With the coming holidays, there are a plethora of new video game releases that are on our radar. Most are new but some are remastered versions of older games that we had loved. Now there are rumors of another remake…
Pokemon is one of our favorite franchises, probably one of the first that truly got us into gaming on a regular basis. The Yellow, Red, and Blue trio were my first games for my Game Boy Color, and Rachel joined me in on the Pokemon adventure with Gold, Silver, and Crystal. The first generation of Pokemon has been remade a couple of times — with FireRed and LeafGreen, then most recently with the Let’s Go duo — and the second and third generation games have also been given makeovers.
There has always been clamor for the fourth generation of games — Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum in the Sinnoh region — to be remade as well. The fourth generation of Pokemon games was one of the most acclaimed with the Pokemon world, with it introducing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to allow trainers from all over the world to communicate, as well as updating the graphics, battle and contest mechanics, and introducing the most Legendary Pokemon in a generation.
According to a recent rumor, the Sinnoh region may yet still be remade.
Granted, the rumor is due to a Pokemon merchandise online store noticing that a slew of Sinnoh merch is slated to come within the next year or so. Saturating the market with fourth generation Pokemon toys would help with marketing when it comes to remakes. Considering the next core Pokemon games are being released in November, a remake of the fourth generation could be the next Pokemon game on Nintendo’s to-do list. In all seriousness, Nintendo may not have to do any market ploy for the generation four remakes, not with how much fans have wanted these remakes for years.
With that said, while I’ve always enjoyed the remakes, my favorite Pokemon games were the third-tiers, which haven’t been a thing since the original Pokemon Platinum game back in 2009. We’ll get the remakes, whenever they get released, and we’ll probably enjoy them just as much as we enjoy the others.
Would you like a remake of the fourth generation Pokemon games? Any particular updates you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Paper Mario is one of our favorite Nintendo RPGs with its unique graphics, simple story, and charming characters. The soundtrack is one of our favorites to listen to, as well, and one of the most iconic tunes from the game is Toad Town.
A few years ago, a trio of talented musicians came together and created a cover of Toad Town. The YouTuber known as MichelleHeafy was on piano while 8BitBrigadier played the flute. ThunderScott was, well… everything else. I’ll admit, I was really amused to see him use the triangle in the cover!
All three of these musicians have their own channels dedicated to covers of beloved video game music. We hope you enjoy their Toad Town cover enough to visit some of their other videos!
The year is three-quarters over, and there are about ninety days left until Christmas. Isn’t that crazy?
Golden Sun is a game that I need to play again. I never actually owned it, but I remember a friend lending it to me sometime in sixth grade. She scolded me at one point when I told her where I was in the story and what level I was at. Apparently I wasn’t keeping up with my characters’ levels while advancing the story!
This game was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001, and the RPG was critically acclaimed, getting almost perfect reviews. It was traditional for the genre in which the players controlled four characters in a party and traveled throughout a fantasy land as they advance the story. Like most RPGs, there is a magic system, with Golden Sun’s magic being based on the classical elements. The magic is called Psynergy and wielders are Adepts. However, the magic that is involved in the game is also used outside of battle for solving puzzles. Instead of playing completely linear, players are allowed to return to previous locations to solve puzzles they couldn’t before after unlocking the magic needed to do so.
Golden Sun also employed little creatures called Djinn. Djinn are found in the world and can be set to a character, helping with the character’s magic and class, among other attributes. Djinn have their own elements and can be mixed and matched when put with a character, offering a wide variety of spells and effects for battles.
I honestly don’t remember too much of this game, but I do remember that I enjoyed the game enough to ask for Golden Sun: Dark Dawn when that had been released for the Nintendo DS back in 2010. With that said, I haven’t played too much of Dark Dawn. Perhaps I should rectify that…
Have you played this game? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Donkey Konga is a rhythm game that came out for the Nintendo Gamecube in fall 2004 in North America. It starred Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, of course. The story behind this game is that the two Kongs found bongos, assuming they were barrels and some sort of evil from King K. Rool. Cranky Kong deems them idiots and explains to them it’s a musical instrument and that they should practice because they’re terrible. Once DK and Diddy realize they can become famous bongo players and buy a ton of bananas, they play as many songs as they can.
