Interactive Storytelling

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

One of my favorite genres of video games is RPGs, mainly due to the storytelling elements and the choices I get to make while exploring said story. Interactive storytelling is on the rise in other mediums rather than just video games.

Interactive Storytelling | Story | Video Games | YouTube | Choose Your Own Adventures | Doublexjump.com

Has anyone ever read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury? It’s about a “fireman,” whose job is not to prevent fires but to burn books. One of the mindless ways of entertainment that is described in the book are these parlor walls, giant televisions that span across entire walls. The main character’s wife in particular really enjoys the programs, particularly some family sitcom-like shows that the viewer “participates” in by reading from a script at designated moments in the show.

I was reminded by that detail of the book when I saw that YouTube debuted a trailer for “A Heist with Markiplier,” an apparent choose-your-own-adventure YouTube series that will start streaming this week. Markiplier has reportedly done other choose-your-own-adventure series on YouTube, and I know Netflix has series as well that use the viewer’s input to help determine the course of the story.

Interactive storytelling is popular in its own right, and one of the reasons why I adore video games, even in games where the plot is fairly linear. To see that method used outside of video games — and the book series’ that made it popular — is interesting, especially with television. A click of a button to make a choice and alter the outcome of the show is something that I believe will become more popular as time goes on. Nowadays, people want the interaction and to be part of their favorite universes.

Still, I find it odd regarding television shows, as there’s not much for the viewer to do other than clicking a few buttons and making a choice here or there. Case in point, Rachel and I did a short review on Minecraft Story Mode last year for Netflix. It… wasn’t that great, but it could have been due to the story aimed probably at younger viewers than ourselves. We found it a bit boring and redundant with the choices, even if we admit that was well-done for the medium.

With that said, I suppose one could say the same for the visual novel genre of video games, a genre which I generally enjoy. It’s also probably why I’ve been enjoying Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a wonder what other kinds of shows that both YouTube and Netflix — and, presumably, other streaming services — will imbue with interactive storytelling in the near future.

What do you think of interactive storytelling in television and movies? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Would You Rather: Halloween Edition

Would You Rather: Halloween Edition | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

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Our next Would You Rather post has to do with the little holiday that happens at the end of this month but likes to invade everything earlier and earlier each year… Kind of like Christmas, actually. Anyway, we’re going to try to put a video game twist on these Halloween questions. For example, Rachel, would you rather explore Luigi’s Mansion on your own or help Link navigate the Shadow Temple in Ocarina of Time?

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I would rather explore Luigi’s Mansion on my own. It’d be creepy, but it’s really not that big of a place. And yes, while there are ghosts, there are no redeads, so… that makes it 10-times better already. Kris, would you rather get stuck in some horror game and have to beat it to get out or try to make it through the house in Hello, Neighbor?

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So, my choice is either Hello, Neighbor or some other random horror game? I’ll take my chances on another random horror game. At least the majority of those have weapons and such for me to defend myself instead of a creepy guy with a secret in his basement. Rachel, which Pokemon treat would you rather have your trick-or-treat bag filled with: various poffins or malasada and curry?

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Probably various poffins. I feel like those are sweeter than malasada, which isn’t my usual. However, I think I’d be more inclined to like how those taste more so than malasada. Of course, they all come in different flavors. Would you rather have Halloween night be infiltrated by ghost Pokemon or by the ghosts from Luigi’s Mansion?

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My first instinct is to say Pokemon, but some of the ghost-type Pokemon are actually pretty creepy. Have you ever dived deep into the Pokedex entries on some of those? The Boos and other ghosts from Luigi’s mansion may be tamer… You know what, though, in the spirit of Halloween, I’ll stick with the Pokemon. From Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, would you rather have to work with the witches Koume and Kotake or with Dampe the Gravekeeper?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Dampe the Gravekeeper. I don’t know why, but the witches seem to actually know what they’re doing while Dampe seems to derp around. Also, I might as well stick with my ghosts. Last question, would you rather play Hello Neighbor in VR or some sort of zombie game in VR?

krismii
Again with the Hello, Neighbor? I’m going to go with the zombie game, haha! The undead can be scary, yes, but I presume I’ll have some chainsaws or something to deal with them in VR. The neighbor is just too creepy for me.

