Diddy Kong Racing [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Diddy Kong Racing DS | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | Racing Games | Review | RachelPoli.com

Title: Diddy Kong Racing DS
Developer: Rare, Ultimate Play the Game
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo DS
Category:
Racing, Adventure
Release Date: 
February 5, 2007
How we got the game: 
I got it as a gift long ago

 

 

 

Diddy Kong Racing will always have a special place in my heart. I remember playing this game originally on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, not that I was any good at it. I believe I got the Nintendo DS version for my birthday or Christmas the year it came out. Picking it up again, it was certainly a fun trip down memory lane.

Gameplay | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

This is a racing game so, of course, you choose a character and you race through various courses. The roster isn’t huge with only eight playable characters plus four more to unlock making a total of 12 playable characters. Still, that’s not too bad considering the time the game was originally made. Also, instead of playing as Banjo or Conker, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong.

In the regular adventure mode, you choose a character, a vehicle, and a track. Then you race. There are three different vehicles to choose from – kart, hovercraft, or plane. I was only good with the kart. The hovercraft was okay to control, but I was horrendous with the plane. These vehicles can be used in most of the tracks. Some tracks allow all three while other tracks allow certain vehicles. For example, you can’t use a kart or plane in Pirate Lagoon because it’s mostly water.

Speaking of tracks, there are six different areas, each one with four racing courses for a grand total of 24 tracks. Each course has balloons scattered about which give you an item. There aren’t too many items in this game and you get a certain item depending on which color balloon you pop. For example, a red balloon will give you a missile. You can upgrade your items by collecting Rareware coins that are scattered about the tracks. However, I mostly through my items blindly because I was too focused on trying to stay on the road.

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There is a story mode to this game, one that I didn’t complete. Taj the Genie is a blue elephant that rides around on a magic carpet. He aids you by giving you new vehicles and the like. Of course, to unlock them you need to beat him in a race and… well, that plane. As I said, I was horrendous with it.

Anyway, long story short, we need to race in order to stop Wizpig from taking over the island when Timber’s parents go away on vacation. Timber can’t fit Wizpig alone, so he calls on Diddy and the rest of the gang to help him out.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s just a way to unlock more tracks and characters, which is a pretty clever way to do things. Although, I don’t think this particular game really needed a story.

Graphics & Music | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

Graphics-wise, this game is definitely better than when it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Still, I don’t think the graphics are great. I’m not complaining though. It’s still charming.

The music is probably the best thing about this game. The beats are so energizing that even if I haven’t played the game in a while, I find myself humming the main menu tune.

Replay Value | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

This game is fun to play if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m sure I’ll get back to it and play it again at some point in my life, though this isn’t a game I’d go to all the time. It’s fun to play once in a while though.

Diddy Kong Racing DS gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Why I Have Two Copies Of Pokemon Black [Throwback Thursday]

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Since Kris and I went through all the video games we own recently, I realized that I still have two copies of Pokemon Black for the Nintendo DS. I laughed at seeing the second copy and I decided to write a blog post about it.

Throwback Thursday: Why I have two copies of Pokemon Black | Pokemon | Nintendo | Nintendo DS | Gaming | Video Games | TBT | DoublexJump.com

Of course, now I’m wondering if I’ve already shared this story. I’m sure I have at one point or another, but maybe it wasn’t through the blog.

I babysit a lot and the first family I ever babysat for had three kids. They were all avid gamers and their middle child was especially into gaming. As much as I love gaming, we often fought because he wasn’t allowed to be playing video games all the time. He had an hour a day and that was it because he was so addicted.

We had a lot of fun playing games together though – from Smash Brothers to Mario Kart and everything in between. Pokemon was another game we played together a lot. We’d trade Pokemon cards and I’d often bring my DS or 3DS so we could battle against each other or simple continue our journeys together.

Fast-forward seven or eight years later and I ducked out. They were a lovely family to work with but I needed to move on and so did they. Their oldest was going to be 17-years-old and their middle child was going into high school. Despite their disabilities, it was time for me to leave so they could have more independence.

It wasn’t until a year or two after I stopped babysitting for them, I realized I had two copies of Pokemon Black. I had assumed one was Kris’s so I gave one to her. But then she checked her bucket of DS games and had one in there. She turned on her game and sure enough, it was her profile. I turned on one of the games I had and it was my profile.

I turned on the third cartridge and guess who’s name was on the profile? Yep, the kid I used to babysit for.

I remember when he lost his game. He spent a while looking for it and I even spent a great deal helping him look for it. These kids lost everything too and their bedrooms were a mess, so I wasn’t surprised when he lost the small DS cartridge. We never found it.

