[Review] Batman: The Telltale Series

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Title: Batman: The Telltale Series
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform:
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Category:
Graphic Adventure
Release Date:
Original episode was released August 2016
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

krismii
Batman was one of my first loves when I was introduced to the Geek Life. With the comic books and the animated series, Batman turned into one of my favorite superheroes. Seeing the release of the Telltale Series, I was always interested in the point-and-click graphic adventure. After having it downloaded on Steam for… longer than I intended, I finally got around to sitting down and playing it.

gameplay

I’ve never played a Telltale Series game before and, considering all of the titles they have out, I was interested in seeing how they pulled it off. Part action, part graphic adventure, Batman: The Telltale Series was definitely fun with its gameplay.

The game is split evenly between Batman and Bruce Wayne, with the player taking their roles during the game. While the game looks similar to a visual novel, the player’s input in the many critical choices affects the branches of the game’s narrative.

Part of the gameplay involves the player making quick decisions, whether it is during an action sequence or when speaking with NPCs of the world. Case in point were the multiple choice responses peppered in throughout the narrative. When responding to key points in the story to the NPCs, you are given only a few seconds, measured by a bar beneath the response choices. If you failed to respond, it was taken as mere silence, which is also a valid response to these situations. The first few questions I had to answer, I nearly panicked that I couldn’t try to carefully think through and pick the best response. Instead, I had to answer quickly and let the chips fall where they may!

The action sequences generally involve the player reacting quickly to hitting a certain key or button, a mouse-click, or even a combination of keystrokes to perform actions. Successfully performing these actions during a fight scene will fill up a Batman symbol found in the bottom-left corner of the screen — once the symbol is filled, Batman can perform a final move to completely take down the opponent he is facing to move onto the next scene.

During investigative scenes, you check evidence and the surrounding area, using a technique called linking to “link” pieces of evidence together to help piece the story of what went down in the area. I was actually really impressed with this part of the gameplay, finding it intriguing as we moved around as Batman to investigate. Seeing his gadgets do their thing was fun, too!

It’s not combat-heavy and relies more on quick reflexes and thinking, allowing you to manipulate the story and enjoying the narrative you help to weave.

graphics-music

The graphics aren’t bad at all. The semi-realistic graphics of the people and the settings are pretty good, even if sometimes the faces of the characters can look a little… derpy. I really enjoyed the images of the Gotham, the settings of Wayne Manor, City Hall, and the other scenes. I thought they were well done.

The music was fun as well, the tunes fitting into the story well. Fight and investigative scenes were accurately punched up with the music, keeping you focused and getting you amped up when necessary.
storyThe game begins with Batman investigating a break-in at Gotham City Hall. Aside from mercenaries, he meets Catwoman stealing a drive, which Batman takes before she can escape. He returns to Wayne Manor as Bruce, hosting a campaign party for D.A. Harvey Dent running for mayor against the current, corrupt mayor of Gotham. Among other party guests, the infamous mobster Falcone makes an appearance, who offers Bruce a spot in his crime family in exchange for “help” in getting Harvey elected.

This prologue effectively introduces the major players to episode one.

The story does well going back and forth between the Bruce Wayne and Batman personas, giving equal play time for both “characters.” While Batman is focused on decrypting the drive that Catwoman had attempted to steal, Bruce Wayne is stuck playing politics for Harvey Dent and Falcone. During the investigation, Falcone appears to be the link between the two faces of the titular character.

With this link, accusations against Bruce’s parents come to light, accusations that painted the Waynes not as benevolent benefactors to the city but as one of the biggest crime families of Gotham. While Batman confronts Falcone for his part in stealing and delivering a chemical weapon, Falcone delivers evidence of the Waynes being involved with Falcone and his crime organizations. Episode one ends with Bruce demanding answers from Alfred, his closest confidant and the Wayne family butler and friend.

