Christmas Haul 2018

Christmas Haul | Video games | gaming | blogging | DoublexJump.com

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with good times, good family and friends, and presents. This was a pretty low-key Christmas for us, our immediate family opting to just exchange a few gifts together.

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We always look forward to Christmas, but we all know the best day of the year is December 26th. It’s great to see everyone, but it’s nice to have that calm when it’s all said and done. Plus, we can play with our new toys. My mom loved how I’m 25-years-old and she was still wrapping up “toys” for me from “Santa.”

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The main video game I had received was the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy for the Xbox One. The Spyro trilogy was one of the few games I had for our old original Playstation years ago, so it’ll be fun to go back to that world and see how well it’s been remastered. I haven’t heard anything bad yet about the new game. I was also surprised with the complete soundtrack of Octopath Traveler, imported from Japan. Thankfully the little booklet inside the cover has the English names of the songs, as they’re all listed in Japanese on the back cover!

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I’m excited to get back to Spyro as well. Plus, listening to the soundtrack, there are four CDs to it! The main video game I got was the Lego Harry Potter Collection for the Nintendo Switch. This game came out in October and I’ve never played any of the Lego Harry Potter games before. Having all seven in one game will be a treat and I can’t wait to finally go to Hogwarts. I also got two packs of Pokemon cards – one had a jumbo Tsareena card, which I was excited about. Tsareena was on my main team in Pokemon Sun & Moon. The other pack had a Pokeball card holder to go along with Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. I also got the game guide to those games as well.

 

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I also got Rachel a Mimikyu doll that the dog thought belongs to her, haha! Aside from those games, we’ve also each gotten an eShop gift card which I’m planning on using to download Gris on the Nintendo Switch. I’ve had my eye on the game for a while, so it seems like the perfect game for the end of the year. Our grandparents gave us some cash, and I already spent mine on the new expansion pack — Get Famous — and a couple of stuff packs for the Sims 4. We have plenty of games to keep us occupied for a little while… At least until the new year!

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I also got a new Monopoly game, the Cheater’s Edition. The point is to cheat and not get caught… but I kind of do that in regular Monopoly anyway. So I’m hoping the game will be a blast. However, I know people are expecting me to cheat, so it’ll be more of a challenge. We do have plenty of games to keep us busy for the new year and I know so many new games are going to come out in 2019. I can’t wait to dive into our new games!

Did you have a good holiday? Any new games on your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cards Against Muggles [Card Game Review]

Card Game Review | Cards Against Muggles | gaming | blogging | DoublexJump.com

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A couple months ago we played Cards Against Humanities for the first time with a few friends. The game was certainly interesting. You definitely need the right group of people to play it with. When we heard about Cards Against Muggles, a Harry Potter version of the game, our friend jumped right on it. Well, after waiting for the game to arrive for three months, it finally came and we played it together.

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The right group of people and the right… mindset to play the games are needed. If you’ve never played Cards Against Humanities, it’s a fill-in-the-blank game that is generally rated R. One player draws a scenario card and the other players use their cards to respond to the scenario card. The player who drew the scenario card shuffles and chooses which response card fits the scenario best, and whichever player put down the winning response card gets a point.

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Which response fits the best or is the funniest… half the time they don’t make sense because they’re completely randomized. The black cards are the scenario cards and the white cards are what you’d choose to go along with it. You only have five white cards in your hand at a time. A lot of times it doesn’t make sense, but it’s more fun in a way that way. Cards Against Humanities is similar to Apples to Apples, if you’ve ever played that. Cards Against Muggles is – more or less – a dirty version of Harry Potter.

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Yes, it was quite interesting. We got many ideas about Harry Potter characters and their universe that we otherwise wouldn’t have without the help of these cards. It was just Rachel and me playing with our friend and, while all three of us love Harry Potter and we had a great time, it probably would have been more amusing with more people. That, and some of the white cards were repeats. Considering how many cards we had and how little people were playing, to see repeats in our game was a little off.

