Why I Love Digital Downloads

Happy Tuesday!

I’ve been playing a lot of Nintendo 3DS games lately and it got me thinking about just what I have on my 3DS.

Why I Love Digital Downloads

When the virtual console became a thing, I was impressed. I was excited. I wanted to play older games on my newer consoles. I mean, when we tried hooking up our Nintendo 64 a few months ago, the games were all messed up. Simply because they’re old, but I still miss playing them.

It wasn’t too long after that that downloading digital versions of games became a thing. I didn’t care too much for that.

Like books, I prefer the physical copies of video games. I like having the cover art and the small cartridge. I have a small bucket where I keep all my handheld games.

Then a few games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies, for example, came out only as digital versions. I was disappointed because, as I said, I like having the cartridge.

It wasn’t until I started exploring more of the eShop and started downloading more digital games that I’ve begun to appreciate them more.

There are two reasons for this:

1. When I take my 3DS anyway, I have a plethora of games at my fingertips.

I always take my 3DS on vacation with me, along with a Ziploc bag of games. I still bring extra games, of course, but it’s nice to know that I have a good amount of games either way. I can take my pick if I’m playing in the car and the extra games are in my bag in the trunk.

2. This is the most important reason and what made me think of this post:

I was lying in bed the other night, wanted to play a different game, but I didn’t want to get up.

There you go, the secret’s out.

I have a ton of games to keep me occupied late at night when I’m too tired to move, but not tired enough to actually stop playing my games and go to sleep.

Sounds crazy, I know, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What’s crazy is that you should all see my eShop wishlist…

Do you prefer digital or physical games? Let me know in the comments! 

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Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Title: Mario Party Star Rush
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
November 2016
How we got the game: 
I got it as a gift

gameplay

The Main Game

I’d like to say that this game plays like the other Mario Party games, but it doesn’t. You and your opponents all move during the same turn, but not in a car. You have free reign to move where ever you want. And when I say that, I really mean it. The boards aren’t linear at all so you can run in little circles if you so choose.

That’s the main mode of the game, called Toad Scramble. You don’t choose your own character, everyone is a different-colored Toad. Along the board, there are hidden block spots. Land on one of those and you’ll get an item. The items aren’t that great, so I always wish for a mushroom (which adds 3 to your roll), a gold mushroom (which adds 5 to your roll), or a double dice block. You can grab coins where they appear and coin balloons. When popped, a mini game happens. The overall idea is to make it to the boss space, which holds a star. You collectively battle a boss and whoever gets the most points gets the star. This happens three times, the third and final boss holding two stars.

Ally Characters

During the game, ally characters appear to help you out. These characters include Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Waluigi, most typical characters you can play in Mario Party. Each ally has its own unique dice block and a certain skill. For example, if you have Yoshi on your team and you stand next to an apple, he’ll eat it and coins will appear.

The allys appear randomly on the board and you have to race your opponents to get to them. You’re allowed to have four allys with you and trust me, it helps. They’re CPUs, but they’re on your team. So, during the boss battles, you have five characters adding to your points. Plus, they roll a dice block with you. Your dice block goes up to six and while they have unique blocks, if you’re not playing as them, they’ll roll a block that goes up to two. So, you can roll a six and if you have four partners and they each get a two, you’ll end up moving 14 spaces.

Coins

Coins are super important, like in all Mario Party games, but I find them more important in this game. At the end of each game, they tally your coins. You get a star for each ten coins you have. So, if you end the game with 56 coins, you get five extra stars.

Coins are hard to come by though. The game is pretty cheap when it comes to handing out coins. Sometimes they’re scattered along the board and you just have to get there before your opponents do. Even then, it’s only one coin. Balloons will sometimes appear. That holds a small handful of coins and brings on a mini game. If you get first in a mini game, you get 5 coins. Second place will award you 3 coins, third will get you 2 coins, and fourth place will give you only 1 coin. If you land on the boss space, you’ll be rewarded with five coins.

The Boards

There are five “worlds,” but the first one is called World 0, which is mainly for practice and learning the tools of the game. So, there’s really only four playable Worlds.

Each World has three levels of the same board. World 1 has a beach theme, World 2 has a Haunted Boo House theme, World 3 has a cake theme, and World 4 is a Bowser Castle theme. So, yeah… four worlds, four boards. The third level of each board isn’t that hard and the game still doesn’t take long to play.

So, in this department, the game kind of failed for me. I was hoping for more variety in boards and for them to be a little harder. Sure, they each had some good qualities to them, but it wasn’t anything major and it really didn’t make the game any more difficult.