The story continues with episode two, with Bruce digging up the secrets of his family’s past. The Telltale Series does well playing in Batman’s universe, but the story itself does not tie in with any other existing Batman lore. I’m definitely intrigued by the beginning of this game and am looking forward to continuing the story of this game with the next episodes!

replay-value

Batman: The Telltale Series had great replay value, especially if you want to exhaust all the different important choices you can pick throughout the game. Not only are the episodes themselves different due to the choices, choices in previous episodes can affect the outcome of future episodes.

That, and it’s Batman. What’s not to like?

Batman: The Telltale Series gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Undertale [Game Review]

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Title: Undertale
Developer and Publisher: Toby Fox
Platform:
PC, Playstation 4, future release for Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-playing
Release Date:
Sept 2015 (PC), August 2017 (PS4), 2018 (Switch)
How I got the game:
I bought it on Steam.

krismii
When this game first came out a couple of years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to think of it. It’s popularity surged, but it wasn’t until we saw a Let’s Play of the game last year that I was actually interested in playing it. I finally got the game on Steam a little while ago and then, lo and behold, the game got announced for the Nintendo Switch this year!

gameplay

Undertale is a role-playing game where you play as a child who has fallen Underground, a dark place filled with Monsters. It’s in a top-down perspective, and you move about the overworld, navigating the land while interacting with other characters and, usually, solving puzzles. Depending on how one solves the objectives of the game determines the kind of ending one will receive.

When encounter enemies, the battle mode will trigger. The battle mode involves controlling your character’s soul, which is represented by a red heart. In each battle, as the heart, you must avoid attacks from the enemy that attack you similar in a bullet hell shooter. Various elements to the battles are introduced further in the game, such as different obstacles to dodge and conditions for controlling the heart.

Players have different options in battle. You can either choose to attack, act (such as talking to, mimicking, or even flirting with an opponent), use an item, or mercy, which allows players to either flee from the battle or spare the opponent if the time is right to do so. Depending on the players actions will sway the battle and, ultimately, the ending of the game. It is possible to beat the game without harming any enemies.

Undertale also employs metafictional elements. When a player replays the game, dialogue and certain sections of the game will be altered depending on the previous play through. How the player interacts with the game’s characters — by slaying, sparing, or befriending them — determines how the end of the play through will go. A player can achieve a True Pacifist run, Neutral runs, or a Genocide run, and subsequent play throughs will be effected by the ending of the previous play through.

graphics-music

Undertale’s graphics are pixel-y and charming, reminding me of older video games from the NES and SNES days. Despite that, every character — whether they were major, minor, or just background — was distinct in its looks, dialogue, and even sound. When characters spoke, their words typed out to distinct sounds, giving the characters voices without voice actors.

The game, being set in a place called the Underground, was filled with dim colors, dark blues, grays, and some red-hot areas. Some spots were a little spooky, or tried to be, but the music was always coupled well with the areas, such as a relaxing waterfall setting or the snowy town at night. I was very impressed with the quality of music and sound effects, especially since the composer was also the developer and publisher.

storyUndertale’s story opens up with a child falling into Mount Ebott, which brings them to the massive Underground that is populated with Monsters. The first character that the player encounters is Flowey, a sentient flower that explains the basic mechanics of the games before attempting to kill the player. The player is then saved by Toriel, a kind, goat-like, maternal monster who teaches the player how to navigate through puzzles and how to end battles without killing.

Once the player leaves Toriel’s home, you explore the vast Underground while meeting many other new characters, such as Sans and Papyrus the skeleton brothers, Undyne the Head of the Royal Guard, and Alphys the royal scientist. The player’s main objective is to get home. Along the way, you learn about how the Monsters came to be Underground.

Long ago, there was a war between humans and Monsters. Humans, with their stronger souls, pushed the Monsters Underground, sealing them with a barrier. Despite their magic, Monsters are not strong enough to break the barrier. However, if the Monsters collect enough human souls, they will grow powerful enough to break the barrier. As the child, you learn that that is what Asgore, the King of the Monsters, intends to do.

