Super Mario Maker 2 [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Super Mario Maker 2
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Platformer
Release Date: 
June 28, 2019
How we got the game: 
We bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop

Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!

krismii
Super Mario Maker 2 was highly anticipated as soon as it was announced. People went crazy for this sequel, especially with all of the new tools and options that came with it. We were no exception.

rachmii
I enjoyed the first Super Mario Maker though I didn’t have too many people to play it with. I’m excited to finally have more options and more people to create and beat courses with.

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

krismii
There are several modes for this game. A story mode — which we give more details about in one of the below sections — the course world mode, and the course creator mode, of course. The course world mode, along with the course bot, allows the players to attempt to complete levels that other players around the world have created and uploaded.

rachmii
This is, in my opinion, the best part of the game. Of course, you have some levels that are super easy or levels that troll you hard. Still, it’s all in good fun. The best part about this though is that they added a co-op option. You have to download the game in order to play two-player, but that’s not too bad. Kris and I can play through certain levels which is a lot of fun – and frustrating at the same time. There are some levels that I don’t know are best suited for single players or not.

 krismii
It was definitely great to try to play a few levels with you, although we did get in each other’s way quite a bit, haha! With that said, there is the tagging system in Super Mario Maker 2 — I’m afraid I cannot remember if the first Super Mario Maker had a tagging system — and one of the tags were for multiplayer versus. Eventually, I’d love to play with some friends and Nintendo has promised that an update would happen that will allow us to do so.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I don’t think the first game had a tagging system. At least, I very quickly forgot about it if it did have a tagging system. With all the additional tools you can use to create courses, the levels are way more fun, challenging, and extra creative. Though, we did try to create a course together since there’s co-op on that mode.

krismii
That was a bit annoying, in my opinion. The first player has access to many of the buttons, almost as the director of the scene, while the second player can only select and put down so many elements. Granted, we also skipped the tutorial, so I can admit that perhaps we missed a couple of things, haha! Regardless, it was easier to create a level with one person at the controls, either with the Joy-Con or using the Switch’s touchscreen in handheld mode while the second person gave their advice and opinion.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Skip the tutorial or not, we tried a lot of things and played it both in the handheld and docked. Plus, if I was in the middle of something and you decided to do something, being the first player, my action automatically got canceled. So, I agree. It’s definitely better to create a course yourself or docked with people throwing ideas while one is behind the wheel.

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

krismii
This game has the beloved modern Mario graphics that the current games have brought to life. When it comes to creating and playing courses, the game also includes the graphics and art styles — with some updates — of several Super Mario games in the series, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Super Mario 3D World.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics, of course, are as they should be. They all look great on the Nintendo Switch, even the older game graphics. They stay true to their games as well. The end of the older games has that hurdle thing you have to jump through while the newer games have the flagpole for you to reach the top.

krismii
The music is the good, familiar Super Mario music as well, and the game allows you to add crazy sound effects to parts of your levels, too. I think one of my favorite aspects of the game is when we’re building our own courses and every tap you do to add a new element plays the next note of the Super Mario theme.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, depending on what “theme” you have set from the different Mario games, the music is pretty much the same. It’s refreshing and well done. Plus, when you create a course, a robotic voice says what the object is as you place it. If you place a lot at once, it says the object’s name to the tune of whatever theme you’re in.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
New to the Super Mario Maker series, the sequel has a Story mode, which allows the players to go through over 100 Nintendo-created courses in order to earn coins to help rebuild Princess Peach’s castle after the mischievous Undo Dog obliterated it.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story mode is, in fact, a tutorial of sorts. The Nintendo courses range in various levels of difficulty but they’re all fun and show off all the new and old tools you can plus, plus different ways to use them to make a course unique. I’ve really enjoyed going through the story mode courses.

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

krismii
There is literally no possibility for any repeat courses here. Each level is as unique as the person (or people) that created them. There are plenty of ways to filter out and categorize levels with tags and difficulties, and there are millions of courses already published for others to enjoy.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is definitely a game that we’ll be playing on and off for quite a while.

Super Mario Maker 2 gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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Mario Party Advance [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Mario Party Advance | Nintendo | Gameboy Advance | Video Games | Gaming | Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Mario Party Advance
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Gameboy Advance
Category:
Party
Release Date: 
January 13, 2005
How we got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

I love the Mario Party series. Of course, there are some games that are better than others. When I went through my bucket of handheld games the other day, I found this gem. I forgot I had it and wasn’t even sure if I had ever played it. So, I turned it on. And, well… it exists.

