WTF Friday: Video Game Movies

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

One of the types of reviews Rachel and I like to do are movies or television shows, most that have to do with video game-related themes. Lately, I’ve been hearing about a few more that are or will be in production…

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There have been a handful of movies throughout the years that are based on video games. Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed… There’s quite a bit of them, some in live-action, others in animation, direct to television, and, of course, anime.

Video games make quite a profit in today’s culture, so it’s no wonder that studios continue to create movies based off of them. If there are enough players for the games, then it’s logical that there will be an audience for a movie.

Recently, however, I heard of a Minecraft movie that is rumored to be in the works. With the rights secured in 2014 by Warner Bros., the movie has recently hired its third director to take the reins. Originally, the movie was rumored to come out this May, but with a director just getting on board, who knows when this movie will be released. And, while I’m sure people still play Minecraft, is the audience still there for this movie? There are spin-offs, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games and Netflix episodes, but will there be a full-length movie audience?

Also, Just Dance is somehow going to be made into a movie. I have no idea how this is going to be a thing. All I can picture is flash mobs and, possibly, something like “Save the Last Dance.” As if Just Dance isn’t enough, it will be against the Dance Dance Revolution movie.

Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog (which also made me go “Wtf?” when I saw that strange posters) are coming out this year. There’s also an untitled Monster Hunter movie that may be in the works. Of course, there’s also movies out there with plenty video game elements, such as Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and Ready Player One, based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline.

I’m curious to see how well the upcoming movies will do in theaters. Just Dance? Minecraft? Perhaps if we were getting a Legend of Zelda movie, something with settings that resembled The Lord of the Rings, I’d be pre-ordering tickets.

…Then again, I’d be worried the franchise would be ruined.

What do you think of movies based off of video games? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around

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Minecraft Story Mode: Episode One [TV Show Review]

Movie Review: Minecraft Story Mode Episode 1 | TV show review | video games | gaming | DoublexJump.com

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While we knew the Story Mode Minecraft games existed, it was fairly recent that we heard about the interactive series of episodes that were available on Netflix. We had no idea what we were going to be in for when we started this up for the hell of it.

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It was certainly something different and neither of us were expecting it to be “good.” It truly was interactive though… which it says it is, but for some reason I wasn’t expecting to use the Xbox controller to make choices for the main character. That was certainly a cool addition.

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You start with the main character entering a building contest with a couple of her friends and, for a while, the only motivation these characters have is to “be cool.” It was a bit cringy, to be honest. The actual plot revealed itself eventually, with a character who had a grudge against some heroes of the world unleashed a Wither monster. It’s up to the main character and friends to find the rest of the heroes to stop the Wither. While there were enough choices throughout the episode to keep the story interactive, there were only a few where the episode actively told you, “Your story is changing,” due to your choice.

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The plot itself isn’t that bad once it’s revealed and it shows some history on the world as well. But yeah, some of the choices were kind of pointless and if you don’t make a choice by the time the timer runs, it makes the choice for you based on whatever your controller is currently on. While I don’t think I’ll watch this again, I’m curious to see what happens if we made different choices that actually changed the course of the story. Some of the choices was also crafting as well, which was a cool touch.

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The crafting choices — like, would you craft a bow or a fishing rod for your current situation — were interesting, yes. Some of the characters weren’t too bad, although we were kind of yelling at some of them often enough. Honestly, some of the situations could have been avoided if a character just, ya know, moved from where they were standing. One of the side characters was called Axel, and he was basically the muscle of the group and was fantastic at being Captain Obvious. He was one of our favorites, haha!

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Axel was good, yeah. While there were some good lines that made us laugh throughout this hour and half long episode, I didn’t care for any of the characters or their voice acting. The tones never seemed to match what was going on in the scene and it didn’t seem like there was much emotion or effort behind it. That definitely got annoying to listen to after a while. The sound effects, however, we great. The Ghasts in the Nether were spot on. Granted, they’re probably ripped from the game but it was nice to hear anyway since the voice acting was lacking.

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Considering it was done in conjunction with the developers of the game, I imagine the sound effects were right from Minecraft. We don’t have any emotional attachment to these characters — although, I’m sure younger kids would — but we were interested enough in the plot to be curious about what happens next or, as Rachel mentioned, what would happen should we chose different responses to the crucial choices of the first episode. We’re not rushing off to watch the next episode, but if we get bored enough later down the road, maybe we’ll stick on another one.