Until I stumbled upon it in my own bucket of handheld games.

I have no idea how it made it home with me. I assume I saw the cartridge on the kitchen table or something and, thinking it was mine, I took it. Or maybe he had put it in my bag or DS thinking it was mine. Whoever thought it was mine though, never thought that maybe I had brought it home with me through those many weeks of us searching high and low for his game.

It’s been three or four years since I’ve stopped babysitting for them. I’ve forgotten about it here and there. I think, at this point, the game is mine. I don’t think I’ll get the chance to give it back to him and honestly, he’s probably long forgotten about it by now.

If I talk to him again in the near future, I’ll try to remember to tell him I have it. But I probably won’t remember I have it until I decide to play that game again or I go through my bucket again.

Are there any games you have multiple copies of? Have you ever borrowed a game – on purpose or by accident – and forgotten to give it back? Let me know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around.

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Lost In Blue [Game Review]

Game Review | Lost In Blue | Nintendo | Nintendo DS | Video Game Review | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Lost In Blue
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Platform:
Nintendo DS
Category:
Survival
Release Date:
August 25, 2005
How we got the game:
We bought it

 

 

 

This is a game Kris has had for a long time. I had given the game a go a long time ago when Kris didn’t seem to be too into it. I never finished it and was curious to pick it back up again.

gameplay

Lost In Blue doesn’t have much of a learning curve to it. It’s a Nintendo DS game so, of course, the touch screen is used a good amount. However, you can use the analog stick to move your character around and there’s a task for every button. A allows your character to climb up and down things as well as search for items in the ground. X opens the menu and allows you check the items in your backpack or rest. Y is used when you find Skye and you can hold her hand to guide her to certain places. B allows you to run which is always a fabulous mechanic.

The touch screen is used when digging in the ground. The stylus is used to move the dirt around. It’s also used when you have a spear to fish. Once you see a fish swim by on the bottom screen, you can tap it with your stylus to send the spear down. The only problem with this is that the touch screen is pretty picky. A lot of times I thought I had the fish and it claimed I didn’t. Other times I caught a fish when I clearly didn’t even touch it.

The mic is also used. When making a fire, you need to alternate the L and R buttons to make the spark and then blow into the mic. I played this on my 2DS XL and it took me a minute to actually remember where the mic was.

That’s it for basic controls. The rest of the game play is simple and fairly repetitive. You explore the island as Keith, gathering food, finding new places to explore, and finding items to make new tools to use in order to survive longer. At the end of the day, you can go back to the cave and go to sleep, which will allow you to save your game and then start the process all over again.

Both Keith and Skye have three meters – stamina, hunger, and thirst. These will go down throughout the day. You have to make sure they both have enough to drink and eat. Keeping the thirst up is easy since you can drink from the river. However, making food, especially in the beginning, is hard since you don’t have a lot of resources. However, there are certain foods you can eat raw such as coconuts and carrots found on the island.

The stamina is really hard, especially for Keith. Since he’s the one exploring it goes down fast. He’s really slow at walking so I make him run all the time, which, I’m pretty sure, makes his stamina go down faster. However, when he climbs rocks, jumps, or pushes logs, it goes down even further. Each day is timed so there’s only so much he can do – only so far he can get – before you have to turn around and make it back to the cave. This gets harder the further you explore because you can spend the first half of the day just making it back to where you left off on the previous day.

Once you beat Keith’s story, you can start a new game and have the opportunity to play as Skye.

graphics-music

Being a Nintendo DS game, the graphics aren’t the best. However, they work well enough for the time the game came out. There aren’t any noticeable glitches or the like, so it definitely works. During the dialogue, there were pictures of the character speaking to one another which was a nice touch. It was a shift from the regular game play and animations.

The music was mellow. Seeing as you’re stuck on an island, the music isn’t too epic or anything. It flowed nicely along with the game play. The sound effects, on the other hand, were okay. The sound to gather items – digging in the sand or dirt, spearing fish – were just okay. However, sound effects to show danger – such as your hunger meter getting too low – were spot on and really grabbed my attention while playing.
storyIn this game you play as Keith, a boy who is washed ashore from a storm that made his cruise ship go off course. He’s all alone aside from Skye, a girl about his age who got washed ashore from the same storm on the same ship. There doesn’t seem to be anyone else around. They don’t know if there were any survivors and they don’t know if anyone will come looking for them.