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Yes, this is definitely a game you’d want to play with many people. I think the recommended group is at least four and we only had three. We’d love to play this game again with a larger crowd and we might soon enough. Some of the white cards were repeats and which we didn’t make a dent in the deck, there weren’t many people or characters. A lot of the black cards would have made sense if we put down a person and none of us ever really had any character cards.

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It’s definitely a chance game and it can be a great icebreaker, as it’s not a serious game at all. There could have been more variety in the cards so there weren’t any repeats with such a small game (and, of course, the cards could have come in a more timely manner from the company), but it was fun with a few close friends, ones that have a similar sense of humor with you. If you get a chance and you don’t mind a game that proves how dirty your mind can be, give it a try.

Cards Against Muggles gets a rating of…
Skip It | Try It | Buy It

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

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Friday Favorites: Schools in Video Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Where we’re from, school just started for the kids yesterday. I don’t miss going to school at all, mostly because schools in video games seem to be a lot better than schools in real life!

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Themis Legal Academy in Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

We’re absolute suckers for the Ace Attorney series and Dual Destinies was no exception. In Turnabout Academy, Phoenix Wright and his assistants are invited to Themis Legal Academy to give a lecture on law, only for teacher to turn up dead. A law school that has Phoenix Wright as a guest speaker sounds awesome to me! I could do without the murders, of course but, hey, that’s what the kids are learning about, right?

Knight Academy in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Who doesn’t want to be a knight? Especially one in a place where you get your own special animal companion in the form of a giant bird? With Link as your classmate? I totally wouldn’t mind going to Skyward Sword’s Knight Academy, especially when you get to fly around the skies. My only wish for that game was that the sky had more areas to explore.

Asagao Academy

Asagao Academy is the setting for a visual novel/dating sim with the popular YouTube groups Normal Boots and Hidden Block. We greatly enjoyed the writing, graphics, and music of the game, and the school setting seemed to be a lot of fun. Not only was there a tournament hosted in the city for video games, most of the hints of schoolwork were also game related.

Honorable Mentions

Most of the Pokemon core games had some sort of school in one of the first cities or areas, giving a refresher on basic aspects of the game, such as status inflictions and held items. Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series is also a great school, but I have had a difficult time finding a game that truly captures that magic.

What are your favorite schools from video games?

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First Impressions: Hogwarts Mystery

Double Jump Kris MiiI always adored the Harry Potter series growing up — they were a stable of my childhood. Even now, I enjoy rereading a book or two of the series every so often. When Pottermore came out, I was excited to take the quizzes detailing my Hogwarts house and wand, as well as my patronus and Ilvermorny House when they became a thing as well. With the app game Hogwarts Mystery finally released a couple of days ago, I got the chance to start it up and try it out.

 

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I don’t play too many app games. I’m one of those few people who don’t have a tablet so, if I wanted to play app or mobile games, I’m stuck using my phone. Don’t get me wrong, my phone is nice and I don’t have too many mobile games that I’m interested in playing, but it can still be a little annoying on the smaller screen. I have Fire Emblem Heroes and, now, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery on my device.

The idea of becoming a Hogwarts student was always a fun fantasy for me as a lover of the books and the world that J.K. Rowling had cooked up. I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how Hogwarts Mystery would be able to pull it off, but I’m enjoying it so far.

You start the game with a little introduction that is narrated by the great Maggie Smith herself, reprising the role of Professor McGonagall. After a brief moment of customizing your character (seriously, there’s not much customization unlocked) your character is meeting a new friend in Diagon Alley, where you obtain your books and wand in a tutorial of the few controls before heading to Hogwarts and choosing your house.

The simple controls include tapping and swiping a finger across the screen. That’s really it. The tasks are generally using energy by tapping on objects, such as books to “read through” or your broom to “summon.” When learning spells or brewing potions, you may have to swipe your finger in a small shape, usually a spiral or arch of some sort, in order to perfect the spell or potion.

The story itself is okay so far. I’m not too deep into it, but apparently your character’s brother had gotten expelled and disappeared at some point before you were accepted into Hogwarts. Therefore, you already have a besmirched reputation, thanks to whatever your brother had done. Your personality is based on three attributes — courage, empathy, and knowledge — that will supposedly affect your relationships with other characters in the game. These attributes may give you different response choices with speaking with characters and, depending on which choices you choose, may or may not help better your family name in the school.