Thus, Just Dance in bongo form was born… of course, Just Dance didn’t come out until 2009. Still, I’m going to think this was the start of the idea.
Donkey Konga is probably the only rhythm game I’ve ever played, though I’ve wanted to try out some other games. I believe I got this game and the bongos that came with it for Christmas the year it came out. I’d sit in the basement, playing away on the bongos all the while dancing in my seat.
(I probably had way more fun with this game than it actually is. I’m sure if I played it again now it wouldn’t be as much fun.)
My cousins, who were super young at the time, even played it with me. This was one of those games where we gathered around and passed the bongos around doing different songs. We all had our favorite – mine was Whip It if I remember correctly. And We Will Rock You? Is that the title? Was that song even on there? It’s vaguely familiar to me but it’s been a while, so bear with me.
I just remember that I played the crap out of this game. Like how my cousins and I go to Overcooked and Mario Party and Super Smash Brothers, we used to go to Donkey Konga back in the day.
Donkey Konga 2 came out only eight months later for North America in May 2005. It… wasn’t that great compared to the first one. I played the first one a lot and barely the second one at all.
Still, I have a lot of great memories with Donkey Konga and still have the bongos. I will never get rid of those things.
Do you remember Donkey Konga? Did you play it a lot? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Professor Layton is a stand-up guy and he’s a character I instantly fell in love with. I enjoy puzzle games (even if I’m not that great at them) but the Professor Layton games are ten-times better because the puzzles and the characters really make it what it is.
Professor Hershel Layton, or just known as Professor Layton or simply Professor, is an archaeology professor known for his puzzle-solving skills. He’s a fine gentleman, keeps his cool at all costs, and is such a fun character to follow along and play as.
He first appeared in his own game, Professor Layton and the Curious Village for the Nintendo DS in 2007. Since then, he’s starred in his own series for a handful of games after that even having a cross-over game with the famous Phoenix Wright putting his court and investigative skills together with Layton’s investigative and puzzle-solving skills. It’s a great game, if you haven’t tried it.
In fact, that was the game that first introduced me to Professor Layton. Kris and I were curious about the Professor Layton games since we had such a love for Phoenix Wright. We were unsure if we’d enjoy it, so when the cross-over came out, we decided to start with that. We instantly fell in love with Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke. Thus, we bought a few Professor Layton games and really enjoy them.
Professor Layton even stars in his own anime movie, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, which came to North America in 2011. Kris and I watched the DVD a while ago and we really enjoyed the movie, hoping more movies (or a TV show) will come in the future.
Layton is a well-rounded character. He has a fun personality, the games are great, and he works well with the beloved Phoenix Wright. There’s nothing not to love about this guy.
Do you like Professor Layton? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Fire Emblem: Three Houses Developer: Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo Games Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Tactical role-playing
Release Date: July 26, 2019
How we got the game: Bought it on Nintendo Switch
Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!
I’ve finally finished my first playthrough of Three Houses, and I’ve got almost nothing but praise for it! I’ll admit, I was only tentatively optimistic about this game, but the more I played, the more I fell in love with it.