What are your answers? Do you have any other questions for us? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Flashback Friday: Ada Lovelace

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone!

I’m doing a little something different this month in regards to Flashback Friday. Instead of celebrating an older game, this post will be about a person who has influenced the history of technology with her contributions in the field.

Ada Lovelace | Video Games | Technology | History | Computers | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace — also known more simply as Ada Lovelace — was a woman born in 1815 and only lived until 1852. She is often credited with creating the first computer program, creating an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine.

Ada’s father, the poet Lord Byron, disappeared out of her life only a month after she was born, separating from her mother. Considering Lord Byron fled from their family to sire more children — and having fathered one, most likely two, other children before Ada with other women — Ada’s mother was bitter and encouraged Ada’s love of mathematics and logic to steer Ada away from Lord Byron’s way of waxing poetics. Despite this, Ada still admired her father’s work, requesting to even be buried next to her upon her death.

With her skills and learning in mathematics and logic, Ada’s studies helped her meet fellow mathematician Charles Babbage, who is considered the father of computers. Indeed, he created the first Analytical Engine, piquing Ada’s interest. Babbage’s notes had fragments of programs, but Ada’s was the first complete algorithm to be written and published.

Aside from publishing the first program, it is also written that Ada was the first person to see greater potential in the Analytical Engine. Rather than just performing logical equations and math, it was Ada who expressed that the Engine could potentially create music and art with the right programming. Considering the major steps programming and computers have taken within the past couple of centuries, Ada Lovelace was definitely ahead of her time. Can you imagine if computers and algorithms were mainly used just for number-crunching? How video games would have been affected?

Due to her feats in this field, every second Tuesday of October is Ada Lovelace Day, an international celebration of women and their achievements in the STEM fields. I am sad to only have just discovered this. To see an event that promotes women in typically male-dominated fields and, in turn, tries to encourage more girls to join these fields and helps to sponsor them.

I remember vividly in college that I was one of only two woman in most of my computer networking class. While the majority of my classmates weren’t bad, there were a couple of instances where it was joked that I did well on a project here or there because I was a woman and the professor was male, a suggestion that may not have been made had the men known about more women in technology fields. I hope that Ada Lovelace Day, which is only a decade old, continues to reach, support, and encourage people — women, men, and others alike — in the coming years.

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Throwback Thursday: Mii Channel

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

The Nintendo Wii and Wii U are sort of old news at this point and I know they’re not favorite consoles for most people. However, I still enjoyed my time with them. One of those reasons was because of the Mii Channel on the Wii.

Throwback Thursday: Mii Channel | Nintendo Wii | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

The Wii, which originally came out in November 2006, added a new thing to the Nintendo world – Miis. Kris and I use our own Mii all the time on this blog if you haven’t yet noticed. Miis weren’t exactly a revolutionary thing. They were simply Nintendo’s way of creating avatars for their console and games.

However, I great up in the 90s so when the Internet became a thing, I played Dollz. A quick Google search will show you what Dollz was, I’m not going to explain it here. But it was a lot of fun and those Dollz were often used as my profile picture or to create characters in various role-playing websites I was part of.

Needless to say, when the Mii channel was introduced, I was in love with it.

I created myself. Kris created herself. I made my mom, dad, and my other sister, Lisa. My cousins created Miis for themselves. We had a decent amount.

Now, at this point in time, I preferred to watch Kris play games rather than me play them myself. There were a few games I played such as Pokemon Ranch, Pokemon Rumble, and Paper Mario when we downloaded it from the virtual console. For the most part, though, I played the Mii Channel. Usually, when I waited for Kris to get home from work or finish her homework, I’d be playing that.

But what was there to do on the Mii Channel? Create Miis. That’s it.

Needless to say, I had a lot of Miis. You can imagine how disappointed I was when the console capped me at 100 Miis. Yes, the Mii Channel could only hold 100 Miis. And yes, I had created 100 Miis.

I can’t remember who I had created. I don’t know 100 people, that’s for sure. All I remember, aside from making my family and probably a friend or two, was that I made the Ninja Turtles. I had Raph, Donnie, Leo, Mikey, Splinter, Casey, and April. The turtles even joined me, Kris, and Lisa as ranchers in Pokemon Ranch.

