s exactly what Global Game Jam is. Applicants from all over meet and have about two days to create a game from scratch in teams, each bringing their skills to help create different aspects of the game.

It’s pretty damn cool! Who knows — maybe Rachel and I will be part of something like this one day! Both of us would like to help with storytelling, Rachel would be fantastic with voice acting, and I may be able to whip up some programming for a game. It’s something for the bucket list, anyway!

Have you ever heard of or participated in a Game Jam? What role would you play in a team?

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Friday Favorites: Game Awards 2017 Moments

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

The Game Awards have come and gone this year, and we really enjoyed the show. There are a few parts, however, that still stand out to me. Here is a list of my favorite parts of the 2017 Game Awards.

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Orchestra Performance

I’m an absolute sucker for the music in video games — soundtracks are what I listen to all the time, so much so that I don’t have an answer whenever someone asks who my favorite singer or band is. I would adore it if the Game Awards orchestra decided to tour. Hearing the mash-up of video game music, especially with Tina Guo on the cellist and a live performance of “Jump Up, Super Star!” sung by Kate Higgins, was amazing!

Best Student Game and Best Independent Game

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo are the three biggest names in the video game industry, with good reason. However, it gave me warm and fuzzy feelings to hear the awards for Best Student Game and Best Independent Game. Celebrating the future of the gaming industry and those who will keep the industry moving forward is awesome, and the winners certainly deserved their awards!

Carol Shaw

I’m appalled that I have never heard of this woman before the Game Awards honored her with their Industry Icon. Carol Shaw was one of the first female programmers and she worked for Atari. Seeing a woman being recognized for her work and inspiration to others in the video game industry was phenomenal, and learning about this trailblazer was the highlight of the Game Awards for me. And the standing ovation that she received? Absolutely heartwarming.

What were your favorite parts of the Game Awards? Any moments that especially stood out to you?

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First Impressions: Ultra Moon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? I hope you all had a great weekend filled with family, friends, and fantastic food!

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful… then Rachel and I spent the rest of the weekend playing Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon!

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Rachel and I tend to try to “reward” ourselves with new video games around Thanksgiving for completing NaNoWriMo. After Thanksgiving dinner is over, our family rents a house in the mountains for the weekend where Rachel and I spend the time playing our games (with the occasional break for going out to eat and maybe shop with our parents).

Last year, we had Pokemon Sun and Moon. This year, it’s Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

It was fun getting back to Alola, especially since I haven’t really played Sun and Moon since this time last year. However… I expected a much different opening.

Honestly, when I first turned on Ultra Moon and saw nearly the same opening story, I paused and wondered if I had accidentally put last year’s game into my 2DS. The only difference seemed to be the appearance of the Ultra Retcon Squad, or whatever the robotic characters are called. I expected the Ultra pair of games to have more of a different story, like how Black 2 and White 2 took place after the original Black and White games. Instead, the story so far seems to be remarkably similar and it was disappointing.

Don’t get me wrong, Ultra Moon is still fun, and it’s been nice seeing the plethora of Pokemon that inhabit the islands, but I’m looking forward to when the story really starts to pan out. Otherwise, it feels as if I just paid for the same games as last year, almost as if the Ultra pair are expensive DLC. If the Ultra pair are supposed to be an improved version of Sun and Moon, I almost wish that Nintendo would have waited the extra year and just released the Ultra pair rather than the original games.

I’m about halfway through the trials at this point. Let’s see if it gets more exciting from here!

How are you liking Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon so far?

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New Pokemon Forms

Double Jump Kris MiiThe majority of Pokemon change forms as they grow, evolving into usually stronger creatures. It’s one of the main components to the games, enabling players to create all sorts of strategies for their adventure to play out.

While evolution usually happens when a Pokemon levels up, there are different criteria for some species, such as Lycanroc, whose form depends on the time of day…

Lycanroc was one of the first Alolan Pokemon to be revealed to the public and, within the games, its pre-evolved form Rockruff is one of the first wild Pokemon the player encounters when starting their journey in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon coming out in November, more information regarding the new forms of the Alolan Pokemon is starting to slowly make its way onto the Internet.

Where Lycanroc is concerned, there will be a new form to go along with its Midday and Midnight appearance: Dusk Lycanroc.

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It’s a decent design, in my opinion. As Rachel pointed out, “It looks like a sunset!” Caught between the Midday and Midnight forms, the Dusk Lycanroc looks as if it’ll fit right in.

Yet, I wonder how many Pokemon are going to get new forms for the games. Most likely due to its werewolf motif, Lycanroc was one of — if not the only — Pokemon with an alternate form based on the time of day in the seventh generation to go with the day and night aspect of the games. Will other Pokemon get more forms for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon?

With Mega Evolution, then Z-Moves, Alolan variations of first generation Pokemon, now Ultra forms for the Sun and Moon legendaries, I’m curious as to how all of this will play out.

What do you think of Dusk Lycanroc? Are you hoping for other Pokemon to get different forms? Or do you think these are too many forms and variations to keep track of?

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Dream Harry Potter Game

Double Jump Kris MiiIf you’re a Harry Potter fan, guess what? It’s Harry’s birthday today!

Besides gaming, I’m also a big reader, and the Harry Potter series is a favorite of mine. There’s a television channel called Freeform that never needs a big excuse to run a Harry Potter movie marathon. It tends to play at our house whenever the marathon happens, usually in the background in the kitchen, and it’s the kind of series that makes my family feel warm and fuzzy inside, no matter what medium it’s in.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is massive. Everyone knows who Harry Potter is. The series spans across so many mediums — the books, the movies, toys and, yes, video games.

Most of the Harry Potter video games are the usual licensed games, the ones where you control the main character through the story, sometimes with glitches or weird controls. People eat them up enough, though, if only to get that taste of performing magic at Hogwarts.

With Virtual Reality becoming a main form of gaming on the market nowadays, I’m curious if franchises such as Harry Potter will ever reach that platform. The game would be massive, of course, even if it only allows the player to go through one year at Hogwarts. A Choose Your Own Adventure type of visual novel, if you will, it could start off with a small quiz (or choice) to allow the character to get sorted. Classes can be small mini games, allowing players to level up with their magic, with a larger plot looming in the background. There can be key main NPCs that your character interacts with, his or her or they’re choices affecting how well you maintain your relationship with the NPCs.

Perhaps we can’t all be Harry Potter, but I wouldn’t mind playing a character that joins Dumbledore’s Army and defends the Wizarding World against Death Eaters.

It’s just a thought. Whenever we do get a chance to purchase a decent Virtual Reality system, the Harry Potter world is definitely a place that I want to visit.

Do you enjoy Harry Potter? What kind of series or world do you think may adapt well to Virtual Reality? Anyone know if this will be an actual thing one day?

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A Kingdom Hearts Medley by Rush Garcia

Here, have some more music!

As you can probably imagine, music plays a huge role in our love of video games. Not only does music in video games help set the mood, we adore hearing how people can remix or put their own spin on iconic medleys. This one, for example, is a Kingdom Hearts Medley by Rush Garcia.

Rush Garcia takes beautiful video game music and rearranges them as orchestra pieces, coming out with amazing results. Not only does Rush Garcia do fan compilations with video game music, there’s also plenty of original pieces to listen to. We hope you enjoy Rush Garcia’s work as much as we do!

What’s your favorite piece of music by a video game fan? What did you think of the video? Let us know in the comments!

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