Refreshing Games to Go Back To

refreshing games to go back to | video games | gaming | video game blog | nintendo | nintendo switch | DoublexJump.com

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When we do game reviews, we play as much of the game as we can before actually writing the review, but there are definitely games that we’ve never finished and enjoy going back to play. If you’re a reviewer, you know the feeling of wanting to play the new games and write about them while they’re relevant. The problem with that is that some really great games that you’ve enjoyed get pushed onto the back burner.

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Writing reviews is great and all, but it definitely can sometimes take the fun out of certain games – mostly because of the deadline. We actually haven’t been playing many new games lately because we went back to a couple of older ones – even though one is technically a new game. One game we went back to is New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. Of course, this is a new port of an old game, but I’ve always enjoyed these platformers, especially if you have good friends to play them with. These Mario games are generally all the same, but they’re fun to go back to anyway.

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The Mario platformers aren’t my favorite type of game, but they are fun to play with the right crowd. Another game we’ve been playing more lately is Octopath Traveler. It was one of my favorite games of 2018 and it’s nice to make time for it so we can actually finish the game. Still in the middle of all the chapter threes, but we’re getting there!

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We got a good chunk into Octopath Traveler before writing our review. Once the review was over, we stopped playing for a while to play some other games. We recently got back to this game when Kris got the original soundtrack for Christmas. Now we’ve been really making great progress on the game, which is pushing other games to the back burner.

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Of course, now that we recently watched a Pokemon movie, now I’m itching to play Pokemon some more, haha! Another franchise that we haven’t played in a while which I’m getting nostalgic for is the Professor Layton series. The last time we played one of those games was for a review back in 2016! We even got the Lady Layton game when it came out in 2017 and have yet to give it a try.

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Oh, right! I definitely want to get back to those games soon. We need a day or two when we’re both home all day to play those games though. We get really into them and it’s hard to stop in the middle of a case. I know Layton isn’t set up like that, but with Ace Attorney, each case gets longer. Another game is, of course, Breath of the Wild. We still haven’t beaten the DLC for the game yet. Regardless of that though, I just want to go back into that world and explore some more.

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Breath of the Wild’s world is amazing and is probably one of the few games that I would have no problem returning to without a main story to follow. Of course, many Legend of Zelda games I enjoy playing again. Having the familiarity of Link and whatever version of Hyrule he happens to be in is fantastic. They’re comfort games, if you will, to me.

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Comfort games is a good title for it. Any of these games can be comfort games. They’re just fun to go back to. These stories and worlds tend to stay with us.

What are some games you’ve played and would love to go back to whether you beat it or not? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: 2018 Games to Finish

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Did everyone have a good new year’s? It’s hard to believe that we’re in 2019 now! This is a time that most people try to finish up tasks that they’ve accidentally left behind so they can start the new year with a clean slate. Going through our 2018 Game Reviews page, I’ve realized that there are a few games that I started last year that I would love to finish up.

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Undertale

I know the story of Undertale, I know the gameplay and probably many of its secrets. I’ve watched quite a few playthroughs of the game through YouTube and Twitch, after all, playthroughs that prompted me to try it myself. Yet, while I’ve played and completed Deltarune, the “sequel” of Undertale, I haven’t finished a playthrough of Undertale just yet.

Batman: The Telltale Series

I’ve finished the first two episodes, I believe, of this game, and it definitely held my interest to want to play the rest. Considering the game has a sequel, I would love to finish the next couple of episodes before exploring the next one.

Octopath Traveler

This is a major game that I want to finish. Honestly, with the other newer Switch games out, I cannot remember where we’re at in this game. From what we’ve played, it’s one of my favorite games from 2018, with its gorgeous graphics, music, and battle system, but we’ve yet to finish it.

Stardew Valley

Although this isn’t a game to actually “finish” considering how open-ended it is, I definitely would like to return to the world of Stardew Valley. I’ve accidentally abandoned my farm on our Steam account, but I’m also hoping to rope Rachel into doing a co-op farm with me at some point in the future.

What are some 2018 games that you’re looking to finish?

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Christmas Haul 2018

Christmas Haul | Video games | gaming | blogging | DoublexJump.com

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful holiday filled with good times, good family and friends, and presents. This was a pretty low-key Christmas for us, our immediate family opting to just exchange a few gifts together.

