Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer [Game Review]

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer | Game Review | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Life simulator
Release Date: 
July 30, 2015 
How I got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

I love the Animal Crossing series. If you know me and have been following this blog for a while, you’d know that. I can’t get enough of Animal Crossing. I was excited when Happy Home Designer was announced because building and decorating houses is my favorite part of playing The Sims. Now I could do it with my Animal Crossing friends… except it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped.

gameplay

The gameplay is simple enough. The touchscreen on the 3DS is a big portion of the controls. At least it was for me. I found it easier than pushing the buttons.

You get a client and go to their house to decorate the interior. Your character doesn’t have to move too much provided you utilize the touchscreen. The bottom screen has a grid showing off the size of the house. You go into your inventory and place items down and make sure it looks nice and pretty and goes along with what you’re client likes and wants. Eventually, you can choose where you want the house to go and decorate the exterior as well as the interior.

This isn’t a bad concept, but what bothered me was that you have a certain amount of items you can use. With each client, you gain new items. Those items are what your current client likes and wants. So when you decorate there’s no trying to “guess” what your client will enjoy. It’s all laid out for you. Plus, whenever you put something down your client will react positively, negatively, or indifferently. So you can tell by that as well.

Another thing was the search option. You could find items through their category (clothes, chairs, beds, etc.), you could type in the name, or you could just see all the items you need for that current client… Yeah, it lays it all out for you so there’s no thinking involved. It’s a casual game, yes, but that was a little too casual for me. I would have liked to have figured out myself what furniture to put down based on my client’s clues.

After you finish working for a client you write in your journal and the day ends. The next day you can find another client or Isabelle may show up and asks you to help with the town. There are many projects she has such as a school, hospital, office, stores, and more. Later she may ask you to add to them, like adding a second classroom to the school. It’s not much though and neither project was challenging or took a while.

Each project from Isabelle had a checklist of items you had to use. For example, when creating the concert hall the only item on the checklist was a microphone. So, that’s all I put down, despite the many new options I had for musical instruments and seating and the like. Isabella absolutely loved it and it was a hit. A single microphone in an empty room… all because I added the item from the checklist. In other words, it didn’t matter how well you decorated the room. If you used all the items on the checklist, it counted as a win and the clients were happy. Again, no challenge.

Isabelle didn’t come every day and even when she did you had the option to go out and find another client before helping her. I did Isabelle’s projects first to get them over with. However, when you finish all of that the credits roll and the game is “over.” At that point, I had only helped 10 clients. It was a short game.

You can continue playing and get new clients as well as redecorate old clients’ houses after the credits, but that was enough for me.

graphics-music

Like all Animal Crossing games, the graphics and music are great. I enjoy the 3D graphics and being able to turn the camera all the way around to get each and every angle of the characters, the homes, and any place you currently are. The design has a cutesie feel to it which is so calming and really brings out the casualness of the game.

The music is one of my favorite aspects of the game. It’s always soothing and allows you to just get immersed in the gameplay. While I felt as though the soundtrack for Happy Home Designer could have had a little more to it, I enjoyed it all the same.

The sound effects are as silly as ever between placing something down, turning it around, or not being able to turn it around. I enjoy interacting with the objects as well, especially the musical instruments. It’s something small and simple, but it really adds a lot.
storyThere’s not much of a story to this one. You create a character and join Nook’s Homes as an employee. Then you go out, find clients, and help design their homes. Isabelle will show up a few times with some town projects such as building a school or hospital. Once you finish helping her own, the credits roll. That’s just about it.

replay-value

There’s a lot more for me to do in the game. There are so many villagers who need help decorating their homes. I have a lot of more items and furniture to unlock. However, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up this game again. It was a nice casual game to play, but it was repetitive and got old quick.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Flashback Friday: Pokemon Crystal

Double Jump Kris MiiThe first month of the year is almost over! How are you all doing with your resolutions? Keeping up with them, or were they more of a week-long thing?

I’m hoping to keep up more with gaming news, perhaps venturing out further with more online games to try to reach out to more players and friends. Still, there’s something to be said about the older games, such as Pokemon Crystal.