And you are the last needed human soul.

As you explore the Underground and meet other characters, your interactions with them will determine the outcome of the adventure. Many Monsters will want your soul for their king, and it is up to the player to either befriend or kill them. When it comes to escaping the Underground, it is up to you on whether or not you want to help the Monsters… or just yourself.

replay-value

With the charming graphics, awesome music, and quirky characters, Undertale is a game that I would boot up multiple times just to visit the characters over and over. Along with the fact that there are different endings with metafictional elements, Undertale has some great replay value.

…Although, because I enjoy the characters so much, I’m not sure if I really want to do a Genocide route! I prefer the happier endings, haha!

Undertale 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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Top Tuesday: Indie Games I’m Looking Forward To

Rachel Mii | DoubleJump.comHappy Tuesday!

I’ve been playing through a lot of older games lately, but I’ve been keeping up with the news and Twitter and have noticed a few indie games that are coming out that really piqued my interest!

Indie Games I'm looking forward to | Video games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

1. Switch or Die Trying by Threye

This is a platformer game that looks extremely hard. The main point is that you’re going to die a lot, but you should get back up and keep trying. You play as “I” and have lost all your friends, the other 25 letters of the alphabet. Your mission begins to find them all through 75 levels. It’s available on Steam and recently just came out for Xbox One.

2. The Cold Case of Noella Bejerot by RockTheClock

This is a visual novel mystery detective game. You play as a rookie “detective” who is afraid of the sight of blood. You solve crimes trying not to faint adding a little more stakes to each investigation. Kris and I played the Demo, which is available now on Itch.io and the full version of the game will be released on April 21, 2018. I’m looking forward to it.

3. Glitched by EnHouseStudios

A choice-based RPG, Glitched is a game where the main character is aware of you, the player. They’re aware of the video game and you two work together to help figure out how his world has glitched. It seems like a fun, twisty, mystery! The demo is available on Itch.io now and the full version will be released this fall.

Have you heard of any of these games? Do they sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this post, please share it around!

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Multiple Paths in Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

I’ve been playing a game that’s new to me and I know that the game has multiple endings depending on the choices you make as a character. While I want a good ending, it makes me think of all the other games I’ve played with multiple routes.

multiple-paths

What are your favorite games that have multiple routes? More than one ending or path to reach the final part of the story?

More and more video games nowadays caters more to bringing the player fully into the story, allowing the player to have different reactions to critical points in the game to effect the final outcome. There are games that have the same general ending but different ways to reach it, while a few games have brilliant code that allows the game to “remember” what you have done on previous playthroughs.

I was always a sucker for “choose your own adventure” kind of stories. I’ve been writing for over a decade and play around with tons of fanfiction ideas to satisfy my “what if” questions when it comes to certain books, movies, and — of course — video games. Being able to fully integrate myself into the role of the hero (or anti-hero or antagonist, whatever position the route takes me) and have my choices mean something to the story is amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of games that I love that have a linear playthrough, and I continue to replay them when I can — Super Mario RPG, Ocarina of Time, the Ace Attorney series — but games that give you more free reign always have a certain charm.

I never have to have the same Pokemon team whenever I play a mainline game. Breath of the Wild gives you an entire world to explore, with Calamity Ganon always waiting at the end for whenever you’re ready to take him on. Dream Daddy and Asagao Academy have multiple routes, each with their own multiple endings.

On that note, games with multiple routes tend to have the Good Ending, Neutral Ending, and the Bad Ending. I like completing all the endings, but damn do I feel awful going after the Bad Endings, haha! Yeah, the game is full of pixel characters, but if the writing is amazing enough to give them feelings, then why would I want to make them sad?

Especially if they, you know, “remember” how you treated them on a previous playthrough…

What are your favorite games with multiple routes? Do you tend to go for the Good, Neutral, or Bad Endings first?