Traditional Fire Emblem games give the player a main protagonist or two, maybe a handful of characters to start leveling up into some semblance of an army, and a reason for said protagonist(s) to start throwing themselves into turn-based battles with weapon triangles. Along the way, a deeper story will develop while introducing new characters to recruit for your army, characters that you can usually choose to include and level up both for fighting and for relationships with other characters. Fire Emblem Three Houses is not that traditional. True, the game begins with a tutorial-like battle and introduces who are arguably the most important characters to the game. Yet, after the battle, the protagonist is whisked to Garreg Mach Monastery and hired as a professor for a class of students. With this, the player is put in a position to already pick their main army to teach and grow, as well as the students in the other classes that can potentially join the player’s class — and, later, army — under the right circumstances. With this, the player already knows the majority of the key characters in the story instead of being fed them at certain intervals of the game. While it can be overwhelming to face so many characters and trying to learn everyone’s potential, I enjoyed seeing how everyone interacted with each other within the monastery. Speaking of the monastery, that is where Three Houses stands apart from traditional Fire Emblem games. Instead of the game going from story cutscene to battles, battles happen at the end of the game’s month, with the weeks leading up to said battle containing activities to advance your units’ skills and supports with one another. Exploring the monastery allows you to freely maneuver around Garreg Mach Monastery, which is mostly used to speak to all the characters, maybe fish or sing in the church’s choir, and generally increase supports between everyone. The higher the support between two characters, the more benefits the pair receive in battle when fighting close to one another. There are also, of course, paired endings after the game that depend on the support conversations. Finding out more about the characters’ history and the game’s lore from the exploration option was one of my favorite activities in the game. Aside from exploration, one can also have a character host a seminar to increase skills of the students who attend the lecture as well as have rest days to increase the characters’ motivation for learning. There is also an option for battles, small paralogues or skirmishes to help level up the characters for the bigger, story-orientated battle at the end of the month. Visiting the Marketplace for weapons, items, battalions, and the blacksmith is also available at the beginning of each week, as well as the option to have a character take a certification test to change class. If a character passes the test, they will be able to reclass at the beginning of battles to any class they have passed. The meat of the game is, of course, the grid-lined, turn-based battles. You’ll have your army of students (which sounds really weird, in all honesty, as it reminds me of the Hunger Games) make their move toward their opponents with medieval weapons and magic — swords, lances, bows and arrows, axes, energy-sucking “Reason” magic, the usual. Once all of your characters move, it’ll be the opponent’s turn to move to whatever grid square they can reach to attack yours. Each battle has a win and lose condition, and you can earn gold, special items, and story-advancing narrative for winning. In the majority of Fire Emblem games, characters can advance classes in usually linear fashion. An archer can class up to a sniper, and a cleric and class up to a holy knight, for example. In Three Houses, as long as their skills in certain weaponry are high enough, characters can take a certification test and reclass into several other options. These classes can then be switched freely at the start of battles, so if there is a map where you need more flying units than cavalry, Three Houses gives you a means to teach your students how to tame a pegasus or wyvern. It was a nifty mechanic, even if I found myself not using it as much as I probably should have. Aside from changing classes, characters can also hone their authority skill and have a battalion at their back during battles. These allow you to do gambits or bigger attacks with certified, nameless soldiers, generally to induce status ailments. Different battalions perform different actions, such as one that does healing magic on all allies for a certain number of spaces, or another that sets everything aflame. Admittedly, I half forgot about the battalions for the majority of the battles, focusing instead on my units attacking. Still, if used right, the battalions will be crucial for many unique strategies in the battles.
Weapon durability is back, which also lends a hand to the strategies you’ll need to come up with during battles, especially with some unique, story-based, one-of-a-kind weapons that are called Hero’s Relics. Only those with Crests, special sigils that are passed down throughout family lines, are able to wield the Hero’s Relics. Crests themselves are important in the setting’s history and politics, and the mystery of the main protagonist’s Crest is an important plot point in the game.
The graphics of the game were well done, but nothing spectacular. I was pleased with the videos and cut scenes, finding the animation smooth, but the few animations for the character models did feel a little stilted and limited. Still, the character designs were mostly on point and I enjoyed the majority of the battle maps. As for the music, I totally want this soundtrack. I’ve always loved the majority of the Fire Emblem games’ music, but Three Houses is probably one of my favorites!