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We always look forward to Christmas, but we all know the best day of the year is December 26th. It’s great to see everyone, but it’s nice to have that calm when it’s all said and done. Plus, we can play with our new toys. My mom loved how I’m 25-years-old and she was still wrapping up “toys” for me from “Santa.”

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The main video game I had received was the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy for the Xbox One. The Spyro trilogy was one of the few games I had for our old original Playstation years ago, so it’ll be fun to go back to that world and see how well it’s been remastered. I haven’t heard anything bad yet about the new game. I was also surprised with the complete soundtrack of Octopath Traveler, imported from Japan. Thankfully the little booklet inside the cover has the English names of the songs, as they’re all listed in Japanese on the back cover!

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I’m excited to get back to Spyro as well. Plus, listening to the soundtrack, there are four CDs to it! The main video game I got was the Lego Harry Potter Collection for the Nintendo Switch. This game came out in October and I’ve never played any of the Lego Harry Potter games before. Having all seven in one game will be a treat and I can’t wait to finally go to Hogwarts. I also got two packs of Pokemon cards – one had a jumbo Tsareena card, which I was excited about. Tsareena was on my main team in Pokemon Sun & Moon. The other pack had a Pokeball card holder to go along with Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee. I also got the game guide to those games as well.

 

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I also got Rachel a Mimikyu doll that the dog thought belongs to her, haha! Aside from those games, we’ve also each gotten an eShop gift card which I’m planning on using to download Gris on the Nintendo Switch. I’ve had my eye on the game for a while, so it seems like the perfect game for the end of the year. Our grandparents gave us some cash, and I already spent mine on the new expansion pack — Get Famous — and a couple of stuff packs for the Sims 4. We have plenty of games to keep us occupied for a little while… At least until the new year!

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I also got a new Monopoly game, the Cheater’s Edition. The point is to cheat and not get caught… but I kind of do that in regular Monopoly anyway. So I’m hoping the game will be a blast. However, I know people are expecting me to cheat, so it’ll be more of a challenge. We do have plenty of games to keep us busy for the new year and I know so many new games are going to come out in 2019. I can’t wait to dive into our new games!

Did you have a good holiday? Any new games on your list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Octopath Traveler – Battle Theme

Alright, I know we just had a String Player Gamer video up on this blog last month, but we really enjoyed one of his latest videos!

We’re still in the middle of playing Octopath Traveler, and we’ve fallen in love with the soundtrack. Once we’re able to, I’m sure we’re going to splurge on the soundtrack but, for now, we’re content to listen to String Player Gamer’s rock version of the battle them. We hope you enjoy it too!

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Octopath Traveler Flaws

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

Octopath Traveler is such a fun game in our opinion, if you couldn’t tell from the posts we’ve been writing about lately, haha! Still, most of the posts have been praising Octopath Traveler and everything about it. Today, here are a couple of things I’m not too fond of when it comes to the game.

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We’ve been gushing about Octopath quite a bit on this blog, from the music and the graphics to the characters. There are a few aspects of the game that leaves us feeling a little disappointed, though.

I play RPGs mainly for the stories and the characters. I mean, those two elements of a game are arguably some of the most important aspects of an RPG, right? The characters of Octopath are great, there’s no dispute about that, but I do wish their characterization went deeper, especially when it comes to each other.

The “party banter” interaction is wonderful, but I definitely want more of it. Rachel and I, while playing the game, go through each character’s chapters by imagining how the rest of the party would be reacting to the events going on. For example, in Tressa’s chapter two, there’s a rival merchant who outsells her. We’re sitting on the couch mentioning how Cyrus would probably be lecturing about good sportsmanship while Therion would be stealing the rival’s goods before he could sell it all.

Obviously, programming more in depth interactions between all the characters would be difficult with the myriad of parties you can create, but a little more than the party banter would have been nice.

Going along with that, we feel that Octopath Traveler holds your hand during much of the stories. There’s a little map on the bottom right corner of the screen and, if you can get rid of it, we haven’t figured it out yet. While the map is useful, your next step is always in green, as well as the speech bubbles of NPCs that you need to speak to next. There’s usually a line of text on the top of the screen telling you what you need to do, as well. It really doesn’t leave much room for mystery or exploration when it comes to the chapters.