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

I was looking forward to an “old fashioned” Mario Party game and this was not what it was. When I turned the game on, there were a ton of things unlocked so I had played it before. In fact, I had so many coins that I must have enjoyed the game at one point in my life. But today is not that day.

The main mode is called Shroom City. You can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi to play as. Depending on who you choose, you start at a different spot on the board. I don’t know why this is and the others don’t join you. There’s no multiplayer, there are no NPCs playing against or with you on the board. It’s all you and you have mushrooms as dice blocks.

Now, they give you four mushrooms to start off with. I kept rolling a 3 and got nowhere fast. When you run out of mushrooms, it’s game over. Do you see my dilemma?

Of course, you can get more mushrooms by winning mushrooms in mini-games (which is a space you have to land on) or by landing on mushrooms spaces. The object of the game is to keep moving along the board and fulfill “quests” from the NPCs scattered about. For example, Shy Guy is at the train station and needs help. So, you need to somehow make it to the train station.

You can move anywhere you please on the board, which was a fun feature. However, when you have limited moves through your lack of mushrooms, it makes the game ten times harder.

Completing quests gives you Gaddgets (you know, like Professor E. Gadd?) though I didn’t care too much for the Gaddgets. I wanted to compete against NPCs and play mini-games.

The mini-games weren’t all that bad. I played quite a few of them in the free-for-all mode and had a good time. Again, it would have been more fun if I were playing against friends or NPCs, but the games worked out just fine as personal challenges. In fact, that’s the goal for most of the games – beat your high score.

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

It’s a game from 2005 and for the Gameboy Advance. The graphics certainly aren’t what they are now, but they were pretty good for their time and it was charming to look back on. The characters all had their own poses and such, however, there was no voice acting. So that was kind of weird not to hear.

The music was good. Like all Mario Party music, it’s catchy and upbeat.

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

I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one… maybe ten years from now when I come across it again and forget I had it, I’ll turn it on and unknowingly relive this whole moment. Overall though, this is a Mario Party game to skip.

Mario Party Advance gets…
2 out of 5 lives.

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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.

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

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.

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Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King [Video Game Review]

Blossom Tales | Video Game Review | Video Games | Nintendo Switch | Doublexjump.com

Title: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
Developer: Castle Pixel
Publisher: FDG Entertainment
Platform:
 Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Role-Playing, Platformer
Release Date:
December 21, 2017
How we got the game:
Downloaded it on the Switch

krismii
While I’m a little late on this train, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Blossom Tales, especially from fellow gamers who also enjoy the Legend of Zelda franchise. Indeed, this game has some nods to one of Nintendo’s flagship IPs, and it was fun picking them out as I enjoyed the game itself.

gameplayBlossom Tales’ controls are intuitive. As the main character Lily, you explore and travel throughout the Kingdom of Blossom to rescue it from an evil wizard’s clutches. The analog stick is used to move while Lily’s weapons, shields, and items are assigned to the A, B, and X buttons. The gameplay has been likened to the Super Nintendo’s A Link to the Past, and Blossom Tales gives way to that same sense of discovery.

The game itself is a “story” that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren. Said grandchildren are not afraid to call their grandfather out on details that may seem too silly and their influence are able to change the story as you play. Small choices pop up here and there, such as the grandchildren deciding what kind of monsters Lily needs to slay in order to proceed. The “story” aspect of the game is charming rather than intrusive, and I enjoyed the little recap the grandchildren and grandfather give the player whenever they return to the game after taking a break.

graphics-music

Blossom Tales has such fun graphics, the art style being pixel-perfect. The colors are bright, painting the scenes beautifully while you explore the vast locations around the world as the main character.

The music was wonderful as well, really drawing you into the story as you explored the world. The cities, dungeons, and boss fights all had different and appropriate tunes, allowing you to be in the moment and focus on your current situation.

storyBlossom Tales is a story that a grandfather is telling his grandchildren, Chrys and Lily, much to their delight. The story stars a new Knight of the Rose, “Sir” Lily (as demanded by the grandchildren), in the Kingdom of Blossom. Shortly after Sir Lily was knighted, the king’s evil wizard brother puts the king into a deep sleep in an effort to take over the kingdom.

Thus begins Lily’s epic adventure to search for the three ingredients that will be needed to awaken the king again. Considering the rest of the knights seem to be incompetent, it takes the new recruit to explore and find the items. With her sword skills and special items, Lily will thwart all sorts of enemies as she braves through dungeons in order to rescue the king and kingdom.

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Blossom Tales is a cute game, one that is fun and easy to get into. While the story itself is fairly linear, there are a few choices throughout the game that you can make to change the course of the story. It’s a great game for anyone who wants a charming, relatively short action-adventure platformer, whether it’s for the first or seventh time.

Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Quest for the Golden Duck [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Quest for the Golden Duck | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

Title: Quest for the Golden Duck
Developer: Bigosaur
Publisher: Milan Babuskov/Bigosaur
Platform:
PC, Nintendo Switch 
Category: 
Action, Party, Multiplayer, Arcade
Release Date:
January 23, 2019 (PC)February 22, 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game: 
We downloaded it on the Switch

krismii
This was a really random — and cheap — game that we found on the Nintendo Switch’s eShop with the intent to give it a shot while doing our Switch anniversary stream last month. We never got a chance to play this game then, but we did recently.

rachmii
We saw the name of the game and thought it was brilliant. After seeing it was only 99-cents (at the time we bought it), we figured we’d give it a shot. What do we have to lose?

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

krismii
Turning this game on reminded me of a Pac-Man arcade cabinet. The objective is to collect all the coins scattered in the maze. You control your character from a birds-eye view and avoid any enemies while collecting the coins. Different enemies have different patterns — some go straight after you, some go in random directions, some are a mixture.

rachmii
You can play alone or with up to three friends. You collectively collect the coins all the while avoiding the enemies in the adventure mode, as Kris said. Be careful though because if one of you gets hit by an enemy, you all die. You share lives and if you run out, it’s game over. There’s no saving in the middle of the dungeons (there are five levels, each seems to be about 15 or so stages long) so if you game over, you have to start the dungeon from the first level again.

 krismii
There is a timer bonus for each stage, so if you are able to collect all of the coins in each level before that timer runs out, you’ll receive bonus lives. There is no consequence for not completing the level before the timer runs out, though. The stages get more difficult as you progress, with more enemies and more coins to collect, but they also tend to give you plenty of power-ups.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Power-ups include clovers to turn you invisible for a short amount of time, gems to make you invincible for a short amount of time, and bombs that don’t explode but freeze your enemies for a short amount of time. In addition to the adventure mode, there’s a versus mode. One can be a good guy while the other player can choose an enemy to play. The mode plays the same as the adventure mode except you’re not on a team and you’re running away (or trying to catch) your friend before all the coins are gathered.

krismii
You can mix up how many players are on each side as well, considering that the game offers each player the choice in which character to be, whether one of the heroes or one of the enemies. In the versus mode, I opted to play as the guard dog to try to catch Rachel’s knight. The versus maze also spawned one each of the enemy characters — a skeleton, a hooded skeleton, and another guard dog — for my side to get Rachel. Whether that same amount of NPCs spawn no matter how many player characters are there, we’re not sure.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
To be honest, I didn’t think that was a little fair considering the other players are smarter than the AI. Despite being the dog, who normally only chases you if they see you but otherwise only go in a straight line, Kris just chased me no matter what. So it made it all the harder to dodge her and the AI.

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

krismii
The graphics of this game are cute, reminding me of smoother 8-bit graphics. The levels are interesting, each maze unique but clear when it comes to showing where the twists and turns are. Every character — whether on the hero or the villain side — looks unique and it’s easy to tell where every player is.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The graphics are definitely cute. You can play as a ninja, knight, boy, or girl. The enemies include a dog… so that’s always a plus.

krismii
I liked the music as well, although it did sound more epic than the game itself. The game was a little silly, and the loading screen music reminded me of Mission Impossible while the music for the levels was a little more upbeat and fast-paced to go along with the collecting theme.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
There wasn’t much to the sound effects either. Children clapped when you won the level (seriously – it sounded like royalty-free applause from the Internet) and your character made a “d’oh” sound when they were caught by an enemy. Though there was no effect for the characters moving or picking up coins, which made it a little less satisfying.

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

krismii
While the levels remain the same, there is replayability in this game with the multiplayer aspects in the adventuring mode and the versus mode. The game goes up to four players with both modes, and it’s a fun little game to play during a game night with friends.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s fun to play with friends, yeah. I don’t think it’d be as fun alone. However, there aren’t many levels and they’re quick to get through. So, it’s a fun game to play once in a while, but once you beat it, you might not pick it back up again for quite some time.

Quest for the Golden Duck gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Death Road To Canada [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Death Road To Canada | Nintendo Switch | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Death Road To Canada
Developer: Rocketcat Games / Madgarden
Publisher: Ukiyo Publishing
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
May 8, 2018
How we got the game: 
I bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop

 

 

 

Death Road To Canada is a game that will always hold a special place in my heart. Kris and I reviewed this game when it was on Steam back in 2017. We got it for the Switch shortly after it was released for the console. I played it again recently and thought of doing an updated review for it.