The story begins with Byleth, who was a mercenary along with their father Jeralt, waking up and speaking to a green-haired young woman — girl-like in appearance — named Sothis. The pair appear to be in some sort of temple or ruins, with Sothis lounging on a throne and attempting to make sense of her hazy memories. Sothis’s consciousness is tied with Byleth’s, and the scene shifts to the waking world after the brief introductions. Byleth and their father are about to leave their current village when three students ask for their aid in defeating a group of bandits. The students are from Garreg Mach Monastery, each the respective heir to their countries on the continent of Fodlan. After successfully beating back the bandits, Byleth and their father escort the students — Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude — back to the monastery where they meet with Archbishop Rhea of the Church of Serios. Before Byleth knows what is happening, Jeralt rejoins the Knights of Serios and Byleth becomes the professor of a class of students. The Black Eagles led by Edelgard, the Blue Lions led by Dimitri, and the Golden Deer led by Claude are filled with unique students coming from various backgrounds. Byleth takes command of one of the classes and the story really begins. Played in two parts, part one is “pre-timeskip” wherein Byleth spends much of their time getting to know their students and aiding them in battles to better themselves for their respective countries and goals. While doing so, sinister plots are revealed as the months pass, with the archbishop and the Church of Serios being challenged by enemies — even some who were once called allies. During one such climactic battle, Byleth falls into a canyon and does not awaken until five years later. Part two is this “post-timeskip,” and Byleth finds themselves in a war-torn Fodlan. Reuniting with their former students, Byleth helps to figure out not only an end to the war but also about their past. Granted, this is a vague description of the story, mostly because I’ve only gone through the Golden Deer route. The other routes will most likely determine which side of the war Byleth is on and how they find out who they really are.
I’ve already started my next route. Considering there are two more houses, one that has at least two routes, and a New Game+ DLC coming out, there is plenty to do in this game after a first runthrough. Even if there was only one route, the multiple difficulty levels, plethora of characters to build your army however you want, and multiple support conversations to unlock, there is plenty to do to warrant another playthrough.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses gets…
5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Generally my Friday posts aren’t for recent news, but I thought this was some good information to pass on to the blog. Anyone else participating in this?
Nintendo is hosting an online tournament for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this coming Sunday, September 22nd. It’s open to all racers, regardless of skill level, and all vehicles and characters are welcome to be used. The races will be 150cc-level and racers will compete in a series of 24 races. The top eight racers will be awarded 2,500 gold points (or, rather, $25). And, despite not having picked up the game in a while and not being a regular online competitor, Rachel is planning on playing just for the fun of it. The tournament itself says it will be going from 1pm to 11pm EST and Nintendo revealed a simple way to enter by giving a number (2093-5045-4827) to input into the Search by Code field in Tournaments. I presume one does not need to play through the entire block and will only need to play long enough to compete in 24 races. There was one summer where Rachel and I, along with our cousins, played through all of the available courses and it took us only a couple of hours, if I remember correctly. To have to sit down and race for 10 hours for a tournament would be a little excessive. While it’s nice to have a tournament not catered to certain skill levels, I doubt beginners will be able to have good luck with the tournament. I wonder if it would be worth it to Nintendo to do more online tournaments for beginner, intermediate, and expert racers? With a growing library on the Switch — both for current and retro games — more online tournaments may become a thing. There are the big name games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon, and I wonder what other games Nintendo may use for tournaments. Fire Emblem battles with custom armies. Overcooked teams competing for high scores. Retro Super Mario Kart tournaments. There are plenty of possibilities for Nintendo to exploit, and I’m interested in seeing what kind of tournaments they’ll do next!
What game would you play in an online tournament? Are you participating in the Mario Kart tournament? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Pokemon Masters was released at the end of August and we finally got a chance to open the app up and give it a try. At first glance, it wasn’t bad, with decent graphics, some partial voice-acting — even if, so far, some of the characters are a little too cutesy — and a simple way to do battles. We have only done the first couple of chapters, mainly the introduction, but it’s something we’re willing to keep playing to get a real feel of the story.
I had been looking forward to this one for quite a while. I even pre-ordered it at the app store and then Kris and I decided to try it together. Needless to say, we’ve been busy and finally got the chance to check it out just the other day. I’m enjoying it though and have a feeling I’ll easily get addicted to it.
We are just in the beginning stages of this “free to start” game, so I’m hoping down the line it won’t become one of those games that have wait times or the need to spend money to advance the story. I’d rather the game’s microtransactions be optional, much like Fire Emblem Heroes. Speaking of Fire Emblem Heroes, the star rating for each of the sync pairs of trainers and Pokemon remind me of that game. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of pairs I’ll be able to pull into the game, with the use of the gems.