I presume, going deeper into the game, that the Hogwarts Mystery is all about what happened with your brother. I’m already interested in the writing, and I’m impressed with the graphics of the game even on my phone screen, so we shall see how everything works out.

Being a mobile game, it’s “free to play,” but there are of course in-app purchases, where you can use real money to buy game currency, gems for longer story missions, and pieces of energy to keep the game moving. The currency and gems also unlock more clothing items to customize your characters. The customization is something I’m disappointed in — you gain levels as you go about the story, and certain clothing options are “unlocked” at certain levels, but many you still need to spend currency or gems on to actually wear them.

Other than that, I’m amused at the game so far, able to play it in a few minute intervals before losing all my energy and needing to wait for that to replenish. As long as the story is intriguing, I’ll probably keep the game around for a while.

Did you download Hogwarts Mystery? How are you enjoying the game?

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

While Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are still our go-to games to play at this time, we’re always keeping an eye out for something new, and Niantic seems to be working on their next project….

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Pokemon GO, developed by Niantic, was revolutionary when it first came out — if it worked for you. Our accounts were a little fickle, probably due to the fact that there weren’t too many others (like, no one) around where we lived that also played the game. Wild Pokemon seemed to spawn in proportion to how many people around were playing.

While Pokemon GO didn’t last too long on our phones, the idea of it was awesome. I remember the feel-good stories from last summer of people coming together to catch Pokemon, battle at the gyms, and just meeting fellow Pokemon fans. The game still seems to be doing well, despite some mixed reviews when it was first released, with the updates for Gen II and III Pokemon as well as Legendaries and raids.

Now Niantic’s next mobile AR project is Harry Potter. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will allow players to learn spells, explore their surroundings for wizard secrets and beasts to battle and protect, as well as team up with other players, of course. As someone who grew up reading the Harry Potter series and loving every minute of it, I’m definitely interested in this idea for a mobile game!

Honestly, I would love a proper, open-world RPG Harry Potter-inspired game on modern hardware (perhaps even VR?), but it’ll be interesting to see how a Harry Potter AR game will turn out. There weren’t any date or hints as to when the game could come out, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

Are you interested in a Harry Potter AR game? What other franchises would you be interested in seeing in AR?

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Dream Harry Potter Game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday Favorites: Nintendo Land Rides

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy December, everyone!

If you haven’t heard yet, there are plans for Nintendo-themed parks in Universal Studios Hollywood, Orlando in Florida and Japan within the next few years. Being able to visit both the Harry Potter world and a Nintendo theme park in Universal Studios, FL? Yes, please! Below in no particular order are just a few ride and area ideas that I would love to see in a Nintendo park.

Merry-Go-Round

So, a merry-go-round isn’t the most exciting theme park ride, but I enjoy the leisurely pace that they set while also being able to take a good look around the park from whatever fake steed I’m on. But one based on Nintendo creatures? I’d love to sit atop Epona or a Loftwing or a Dodongo from the Legend of Zelda, or even Mario’s pal Yoshi. What about a Charizard or Rapidash from Pokemon?

Go Karts

Let’s have a ride based off of Mario Kart! Races, bumper cars, anything that can bring the unique and quirky go-kart designs from the Mario Kart games to life.

Shooting Games or Paintball

Is everyone familiar with Toy Story Mania from Disneyworld? You know, the ride where you’re sitting in a cart that whirls you over to different screens for you to shoot at various targets as quickly as you can to rack up your score? I want one based after Metroid Prime or one that lets you shoot targets (or pots!) like Link’s Crossbow Training.

Hub Area

I would just love to be able to wander around Hyrule Castle Town or Bowser’s Castle or Viridian City or stages from Super Smash Bros. or even a little Animal Crossing village. To be able to just be immersed in my favorite video game worlds in the same sense that Universal Studios The Wizarding World of Harry Potter would be nothing short of amazing.

What are you hoping for, or looking forward to, in a Nintendo theme park?