Kind Words [Video Game Review]

Kind Words | Video Games | Gaming | Indie Game | PC | Doublexjump.com

Title: Kind Words
Developer: Popcannibal
Publisher: Popcannibal
Platform:
PC
Category:
Indie, chill word game
Release Date:
September 13, 2019
How we got the game: 
Bought and downloaded it on Steam

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Kind Words has been on my radar since I heard about it a few months ago, and it came right back up to the front of my to-play list thanks to the Game Awards having it as a nominee for the Games for Impact award. I was finally able to download it, and I am not disappointed in it.

Note that this review doesn’t use our typical template. Mechanically speaking, there’s not much to this game. You have a little avatar that relaxes in a small bedroom while scribbling away letters to other people. The goal is, simply, to be kind, to send words of encouragement, to give advice in response to other people’s letters, or to just let them know, “I am here and I hear you.”

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The menu on the side allows you to see requests that you can answer, send a request yourself to receive advice, send a paper airplane that floats through everyone’s room, and see your inbox, among options for the credits and settings. The setting is minimal, clean, and calming with the soft lights and the chill mix of music that you can adjust to your liking by clicking on the radio above the bed.

The game itself opens up and you meet the Mail Deer. This adorable creature claims that they are the one who sends your letters along, letting you know the gist of the game as well as warning you that you are communicating with real people and to be careful about giving away too much personal information. Mail Deer also speaks about how important they take cyber bullying or dangerous messages, and urges players to report any requests that fall under those categories. Security and safety are this game’s utmost priorities, and it shows in the community and how swiftly those reports are handled.

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One of the main criticisms of this game — and there are very few of those — is players asking for more room on the letters and paper airplanes to write their requests or advice. Sometimes the main point of a request gets lost when not all the context is there due to the lack of room, and the advice that follows doesn’t quite work.

While it can be somewhat of an issue to not have the full story, I do like the fact that the letters must be shorter. It helps with the anonymity of the game and helps to illustrate that one may not receive all the advice they hope to from a stranger online. Indeed, strangers helping out one another with advice and words of encouragement is wonderful, but there is only so much that a stranger can do. To help with that, Kind Words does have a link to mental health resources that is prominent at the bottom of the screen whenever a letter or airplane is written. If one truly needs help, that link is there for when simple advice cannot.

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Another criticism that I’ve heard about the game is that there is no method of keeping in touch or continuing to send and receive letters from the same strangers. Some have found that certain people give fantastic advice, others are wondering how well their advice was received or how someone who had written a particular letter is doing. While it would be nice to be able to keep in touch with someone else, especially since — despite the dangers — online relationships can be wonderful, I believe the one-time reply does its job well. People inherently want to help others, but it can be dangerous to be so involved with others’ problems, dangerous for both parties’ self-esteem and their mental health. To harp on a stranger’s issue, as well-meaning as one may be, can be destructive for both parties.

As the Mail Deer, sometimes the best you can do is to send along a kind word, and you have to hope that will be enough. Know that you did your best for a stranger in the form of an anonymous letter and that they will be able to take strength from your kindness.

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I believe every person has a little bit of, “I want to save the world,” in them, but it can be overwhelming when it appears that you, as only one person, can’t make as much of an impact as you think. To be able to help just one person enables one to realize that perhaps they cannot impact the whole world but, for that one person they helped, they were able to impact that one individual world, hopefully for the better.

Kind Words enables us to do just that.

Kind Words gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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Friday Favorites: Games of the Decade

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m looking back on some of my favorite games that I’ve played these past ten years and I can’t believe how many gems I’ve found. It was difficult to narrow these lists down!

Friday | Video Games | Gaming | Game of the Decade | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Considering it’s 2020, the first year of the new decade, and we were challenged to figure out what our overall Game of the Decade was when Rachel and I joined Jett from In Third Person on his Twitch show Boss Rush this past Wednesday.

This homework was hard.

Nevertheless, I was able to create a list of my top games from the years 2010 to 2019. These are listed by the year rather than a ranking system, and this is all my personal opinion.

2010: Pokemon Heartgold/Soulsilver

Heartgold and Soulsilver were a couple of fantastic remakes for the original second generation of Pokemon. Considering the Crystal version was one of my favorite installments of the franchise, I was pleased with the way the remakes were handled. Updated graphics, music, and the fact that Pokemon could follow you around were all wonderful aspects of these games! (Honorable mention – Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth)

2011: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

While the motion controls can be hit or miss, Skyward Sword was such a fun adventure with some of the brightest graphics I’ve ever seen at that point for a Legend of Zelda game. The world itself was a bit linear, but I enjoyed the areas that we did explore. My favorite part of the game, though, had to be the characters themselves. Zelda and Link, Fi, Ghirahim, Impa, and even Groose all had awesome designs and character development throughout the game.