I really think Octopath’s main strengths are its music and graphics, as well as the battle system. Its characters are wonderful, and the stories aren’t bad, but the way the stories are executed with the hand-holding… They leave a little something to be desired, in my opinion.

What do you think of the way Octopath Traveler does the chapters for its characters?

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Friday Favorites: Octopath Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

We’re still going strong with Octopath Traveler, and we hope those of you who haven’t finished are enjoying it too! After playing further into the characters’ stories, there are a few that are clear winners to me. Although I enjoy all the characters, these four are right at the top of the list.

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H’aanit

Hunter and ranger characters are generally some of my favorites. Bows are a favorite weapon of mine in most games, despite how awful my aim can be — seriously, you should have seen me trying to shoot enemies in Breath of the Wild, Rachel had a great time making fun of me — as they usually can be so versatile. H’aanit has one of the better stories in my opinion as well. She’s off in search of her missing master with a trusty animal sidekick. The only aspect of H’aanit I’m not completely on board about is her dialect. The Shakespearean way she and her people speak isn’t bad, but I’m positive some words were just made up or slapped with prefixes and suffixes that don’t really work to make her way of speaking more “otherworldly.”

Primrose

My heart broke during this lady’s chapter one. Not for the revenge angle, since tons of fantasy characters’ motivations seem to stem from the murder of their loved ones (especially fathers, for some reason), but for where she found herself while searching for her father’s murderers. I loved to hate the boss of her chapter one, and her motivation for moving forward really captured me. Her story so far is one of my favorites. Her voice actress also does a phenomenal job, in my opinion.

Alfyn

As soon as Rachel and I heard Alfyn speak, we cooed over how adorable he sounded. While a couple of other characters have similar, “we’re off to see the world,” story lines, Alfyn was the first character we collected to have that particular plot. His movepool is more of a smorgasbord of other characters’ — a bit of healing like Ophelia here, some ice moves like Cyrus there, shares the hatchet with H’aanit — but he also has the fun Concoct skill, where he puts together herbs to create either healing or damaging items. I love his poison skill too!

Therion

If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you’ll know that I’ve always had a soft spot for thief and rogue characters. Stealth and speed are attributes to most of my favorite playable characters — Sheik in Smash Bros., Fire Emblem characters in the thief class — and it’s a bonus whenever they use daggers as weapons. Therion was the first character we picked when starting Octopath, and his dialogue, mannerisms, and voice acting is spot on. His story isn’t too bad either, one where he’s in it for himself, but trapped in a deal that’s taking him on a journey dangerous enough to need allies. We’ve gotten a few “party banter” dialogues between Therion and a few of the other characters, and we’ve been enjoying his personality and interactions with them. We’re just hoping for so much more!

Who are your favorite Octopath characters?

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[Review] Octopath Traveler

Game Review: Octopath Traveler | Nintendo Switch | RPG | Square Enix | DoublexJump.com

Title: Octopath Traveler
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-playing, Adventure
Release Date: 
July 13, 2018
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it through Amazon

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Everyone and their mother was waiting for this game to be released for the Nintendo Switch, and it did not disappoint! With fantastic storytelling elements and beautiful art and music assets, Octopath Traveler was a win!

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Octopath Traveler is a wonderful RPG that is rich in storytelling and game play alike – just how we like our games.

gameplay

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Octopath Traveler is first and foremost an RPG. With an expansive world to explore, you use the analog stick to move your little party around on the overworld as well as choosing what attacks to use for battle. The battles are a turn-based style between your party and the enemies.

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Each character has their own set of skills, talents, and elements. We chose to play as Therion, the thief, and he has the talent to steal from people in the overworld and can pick locks. He has the fire element and can use that in battle against enemies along with various thieving skills and moves.

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Once you collect more party members, you’ll have the ability to use each member’s action on the NPCs. Some are more useful than others. We’re enjoying Therion’s steal and Alfyn’s Inquire for hints and tidbits, but we haven’t found a use for Olberic’s Challenge other than going into random battles as extra practicing. Considering all the monsters and enemies you encounter while traveling between towns, it seems a little redundant so far.