I don’t think microtransactions will be a problem and don’t think we’ll have to “wait” much at all. The game seems pretty straight forward. You do need gems to buy more sync pairs, but you get more pairs through the main story anyway. You basically just need to be smart with your gems, especially since you get daily rewards as gems when you log in and also receive gems when you complete certain chapters.
Right, the beginning seems pretty generous with the gems, and I hope that it doesn’t taper off the further we go into the story. It’s a classic gimmick, giving us plenty of gems and pairs in the beginning to get us hooked on the game before backing off and having us wonder if we should spend twenty bucks on more gems to move forward. While I understand we’re right at the beginning of the game, I am a little disappointed that there’s not more variety to the pairs we’ve encountered so far. I was hoping to pick and choose pairs, for us to not be completely neck-and-neck for where we are in the story. Like, instead of getting Whitney automatically when trying out the scout mode maybe we could have had a choice to scout out one of three pairs or something.
I actually don’t mind having the pairs be random when you scout. Of course, there are events and I thought I was going to get a certain pair, but it turned out that it’s still random. There’s just a chance I’d get that pair. As I said, I like it random though. I don’t mind the surprise and trying to work with a team with randomized types. What I do wish is that I could have picked my own partner. I love Pikachu and totally don’t mind having him as a partner, but I would love to have Charmander or Psyduck or Mimikyu or something. Pikachu can be cliche at this point and I would have loved it if they gave us a choice of five Pokemon or something. Or, you know, let us choose between all the starters, Pikachu, and Eevee or whatever.
Random pairs as we scout are great, as it gives you more variety. I was speaking mainly of the beginning of the game where the app seems to throw a bunch of scripted pairs at the player. Starting with Brock and Misty is fine, but I did believe that, perhaps, we would have been able to choose between the pair, then maybe choose between Rosa and, for example, Barry to try to round out the first team. I would have also liked to choose my Pokemon partner, despite how adorable Pikachu is. Despite the small tutorial on one of the items that you can use promoting the evolution of the Pokemon on your team, I highly doubt that the game will allow you evolve Pikachu into Raichu down the road.
Ah, I see what you mean. Though, again, I don’t think I mind that too much. It would be cool to pick who to start with, but I already swapped them out anyway. You don’t have them for too long before you encounter more pairs. Also, that’s true about the evolution. I don’t know if I would want to evolve Pikachu if they even give the option. We’ll just have to see what happens. I enjoy the battle part of the game though. I think the story is pretty cool, especially with the masked villains, though it’s definitely lacking. The “story” part of the chapters are two-seconds long. I much prefer the battles, which is fine considering that’s a huge part of the game anyway.
I think I would want to evolve Pikachu just to have something different, in all honesty. In every instance that your character is gifted a Pikachu in the games, you are not allowed to evolve it, so having a Raichu instead of Pikachu would be interesting. I enjoy the battling as well, finding the quick pace of the battles fun, and I imagine they’ll become more challenging down the road. I do wonder how the story part of the game will evolve — pun intended — down the line and I hope it’ll be something deeper than these first few introductory parts.
I like the triple battle format and even the way it works. It took me a minute to get used to it (mostly because I don’t read the directions), but I enjoy how the system works. Instead of PP, the Pokemon’s moves cost one or two charges. There’s a beam at the bottom of the screen and you use that to attack. For example, Pikachu’s Thunderbolt costs 2. If you have two full bars, you can use it. If you have one, you can’t. The good news is, it charges fairly quickly. Though, there were some moments when my Pokemon stared at their opponents for a bit while I waited for the bar to fully recharge.
The triple battle is fun, yes, although there was at one point during a couple of my battles, the little tip or tutorial bubble stayed on my phone’s screen. It nearly blocked one of the opponent’s Pokemon, which was annoying. I presume it was a small hiccup. The interface for the battles isn’t bad at all, though, and it’ll be fun for the Pokemon to learn more moves. The quick-time strategy between opponents and your Pokemon’s moves is challenging. It’ll be interesting when Rachel and I get the chance to become friends in the game and will be able to try out co-op mode!