2012: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning

Harvest Moon was a series that I always enjoyed, but more so the older installments than the newest ones. A New Beginning was a happy medium for me. Allowing me to build up and create both the farm and the town was a fun project and it was always satisfying to meet the requirements needed for certain buildings. I enjoyed the graphics as well, and the online features worked great when there was enough people playing the game.

2013: Fire Emblem: Awakening

If you know me at all from this blog, you’ll know that the Fire Emblem series is a love of mine, particularly Awakening. It reignited my passion for the franchise, with the characters and story line, even if some of them were a bit more cliche than unique. I loved customizing the avatar, especially since they had more of a personality, and pairing up the characters is always a guilty pleasure of mine. (Honorable mention – Pokemon X/Y)

2014: Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

The Ace Attorney series is near and dear to me, and I was always curious about the Professor Layton games, hearing that they involved crimes to solve as well but with little puzzles dotting the story here and there. When this crossover game came out, we seized the chance to be introduced to Professor Layton and were not disappointed. The mesh of two casts worked well and the story was well done! (Honorable mentions – Tomodachi Life, Sims 4)

2015: Undertale

This game took the world by storm with its unique characters, metafictional elements of storytelling, and near perfect scores by critics. It was unlike anything I’ve ever played before, an RPG where you didn’t have to harm anyone. The success story of the creator Toby Fox is amazing and inspiring to anyone who knows his name. That, and the music is some of the best!

2016: Stardew Valley

This game, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is everything that I wish the newer Harvest Moon games are. The premise is simply to raise a successful farm, try to improve the community, and become friends with the townsfolk. Without any gender locks when it came to relationships as well, it’s a big step for LGBT+ representation as well. It’s an easy game to get into, put down, and then pick right back up again. Considering how well it’s been kept up to date with content and features, it’s no surprise that this game is on many people’s top games of the decade lists. (Honorable mentions – Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, Death Road to Canada)

2017: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

This game was my choice for my personal Game of the Decade. It was a tough choice, I’ll admit, but the Legend of Zelda franchise has always been near and dear to my heart. This series helped introduce me to video games, after all. Breath of the Wild was such a fresh and gorgeous take on the franchise. The graphics were beautiful, the exploration and world was fantastic, and I adored all the nods to previous entries in the franchise, with familiar areas, snippets of dialogue, and the memories. I’m so excited for Breath of the Wild 2! (Honorable mention – Miitopia)

2018: Octopath Traveler

I was in love with this game from the moment I saw the first trailer. The art style — reminiscent of a pixel-like pop-up book — was beautiful to me, and the music has turned into one of my favorite soundtracks. The battle system was fun and the character classes in this RPG were great to explore and grow. While I enjoyed the characters, I do wish they were given just a little more depth and interaction with one another. Still, Octopath Traveler was a great game to dive into and lose yourself in the world. (Honorable mentions – Deltarune, Gris)

2019: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

This was probably one of the most difficult years of gaming for me to narrow down my played list and choose just one game. However, after mulling it all over for a while, I finally decided on Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Considering I was lukewarm about Echoes and Fates, and I was a little perplexed about the school setting of Three Houses, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love this game. My main critique for this game is that there was no “golden ending;” I want to protect all of the students! And I totally never trusted the church. This game was one of my runner-ups for Game of the Decade. (Honorable mentions – Arcade Spirits, Pokemon Sword and Shield)

What were your top games of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Rachel’s Game Of The Decade

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Last night, Kris and I were on the latest episode of Boss Rush, a video podcast hosted by Jett from In Third Person. We discussed our game of the decade from the 2010s and I thought I’d share my process as to how I came up with my game of the decade.

Rachel's Game Of The Decade | Video Games | Gaming | Game of the Year | DoublexJump.com

Double Jump started in early 2016. I have played video games all my life but it wasn’t until Double Jump that I started playing them “seriously,” if that makes sense. I always played games with no ulterior motive in mind. I didn’t review them. I didn’t stream them. I played them for fun and when a new game came along, I usually dropped the current one and picked up the next. Unless I was super into a game, I haven’t completed many of them.

Looking back at 2010 and moving forward from there has been weird. There are so many games that I can’t believe only came out a decade ago. There are some games that came out later than I thought or earlier than I thought. Some years I didn’t play that many games and other years I played a lot of games.