Together, they must survive on the island and find a way off back to civilization. Keith explores daily and gathers food while Skye, whose glass broke and she can’t see, remains in the cave (most of the time) and does the cooking for whatever Keith brings back.

replay-value

This wasn’t a bad game, but it wasn’t great either. I can find myself trying to play this game again, but the beginning is pretty slow. It’s hard to get started because you have nothing. Keith tires easily and is hungry and thirsty so keeping the stamina is hard. There’s a lot to explore and items to find and make, but overall it’s pretty repetitive and can get kind of boring. I love these simulation kind of games but this one is just okay for me.

Lost In Blue 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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Throwback Thursday: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

It’s the end of the month which means it’s time for another TBT. This time I’m talking about Ace Attorney, a game I mention often. Though I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the first time I played.

Ace Attorney Trilogy | Capcom | Nintendo | Video Games | TBT | DoublexJump.com

The Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney trilogy was originally released for the Nintendo DS, though Kris and I had no idea the games existed.

We were upstairs in our bedroom, long before we had an office/game room (our office is our older sister’s old bedroom that we transformed when she moved out). We wanted a new game to play and were scrolling through the games on the Wii shop channel. Yeah, the Wii U didn’t even exist yet.

In fact, we were sitting on our bedroom floor staring at our small box TV that had a built-in DVD and VCR player. I wish I could remember what year this was…

Anyway, we were scrolling and came across the Ace Attorney games. I love mystery and detective stuff and it seemed to intrigue Kris enough. We saw there were three games and downloaded Trials and Tribulations, not realizing the three were a trilogy and we just so happened to buy the final game.

I remember playing the first case together. Then the second and third. Then the finale with Dahlia… if you’ve played, you know who I’m talking about.

We played at night, in the dark, which was a mistake, but we enjoyed ourselves so much anyway.

The cases were so intriguing and well thought out. The characters were amazing. The dialogue was witty and the animations were fun to look at.

Once we finished that game and realized it was the third, we bought and downloaded the first two games immediately. We told our older sister about it, Lisa, and she was interested in it as well. Now, this was long after she stopped playing video games with us so Kris and I were excited we had found a game Lisa wanted to play with us.

We moved the Wii down to the basement where the TV was bigger and there was more room to play. After school and work (and while our dad was still at work because the basement is his man cave), the three of us would go downstairs and play the game for as long as we could.

We played through the whole trilogy together. It was awesome and so much fun.

Of course, Lisa never played the rest of the games with us, such as Miles Edgeworth, Apollo Justice, or any of the handheld games. It was hard enough for Kris and I to stare at the small screen together and play the games. Lisa wasn’t interested in staring at a tiny screen and told us if the games ever came onto the shop channel again, she’d play with us.

Of course, they never did.

Lisa was never one for anime either because the animation always annoyed her. Still, maybe she’d be interested in watching the show with us sometime soon.

Do you remember the first time you’ve played a game? Do you have certain fond memories of Ace Attorney or something else? Let me know in the comments below!

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Pokemon Ranger [Game Review]

Video Game Review: Pokemon Ranger | Gaming | Nintendo | Pokemon | DoublexJump.com

Title: Pokemon Ranger
Developer: HAL Laboratory, Creatures Inc.
Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
Platform: 
Nintendo DS
Category: 
Action, Role-Playing
Release Date: 
March 23, 2006
How I got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

Pokemon Ranger is a spin-off Pokemon game, the first in a trilogy of “Pokemon Ranger” games. It’s a Nintendo DS game I got long ago when it first came out. I had completed then, getting stuck on some after story gameplay, and never picked it up again. I thought it was about time I tried it again.

storyIn Pokemon, you’ve got your gym leaders, ace trainers, breeders, collectors, and more. In this game, we’re playing as a different type of person in the Pokemon world – a ranger. A Ranger is like a typical park ranger. They take care of their city and the areas around it and protect the Pokemon and people.

You’re a newbie ranger starting with your newly acquired partner Pokemon, Plusle. Plusle chose you, not the other way around. At first, you’re started off with small missions to get your feet wet. Then Professor Hastings, the union leader and creator of the Capture Styler and Super Styler, gets his Super Styler stolen by the Go-Rock Squad… while you’re escorting him. Yes, it’s kind of your fault.

Now you’re assigned a series of tasks and missions that get you closer to finding the Go-Rock Squad and making sure they don’t wreck havoc.

gameplay

Pokemon Ranger came out about two years after the Nintendo DS was released. Most of the games were stylus-based with the new touchscreen and this game was no different.

In this game, you play as the protagonist – a girl or a boy – and complete missions to further the plot of the story. You walk around using either the D-pad, joystick, or you can use your stylus on the screen and lead your character around. I personally liked the former.