I had a lot of fun with it and spent many hours using the Mii Channel when the Miis couldn’t even really do anything. They were still fun to make though. It was like a game itself to me.

Someday, the next time I turn on the Wii, I’m going to have to go onto the channel and see them all. That would be a real blast from the past.

Did you use the Mii Channel a lot? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Top Tuesday: Scariest Bosses

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

In the spirit of Halloween and the fact that I don’t play horror games, I thought I’d give the spotlight on some scary and creepy bosses from Nintendo games.

Top Tuesday: Scariest Bosses | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Majora (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)

The Skull Kid and Majora’s Mask aren’t creepy or scary, per se, but Majora himself is. The final battle between Link and Majora isn’t too bad but Majora himself looks creepy. The different forms of the mask are weird, especially the second form, Majora’s Incarnation. He has arms and legs and an eye sprouting at the top of his… head? He’s a mask, I don’t get it, but it’s creepy looking.

Scarecrow (Batman: Arkham Asylum)

I have fond memories of Batman: Arkham Asylum. It’s been a long time since I’ve played this game. It also took me a long time to beat the final boss, Scarecrow. His design is scary – I mean, he’s a humanoid scarecrow. Technically, he’s human-looking like a scarecrow, but hopefully, you get what I’m trying to say. His final boss battle stressed me out so much that it took me so long to get through because I had to keep pausing. His design creeped me out and, to top it off, his eyes were like spotlights so Batman had to stay clear out of Scarecrow’s line of sight. When it comes to creepy bosses, Scarecrow is one for the books.

Zant (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

This game is pretty dark to begin with and Zant, the main antagonist of the game is a creepy guy. Everything about his design is freaky. I don’t understand him. He has no hands, his face looks like a mask or maybe it is a mask. But then he has a mask over that, though I guess you could call it a helmet. The helmet always looked like a fish to me. (I don’t know why.) I think Zant is a pretty cool bad guy, but he’s definitely up there on the creepy scale.

The Piano (Super Mario 64)

Don’t lie; it freaked you out as a kid too.

What are some of your favorite scary or creepy bosses? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Exercising My Body & Mind

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Nintendo has always tried its best to promote a healthy body and mind. With each new console, as technology evolves, they seem to come up with bigger and better ways to get their gamers up and moving or simply thinking outside the box.

Exercising The Body and Mind | Video Games | Gaming | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Ring Fit Adventure | Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training | DoublexJump.com

I recently talking about Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training, a sequel to Brain Age, that’s coming to Nintendo Switch in January. It’s obviously being released in Japan and it was recently announced that it’ll be coming to Europe in January 2020 as well. As far as I know (at least, I haven’t heard), it’s not announced to come to the US yet. I do hope it will come to where I am because the game looks great. I’m looking forward to giving it a try.

I always enjoyed those kinds of games with the logic puzzles and, even though I hate math, the math games were always fun. Plus, it had Sudoku which is my favorite kind of puzzle.

They also announced Ring Fit Adventure which releases this week. This is another game I want to try. However, it comes out in three days and we haven’t pre-ordered it. While I do want to try the game, I’m not sure if I want to drop $80 bucks at the moment. This might be a game I’d like to give a go a little later.

There are so many games coming out within the next few months that I’m looking forward to trying. I know I’ll get sucked into Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Pokemon Sword & Shield when they come out. There are some other games I’m looking forward to buying and trying as well.

Ring Fit Adventure, while I’m definitely intrigued, I don’t think I’ll be as into it as I will be with Luigi’s Mansion, for example. It’s more expensive and there’s more equipment, if you will, that I’ll have to store somewhere. Brain Training, on the other hand, will be something quick to pick up and play as I go or just for a few minutes each day.

I understand why Nintendo wants people to get up and moving. In Wii games and 3DS games, if you play for a certain amount of time, a pop-up will appear reminding you to go outside and do something other than sitting on your butt playing video games. Which is an interesting thing to add when your company is built on wanting people to play games, however, I guess they want the games to last.

I also understand keeping the mind sharp but, in a way, don’t games already do this?