I found a list of game releases on the Internet for each year. I went through each year and wrote down the games I had played. Of course, games that came out in 2012 I didn’t play until 2015 or something, but I didn’t get too technical.

Once I wrote down all the games I had played that game out in their respective years, I listed my game of the year for all of them.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

I didn’t include any indie games on this list. I thought that would be too much to sift through. If I had, Death Road to Canada would have been on there as well as Gris and Celeste (if I had played it).

The other thing is, looking at all the games that released in their respective years, my personal choice for game of the year doesn’t feel like “game of the year” material. I mean, I don’t know who else would pick Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon to be the best game of the year. However, out of everything I played, I liked these ones the best for their own reasons.

But we’re just talking about the overall game of the decade.

Each of these games is my favorite for various reasons. So, how was I supposed to choose a game of the decade? Aside from story, graphics, music, and anything else that makes a video game fabulous, I looked at some other elements.

Out of those ten games I listed, I had only completed nine of them. I never actually beat Donkey Kong Country Returns. So, that was out.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Out of these nine games I completed, I realized I didn’t complete alone. Kris and I played The Miracle Mask, Layton vs Wright, and Spirit of Justice together as though they were two-player games. While this isn’t a bad thing, I figured my all-time favorite game of the decade should be something I was always in control of (Kris usually handles the controls) and that I had done by myself. So, these games got the boot as fabulous as they are.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Now, wait a minute. If I’m only going to count games I played myself and had control over then there are a few other games I need to look closer at. Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild, and Octopath Traveler. I never played those games. I never touched the controls of those games. Sure, there are light puzzles and such, but nothing as in-depth as a Layton or Ace Attorney game. These are visual novels where we took turns playing the characters.

I watched Kris play Skyward Sword, Breath of the Wild, and Octopath Traveler all the while being a backseat gamer and laughing whenever she died. Since I don’t have the full effect of actually playing these games and being in control myself… these games were also out.

  • 2010 – Donkey Kong Country Returns
  • 2011 – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
  • 2012 – Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
  • 2013 – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
  • 2014 – Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright
  • 2015 – Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • 2016 – Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
  • 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018 – Octopath Traveler
  • 2019 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

Out of the decade, I only 100-percent solely played and completed three games. Wow. That’s not much, is it?

Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 are all vastly different games too. Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and Luigi cover my gaming tastes pretty well, but none of them are alike at all.

I enjoy all the characters throughout each game. The dialogue is humorous in Pokemon, can be flat in Animal Crossing, and the cut scenes in Luigi’s Mansion 3 were adorable. I love collecting things in Animal Crossing. Super Mystery Dungeon isn’t a main Pokemon game and you don’t collect too many things, per se, but the exploration element is fun. Exploring in Luigi’s Mansion 3, even though it’s pretty linear, is fun as well. Each floor of the hotel is fun and unique. The same goes for the dungeons in Super Mystery Dungeon. Except, even though the layout of the dungeons in Super Mystery Dungeon are different, the gameplay is more or less the same. In Luigi’s Mansion 3, each floor has a different puzzle for you to solve.

All the games are charming in their own right. They’re relaxing. They’re quirky. They’re fun.

I still have to choose just one though.

Out of all of these games, I played and completed Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon just once. While I do hope to go back to it and replay it, I haven’t and that game is now five years old. So, the bronze trophy goes to Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf came out in 2013. I haven’t 100-percented the game yet since a lot of the collectibles depend on the time of year and time of day you play. However, after nearly seven years, I still go back to that game. It goes in spurts, yes. But I always go back to it.

Luigi’s Mansion 3, on the other hand, is just shy of being three months old. I played through it once and completed it. I didn’t 100-percent it because there were certain things I couldn’t find, but I beat the main story in about 20 hours. I enjoyed every second of it. I had been looking forward to this game for months. When I got it, I couldn’t put it down. I was so happy to play it. The moment I beat it, I couldn’t wait to start a new file and play it all over again.

And honestly? A game hasn’t made me feel like that in a very long time.

With that said. My game of the decade is…

Luigi’s Mansion 3.

It was a tough choice between that and New Leaf, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 gives me feels like the other games don’t. I’ve enjoyed each and every moment with all of these games. After writing this post, I have the urge to go play Super Mystery Dungeon again (especially after the last Pokemon Direct) and also check in on my village in New Leaf.

If you want to see some other game of the decade choices, feel free to catch up on Boss Rush.

What’s your game of the decade? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Book Review: IRL

Books | Book Review | In Real Life | Graphic Novel | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
In Real Life, or IRL, is a graphic novel by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang that showcases a high schooler’s life as she joins a popular MMORPG. Anda, the main character, has a love of gaming, both online and offline as the comic shows with her classes in computer and gaming programming as well an afterschool D&D campaign. When a well-known gamer visits her class to talk about Coarsegold, an MMORPG, and the importance of female gamers being comfortable playing as females in their games, Anda joins the guild.