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

In Death Road To Canada, you can create whoever you want. I tend to make myself and go on the journey with Kris. We can create other people or run into NPCs the game has already created. The point is to make it to Canada during the zombie apocalypse. Each character has a personality trait and skill trait. Depending on what they have, they may have an advantage in something. All characters have skills, though only some are revealed off the bat. You need to do something pertaining to that skill in order for it to reveal itself as really good, good, neutral, bad, or very bad.

What I love about this game is that no two playthroughs are alike. The story, even though you have 11 days left to arrive in Canada, is random. Anything can happen. You can run into anyone or anything. What you find is a crapshoot as well. You can have a run where you have great weapons but find barely any medical supplies. You may run out of gas super fast depending on your car and you may be starving most of the run.

The game is sassy and witty which makes it all the more fun. This game is fun to play when you’re by yourself or if you have a few friends with you. Which I love most about the Nintendo Switch version is that there’s four-player local co-op whereas on PC it was only two-player.

In Death Road To Canada, you head to various places like pet stores, grocery stores, trading camps, and more. Each place you look for food, weapons, gas, and medical supplies. You can also find other people and help them out or use them as bait in case you get in a jam. All the while you’re fighting zombies, which can be fast or slow depending on the time of day and their current temperament.

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

For a zombie game, the music is fun and upbeat. You can tell the game doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s part of the fun. The graphics are charming. They’re not realistic at all, which is what I like best about it – otherwise, I probably wouldn’t give this game a shot. Zombie games aren’t my cup of coffee, but everything about the aesthetics of this game is awesome.

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

There’s never a dull moment in this game. As I said before, no two play-throughs are alike. There’s always room to play more as you encounter different scenarios and use various characters with different traits. I still have yet to beat the game, though I’ve seen it done before. After you win so many times, you can unlock a hard mode. You also earn Zombo Points while playing, which allows you to unlock new traits, characters, and game modes. The ways to play this game are endless.

Death Road To Canada gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst | Hidden Object Game | Video Games | Gaming | Game Review | Nintendo 3DS | DoublexJump.com

Title: Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
Developer: Engine Software
Publisher: Tulip Games
Platform:
Nintendo 3DS
Category:
Hidden Object
Release Date:
April 3, 2014
How we got the game:
I bought it on the Nintendo eShop on my 2DS XL.

 

 

 

Mystery Case Files is a series of hidden object games, Ravenhearst being the first in the series. I’ve had my eye on this game and particular series for a while now. When the games went on sale, I bought this one to try. The game were only $1 so I was going to buy a couple. I didn’t and I’m glad I only bought the one game.

Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comRumors have been spreading around about Ravenhearst Manor for years. When Emma Ravenhearst’s diary is discovered, you – the master detective – take it upon yourself to figure out the mystery behind the place. Unfortunately, some pages are missing so you must go through the mansion finding clues and searching for missing pages to put the story of Ravenhearst Manor together.

All in all, it’s not a bad idea for a story. A mysterious and haunted mansion is common for a mystery game and it certainly adds a creepy effect to it. However, with the lack of character interaction and not even really knowing yourself, the protagonist, the story becomes bland.

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

This game is just like it says it is. It’s an hidden object game. You go from room to room in the manor using your stylus to search for certain objects in a list. Each room is fairly large and you need to use your stylus to move the screen left, right, up and down, to get the whole picture. There are about 12 or so hidden objects in each room and some of the rooms can reset after you’ve completed it a first time. Once you have a certain amount of objects (typically about 40 or so) then you find a page of Emma’s diary.

The diary pages are torn and you need to fit them together like a puzzle. Now, I’m all for hard puzzles – I enjoy a jigsaw puzzle. However, the puzzles were one color with faint lines to show the picture. I understand it’s meant to make the pages look old, but it was so hard to see. The puzzle pieces needed to be rotated as well so it was such a pain to get the puzzles to fit together like they were supposed to. The puzzles themselves took much longer than they should have. I found myself brightening my 2DS screen and even then I needed to look so close at the screen just to see the picture.

That’s the whole gameplay. Except some rooms are “puzzles” and not hidden objects. These puzzle rooms are required as they typically hold a lock to get to the next floor of the mansion. None of these puzzles had any directions to them. I actually tapped mindlessly on my screen with my stylus until something happened. It was pretty stupid.

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

The graphics and music were what this game got right. For a hidden object game, the graphics were spot on. The hidden puzzles stumped me a few times with how well some of the objects were blended in together. I definitely had fun with the hidden object puzzles.