Playing video games requires hand-eye coordination. Most games involve some sort of thinking, mostly outside the box. The Legend of Zelda series, for example, is built upon puzzles. The dungeons and shrines are puzzles and logic thinking, just without numbers. It’s portrayed in a different way. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is all about logic as well. Solving mysteries requires you to think outside the box, remember certain evidence, and be observant.

This isn’t to say that games like Brain Age shouldn’t exist. I love those games as much as any other. But video games are a lot more involved than people seem to give them credit for.

Will you get Ring Fit Adventure and/or the Brain Training game if it comes to your area? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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King Boom Boo Vs. King Boo [Debate]

Debate: King Boom Boo vs King Boo | Video Games | Gaming | Luigi's Mansion | Sonic Adventure 2 Battle | DoublexJump.com

krismii
Alright, we got a doozy for you guys this month! Being October and the month of ghosts, it was logical enough to stick King Boo in the debate, especially since he’s one of Rachel’s favorite characters in the Super Mario universe. The other game ghost we’re pitting against King Boo is King Boom Boo from Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. It’s a silly choice, but the game is one of my guilty pleasures, so we’re going with it.

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It was a choice made from a joking remark from Kris and I totally went along with it, much to her dismay. Because King Boom Boo was her idea, I’m taking the side of King Boo and she’s on the side of King Boom Boo. Kris, go ahead and start the debate!

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King Boom Boo is one of the boss battles from a Knuckles level and he is one of the most random bosses in the game. From a game that is already ridiculous in terms of gameplay and animation, King Boom Boo fit right in. I remember his appearance made me laugh, with the rainbow-colored tongue and speaking only in babble. I couldn’t blame him for trying to kick Knuckles out. Knuckles, after all, was tearing up the pyramid where King Boom Boo made his home while looking for some of Eggman’s keys.

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His name itself is kind of ridiculous, to be honest. All in all, I think King Boo from Luigi’s Mansion has a better reason for being mean. He was practically locked away and wanted his freedom… and also to take over everything, but oh well.

krismii
…Dude, he was a ghost, couldn’t he just go off and do whatever he wanted? All King Boom Boo wanted was his own place. King Boom Boo was also enough of a, erm, ghost to try to defeat Knuckles on his own. King Boo had to impersonate and spook poor Luigi as Bowser during their fight. King Boom Boo also had a legitimate weakness to sunlight, making you race around the ring to catch up to him and puzzle out the sunroof to make him hide in terror. King Boo gets bested by a vacuum.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
King Boo had added protection in the Bowser suit, which is more defense than what King Boom Boo thought he had. Also, King Boo just has a really cool laugh and he has a jeweled crown. Not to mention, he has a lot of Boos backing him up. He has a whole army.

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King Boom Boo has his own army as well. There were ghosts all over the place in the pyramid level, as well as one really stupid minion during the boss fight. Actually, if it wasn’t for that minion holding the trigger for the sunroof windows in the fight, King Boom Boo would have bested Knuckles because, you know, he’s an actual threat with pyrotechnic abilities instead of a little ghost acting as a puppeteer. King Boom Boo didn’t need an army to protect his home and little minions.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Okay, well all I really need to say is that King Boo is much better than King Boom Boo. He’s more well known. This is the weirdest debate we’ve ever done, so I’m just going to end it and say I win.

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Friday Favorites: Dark-Type Pokemon

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Last week was about Ghost-type Pokemon, and this week I figured I would give one of my favorite types a little more attention. This does not include any of the revealed Galar Pokemon just yet, although I’m looking forward to seeing them in action when Sword and Shield are released!

Pokemon | Nintendo | Sword | Shield | Dark | Doublexjump.com

Umbreon

One of the first Dark-type Pokemon that I ever trained, Umbreon was always one of my favorite Eevee evolutions. True, it’s not the strongest of the evolutions, but the design was on point and I love the glowing rings, both with its normal coloring and its shiny state.

Mightyena

When I first saw Poochyena in Ruby and Sapphire, it reminded me of a scrappy little mutt, and its evolution became a staple in my Hoenn teams. It’s always been a powerhouse amid my other Pokemon with its sturdiness, and it always reminded me of a wolf, one of my favorite animals.

Scrafty

Seeing this guy classified as the “hoodlum” Pokemon always made me laugh. With strong attacks from both its dark and fighting typing, Scrafty was one of my favorites in the Unova region. The loyalty that many of its dex entries describe was always endearing, as well.