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Upon entering the game, Anda meets another female online who convinces her that there are players who cheat the system by gold farming. It’s her job to get rid of them and she gets paid real money for doing so. Anda joins her in this quest believing she’s doing the right thing for the game and also making a little extra money along the way.

krismii
This isn’t well received by Anda’s mother, who was apprehensive about Anda joining an online game in the first place. Like most parents, her mother was concerned about Anda talking to strangers, particularly men. She was appeased by Anda joining an all-female guild, but when Anda starts getting paid to get rid of gold farmers, it’s her mother’s bank account that is connected to the game. Her mother, believing that Anda is talking to strangers and accepting money, cuts Anda off from her video games right when Anda begins to realize that the gold farmers are real people rather than bots.

rachmii
Before Anda gets cut off, she actually has a conversation with one of the gold farmers, a young kid from China trying to make extra money as he works in awful conditions. Anda realizes there are people out there who don’t have it as easy as she does and she’s determined to help him out. There’s a lot of morals that go into this graphic novel and it’s not just about playing video games online and making a hobby out of it.

krismii
Reaching out and trying to help others, bullying, and the morals of meeting people both on- and offline are all lessons that are touched upon in this graphic novel. I actually thought it was interesting how the mother was in this story, with her being concerned about online predators that we really don’t see much nowadays. Rachel and I grew up with the internet, having special classes occasionally in school regarding internet safety since it was still fairly new. Now, kids are much more tech-savvy than their parents when it comes to online and people’s lives are plastered on the internet more so than ever.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s true. Most kids are on their own when it comes to the Internet. They learn from their friends or they figure it out for themselves. However, from a babysitter’s perspective, there are still plenty of parents out there who worry though mostly because they don’t understand. Their kids don’t understand either (even though they think they do) which makes them worry more. So, reading the conversations between Anda and her mother were pretty real to me.

krismii
Which is great, it’s good that the graphic novel echoes the conversations that parents you know have had. I feel as if parents’ involvement with the way their kids interact with the internet has fallen to the wayside in recent years. When it comes to the images of the graphic novel, I enjoyed the art style and how fluid it was. Being set mainly in an MMORPG, there were plenty of action shots and pages, and the characters’ expressions were always clearly captured, in my opinion.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This graphic novel, overall, is well done. The illustrations are fun, the characters are easy to get into it, and the story is a good one.

Have you ever read IRL? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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That Time I Did Not Pick Legend of Zelda

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Something that I’m trying to do for the new year is to be a little more active on social media, such as Twitter. It includes trying to respond to more people, throw my opinion out there more, and just see what comes up.

Nintendo | Video Games | Nintendo 3DS | Legend of Zelda | Zelda | Doublexjump.com

Fairly recently, a Twitter account we follow — @GifZelda — posted an image of a plethora of Nintendo 3DS games and posed the following: “You can only choose three. What do you choose?”

I took a few minutes, looked at the list of games, and retweeted my top choices for fun:
Screenshot_20200107-153526_Twitter.jpg
Fire Emblem: Awakening was a no-brainer, as that is probably one of my favorite Fire Emblem games to date. Pokemon Y had to be included to represent my love of the franchise and, out of the three games presented, I enjoyed the Kalos region the most. Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney had a fun story with both old and new characters that I’ve grown to love. The three games encompassed most of my video game tastes, and it wasn’t too difficult to choose them.

Then I realized that the first line of games were all Legend of Zelda titles and I had a mini existential crisis.

The Legend of Zelda is a franchise that literally helped introduce me to video games and as since grown into one of my favorites. Our mom may not know too much about video games nowadays, but she knows the Legend of Zelda title and what the Triforce looks like, able to link the series with my love of gaming (pun originally not intended, but awesome enough to stay there). By not choosing one of the titles, I felt as if I was betraying the Legend of Zelda.

Granted, just because I preferred other game franchises for the Nintendo 3DS to the Legend of Zelda did not diminish my love for the series. The majority of the Legend of Zelda choices were remakes of previously released titles, for one thing. For another, this choice merely solidifies how I prefer to play certain series. The Legend of Zelda franchise was always a series that I preferred to play on a television console rather than handheld, just as I prefer Fire Emblem as a handheld series instead of console.