Boss Battles

There are ten bosses total. They’re all pretty straight forward and simple. Bowser is one of the bosses, but he only appears when you’re playing the Bowser Castle board. So, if you’re playing any other board there are only nine bosses.

They hold the stars you need to get. The first two bosses each have one star and the final boss has two stars. Get the most points in these battles and you’ll get the star. It’s simple enough, but it’s pretty one-sided.

If you have a ton of ally characters, you’re almost guaranteed a win. If you reach the space first and your opponents are far away, they have to rapidly mash the “A” button to reach the space, so you get a head start on the battle. If you get the last hit on the boss, then you get an extra 3 points, which often makes or breaks who wins.

I like some battles more than others. For example, battling Mega Goomba and Mega Blooper are kind of random. You’re not directly battling the bosses. You’re stealing apples from Goomba and you’re playing music with Blooper. Whereas when you encounter Mega Boo you have to bring flashlights to him in order to hit him and for Mega Monty Mole, it’s a big whack-a-mole game. Those are fun.

Still, the bosses can get repetitive depending on how much you play and, like I said before, they can be one-sided and you know who will win the battle before it even starts.

Mini Games

This game only has 53 mini games total. The includes the boss battles, the Bowser games, and the coin games from the Coinathlon mode. I think the amount of mini games you can play for the main mode, Toad Scramble, is 26. It’s not much at all.

The games that are available aren’t that great, either. No mini games compare to Mario Party 2 or any of the older Mario Party games, but I felt as though they could have at least added more.

The Other Modes

I have to say that I had more fun with the other modes than the regular party mode. I didn’t enjoy Toad Scramble as much as I should have. There are six other modes: Coinathlon, Mario Shuffle, Balloon Bash, Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party. Some are pretty out of place for the Mario Party game (like Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party). However, I had more fun with those modes than the others.

My Overall Thoughts

Toad Scramble was one-sided and little boring at times. It was an interesting concept, but I think they could have done better with it. I unlocked the master difficulty setting for the CPUs, which is the hardest setting for them, and I still dominated them. It was too easy, especially with the ally characters and the final hit on the boss battles.

Sometimes you don’t get all the stars, but you get most of the bonus stars as well as have a lot of coins at the end. You still end up winning. I think I only lost one or two times and I played a lot of this game to get my points up. (The more points you have, you level up and unlock things such as new characters. There wasn’t even much to that though… I’m on level 11 about to get to level 12 and the unlockable is the staff credits.)

This game is worth playing, if only for the other modes.

graphics-music

The graphics in this game are great. They’re 3D, going along with the 3DS and modern times. The characters run smoothly and they each have their own facial expressions, though it’s not very varied. Still, it’s a Mario Party game, so they really only need to happy to win, sad to lose, or neutral.

I played multiplayer with Kris to try it out and that ran smoothly as well. I wanted to show her a lot since she doesn’t have the game, but through the download play on the 3DS we were limited to three modes: Toad Scramble, Balloon Bash, and Coinathlon. I only enjoy Coinathlon, but we had fun either way (I think she had fun). Still, it ran nicely through the Wi-Fi so I can’t complain about that.

The music was good, as always. I always enjoy Mario Party music. Especially through the Rhythm Recital mode and even Bloopers boss battle. I was always bopping my head to that music.

replay-value

Now that I’ve made it as far as I can go in this game, I’m not sure how much I’ll go back to play. I can’t see myself getting “in the mood” to play this game. If I want to play Mario Party, I’m going to play one of the older games. If I do ever go back to this game, it won’t be to play the main mode. I’ll be playing Boo’s Block Party or trying to beat the Challenge Tower.

Mario Party Star Rush gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Party Star Rush Modes

Happy Tuesday!

Since I just recently “finished” Mario Party Star Rush, I thought I’d talk about the modes I enjoyed playing!

 

Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Party Star Rush Modes5. Rhythm Recital

This game is exactly what it sounds like. You choose a character, pick an instrument, pick a song, and then you play the song in a Guitar Hero type way. Except, each note is just a tap on the touch screen and it’s super easy.

I enjoy this game because I like listening to the various Mario songs from the different games and I’ve always liked the musical type games. The only thing about it is the notes can be fickle sometimes. It’ll rank you as “great” instead of “perfect.” I’ve gotten a “B” on all songs, except one, even if I have 20-something “greats,” and over 100 “perfects” with no “okays” or “misses.” When they say perfect, they really mean perfect…

4. Challenge Tower

I find this game to be a little out of place. I feel like it would have worked well as a mini-game for the main mode. You choose a character and climb a tower. Each floor you get to will light up a different color.

