Quarantine and Charity — Peter Hollens

Music | Youtube | Music Video | Quarantine | Virus | Peter Hollens | Doublexjump.com

This month, with everything going on in the world, the music videos we’re sharing are a little different. While we’ve showcased Peter Hollens’ and his family’s work before on the blog, a couple of his latest acapella compilations are parody snippets of songs with the lyrics twisted to remind people to wash your hands and stay home.

They’re silly and catchy, but the proceeds from the videos are also going to charities to help combat the virus. We hope you get a kick out of these videos and that maybe they made you laugh like we did!

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What Kind of Escapist Are You?

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Despite how low-key this past Easter weekend has been compared to previous years, it was still a nice couple of days. We mainly relaxed with our immediate family, had some good food courtesy of Mom baking up a storm, and played video games to escape from the outside world.

Video Games | Gaming | Real World | Escape | Escapist | Nintendo | Doublexjump.com

Aside from the sheer fun factor and trying to increase your skillset and reflexes, many people play video games to escape from reality. Due to the current state of the world, there is no better time to become a gamer. Indeed, I’m pleased with still seeing all of the Animal Crossing New Horizons tweets that grace Double Jump’s Twitter feed rather than the current news.

While I did download and start playing New Horizons this past weekend to see if I would enjoy it more than the previous versions of the game — because, honestly, Animal Crossing is more of Rachel’s franchise while I was always into Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley — I did start thinking about what other kinds of games I tended to reach for whenever I needed a break from the world. There are different kinds of “escapists” out there when it comes to gaming, after all. What kind are you?

Hero

When the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, sometimes you need a good game where you are the one saving the world. Playing the role of hero helps you to feel like you’re saving something, even if the effect is more so on your psyche rather than the real world. Strategy and adventure games like the Fire Emblem and Legend of Zelda series have the Good Guys versus Bad Guys — even if some of them are a little blurred around the edges — theme that allow you to become the hero of someone’s world.

Creator

Playing the role of God and creating your own world, forging relationships, perhaps even modifying the physical land as you see fit is probably the most popular kind of escapist games out there. The popularity of simulation games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are testament to that. You can create your own goals and ensure that your world will be happy and successful. Having delightful virtual neighbors is a bonus, but it’s even better when you have an online multiplayer mode so your friends and you can create together.

Chaotic

On the flipside, perhaps you just want to vent in a safe environment. Shooter and war games like DOOM Eternal and Fortnite — even if they have entirely different aesthetics — gives players who want to taste a little destruction a place where they can do so. Rage in virtual worlds to help ease your mind and soul when they get too focused on the real world.

Tricksters

Puzzle games are fantastic for zoning out of the real world and zoning in on immediate problems. The Professor Layton series and games like Tetris 99 give you something to focus on in the moment and, when you complete a difficult puzzle or knock out that last rival, gives your brain some of that sweet dopamine. When you start to feel impatient with the real world news around you, try your patience at a puzzle game.

Of course, these are just my thoughts and made-up definitions. Still, it was interesting to think about. Personally, I tend to lean towards games that allow me to be the hero, what with me returning to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, while also having spent plenty of time with simulation games like Stardew Valley and giving New Horizons a try.

What kind of escapist are you? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Checking In

Checking In | Gaming | Blogging | Blog Post | Normal | Doublexjump.com

krismii
Hey. How’s everyone doing? The world is in a strange place right now and, like many others, we’re trying our best to cope with these new rules in place, both physically and mentally. Our creativity took a bit of a nose-dive, understandably. However, at this time, we wanted to take a deep breath and make sure we’re still reaching out to others.

rachmii
2020 has been a weird year, there’s no doubt about that. This was something no one saw coming and so many lives have been uprooted. Between health, finances and jobs, and everything in between, the whole world seems to be in a disarray and it’s tough to keep up with schedules and routines because of that.

krismii
With the news bombarding us with details about this virus, we’ve been spending much of our time escaping into video games, trying to forget about everything else going on in the world. Like many others, we haven’t been up for blogging or streaming for a while.

rachmii
Animal Crossing New Horizons came at a good time, I have to say. However, burying yourself in video games isn’t exactly the best way to go about it. At least, not constantly. The best thing to do in this situation is to keep up as normally as possible. No, you can’t go to your friend’s house and no, you can’t go get your hair done. It’s tricky for those who work in an office and suddenly are working from home with their toddlers running circles around them. It’s not easy, but we need to attempt to make this situation as positive as we can.

krismii
While Animal Crossing isn’t my thing, it has been delightful seeing people on Twitter share their island names and starting fruit, keeping that sense of normalcy with people just being excited about one of their favorite games. And, while my day job schedule has been thrown for a loop, I’m trying to keep up with both my day job and figuring out how to use this new “work from home” time to benefit me creatively. Spinning a positive twist on everything going on is one of the best ways to get through this situation.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Exactly. It’s easier said than done, but we’re lucky enough that our family and friends are in good health and, for the most part, we still have our jobs. Some days will be harder than others – the fear and anxiety will get to you – on those days, turn off the news, and play some Animal Crossing or another relaxing game of your choice. Read a book, take a bath, reach out to a family or friend and talk. Catch up with each other and check-in with one another. We’re all in this together and we will get through this.

krismii
One of the best ways we can think to heal and try to keep this anxiety at bay is to get back into a normal routine. While we’re still going to take it easy amid these times, we’re planning on getting back into our blog routine, keep that sense of normalcy and continue to reach towards our goals. This pandemic is not going to stifle our creativity, and we hope that continuing this routine will help others as well. We hope everyone is staying as safe and as healthy as can be!