It’s a bit funny how I categorize the franchises I play, especially with the Nintendo Switch’s ability to, well, switch between handheld and docked modes. Being able to take Breath of the Wild on the go is wonderful, but the gorgeous world is better appreciated on a bigger screen. Likewise, seeing Fire Emblem: Three Houses on the television is great, but I enjoy seeing the smaller details on handheld mode. Indeed, Three Houses was one of the first game data that I transferred from the original Switch onto my Switch Lite so I could always enjoy it.

Then there are franchises that can go either way. It’s been awesome to see Pokemon on bigger screens, especially the latest installments with the new world details, but I still enjoy the handheld versions. C’mon, they’re called pocket monsters, after all. Professor Layton and Ace Attorney are also games that I like on handheld, the mysteries and smaller screens giving a cozy sense to the games, but since Rachel and I enjoy playing them together, having the game on the television is much better for our eyes and postures.

In the end, there’s usually no right way to play your favorite franchises, even when some lend themselves to one screen over the other.

Are there any series that you prefer on a handheld screen? Or a television screen? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Nintendo Switch Online Wish List

Nintendo Switch | Online | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
I’ll admit that we do not use the Nintendo Switch online services as often as we probably should considering we’re paying for it. I forget that it exists, to be honest. The idea of the catalog is wonderful, especially since we have good friends that we can’t play local co-op with, but there haven’t been too many games that we’re interested in playing just yet.

rachmii
The idea of the Nintendo Switch Online is a good idea in theory. However, a lot of the games we already own and can still play on our past consoles. Not to mention Nintendo released the SNES and NES Classic consoles so… it’s all sort of redundant.

krismii
I would like to see more SNES and NES games that are not on the Classic consoles offered with revamped online multiplayer if such a mode is applicable. Online Turtles in Time, anyone? I’m also hoping that some Nintendo 64 games will make their way onto the online service. I really think there should have been an online multiplayer mode for games like Super Mario Party. Imagine playing the original Mario Party games online!

rachmii
The NES and SNES were great consoles, but I really think the Nintendo 64 was the peak of it all. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a Nintendo 64 Classic or even games from that console added to the Switch online. It would be awesome to play through the old Mario Party games, especially since some of those games were never added to the virtual console on the Wii or Wii U.

krismii
I hope they’re thinking of adding Nintendo 64 games onto the Online service in the long run, as I believe Nintendo is adamant that there is not going to be an N64 Classic anytime soon. And, of course, the online service isn’t all bad. We would never be able to play Pokemon Sword and Shield or Smash Ultimate with each other and friends if not for the online service. Still, I wish there was more incentive than that to pay for using the Internet while gaming.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, the games that were added are games that we never played as kids. We don’t have much interest in trying some of them too. We should broaden our horizons, but we don’t. On the flip side, the games that we did play as kids, such as Turtles in Time, aren’t there.

krismii
We should explore the options a bit more, admittedly. I wonder how the Switch Online service is for those who do remember playing the currently available games? Perhaps because we don’t have as much nostalgia for the games is why we don’t care for the Online service, with the exception of the occasional Pokemon battle or Smash match with online friends.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That’s true. We were pretty young in the era of the NES and SNES. This is all the more reason as to why I would love to have some Nintendo 64 games on there. I’d be playing those all the time. Still, we definitely need to explore the games that are already on there a bit more.

Do you use the Nintendo Switch Online services often? What would you like to see on there? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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January 2020 Pokemon Direct Reaction

Pokemon | Nintendo | Pokemon Direct | 2020 | Video Games | Gaming | Doublexjump.com

krismii
This past Thursday, we got a Pokemon Direct from Nintendo and holy crap. Let’s just say that we were pleased by this direct, despite the complaints that we’ve seen bopping around the Internet. The first two minutes of the direct showcased the remake of the Red and Blue Rescue Team Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games and, while the mystery dungeon games weren’t my cup of tea, I think Rachel enjoyed seeing the tease.

rachmii
Like many others, I’ve been waiting for a new Mystery Dungeon game for quite some time. The latest Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game came out in 2015. It’s been some time and while this isn’t a brand new Mystery Dungeon game, I’m pleased the two original titles of the series (originally for the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS) are getting a chance in the spotlight once again. It seems as though they smooshed the two games together into one and not only remastered it but updating it with new elements such as mega evolution. I’m excited!

krismii
I’m glad you, and so many others, are excited for Mystery Dungeon! Personally, I was much more excited for the rest of the direct. I’ve always enjoyed the third-tier Pokemon games that gave more lore and story elements to the regions, and have been disappointed by the “sequels” that didn’t give much new content. They were too similar in story to the original pair of games for the region to warrant the full price of a new game. I think having DLC for Sword and Shield is a great happy medium. To give us more content past the champion route without having to play the story again, along with some more Pokemon included, is perfect.