There is an auto option for the battle though, which I tried out. That was pretty cool, though surprisingly, they didn’t automatically attack the Pokemon who had the type disadvantage. I was against three Pokemon weak to grass and instead of using Snivy, the auto-battle had Piplup spam bubble beam. I still won, but it was interesting to watch. Either way, I’m having fun with the game I too am looking forward to testing out co-op mode!
Have you played Pokemon Masters yet? What do you think of it? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
The boss battles in Octopath Traveler were amazing. Even while you get further into the game, they become somewhat repetitive, they were all still fun to battle and the strategy was strong. This post may contain spoilers for the game, so read at your own risk. Then again, the game has been out for a while, so… anyway.
One thing I love about all the bosses in the entire game is the fact that they’re huge when you get into a battle with them. They’re prominent and made out to be such a big cool. I thought that the imagery was so cool. This is something all the bosses share, so I’m saying it now and getting it out of the way instead of repeating myself for each boss.
Helgenish is the sleaziest boss in the entire game, in my opinion. He is the chapter one final boss for Primrose’s story. I hated him as a character, but he was one who was supposed to be hated and I enjoyed hating him. I thought he was a great first boss for Primrose’s story as she broke free from her current life and headed for adventure. It was so fun to watch Kris play this boss battle and see Primrose get the final blow.
I loved Vanessa. Well, I mean, she was another one I loved to hate. I figured out her motive long before it was revealed and the battle began. She was a rival apothecary in chapter two from Alfyn’s story. She seemed better than him but it turned out she was making people sick and just happened to have the only cure. It was nice to have a female enemy since the majority of the bosses were male or monsters. Vanessa had a really cool design and, I’ll admit, I would have loved to play as her in the game. She was a cool character, despite her evil intentions.
Ah, this creepy guy from chapter three in Cyrus’s story. This dude was doing some weird stuff with other people’s blood and vampire were involved or thought to be involved… honestly, my memory is a bit fuzzy because it’s been a while since we’re playing this chapter. Still, this guy used blood to make some sort of potion and turned himself into a monster. Thus, Cyrus battling him. The story behind this chapter and the actual boss battle was pretty cool. It was creepy and twisted and it was an interesting addition to the game considering the other stories. It was by far the weirdest out of them all.
Redeye is a mysterious monster in chapter four from H’aanit’s story. Like all the chapter four bosses, Redeye was the driving force of H’aanit’s story, though we didn’t know exactly what it was until we saw it. I loved the idea of Redeye (a monster who turned people to stone and was just creating chaos) and the design of Redeye was totally creepy. It looked almost human that had gotten turned into a monster and was slowly turning more and more into the monster the longer they were stuck like that. Unfortunately, there was no cool story behind Redeye or how it came to be or where it came from, but the design was still pretty cool.
What are some of your favorite boss battles from Octopath Traveler? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I hope everyone had a good weekend! This is about some news that’s a couple of weeks old, but I cannot help but think about it. The Super Smash Bros. roster is so big already, I can’t imagine who else to put in!
The latest Nintendo Direct mentioned that even more DLC characters are going to join the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate family. Considering all of the characters we have now, what other franchises and series do you want to see represented?
Granted, our favorite franchises are sufficiently represented, but it would be interesting to see more of a variety in them. We have plenty of Fire Emblem characters, but I’m curious if characters from Three Houses will show up. Having a Fire Emblem character that is not a sword-user would be amazing. Perhaps a Pokemon from the Galar region will show up for the latest generation. Maybe there will be an aspect of the second Breath of the Wild or the remake of Link’s Awakening in Ultimate.
I would totally be down for a joint Jigglypuff and Marion concert in Smash Ultimate.
With that said, I am presuming that the newest DLC characters will also be franchises that aren’t in Smash just yet. Rachel and I are first and foremost Nintendo fans, so characters from other series aren’t usually on our radars. Yet, I would love more female or unique animal characters on the roster. Shantae is fairly popular and it’d be fun to play as Spyro hovering around the stage.
Of course, I also can’t help but hope for Geno from Super Mario RPG!
What extra DLC characters are you hoping will show up in Smash? Any franchises you’re hoping will get some representation? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.