Are you doing as well as can be during these times? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Podcasts and Spotify

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday everyone!

It’s been a little while, but I hope everyone is doing well. Summer is just about over and, honestly, I’m excited for cooler weather and being able to get back into a routine with blogging and gaming. So, today, we’re chatting about podcasts because why not.

Podcasts | Spotify | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | Doublexjump.com

Rachel and I had a pretty busy summer. I hope everyone else has had a great summer, one where you all were healthy and productive! With September, Rachel and I are doing our best to get back into our writing routines, especially for our blogs.

Of course, we’re always trying to expand our creativity, and something that has always popped up in our minds is a podcast (because we totally don’t have enough on our plates). Granted, we’re not planning on doing a podcast anytime soon, but the idea has always been there. Finding additional ways to reach out to more people and share our love of video games and geeky things is always in the back of our minds.

Podcasts started being a thing in 2004 and now there are a plethora of websites and apps dedicated to listening to podcasts. Our friend Justin runs an awesome podcast called The Game N’ Watch Podcast over on Podbean, for example. Spotify is another example, and has been increasing their podcast selections. Considering my music tastes — movies and video game soundtracks, game covers, and instrumentals, mostly — many of the podcasts that Spotify recommends to me have to do with film, gaming, and Dungeons & Dragons (in fact, one is called “Not Another D&D Podcast”).

Recently, I saw an article that had uncovered a potential new feature in the Spotify app that has to do with publishing a podcast. Supposedly, creating and publishing a podcast on Spotify will be as simple as the push of a button. While the simplicity will be fantastic for people trying to reach wider audiences, it may flood the platform with too many podcasts. On that note, who knows if there will be anything filtering the podcasts, if they have to go through the proper channels before being able to be listened to by the masses. If there is no regulation, it could create chaos.

Still, podcasts are a wonderful way to reach out to others and share information or opinions. They’re reminiscent to the old radio talk shows from decades ago, coming back in an upgraded medium.

What podcasts do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Meltan

The world was in a tizzy the past couple of days due to a glitched Pokemon that was found in Pokemon Go. A funky-looking Ditto with a nut on its head had players running around to capture it, only for it to transform back into a regular Ditto. Considering we haven’t played Pokemon Go since the first summer the game was introduced, we’ve been on the sidelines watching as all this unfolded.

Yesterday, the new Pokemon was officially revealed. Called Meltan, the Steel type mythical Pokemon will be available for the two Let’s Go! titles with a connection to Pokemon Go. It’s assumed that Meltan is the special Pokemon that was hinted for the Switch duo in the first Let’s Go! trailers as it demonstrated the connection they had with the mobile title.

We think the Pokemon is adorable! Having a “glitched” or “leaked” Pokemon in Pokemon Go for players to discover is definitely an interesting gimmick. We’re definitely going to keep an eye out for news about this Pokemon.

Which now begs the question… Should we give playing Pokemon Go a second chance?

What do you think of Meltan? If you play Pokemon Go, have you caught one?

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Double Jump is on Twitch!

That’s right, Double Jump is officially on Twitch! Yay!

djtwitch

We’ve actually streamed for the past couple of weeks now, getting into a small routine while figuring out technical difficulties, but we’re learning and want to share us playing awesome (and sometimes not so awesome) games with you all!

You can find us at Twitch.tv/xDoubleJump! Please give us a follow if you’d like to see what kind of shenanigans we get up to and because, hey, we want to talk more with you guys too. We’re planning on streaming at least three times a week, trying to swing a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule — Kris on Mondays, Rachel on Wednesdays, and both of us on Fridays. We’re on the east coast of the US (EST), so Mondays and Fridays will probably be sometime during the evenings while Wednesdays will most likely be in the mornings.

(Also, it’s Rachel’s birthday today, so give her some extra love!)

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The Digital Age

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy July, everyone!

Recent news about game stores and physical games have made me come to a realization, one that I’m a bit bemused by…

djdigital

Fairly recently, I read a couple of stories about how GameStop is in buyout talks and physical copies of Fortnite are being sold for hundreds of dollars, and it made me realize something…

I’m old.

Not really, but considering how fast technology has grown during my lifetime, it makes me feel a little old. For example, I know that the “save” symbol in Microsoft Word is based off of a floppy disk. My cousins, who are about half of my age, have never seen a floppy disk nor do they even use Word anymore — it’s all Google Docs, which I have yet to fully figure out.