rachmii
I have to admit I was wrong about what they were going to do next with Sword and Shield. So many people speculated DLC and I said a hard “no.” Pokemon has never had DLC before. I didn’t think they’d start now. While I’m not pleased with the idea that they might go down the “DLC rabbit hole” I’m excited for the expansion pass for the games. I can’t wait to have more story, more max raid battles, more places to explore, and new Pokemon to meet!

krismii
Generally, I’m not a fan of DLC either, but I feel like Nintendo does DLC well. They release full games and DLC is an expansion on what we already have. Just take a look at Breath of the Wild, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses for a few examples. The DLC is usually not the price for a full game, either. While I prefer free DLC, as I’m sure everyone does, I don’t mind paying a bit to support the developers for giving us a fuller experience in games. In Sword and Shield, I enjoyed having something to do after becoming champion, and I’m excited to see what comes next with the Isle of Armor and the Crown Tundra!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While this is true, Nintendo also usually comes out with “deluxe” versions later on that end up having the full game plus all the DLC included. We were lucky not to buy any DLC for Mario Kart 8 so when we got Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there were some new things for us. Overall though, I am looking forward to the expansion pass. It’s $30, which is cheaper than I expected it to be. I’m certainly not complaining about that. I only wonder if we’ll have to buy it twice? Sword and Shield don’t have cloud save data. I’m playing through Sword twice on the same profile, but one is on our home Switch and the other is on my Switch Lite. If we buy the DLC on our home Switch, will it appear on my Sword file on my Switch Lite? We have a physical copy of the game, but without the cloud save data it doesn’t matter if I play the game on the same profile on different consoles. I hope I’ll be able to use the DLC on both consoles so I can have it for all of my save files of the games, especially since I one-hundred-percented Shield on my Switch Lite.

krismii
I’m hoping we can download the expansion pass per Nintendo account and profile. That way, even if you switch between your Sword games on the home Switch and your Lite, your profile will still recognize that you have the expansion pass. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see, though. That’s a concern, unlike some of the harsher reactions we’ve seen on the Internet regarding the expansion pass. It’s a shame people were complaining about “Game Freak turning into EA” when it comes to paid DLC, but that doesn’t even make sense. In previous Pokemon generations, you would have to buy another whole game, one that only enhanced the original story, for full price. I suppose the expansion pass for both Sword and Shield is still the price of a full game put together, but I feel like it’s better than having each version’s expansion pass be a whole $60 or so. Hearing folks complain about the old Pokemon just arriving now is a bit silly as well. True, it would have been nice to see as many Pokemon as possible already in the Galar region, but I would like to believe that Game Freak is adding more Pokemon due to the backlash of no National Dex. Besides, it’ll make the new areas seem fresher with new species to the Galar region.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think it’s ridiculous how people are overreacting to this. Honestly, everyone is going to buy it and enjoy it anyway. I think part of the reason Game Freak chose to do this was due to the backlash, yes. But I also believe it was done as a business move because they had already announced Pokemon Home. It’s easy to suck people into the “catch ’em all” mentality. So, adding more Pokemon – new and old – are going to make people buy this regardless of the new areas. For some people, anyway. I’m looking forward to it overall and I do hope I’ll be able to truly catch them all in a single game, though I know that’s a bit unrealistic. So, for now, I’m super excited and my only “complaint” about all this (which isn’t really a complaint at all) is the fact that my Pokemon Sword and Shield guide and Pokedex are already outdated and I just got them. So, I hope they come out with an updated guide and an updated Galar pokedex for my collection at home.

krismii
I’m curious as to how Pokemon Home is going to work between Let’s Go and Sword and Shield. It’s supposed to be similar to Pokemon Bank, but the only compatible games at the moment for it are those on the Switch and, even then, only a percentage of the Let’s Go Pokemon will be able to transfer to Pokemon Sword and Shield. I’m cautiously optimistic that more Pokemon games will be coming to the Switch, like a couple of remastered Sinnoh versions or a duo of Let’s Go titles for Johto.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
(Yes, like Psyduck.) I hope they remaster some of the older games and slowly bring more and more Pokemon from those games to Home to Sword and Shield… I’d also be happy with an updated version of Pokemon Ranch. But I guess that’s another topic of conversation for another day.

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Parents And Video Games

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

For the past ten years, I’ve been a teacher and a babysitter. I’ve always been a gamer. Gaming isn’t exactly “glamorous” to some and it’s hard to mix gaming with anything else you do in your life.