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I would like to at least finish the rest of the season. It was interesting, to say the least. And, honestly, I think we had a pretty good time watching it together. Though, I have to take it in small doses.

Have you watched Minecraft: Story Mode? Think you’d be interested in it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Gaming Brings People Together

Happy Thursday!

Some of you may know that I run the Sunday school program at the church I attend and grew up with. Last Sunday was the first day back after summer break and we did a fun exercise to catch up with one another and find out what we have in common.

I downloaded a puzzle template that had 12 pieces on it and cut out each individual piece. Then I gave the kids a piece and made them talk in one-on-one groups. They had to discover two things they had in common with each other (so they could each write something different on their puzzle piece).

They each did multiple pieces so that they had a chance to talk to everyone in the class, including the teachers.

I did this exercise with them in an attempt to get to know them a little better. These kids range in ages, but the group I had was mostly in upper elementary or just started middle school.

I sat down to talk to one boy. Even though he’s been coming to Sunday school for years, he didn’t seem to want to talk. I was his last person and by then I think he was just done with the exercise.

I kept asking him, “What’s your favorite color? What’s your favorite food? Season? Holiday?” He was giving me nothing and whatever he answered, I said the opposite.

Finally, he said he enjoyed Pokemon.

I had known this but completely forgot about it. I said I liked it too and he was eager to write “Pokemon” down on his puzzle piece.

Then I asked about Minecraft. I don’t know why that game was the first to pop in my head, but it was. He said he used to, but hasn’t played it in a while. Well, that’s great because I haven’t played it in a while either. So I wrote “Minecraft” on my puzzle piece.

Once everyone was done, we colored our puzzle pieces to make them stand out and look unique since I’ll be trying to tape them together.

I drew dark green squares on my Minecraft piece and colored the background a light green. Just as I finished that, the boy came up to me, proudly I may add, and showed me his Pokemon piece. He had decorated it to look like a Pokeball. I proudly showed him mine and we laughed how we decorated our pieces to look like the games without knowing that’s what the other was doing.

After class was over, we ended up talking a lot about Pokemon Sun and Moon.

It was a good class, probably one of the best I’ve had in a while with that group (and when I say that, I mean they’re good kids, but they’re all growing into teenagers and it’s driving me crazy).

I just love connecting with other people who have the same video game interests as you do. It’s something fun to talk about and you really get to know other people that way.

Have you ever connected with someone else through video games? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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ThinkGeek: Gifts for Gamers

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

Guys, I found something really cool and I just had to share it with you all.

 

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I found this cool website called ThinkGeek. It has merchandise from various different things such as books, movies, and of course, video games.

They have a category for Pokemon, Minecraft, Mario, Zelda, and much more.

They sell a wide variety of items such as shirts and jackets, collectibles, cookie cutters, bags, jewelry, lamps, rugs, mugs, pc gaming accessories, and so much more!

I have yet to buy anything from the site (I said “yet”) so I have no idea how good quality it is, but it looks pretty good. The prices aren’t that bad, either, I have to admit.

Also, they have stuff on that website that I haven’t seen anywhere else, which is cool. It’s like a whole new world.

Definitely check it out if you get the chance. I plan on working on my wishlist in prep for my birthday… Which is about eight months away. But, it’s never too early to start.

Have you heard of ThinkGeek? Did you ever get anything from there? Let me know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: What’s Your Favorite Escape?

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday, everyone! I hope everyone has had a lovely Veterans Day, and that the rest of the weekend continues to be nice!

This year has certainly been… interesting, to say the least. There have been plenty of disasters, with some saying the latest is the presidential election, but there have been plenty of happy things too.

One thing that I love about video games grants us is the ability to escape reality for a little while. Want to save the world from a king who had been touched by the goddesses? Want to travel across the land to be the very best? Want to travel through pipes and ride dinosaurs to thwart a giant turtle? You can do all that and more in video games, and it’s glorious.

With that said, I definitely have favorite games to escape reality, with the notable ones from this year being the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Minecraft on the PC, Fire Emblem Fates, and plenty of others. Most of my favorite escape games tend to give me the power of the main character and help save countries, people, the world, something that I’m still trying to figure out how to do for our world.

While there are still plenty of games on my to-play list, I was curious as to everyone else’s favorite escape games. What lands do you travel to when reality becomes just a bit overwhelming?