250px-crystal_en_boxart

Hey, Pokemon Crystal was released on the 3DS Virtual Console today!

While I started playing Pokemon from the first generation games, it was the second generation where I really started to comprehend the story, the game mechanics, and the characters. I started understanding the types strengths and weaknesses and actually strategizing the battles rather than just tossing my over-leveled Pikachu at everyone, which had been my go-to plan in Pokemon Yellow.

Pokemon Crystal originally came out in North American in July 2001, and it received good reviews, even if the reviews were lower than what Gold and Silver had received. The most criticism Crystal had gained was how it was too similar to Gold and Silver, with critics claiming there weren’t any notably new aspects to the game to make it a “must buy.”

Crystal did, however, update plenty of aesthetic changes, such as updated graphics, animating Pokemon sprites at the beginning of battles, and the ability to play as a girl. The story line surrounding Suicune was more involved as well, along with other changes to the wild Pokemon that are available for the protagonist to catch.

I’m very excited to be going back to Johto with the Crystal version. It’s the Pokemon game that I have the most fond memories of, and it’ll be interesting to dive back into the old-school Pokemon games!

Have you ever played Pokemon Crystal? Are you downloading the Virtual Console version?

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Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon [Game Review]

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon | Video Game Review | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS | DoublexJump.com

Title: Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Developer: Nintendo, Next Level Games, Nintendo Software Planning & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo 3DS
Category:
Action-adventure game
Release Date:
March 20, 2013 
How we got the game:
I bought it

 

 

 

Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube is one of my favorite games. I could play and replay it, but I realized I hadn’t played Dark Moon in a while. For some reason it was calling me and I was eager to pick it back up again. I’m glad I did.

storyProfessor E. Gadd is in a predicament and he calls on Luigi for help. Poor Luigi is sitting at home sleeping in front of the TV when the professor uses his Pixelator on the unsuspecting plumber. Gadd brings Luigi to his bunker, a hideout outside of the mansion. Since the first Luigi’s Mansion game, Gadd has been living in peace with the ghosts in the mansion. The ghosts have been helping him with his research as he invents new tools and discovers new information.

The Dark Moon in the sky is what keeps the ghosts in a caring state. So, when King Boo knocks it out of the sky, scattering the pieces, and tainting each piece with dark magic, the ghosts go awry and Gadd is forced to hide. Now it’s up to Luigi to save Gadd as well as the ghosts.

gameplay

Gameplay is similar to how the first game worked. Luigi has the Poltergeist 5000, an invention created by Professor E. Gadd, designed to capture ghosts. This time it’s new and improved. It has a Strobulb and a Dark-Light Device.

Using the vacuum is simple enough. Luigi has his flashlight, which you can’t click on and off anymore – it just stays on. The Strobulb is like a super flashlight. It opens certain doors and safes and it’s what you use to stun the ghosts. When stunned, you then press R to suck them up (or L to blow stuff out). The other mechanic, the Dark-Light Device, is used to find invisible items. This can be anything from furniture, lights, or even doors. Boos are hiding throughout all the areas turning things invisible. There’s one Boo hiding in each level and if you catch them all you’ll unlock a new level in that area.

There are five areas in the game each with four levels plus a boss. Gadd will tell you what you have to do and where to go next. All you do is follow what he says, go where you need to go, and the game will do the rest. While you have to do each level in order, you can always go back to previous levels to capture a missing Boo, get more money, or find those gems (each area has a set of 13 gems to collect).

There are news kinds of ghosts in this game. Greenie, Slammer, Hider, and Sneaker are the main four. The ghosts get stronger the farther you get into the game as there are “strong” versions of each ghost. They have a shield you need to break before you’re able to suck them up. Normally this isn’t too much of a problem, but when you have multiple ghosts in the room, it can get pretty tough.

While there’s a nice variety of ghosts in this game, I felt as though it wasn’t as challenging as the first game. In the Gamecube game you’d walk into a new room and there’d be a ton of ghosts. In Dark Moon, most rooms barely have any ghosts. If they do it’s only one or two. There are some levels where you get ambushed and it’s a little challenging, but it’s not too often. There definitely could have been more on the ghost front.