Parents and Video Games | Gaming | Gaming Thoughts | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

When I tell people I play video games, people are surprised. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a girl or because I’m an adult or what. Yet, it’s always surprising to people when they find out I enjoy playing video games. It’s even more surprising to them when I say I work in the gaming field. I have a blog about video games. I contribute to a gaming magazine. I engage in gaming conversations on social media. I live stream games on Twitch.

I don’t mention all of that to certain people. This isn’t to say I’m embarrassed by what I do, but there are certain people that don’t need to know. One, because I don’t want to hear about it and two, they don’t necessarily need to know.

When I pick up the kids from school, there are a couple of other parents I speak to while the kids play together. My ten-year-old plays Fortnite on occasion and his friend just got a Nintendo Switch and Fortnite for Christmas. Another child, who’s seven and in the same class as my other kid, also plays Fortnite.

Thus, a conversation about video games, weapons, and their ages began between those two moms and me. Or, them mostly. I stood in between them nodding my head as they talked.

The child who got Fortnite for Christmas has never played the game before because he was never allowed to. His mom doesn’t like the weapons, but she likes that it’s cartoon enough and there’s no blood. She also mentioned she played Mortal Kombat when she was his age but the world wasn’t crazy back then as it is today. She felt bad for not allowing him to play Fortnite all this time, but she sat him down and had a talk about friending people online and the works.

The other mom was concerned about them talking to strangers online. Yes, you need to be friends with someone to talk to them but it’s the unknown that bothers the parents. They were so concerned about them talking to strangers and people older than them.

I think it’s great the parents monitor this stuff, but that’s all they do. They don’t take the time to research what the kids are actually doing. What they can and can’t do. They just watch the kids do it and hope nothing bad happens.

What I found funny was that one of the mother’s heard her kid say, “Give me HP” through their headset. She had no idea what “HP” meant. She was laughing as she told us this because I guess she promptly scolded her child for being rude. He then needed to explain to her that he was on a team and someone had an extra health potion for him because he was dying. She apologized to him and laughed it off to us because she has no idea what the game is.

The story was pretty funny as she told it but again, it’s interesting how quickly the parents assume something. They’re worried the kids don’t know anything about anything but the parents are in the same boat. They don’t take the time to really look at what the kids are playing.

I’ve seen various ways video games can influence kids – in both good and bad ways. There are times I agree with the parents and then there are times I don’t. Video games affect people differently especially depending on your age, what the game is, and where you are in your life.

Right now, the kids play Fortnite because all their friends are doing it. It’s pretty to look at and the dances are funny. The parents see strangers talking to their kids while holding cartoon guns.

I’m not saying the parents need to play Fortnite in order to understand it. They don’t need to play any video games to understand any of it at all. However, I personally think it’s odd for them to worry their kids don’t understand the Internet when they don’t understand it themselves. When they believe to know what it’s about simply because they’ve “been there, done that.”

No one is in the wrong here either. Everyone is allowed to parent their children however they see fit when it comes to video games. However, growing up playing video games and working in the field, it’s odd to hear people talk about it negatively in passing.

The first family I ever babysat for hated the kids playing video games. They were on the consoles all the time and got fixated on the games. However, the parents never educated themselves about video games. The kids would be playing rated M games at the ages of 6, 7, and 10. The parents didn’t ease up on them playing games until they found out I played video games too. It was almost though it was suddenly okay because I, an adult, played games.

I’m sure it helped that I played family-friendly games such as Mario and Pokemon. I think the parents thought my influence on the kids would steer them in a better direction when it came to playing games.

I’m old enough now to look back at the stupid things I’ve done and realized my parents were right all along. However, there are some times I see parents doing or saying something because they don’t understand it themselves and just don’t want their kids to go down an unknown rabbit hole. A rabbit hole, the parents won’t take the time to check out first.

Again, I’m not trying to say parents who don’t let their kids play video games are wrong. Everyone has their own opinions on the subject and this is mine. It’s an interesting perspective when you’re caught in the middle. These aren’t my kids so who am I to butt in? It’s just interesting to see from afar.