 

Creepers (and Skeletons) Be Creeping

Double Jump Kris MiiOctober is flying by, isn’t it? We’re already halfway done!

Rachel did a post about us getting Minecraft recently for a couple of our computers. While we haven’t played too much with it, we’re both enjoying it. This post is just about my perspective of the game.

Minecraft was never a game I was interesting in playing when it first appeared on the market. In fact, I thought it looked utterly ridiculous. I enjoy games that have compelling stories and characters with goals to head towards, with a healthy dose of exploration. Minecraft seemed to be all about exploration without an end in mind. I mean, sure, there were some boss characters that you could defeat, but there were so many loops and hurdles to go through in order to get to said bosses that it didn’t sound that enjoyable.

We only got mildly interested in the game due to some of our favorite YouTubers doing a Let’s Play series of the game. With the goal of defeating certain bosses, the YouTubers gave themselves the challenge of one life — once you died, you were out of the game. No respawns. It brought a sense of suspense, and it was helpful that the YouTubers are hilariously entertaining.

Anyway, while our XBox 360 version of the game wasn’t that great, we’ve been enjoying the computer version. And, surprisingly, Rachel and I aren’t falling into our usual co-op roles.

Usually, when Rachel and I play a game together, I’m the one diving into the fights, taking care of enemies, and moving forward. Rachel loves to collect the treasure and money, being sure that we leave no stone unturned (or, in the case of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, no pot unbroken) lest we miss something while exploring.

Minecraft, though? Here I go mining underground to explore the caves and see what kind of materials I can find for the crafting table and furnace, while Rachel is outside beating up skeletons and zombies. I thought I would be the one protecting our base while being ready to be blown up by creepers while Rachel takes care of the shelter, but it’s been the other way around. It’s definitely an interesting twist in our usual roles, and it signifies our growth, if you will, in playing games.

While I hope I’ll get used to the controls enough to jump into fights more often, switching up our usual roles is rather entertaining.

Friday Favorites: New Games

Double Jump Kris Mii

Since starting this blog, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t play as many games as I thought I did. I mean, I’ve been gaming since I was old enough to pick up a controller, but my gaming tends to be limited in my favorite franchises. The Legend of Zelda and Pokemon, with the occasional Mario, games dominate most of these posts.
In recent years, video games and everything that’s associated with them (story, art, characters, software, etc.) became more important to me, and I’ve been trying to find different games to try. Below are some of my favorite “newer” finds.

4. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Alright, so this series isn’t exactly new, but it’s definitely a gem. We had found it on the Wii’s Virtual Console and, having never heard of the series, had decided to give it a go. Gaming wasn’t exactly a serious pursuit at that point, but it was a key game in opening up my mind to everything gaming could be — the writing, the characters, the stories themselves are amazing, and were an inspiration to keep following this art form.

That, and this series was played not only with Rachel but also with our elder sister Lisa. Lisa’s not a big gamer at all, but to be able to share this series with both my sisters will always make it special to me.

3. Assassin’s Creed

I haven’t played this game yet, but it is there on my to-do list. This game series always seemed interesting to me and it was bought on a whim when Rachel and I were looking for more games for our PlayStation 3. Hopefully it’ll be a great game and open some more doors for us, genre-wise!

2. Batman: Arkham series

I was supposed to play the first game of this series a couple of months ago, back when Rachel and I were challenging each other to play a game that the other hadn’t played before. Because our XBox 360 died, I still haven’t been able to give this game a shot. However, Rachel has played it, and it was definitely not the kind of game I would ever think of my sister playing. Seeing her try out the combat-heavy, dark-themed Batman game was awesome — like the Phoenix Wright series, the Arkham franchise opened our eyes to new games and styles of play.

1. Minecraft

 

Rachel touched upon this game already on this blog, and this probably won’t be the last time you hear about it from us, haha! When Minecraft first came out, I honestly thought it seemed a bit silly and didn’t see much of a point to it. Sure, there are some people who can create some fantastic pixel art with the block style of the game, but it wasn’t until Rachel and I watched some streams of the game from our favorite YouTubers that we got interested enough to try it.

Of course, our first go-round with the game, the XBox 360 version, wasn’t that great, but after getting our desktop and then a gaming laptop, Minecraft was always one of the first games we wanted to try out. The game has been great so far, even if it is just Rachel and I trying to survive (and failing at times) in the world!

What are some of your favorite newer games?