I will say this, the final boss and leading up to it was pretty tough. That took me a few tries to do.

graphics-music

For a 3DS game, the graphics were up to par. Luigi had a good amount of facial expressions and there was more variety in the cut scenes. I found myself watching each cut scene carefully as though I would miss something.

The music, as always, was fantastic. I get the main theme stuck in my head. In fact, I’m listening to it on a loop as I write this review. The music was spot on for each area in the game as were the sound effects. Collecting the money was my favorite sound effect… just saying.

replay-value

This is the second time I’ve playing this game and I can definitely see myself going back for more. It’s a fairly short game and despite knowing what happens, there’s a lot to do. You can always go back and try to beat your scores such as time, money, or even gem and Boo collecting.

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Detective Pikachu

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

A special announcement was made a few days ago and, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited!

Detective Pikachu is finally a thing after so many years of Nintendo casting it a few side-glances here and there.

This game for the 3DS will be releasing in late March 2018 and I couldn’t be more excited. I love Pokemon and I love mysteries and detective stories, so I am all for this.

The trailer below makes the game look pretty dramatic and, for a Pokemon game, I believe it will be. We’ll see how well it works.

As for Pikachu’s voice… I’m going to have to get used to it. Pikachu has always had such a high-pitched tone that the voice just doesn’t seem to match his body. Who knows, though? Maybe it’ll wok the more I play the game.

Detective Pikachu is already available for pre-order at Gamestop. I haven’t grabbed a copy yet, but I’m sure I will.

Are you looking forward to Detective Pikachu? Let me know in the comments below!

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Currently Playing: Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

I played and reviewed a lot of games in 2017. Most of them were from the Nintendo Switch, the latest craze in gaming. While I’ll still be playing my share of Switch games, I wanted to look back at some games I haven’t played in a while.

Currently Playing: Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon | Luigi's Mansion | Nintendo | Nintendo 3DS | DoublexJump.com

Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube was one of my favorite games ever. I loved playing as the “sidekick” who finally gets his moment to shine. I enjoyed playing as the younger brother being a younger sister myself and always being “player two.”

I was excited when Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon came out for the Nintendo 3DS on March 20, 2013. I bought it, I played it, I didn’t beat it.

I mean, I did eventually. The final boss was difficult for me. It was a pain and it was timed and I panicked and no matter how many times I tried I just could not defeat the final boss.

It wasn’t until my cousin, who is now 13 – you do the math – got the game and brought it with her when we went on vacation about three or four years ago. I had brought my game as well to play with her.

I warned her about the final boss and how difficult it could be and such, but she had breezed right through the entire game like it was nothing!

That was my motivation to beat the game. My competitiveness came out.

I ended up beating the game that week while on vacation, but that was after countless tris. While I beat it before my cousin, she too finished the game that week. The boss took her a couple of tries, but she ultimately defeated it in fewer tries than me.

I was getting in the mood to play Luigi’s Mansion again. I made Kris play Luigi’s Mansion for the Gamecube during our challenge in 2016 and realized it’s been a while since I’ve picked up Dark Moon.

I’ve been enjoying myself while playing it. While the story isn’t as strong as the first game, it still brings back a lot of memories.

I’m happy to be playing as Luigi again. Let’s see how long it takes me to defeat the boss this time.

Have you played Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon? Is it one of those games you loved or hated? Let me know in the comments below!

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Nintendo Direct On January 11 [Rumor]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday and Happy 2018!

With a new year comes a lot of new things. I feel like most people came into the new year with hope and positivity and I hope it stays that way.

Nintendo Direct January 11, 2018 [Rumor] | Gaming News | Nintendo | Nintendo Direct | DoubleJump.com

Word on the internet is that there will be a Nintendo Direct on Thursday, January 11th. This direct may showcase some up and coming games for the year for the Switch and 3DS.

Of course, this date is just a rumor but I get the feeling it’s most likely true. It’ll be happening sometime this month at the very least.