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This game has a fairly big map with 8 very different stories to follow and different starting points and end goals for each character. However, the map itself isn’t confusing and it’s pretty straightforward on where you need to go next. There’s the large overworld map where you can see where to go in order to get a new character or to the next chapter. However, you can roam in small sections of the map to get from one town to another. Along the way, you can find chests with various items such as healing grapes, olive of life, or various armor and weapons to aid you along the way and to also be used in battle.

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The battle system is typical turn-based combat, being an RPG, of course. Each character has a weapon or two type that they can use, along with special moves that either strengthen their physical weapon, special elemental attacks, or help or hinder the status of them or their foes. The enemies have certain weapons and elements that they are weak against. When hitting an enemy with an attack they are weak to, you can weaken and ultimately break their defense. Once this defense is broken, they will be stunned for a turn and your attacks will do more damage.

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With each turn, your characters gain a boost. You can have up to four boosts at once which, when activated, can hit the targeted enemy the same number of times you’ve boosted. So if you have 4 boosts and use 2 of them, your character will hit the enemy twice.

graphics-music

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We gushed a bit on the graphics and music already on our first impressions post, and they haven’t disappointed us. The art style is beautiful, with the characters and foreground being sprites with a look that reminds me of a pop-up book, while the backgrounds tend to be more realistic. Seeing the stark difference of a pixel-y sprite next to a clear running river was beautiful.

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The art style is definitely breathtaking. The designs of the characters, enemies, and various landscapes – the overworld, villages, battle backgrounds, etc. – are just amazing. You can tell the designers really put their heart and soul into this game.

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And then the music. Holy crap, the music is probably one of my favorite aspects of this game! I’m seriously considering buying the soundtrack. Tunes were fitting for whatever part of the game we were in, be they battles, the overworld, or just part of the narration.

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The music was amazing, as were the sound effects. They were spot on with the battle techniques or just walking on stone or dirt. The voice acting was also spot on. The voices didn’t miss a beat and their tones were perfect to whatever was going on in the game.
story

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Rather than a singular story, Octopath features several plot points to cater to their eight main characters. Each character has their own chapters to their story that you can play through after collecting the character for your party. Each chapter, when playable, will show up on the map along with the character’s icon and a recommended level. It was definitely done in an interesting fashion, even if we’re not fully engaged in some of the character’s stories… not yet, anyway.

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We chose Therion as our first character, which means he needs to remain in our party at all times. We enjoyed his story and thought it was pretty engaging. Instead of heading to his second chapter, we took the scenic route around the map to collect all seven of the other characters. Once you run into a character you can talk to them and then play the first chapter of their story.

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Therion’s story is about tracking down a special treasure for a noblewoman, not out of the goodness of his heart, but so she will remove a bracelet that signals him out as a failure of a thief. Primrose the dancer is about seeking revenge for the death of her father, while Alfyn was eager to see the world and better his skills as an apothecary. Olberic was previously a war hero and he takes up his sword once more to find an old friend turned traitor to find out answers to a battle long ago.

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Cyrus is a scholar in search for a stolen book and Tressa wants to explore the world and better herself as a merchant. H’aanit is a hunter searching for her master who went off to hunt a beast a year ago and never returned. Ophelia is taking up a religious pilgrimage in replace of her sister so she can stay by their ill father’s side. All the stories are unique though there are some that were more interesting than others. A lot had flashbacks to give more depth to the story and others didn’t. Those ones didn’t feel as deep as the others.

replay-value

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Aside from the sheer enjoyment of being in this world Octopath Traveler has some great replay ability. There are eight starting characters to choose from, and you can pick and choose which other characters you’d like to join your party. If you wanted a real challenge, do a one or two character run. While we haven’t fully explored them just yet, you can also add additional jobs or classes onto characters to give them more skills and weapons in battle.

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You can go through the story once and collect all the characters following all their stories in one play through, or you can pick and choose, saving the other characters for your next play through. Or, like Kris said, you can challenge yourself and try to limit the number of characters you have. Overall, there’s a lot to do in this game and it’s definitely worth it to take your time.

Octopath Traveler gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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