Blue means it’s safe, yellow means there’s an Amp nearby, red means there’s two, and purple means it’s surrounded by Amps. You hit an Amp, you fail. The point is to get to the top without hitting any Amps. It’s an interesting puzzle challenge. I managed to beat the 30-floor tower, but I have yet to beat the 50-floor tower.

3. Mario Shuffle

When I first played this game, I didn’t enjoy it. After playing a second and third time I started to appreciate it a little more as I realized there was a strategy for it.

You play as three characters your three opponents are at the opposite end. You want all three of your characters to make it to the other side before the opposing team. You roll two dice blocks at once, allowing two of your characters to move at a time. If you roll doubles, all three of your characters can move.

There are certain spaces that make you go back or move extra. The halfway spot is a pitfall that makes you go back to the beginning. If you land on the same space as your opponent, you send them back to their start and vice versa. If you pass by them on their spot, you knock them over and they skip their next turn and vice versa.

It’s definitely an interesting, quick game.

2. Coinathlon

This is a fun race game. You get put on a board with an opponent and whoever makes it three laps around the board wins. There are no dice blocks involved, you move by the amount the coins you collect. You play three coin games, rotating the three if you don’t make three laps by the end of the playing all three games.

Collect as many coins as you and move along the board ahead of your opponent. I found these games to be a lot more fun than the mini games in the main mode. Plus, they were more intense because your character moves as you play so you’re actually racing your opponent.

1. Boo’s Block Party

I can’t stop playing this mode. It’s kind of like Bejeweled where you have to get at least three in a row. Each block has four sides, numbered one through four. Get the same number at least three in a row and they disappear. Boo blocks will build up to try to get in your way because if the blocks build up too much, you lose.

It’s challenging and I often play the endless mode. There is a versus mode and I’ll admit, I can easily beat the normal CPU, but I have yet to beat them on hard. I don’t want to imagine how difficult they’d be on very hard or master.

Have you played Star Rush? What were some of your favorite modes? Let me know in the comments below!

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Throwback Thursday: Nintendo Gamecube

Happy Thursday!

Between E3 and watching other people on Twitch, I’ve been on a Gamecube kick as people have been playing the original Animal Crossing lately.

 

Throwback Thursday: Nintendo Gamecube

The Nintendo Gamecube was released in North America in November 2001. It’s hard to believe that the console will be 16-years-old this year, even though it was discontinued in 2007.

While I can’t remember how we got our Gamecube, I assume it was a Christmas present, I do remember opening our first game.

While I can’t remember what that game was… I do remember our reaction to the small discs.

We thought they were an amazing piece of technology. They were CDs, but small and adorable. After playing with bulky Nintendo 64 game cartridges, the small discs were really cool to us.

While the Gamecube wasn’t the best Nintendo console, I think it was one of my favorites. In fact, I think most of our video games are for the Gamecube.

Kris and I had a blast playing Mario Kart: Double Dash, Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, various Zelda games (especially Four Swords Adventures), and of course various Mario Party games among a lot of others.

The Gamecube is something that will always be near and dear to my heart and I often find myself getting in the mood to play some of those old school games.

I find it amazing how much Nintendo has grown since the Gamecube and now we have the Switch. They’re pretty much the same size, but the Gamecube is bulkier and heavier. Still, there is that handle on the end… they tried to make it easy to carry around.

They were just 16 years too early.

What was your favorite Gamecube game? Let me know in the comments below!

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Snipperclips Game Review

Snipperclips Game Review

Title: Snipperclips
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
March 3, 2017
How we got the game: 
We bought it

krismii
Snipperclips was an adorable launch title for the Nintendo Switch, starring two characters that shared paper- and scissor-like qualities. While it can be a one-player game, the charm of Snipperclips is when you get multiple people playing together either as a team or competitively to solve the puzzles.

rachmii
It’s a fun, quirky game that I can definitely see playing with friends, which is mainly the point. The puzzles were simple but could be difficult at times. It was fun while it lasted.

gameplay

krismii
Snipperclips is a puzzle game, full of levels designed to make the players think and work together in order to successfully solve them. Each player is armed with a Joy-Con held horizontally to control one of the little characters. The characters can cut each other into various shapes and sizes in order to find the best look to solve the puzzle.

rachmii
The controls were good, though there were a lot of buttons to remember. We often snipped each other when we meant to jump and so on. You could jump, crouch, stand on your tip-toes, snip, and reform yourself once or all the way. Using the joystick to move was a little fickle sometimes as well. You had to be precise but one little centimeter of moving the stick, your character would run sometimes.