What am I hoping for? Well, I’m still hoping for some certain games that I’ve talked about plenty of times before.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Switch

Please? Anyone? Please.

Super Smash Brothers for the Switch

I’m eager to play this game on the Switch. I don’t care if it’s a deluxe version or a brand new version (though brand new would be preferable). I just want to duke it out with my favorite characters on Switch with my friends and pretty graphics.

Animal Crossing for the Switch and/or 3DS

I want another main Animal Crossing game. I want another New Left but bigger and better.

Pokemon

I know they’re coming out with something for the Switch. I’m hoping they shed some more light on what that will be about.

Mario Party for the Switch

A real Mario Party. A good one.

That’s all I really want. I mean, I’m sure I’m forgetting a few games, but I’ll keep it simple for now.

I don’t think those games are too much to ask for… right?

What games are you hoping they announce at the Nintendo Direct? Are they any special games you’re looking forward to in 2018? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to chat with you.

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Favorite Games Played In 2017

Happy Thursday!

Yes, I’m doing a “Top” list on a Thursday… The end of the year is just about upon us, so here are my top ten favorite games I’ve played in 2017.

 

As of this post, I have played and reviewed a total of 27 games in 2017. A lot of them came out in the year 2017, some came out in 2016, and some before. It was hard to narrow down my favorites and it was even harder to put them in an “order.”

So, here you go. My top ten favorite games played in 2017:

10. Earth Atlantis

We got a free review key from the developers through Miketendo64 on the Nintendo Switch. If I had seen this game myself, I probably wouldn’t have bothered to pick it up. While it was a tedious game, it was fun and cool to play. You’re in a submarine, gaining power-ups to destroy robotic sea monsters. It’s all one map and new monsters appear after you defeat a couple. There’s a ton of bosses, but you have to defeat them all to beat the game.

9. Tallowmere

This was another game we got from the developers through Miketendo. Similar to Earth Atlantis, it’s a game that doesn’t seem to have an “ending.” You go through multiple random generated dungeon rooms defeating enemies, getting gold, freeing merchants, and finding new weapons and armor. It’s a fun, edgy game to see how far you can make it.

8. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Such a simple, but fun game. For the Wii U, you play as Captain Toad going through multiple small stages to find green stars. You go back and forth between playing as Toad or Toadette as each is captured by a giant bird. The puzzles are simple, but I found myself dying a couple of times. It was a great low-key, casual game.

7. Paper Mario: Color Splash

I still miss the original Paper Mario game for the Nintendo 64, but Color Splash for the Wii U actually wasn’t that bad. I still had my problems with it and it certainly wasn’t like the original, but it was a better game than Sticker Star. Maybe Nintendo is catching on and they’ll make the series better again.

6. Super Mario Odyssey

While the main story was short, this was a great game. I really enjoyed exploring the new world of Mario. While the power moons were easy to come by, there are still so many hidden that I need to dig deep for. This game is filled with secrets and I feel as though there’s always something to explore. The music is catchy and it controls great. Odyssey was a great game this year.

5. Miitopia

I spent so long on this game and I was addicted to it for a while. This game was so much fun to add your own Mii along with friends and family to become a “mage” or other class and go on an adventure. The game was silly, but it was a lot of fun.

4. Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice

I love the Ace Attorney series as a whole and Spirit of Justice was an amazing installment. It brought back old characters and the cases were amazing.

3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

I had so much fun with this game with my sister and my cousins. I didn’t play Mario Kart 8 that much, but I played the deluxe version a lot. I enjoyed the new courses and certain the battle modes, which isn’t a mode I typically played before.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I mean… this had to go on this list. I can’t express enough how amazed I am at this game. The music, graphics, story, the open world… Nintendo really outdid themselves.

1. Pokemon Ultra Sun

Pokemon is my favorite gaming series. While Ultra Sun isn’t that much different from Sun, I did enjoy the small changes they made here and there. I have to admit if I had a choice between the two, I’d choose Ultra Sun over Sun. Even though it’s only been a year since Sun, it was nice to dive into another Pokemon game.

What were some of your favorites from 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

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