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Fight Or Flight Method In Video Games

krismii
When it comes to playing video games together, Rachel and I tend to have different play styles… We like to compare them to our Player One or Player Two syndromes, but they can also be commonly compared to one’s Fight or Flight instinct. We’ve further proven this when we tried playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds together.

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When Kris and I play games together, I typically run and hide. In The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures for the Gamecube, Kris would kill the enemies and then I would nab the force gems before she could get to them. We had to take turns playing PUBG because we only have one copy of the game, but I know Kris would end up carrying our team if we played together in a duo.

krismii
Well, we’ll have to see about that. While I was eager enough to find a weapon and try my hand at earning some kills, it was Rachel that was able to loot faster with her wish to find decent hiding spots, haha! Rachel did tend to have the luck when it came to random drops during the few times we played. I wanted to explore the areas, yes, but I was concerned about enemy fire.

rachmii
I was concerned about enemy fire as well. I was lying in the grass for a while at some point. I heard a motorcycle and someone nearly ran me over because they didn’t see me. I didn’t know what direction they were coming from either. When they passed me I stood up to shoot them from behind, but I suddenly forgot the controls and froze in fear and panic. Most of the rounds I played, I made it in the top 20 or teens because I just sat and hid only moving when the blue was closing in.

krismii
That motorcyclist completely missing you was hysterical, not going to lie. I didn’t do too badly in the ranks either, but Rachel definitely got farther than me. I at least got some hit points in, which I was proud of. The only game I can think of that we didn’t follow our usual M.O. for Fight or Flight was in Minecraft. When we played Minecraft together, Rachel was mining and bashing enemies while I was crafting and taking care of the base while trying to find wolves to tame.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yeah, you were actually proactive and attacked people when you spotted them. I panicked and hid like I would in real life. Minecraft is interesting that we switched our usual roles. Then again, Minecraft is more cartoony and the controls are easier and less to handle. You get a sword and hit people as opposed to finding various guns and bullets having to load, aim, shoot, and reload.

krismii
It was interesting, yes. For the most part, we have our roles down pat and, even though our usual methods were switched in Minecraft, we almost always work well together. It’s probably why we always sabotage others when it comes to Mario Party games when we can’t actively be on a team together, haha!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I guess it all depends on the game, mechanics, and the situation you’re put in! Either way, it’s fun.

What’s your gameplay style? Fight or Flight? Let us know in the comments below!

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First Impressions: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

The first few weekends of a new year tend to be spent playing the new video games that you may have gotten during the holiday season. Whatever you’re playing, I’m hoping you’re having a great time!

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds | PUBG | Video Games | Double Jump

You’ve all heard of this game, I assume? PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (usually shortened to PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale that took the video game world by storm last year, despite being only in Steam’s beta mode until December. Steam has over 24 million copies sold, while the Xbox One version sold over one million copies in just three days after its release.

I’ve never really played a shooter game. They weren’t the types of games that we had in our house, with us growing up with family-friendly Nintendo consoles. However, Rachel and I have seen Let’s Play from some of our favorite Twitch streamers and YouTubers, and we wanted in on it. PUBG was one of the first games we bought and downloaded on Steam, and we finally got the chance to play it the other day.

We, uh, didn’t do too badly? We don’t think so, anyway, haha! We took turns doing the solo player campaign, and our gaming styles showed through with our strategies. Rachel did very well with looting and trying to avoid others while making her way to the safe zone. I was interested in finding a gun as quickly as possible and exploring enough to find someone else to try to take them out. Neither of us got any kills, but I did get hit points in a couple of matches! Rachel, with her hide-and-sneak strategy, tended to last longer than I did.

We’d like to be able to play together in a duo match soon, but I believe you’d need two separate Steam accounts and games for that. Considering we each got a couple of Steam gift cards for Christmas, perhaps we’ll splurge on that at some point. Another option would be to wait until there is cross-play between the Steam and the Xbox One versions of the game. We shall see!