 krismii
The puzzles were varied, with some needing the characters to cut out certain shapes, either out of themselves or from part of the level’s background, having to reunite frogs, catch fish, or carefully transport bird eggs to nests, and aiding this female character that Rachel named Linda with collecting hearts and jewels, as a few examples.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I enjoyed some puzzles more than others. I liked cutting ourselves to match the different shapes, but I could have done without the bird egg levels. Linda was pretty good as well as the frogs, fish, and catching fireflies. For those ones, you had to really think outside of the box to cut yourself or around yourself to make the level work. I enjoyed just making myself into different shapes.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are one of the best aspects of this game! The characters are downright adorable with their animations, particularly with their facial expressions. They giggle when snipping at each other, cheer and sigh in relief when a puzzle is solved successfully, and even look exasperated at the television screen once in a while if a puzzle is taking too long to solve.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The characters definitely give this game personality. If you’re going to have a game that’s 100% puzzles with no storyline, you have to make it interesting somehow. The picture was clear and crisp with the Switch’s graphics, but the animation was cartoony which was refreshing to have over most 3D games now.

krismii
The music went very well with the graphics, I think. The music wasn’t too invasive while you were trying to concentrate on the puzzles, and the sound effects and the voices of the characters were spot-on. It kept you engaged without breaking your concentration.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music was relaxing even though we frustratingly yelled at each other a couple of times. Despite how hard it can get, the game is light-hearted and supposed to be pretty simple (as simple as puzzle games go).

replay-value

krismii
While Snipperclips is fun to play with friends, once you finish up the puzzles… There’s not much else to do. It’s a charming game, but short — it only took Rachel and myself a couple of sittings to finish the levels of the main mode. We may return to the game only if we miss the cute characters and want to play something mindless since we’ve already solved the puzzles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We have yet to try out Party Mode where you each play as multiple characters at once. We may return to that for an added challenge at some point. I would also love to play with friends because I’m sure having four people play at once is difficult, but fun. Still, each level didn’t take too long and there were only 15 levels for three areas. I do wish there were more.

Snipperclips 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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Character Spotlight: Spyro

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

Another month has come and gone, which means that it’s time for another character spotlight. Today, I’m talking about an old school guy who has made a comeback recently.

 

Character Spotlight: Spyro the Dragon

Spyro is nostalgic for me. I remember playing his games on the Play Station way back when. He’s always had a soft spot in my heart mainly because he’s so cute.

He was first introduced in 1998 Spyro the Dragon for Play Station. His series continued in Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. The Legend of Spyro, released in 2006-2008, was a trilogy of games that was supposedly a rebooted version of the previous games.

Most recently, Spyro has appeared in the Skylanders series (2011-2016).

I was excited to play Skylanders when it was first announced because I remembered Spyro from my childhood. However, Spyro wasn’t the same.

They had changed him, but I enjoyed his character all the same. He’s still a cute, purple dragon to me. And, while I didn’t play the Skylanders game for very long, I thought it was a good game. It’s still something I plan to get back to at some point, but now I’m six games behind, so… Who knows?

Still, I’ve always loved Spyro and I would love to try the original games again sometime.

Do you remember Spyro? Did you play the games? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top Thursday: Upcoming XBox Games

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I know it’s not Tuesday and I just did a Top Tuesday two days ago, but I thought I’d continue the fun with Xbox games I’m looking forward to from E3. So, here’s a Top Thursday… Which doesn’t have the same ring as Top Tuesday, but oh well.

Favorite Upcoming XBox Games

5. Assassin’s Creed Origins

Assassin’s Creed is a series Kris and I have been wanting to try. We bought a couple of the games but have yet to play them. The trailer for Origins looked so good and I’m excited to try it.

4. Super Lucky’s Tale

This game reminded me a lot of Nintendo. It was cartoony, had an adorable fox, and just looked like the kind of game I would play and enjoy.

3. Ori and the Will of the Wisps

I have no idea what this game is about. But they had a cool trailer, the graphics were really pretty, and I like the music that went along with it. I’m intrigued.

2. Deep Rock Galactic

Dwarves are good. And I like mining for treasure. I also enjoy battling enemies along the way. This seems like a different game and I’m willing to try it out.

1. The Darwin Project

I watched the Microsoft press conference through a YouTuber’s stream of the conference. When this game came was announced, he said it reminded him of The Hunger Games and I have to agree. It seems like a cross between that and Player Unknowns Battlegrounds. It looks cool and I want to give it a shot.

Now, all I need is to get another XBox…

Which XBox games are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments below!

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