To interact with people and objects, such as the podium to save the game, you pressed the A-button. To encounter wild Pokemon all you had to do was run into them… or let them run into you.

Battling while Pokemon is different than the typical mainstream Pokemon game. Using your stylus, you have to draw rings around the Pokemon in order to capture them. Some Pokemon take more rings than others. The Pokemon run around a lot and even attack breaking the ring – but if an attack lands on the ring your stylus is hurt. You have a certain amount of energy in your stylus, it grows the more you gain experience points by capturing Pokemon, but if it runs out of energy, it’s game over.

This wasn’t a bad mechanic at all, I enjoyed it. Of course, it has its flaws. The wild Pokemon are free to roam where ever. They’re not restricted to the bottom screen, which means they run off screen a lot. Then you need to wait for them to come back. Also, if they’re standing beside the edge of the screen and your stylus bumps into the edge, it counts as though you lifted your stylus off the screen and the capture has to begin all over again. I missed so many times because of that and it got pretty annoying.

Some Pokemon have field moves in which you can use them to help in your missions. For example, fire Pokemon can burn down logs to clear a path, electric Pokemon can recharge your stylus for you. Not all Pokemon have field moves, but they all have a special ability to help when capturing Pokemon. For example, water Pokemon can allow your stylus to create a bubble and contain the wild Pokemon while you try to catch it. Psychic Pokemon enter the battle field and levitate the wild Pokemon suspending it for a brief moment of time while you quickly draw rings around it.

Some missions had a set of puzzles you needed to solve whether you needed a Pokemon’s help or not. While the puzzles weren’t bad, they weren’t hard either. It is a Pokemon game, so I wasn’t expecting extreme stuff, but I played through the entire game in less than 10 hours.

graphics-music

The graphics are nicely done for a Nintendo DS game. It’s pixelated for sure, but your character isn’t a chibi like in the earlier Pokemon games. Plusle follows you around as does any other Pokemon you capture which is cute to see.

I enjoyed the setting of the game too. There were four main cities, each based on a season – summer, spring, winter, and fall – and while it doesn’t sound like much, the scenery was well done.

The music is just as well too. When I turned the game on I was instantly brought back into the gameplay as though I had never taken a hiatus from it. The sound effects are satisfying, especially when you catch a Pokemon.

replay-value

I can see myself playing this game again or even going back to it to do the post-game stuff. There are two other games in the Ranger series that I’d like to give a try. It’s not my favorite Pokemon game, but I thought it was an interesting concept and it was good enough.

POKEMON RANGER gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Currently Playing: Pokemon Ranger

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Thursday!

Kris and I are currently on our way to Canada for EGLX! We’re both excited and I can’t wait to get off this plane…

Currently Playing: Pokemon Ranger | Pokemon | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

I’m going to a gaming expo, so of course, I’m bringing my 2DS XL. I started playing through Pokemon Ranger for Nintendo DS. It came out in March 2006, which makes it over 10 years old… Wow.

I’ve played this game once before but I never finished it. I got pretty far though. When I turned on my game I realized that I had 13 missions done. So, I think I was almost done with the game.

Still, it’s been a really long time since I’ve played and, for the sake of a review down the road, I started the game over.

The tutorial was a pain since I remembered how to play the game. Even if I didn’t, it was long.

I’m enjoying the game though. I’m a decent way through and I’m looking forward to actually beating the game this time.

Pokemon Ranger isn’t my favorite Pokemon spin-off series, but I still like it all the same. I’m happy to be playing it again especially since it was a game I had completely forgotten about.

Have you played Pokemon Ranger? What are you currently playing? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Flashback Friday: Nintendogs

Double Jump Kris MiiHoly crap, February flew by!

This month’s Flashback Friday is celebrating a small franchise that worked with the Nintendo DS’s microphone in an interesting way.

220px-dalmatianfriends

Nintendogs was first released in April 2005 on the Nintendo DS in three different versions: Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends, and Chihuahua & Friends. The series were re-released twice later, ending with a bundle called Dalmatian & Friends.

The game was a pet simulator starring, what else, puppies. Each version had a set amount of breeds for the player to adopt, name, and take care of via grooming, walks, feedings, and teaching them tricks. The dogs could get dressed up and compete in tournaments as well. The main gimmick of the game was using the microphone to speak to them.

With the Nintendo DS’s microphone, the player was able to verbally teach the puppies their name and tricks. There are “hand” motions via the stylus that you were able to make to help with the tricks as well, but the microphone was the main attraction. It worked fairly well, especially combined with the Nintendo DS’s graphics. The puppies were adorable!

 

Have you ever played Nintendogs? Did you enjoy the game?

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