Have you played PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? What do you think of it?

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Dream Daddy [Game Review]

Dream Daddy Game Review

Title: Dream Daddy
Developer: Game Grumps
Publisher: Game Grumps
Platform: 
PC (Steam)
Category: 
Visual Novel
Release Date: 
July 20, 2017
How we got the game: 
We bought it

krismii
The Game Grumps are a popular channel on YouTube, with a plethora of different gaming videos with rapid uploads. Sometimes their commentary is a bit NSFW, but if you can overlook that, they’re entertaining. When Dream Daddy was announced, we thought it sounded like a random and, perhaps, silly concept. However, we were quickly impressed with not only the quality of the game, but with the gender and sexuality diversity within it.

rachmii
We’ve only played one other visual novel game before and it was another dating sim based on a group of YouTubers. It was an amazing game and we had a feeling Game Grumps wouldn’t disappoint.

gameplay

krismii
Dream Daddy is a visual novel, so the game controls are simple. Players read along with the story and, whenever they’re available, choose multiple-choice answers that will determine how other characters feel about you and, in some cases, how scenes will play out.

rachmii
That’s pretty much all there is to it. Some of the choices are difficult, some aren’t. Based on what you answer, the Daddy you’re currently with will either get happy at your response or sad. This all determines whether you get a good ending or bad ending for them.

 krismii
You are able to go on a couple of dates with each Daddy, with most having mini games that you need to complete to help boost your date score. The date scores, along with the choices made during the multiple-choice responses, help to determine the kind of ending you receive. The game itself is mostly point-and-click, but remembering certain details about the characters and their backgrounds will help you make the correct choices to get the good endings.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I found the mini-games to be the most clever part of the game. There’s a fun Pokemon battle kind of game as well as game that mimicked Bejewled. Some were pretty creative and others… we just didn’t understand and didn’t do well with. Still, they were pretty cool.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics were so much fun in this game! The scenery was beautiful, especially during the date nights with the eligible bachelors of the game, but also with the characters themselves. No one looked alike and their expressions were always on par.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think that’s my favorite part about visual novel games. I love seeing the expressions on the various characters. Each one was unique as were their houses and the various scenery of each date. I also loved the fact that you could customize yourself. Apparently, if Kris and I were boys, we’d have red hair and green eyes.

krismii
Red hair, green eyes, glasses, clean-shaven, and named Dean Jay. That was our Dadsona, haha! Considering your character was completely customizable, I was definitely impressed with the level of graphics and the programming that enabled your custom Dad to be present by the dialogue box whenever he spoke. The music was on point as well, with some talented scores and mood music whenever it was called for.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, the music was great. I especially loved the opening theme on the main menu. Every time we played, I got it stuck in my head.

story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Upon beginning the game, you create yourself, a single father. You and your daughter have just moved into a cul-de-sac and now you have to meet and get friendly with all your neighbors, who also happen to be fathers, most of them being single.

krismii
While the main goal is to make friends, as per your daughter, you can connect deeper with the fathers via Dadbook, a social media platform for dads. With Dadbook, you set up and go out on dates with the other fathers, getting to know them better as you decide who you ultimately want to pursue.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We went on two dates with each Dad and then on the third date we had to choose who we want to hook up with. Of course, you can go on three dates with one Dad right away. Or you can go on two dates with some, one date with others, and zero dates with other guys. There’s no right or wrong way to go about your love life.

replay-value

krismii
Dream Daddy has a couple of different endings per character, not only with the date-able dads but also with your daughter. If the multiple endings are not enough reason to replay the game, then the plethora of dates and mini-games would certainly help. The graphics, music, and even the characters’ backstories and development arcs are also fantastic points to keep playing this game until you uncover all of the achievements.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ll certainly be going back to the game to try to get the good ending with all of the Dads. We also wanted to get the bad ending with our daughter. Well… we don’t want to, but we’re still curious as to what happens.

Dream Daddy gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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