Houndoom

Despite their prowess, Fire type Pokemon were usually passed over on my teams for other favorites, like Ground, Flying, and Grass. Rachel was enough of a pyro for the both of us, I figured, but Houndour and Houndoom, especially, were great in my Johto teams. Their designs were always a favorite!

What are some of your favorite Dark type Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Puzzle Games

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

Even though I’m not very good at puzzles, I do enjoy them a lot. There are a few puzzle games I play here and there and have a good time with them. In no particular order, here are just a few.

Top Tuesday: Favorite Puzzle Games | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Professor Layton

I think this one is kind of a given. I enjoy games with rich storytelling and the added puzzles add more fun to the game. Professor Layton is a well-rounded great game with intriguing puzzles, good storytelling, and awesome characters. While there are similar puzzles here and there, they’re all unique from each other so that you never get the answer right away – unless you’re super smart. (Maybe I’m just bad at puzzles.) With many games in the series, you can’t go wrong with everyone’s favorite puzzle-solving professor.

Tetris

I’ll admit I didn’t really start to play Tetris until Tetris 99 came out. I had known of the game and wanted to play it, but the original game came out in 1984 and I wasn’t going to be born for quite sometime after that. Therefore, it was in the back of my mind for some time, but never really on my radar. When Tetris 99 came out, and it was free to play, I hopped on that train. I’m terrible at the game, of course, but it’s a lot of fun.

Brain Age

I haven’t thought about this game in a while, but since Japan is getting a new Brain Age game for the Switch, it reminded me the game exists. I had Brain Age and Brain Age 2 for the Nintendo DS and enjoyed them both. I have fun with the brain teasers and even the quick math facts even though I dislike math. What I really enjoyed most about the game though was that it had Sudoku. I beat those puzzles pretty quick.

Bejeweled

I haven’t played this one in such a long time, but Bejeweled was always a favorite of mine. It was simple three-in-a-row gameplay with pretty gems. You can’t go wrong with that. I think I played it mostly through Facebook and as mobile apps. I never had it for any consoles.

Picross

This is a game I got into fairly recently. By recently, I mean within the last year or so. It reminded me of Sudoku in some ways and even though you have to think, it’s kind of a mindless puzzle game… if that makes any sense at all. You make a picture in a grid coloring in certain squares and leaving others blank depending on how many the grid tells you are supposed to be colored in within that row and column. I have an app on my iPad that I’ve just about played every single puzzle. Now I need to pace myself before I run out of them.

What are some of your favorite puzzle games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Galarian Ponyta?

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday!

Did anyone watch that 24-hour livestream of the Galar Region to try to spot new Pokemon or information for the Sword and Shield Pokemon games? I did not.

Pokemon | Nintendo | Ponyta | Galar | Video Games | Doublexjump.com

So, recently there was that livestream of, I don’t know, a forest scene of the Galar Region that was set up to tease everyone regarding new Pokemon for the eighth generation. I didn’t watch any of it, admittedly, but I did see enough people on Twitter mentioning the few things of interest and then a lot of disinterest in supposedly the dead air that the livestream offered at times.

By the sounds of it, the best thing to come out of that livestream was the reveal of the Galarian Ponyta. With a mane looking as if it was made out of clouds and some of the biggest eyes I’ve ever seen on a Pokemon, it looks adorable!

Was it confirmed as a Galar form of Ponyta yet by Nintendo? Could this actually be an entirely new line of Pokemon?

(Seriously, do you all remember Bouffalant from Gen. V? How we were all sure it was part of a Taurus evolution line but they’re both stand-alone Pokemon? Yeah.)

There’s been plenty of speculation about the Pokemon’s typing as well. I’ve seen Fairy as a good contender, and due to the forest location, some are speculating Grass as well. The Pokemon’s eyes and fluffy mane first reminded me of the Vulpix line, admittedly, particularly their Alolan forms. It makes me think that this Pokemon may be Fairy and Ice type.

Flying may be a good contender, though, especially for an evolution. Imagine Galarian Rapidash sprouting wings to go with its cloud-like mane and tail, becoming a Pegasus Pokemon!

What did you think of Galarian Ponyta? Any predictions for this Pokemon? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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