I have lived during the release of every Nintendo video game console with the exception of the original NES. I have seen Blockbuster at the height of its business as well as when they closed their doors for good. Guys, I’m as old as the World Wide WebAnd now nearly everything is at our fingertips — video games, groceries, clothes, these can all be bought at the click of a button and be delivered to your house if not able to be downloaded right away. I’m totally guilty with that too. I download games way more often lately than I do buy physical games, and if I do get a physical game, it’s probably ordered from Amazon.

digitalage
On a side note, Whose Line is it Anyway? was a fantastic show.

It’s amazing how many strides video games have made during my lifetime, from the NES’s blocky cartridges that only supported two players at most to being able to play with multiple people around the world while online to even virtual reality. These innovations are being programmed rapid-fire and, while feeling old is still there, I’m also excited to see how much farther programming and coding can leap while I’m alive.

Are you “old” like me? What are your favorite advancements in the digital age?

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L.A. Noire

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s amazing that the Nintendo Switch came out just this year and already there’s over 500 games in the works right now that can be played on the console either through physical cartridges or digital downloads via the Nintendo eShop.

A game that’s gotten quite a few people excited is the anticipated detective game L.A. Noire.

la-noire-2

L.A. Noire for the Switch will be out in North America tomorrow, the 14th. It’s an action and adventure game that places the player in the role of a hardened detective that solves murders. It’s rated M for Mature, a rating that Nintendo generally doesn’t deal with considering family-friendly the company is.

While any new game for the Switch is exciting, I’m unsure about this one. Rachel and I have the XBox 360 version of the game and… we didn’t get too far. We honestly bought it because, at the time, we were itching for a new detective-like series after having gotten hooked on the Ace Attorney franchise. L.A. Noire was definitely grittier than Ace Attorney, and we missed the epic music and characters from the latter series. Considering we didn’t use the XBox 360 too often, we also probably weren’t used to the controls either.

However, that was a couple of years ago. Perhaps this time around, if we have a little extra money to splurge, we’ll try picking up L.A. Noire again for our shiny Switch.

What about you? Is L.A. Noire something you’re interested in? Did you ever play an earlier version of the game?

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New Pokemon Forms

Double Jump Kris MiiThe majority of Pokemon change forms as they grow, evolving into usually stronger creatures. It’s one of the main components to the games, enabling players to create all sorts of strategies for their adventure to play out.

While evolution usually happens when a Pokemon levels up, there are different criteria for some species, such as Lycanroc, whose form depends on the time of day…

Lycanroc was one of the first Alolan Pokemon to be revealed to the public and, within the games, its pre-evolved form Rockruff is one of the first wild Pokemon the player encounters when starting their journey in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon. With Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon coming out in November, more information regarding the new forms of the Alolan Pokemon is starting to slowly make its way onto the Internet.

Where Lycanroc is concerned, there will be a new form to go along with its Midday and Midnight appearance: Dusk Lycanroc.

lycanroc

It’s a decent design, in my opinion. As Rachel pointed out, “It looks like a sunset!” Caught between the Midday and Midnight forms, the Dusk Lycanroc looks as if it’ll fit right in.

Yet, I wonder how many Pokemon are going to get new forms for the games. Most likely due to its werewolf motif, Lycanroc was one of — if not the only — Pokemon with an alternate form based on the time of day in the seventh generation to go with the day and night aspect of the games. Will other Pokemon get more forms for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon?

With Mega Evolution, then Z-Moves, Alolan variations of first generation Pokemon, now Ultra forms for the Sun and Moon legendaries, I’m curious as to how all of this will play out.

What do you think of Dusk Lycanroc? Are you hoping for other Pokemon to get different forms? Or do you think these are too many forms and variations to keep track of?

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Friday Favorites: SNES Classic Wish List

Double Jump Kris MiiWith the news of the SNES Classic coming out in a couple of months, people have been scrutinizing the list of games the console will be loaded with. While I have no complaints about the game list, there are a few that I wish made an appearance on the console.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

This classic arcade beat-em-up game was a favorite of Rachel’s and mine back when we were kids. It was perfect as a co-op game and quick enough to play within a couple of hours. Hearing the old school Ninja Turtles’ voices were great too!

Disney’s The Lion King

Disney had a few licensed games with Nintendo, like Aladdin and the Jungle Book, and The Lion King was one of the best. With the fun music and scenes from the movie, it worked well with the original SNES console. The game was short and sweet, making it a great game to play during an afternoon.

Tiny Toons Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

This was definitely a guilty pleasure game, a game filled with the ridiculousness that came with the Looney Toons. Tiny Toons was a spin-off of the Looney Toons for a younger generation, filled with characters that were the “students” of the original Looney Toons. I honestly don’t remember much of the plot of Buster Busts Loose, but I remember the fun, colorful scenes and high-energy music!

Goof Troop

This particular game I never really wanted to play as a kid. In fact, it was one of Rachel’s favorite games and, while it was never my first choice to play, I do remember having fun with Rachel while playing it. She was Max and I was Goofy and she had a penchant for throwing barrels at my character instead of actually trying to solve the puzzles!

What video games would you have liked to see on the SNES Classic console?

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