Of Kingdom Hearts

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday!

We’re actually in Disneyworld right now! Being around Mickey Mouse and his friends reminded me of the popular video game franchise Kingdom Hearts, an ambitious crossover of Disney characters published by Square Enix.

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I’ve only ever touched upon the Kingdom Hearts games when I was much younger. Having never owned the games myself, I was only able to play a bit of the first one whenever we visited our aunt and uncle a couple of towns over from where we lived (coincidentally, this is the same uncle that introduced me to video games and superheroes). If I had the chance, I would start up the game, usually create a new file and enjoy the main theme song, and give the game another try.

The farthest I’ve gotten was, perhaps, to Tarzan’s world, but I vaguely remember Aladdin’s world as well. I honestly cannot remember if Aladdin’s world was from watching my uncle or a friend play, or if there was a time that I had been able to borrow the game to play myself.

I always liked the idea of Kingdom Hearts, finding the narrative to be unique with exploring the Disney worlds to be a fun thought, even with the story line being a tad dark. And, while I don’t completely understand the line of sequels (why is there a game called “2.8 Final Chapter Prologue”? Why is there a Kingdom Hearts II when Chain of Memories is the direct sequel to the first game?), it is a franchise I would like to try.

What do you think of Kingdom Hearts? Have you ever played the games?

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Friday (Least) Favorites: Super Smash Bros. Items

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

Last week, I shared a list of some of my favorite items from the Super Smash Bros. video game franchise. This week, I thought I would share a few items that are not my favorites. If these items below do not make an appearance for Smash Bros. on the Switch, I will not be heartbroken!

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Lip’s Stick

This item was always annoying to me, especially on the receiving end. I mean, that’s the point, but I still hated getting hit with this item and having a damage-causing flower pop up on my character’s head. It definitely wasn’t the most powerful battering item, either.

Banana Peel

Just like when I see them on the Mario Kart tracks, seeing a banana peel join the fight makes me groan. I almost always chuck it off the stage, if I’m able to, as I’m more wont to tripping on the peel myself during the melee.

Mr. Saturn

While I’m guessing his appearance is a nod to Earthbound fans, I don’t understand Mr. Saturn’s existence in the Smash Bros. games. Why is he there? He only makes an odd sound if he’s thrown at someone. Otherwise, he just kind of wanders around.

Screw Attack

This is a hit or miss for me. Generally, the characters I use in the Smash games are characters who have decent jumps and up-slashes. The Screw Attack kind of nullifies the jumps of the characters, and I tend to forget if I’m wearing the badge or not, generally ruining whatever combo I may have been planning.

What are your least favorite Super Smash Bros. items?

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Dungeons & Dragons

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Dungeons & Dragons was always something that was at the back of my mind, but it wasn’t something that was popular — that I knew of — around where I lived. Most of my friends weren’t exactly into video games like Rachel and I were, so I didn’t have as much hope for D&D.

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Dungeons & Dragons has existed since 1974, which sounds wild considering how little I had heard of it growing up. Of course, the few times I had heard of it was due to how “nerdy” the game was, even compared to video games.

For years, Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t really a thought in my mind until I realized that it was fairly popular with a couple of YouTubers that Rachel and I watch. Rachel and I spend what little downtime we have trying to catch up with “Dice, Camera, Action!” while now trying to stay up-to-date with “Trapped in the Birdcage.” The players in both those groups are fantastic, as are the Dungeon Masters with their storytelling abilities and antics.

For my birthday, Rachel got me the D&D Starter Set and, while it’s brilliant, I’m not sure where to start. It’s fun to go through and imagine different scenarios with characters I’ve thought of but haven’t fully fleshed out with character sheets because I don’t fully understand the character sheets, and… yeah. The dice are a really pretty blue!

Rachel and I are hoping to, sometime soon, have enough time to each make a character or two and just have a practice session, if you will, between the two of us. We both love creating stories and D&D seems to be another fun, creative way to do so.

Then, of course, there are all sorts of D&D video games to check out…

What do you think Dungeons & Dragons? Have you ever played? Any advice for new players?

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Friday Favorites: Smash Bros. Items

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

With Super Smash Bros. for the Switch arriving this year, this week’s list is a look at some of my favorite items from the franchise. Sure, it’s a great challenge to take out the items from matches, but the chaos some of these items create can be fantastic!

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Bunny Hood

I always had a penchant for the speedier characters, and with the Bunny Hood, I was able to go even faster. The high jumps this item gave the characters was also so much fun!

Motion Sensor Bomb

Bombs are always great to mix a little chaos into the matches, with the motion sensor bomb being one of my favorites. In a battle with 4 or more people, it was great when you were able to sneak one of these bombs without anyone else noticing and watching as they go flying off the screen due to the unexpected explosion.

Warp Star

The Warp Star from Kirby’s games was a great item to deal that finishing blow on an opponent, as long as you were able to control it well enough. It’s quick and pretty and just fun to use in a fast-paced battle.

Pokeball

C’mon, who doesn’t love the pokeball item in the games? Aside from the random Pokemon being an addicting gamble, some of the Pokemon can be particularly devastating to your opponents. And they’re adorable!

What are your favorite Super Smash Bros. items?

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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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