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Ace Attorney: Season Two [Anime Review]

Anime Review: Ace Attorney: Season Two | Phoenix Wright | Anime | TV Shows | Review | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

krismii
If you know us at all, you know that the Ace Attorney franchise is one of our favorites. We were beyond excited when we heard that there was an anime made for the first game of the series, and thrilled when the anime was renewed for a season two to complete the original trilogy of the games. Despite the fact that we have completed the games multiple times, we were still looking forward to watching how the anime showcased the series.

rachmii
We watched the entirety of season one in practically one or two nights and reviewed a couple of episodes from it. We were talking about the second season one day out of the blue. Out of curiosity, we looked up the DVDs and release date and it turned out volume one of season two was already out and volume two was released just a week or two after we had this original conversation. Like season one, I had splurged on the DVDs and Kris took it upon herself to splurge on season two.

krismii
It wasn’t even a question of whether or not we would get it. I just added it to the cart and bought it immediately, haha! To celebrate getting season two, we did rewatch season one and found it as delightful as the first time we watched it. This time we realized there were also bloopers, the voice actors goofing off while saying their lines, and it was hilarious! Season two, however, did not have bloopers which were terribly unfortunate, but it was still fantastic to watch.

rachmii
Yes, we decided to rewatch the first season while waiting for the second volume of season two to come out. Even though it says there are bloopers on the back of the DVD, there were actually no bloopers on either disc of season two, which was disappointing.

krismii
Yet, we weren’t disappointed with the quality of season two. It did a fantastic job of animating the second and third games, especially with Trials and Tribulations. Despite the fact that we knew how the story ended, we were always on the edge of our seats. The voice acting was wonderful for all the characters. Not only that, but there was a handful of episodes for a case that is not present in the games. I would love more original Ace Attorney anime!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Season two was great, I agree. The final case in the third game is the longest and it was 13 episodes long. Nothing was dragged out, either. It was just really good and we were addicted to it. But yes, I would love more original episodes. In season one, there was an episode of when Phoenix, Miles, and Larry were in elementary school. In season two, there’s an episode when they’re teenagers. There was also another episode that seemed to take place in the “present.” Maya, Phoenix, Gumshoe, and the Judge are all on a train and have to solve a murder. That was especially fun because we didn’t actually know the ending.

krismii
Even though we know all the answers and endings at this point, the Ace Attorney anime is something that I would watch multiple times. The characters are strong, the voice acting is wonderful, and the animation itself is well done. I also really enjoyed the theme songs, wishing that they were available on Spotify. Here’s hoping that there will be a season three, one that either continues with Apollo Justice or even giving us more original cases with the current cast.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Out of all the anime we’ve watched, Ace Attorney is probably one of my favorite shows. I do hope there’s a season three. I’d love to see more of the games through the characters in the show. Plus, more original cases. That would be a lot of fun.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Galar Pokemon

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

The end of 2019 was pretty good in the sense I spent most of my time playing Pokemon Shield. Aside from knowing the baby starter Pokemon (not their evolutions) and a handful of other Pokemon, I didn’t know what to expect from brand new Pokemon going in. And that’s the way I like it. I was pleasantly surprised at the new Pokemon and love so many of the new designs.

Top Tuesday: Favorite Galar Pokemon | Video Games | Nintendo | Pokemon Sword | Pokemon Shield | Galar Region | DoublexJump.com

Chewtle

I absolutely love turtles. They’re one of my favorite animals. When I first saw Chewtle, my heart melted. He looks tough but he’s just a small, adorable guy with an abnormally large head. He’s slow too, which makes camping all the more fun. If you call him from afar, you’ll be sitting there for a few minutes while he happily “runs” toward you.

Cinderace

I enjoy all the evolution forms of Scorbunny. However, its final evolution is awesome. Cinderace looks like the older brother type for the rest of the Pokemon on my team. His clothes are awesome, he has a cool stance, and I love his animations when he attacks – especially with Pyro Ball because it looks like he’s playing soccer and it looks cool.

Carkol

I’ve never met a fire type Pokemon I didn’t like. I didn’t have Carkol on my team because I already had Scorbunny, but the Rolycoly line looks amazing. Out of the three evolutions, Carkol, the middle, is my favorite design. I like how he’s a minecart. I think it’s pretty clever.

Barraskewda

I’ll be honest. I haven’t trained too many “fish” Pokemon. I normally get a water Pokemon before you get the fishing rod in the game. You can fish right away in Sword and Shield, though I didn’t realize that at first. I didn’t have a Barraskewda on my team, but I enjoy the design of the Pokemon. I think it’s pretty cool how they made its fins and tail act as motor propellers as though it’s a boat.

Eiscue

Have we had a penguin Pokemon before? I can’t think of one at the top of my head and I’m too lazy to look through all 890 Pokemon to find a penguin. While Eiscue looks a bit odd with a block of ice for a head, I think it’s out of the box which makes it pretty cool overall. Not to mention, now they have plenty of opportunities to make other penguin Pokemon – macaroni penguins, baby penguins, emperor penguins, and more.

What are some of your favorite new designs for the Galar region? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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