The music was pretty good too. They went with the creepy factor and the longer I played, I had to turn my volume off. Not because it got annoying, but because the longer I listened to it, the more it actually started to creep me out.

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

While the puzzles themselves wouldn’t be bad to play again, I don’t think I’ll be going back to this game. The hidden object part was the only fun part for me and I know there are other hidden object games out there that probably did it better. The story wasn’t good enough for me to come back to it either. I’m glad I gave the game a try, but I’m also glad I was able to get it on sale for a dollar. Maybe someday I’ll give the sequel and the rest of the series a try, but for now… I’m done.

Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst gets…Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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Cattails [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review | Cattails | Nintendo | Nintendo Switch | Cattails Review | Game Review | Cattails Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: Cattails
Developer: FalconDevelopment LLC
Publisher: FalconDevelopment
Platform:
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Role-Playing, Simulation, Adventure
Release Date:
November 29, 2018
How we got the game:
 I bought it on the Nintendo eShop

 

 

 

When I was 11 I started reading a book series called Warriors by Erin Hunter. I fell in love and still read the series to this day (since there are still books coming out for it). I’ve gotten behind and recently started reading them again. I told Kris that I wished there was a video game based on the books. Barely a week later, Kris came up to me and showed me Cattails which was, ironically, being released for the Nintendo Switch in just a couple of weeks. Now, this game has nothing to do with the books, but it still reminds me of the books in some ways.

Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.comI hate the way this game begins – let me get that out in the open right now. The game starts off with a young girl and her mother picking out a kitten. They’re all happy and bring the kitten home. The kitten and the young girl are best friends until, one day, the mother gets angry. The young girl is sad as they bring the cat to the middle of no where, drop it off, and leave, abandoning the cat. This broke my heart, despite it being a fictional video game and I didn’t like it at all.

This beginning is told through black and white pictures as well. There are no words or narration. There are no clues as to the motivation behind the mother wanting to get rid of the cat and abandoning it in the middle of no where. But, that’s where your story begins.

You, as the cat, are abandoned on the side of road and in the middle of no where. A cat named Coco appears and teaches you how to hunt and fight, two major skills needed to survive in the wild. Then he tells you about three colonies of cats – Forest Colony, Mystic Colony, and Mountain Domain. You can choose which you want to join and from there, you befriend cats from that colony.

As you go about your day to day life – hunting, fighting in battles over territory, and trying to woo eligible cats you can marry and have kittens with – Coco asks for your help. The Forest Guardian has disappeared and it’s up to you to help Coco bring him back. So, aside from going about your every day life, you must try to bring back the Guardian and essentially, save the forest.

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You are a cat living in the wild. You can customize your fur color and eye color and give yourself a name. Once you choose a colony to live in, I chose the Forest Colony, then you begin living your life as a wild cat.

The days go by fast. The time mechanic reminds me a lot of how Harvest Moon works. Five minutes in-game seem to be 30 seconds to a minute in real time. The game goes through the four seasons, each season being about 10 days. This makes it so you can go through the seasons multiple times extremely fast. The seasons have their ups and down, though. For example, winter is the hardest season because prey is scarce and the lakes and streams are frozen over so you can’t even fish. Certain herbs don’t grow like Goldenseal, which helps heal you. I found it easiest to catch a lot of prey, pick a lot of berries, and stock up on healing herbs during the other seasons so I could use them during the winter time.

That is, until you get really good at your skills. Ending a day, picking herbs, battling, and catching prey earns you experience points. You can then use those experience to level up in hunting, fighting, foraging, and swimming. Plus, you can gain new skills such as calling allies to battle, killing in one blow, or “democracy” which allows you to get closer to the other colonies. Once you upgrade these skills and learn new ones, the game is a breeze.

There are many things you can do in the game aside from just catching prey and gathering herbs. You can dig through the mines and there’s a festival where all the colonies gather together at the Sacred Temple on day 10 of each season. These are mini-games in which you can earn tokens and trade them in for decor for your den, accessories for yourself, and other items. Instead of spending the tokens on things I need in-game, I saved up enough to get myself a “companion” from each season. So, my cat now has a pet turtle, dragonfly, ladybug, and butterfly following me around everywhere I go. They do nothing, but it’s cute.

You can also woo certain cats from each colony, mate with them, and have kittens. You have to build up your friendship and then build up your relationship before you can “marry” and have kittens. My cat hasn’t gotten the chance to become a parent yet, so I’m not sure how that experience will be.

Aside from just surviving, there are six pillars in the Sacred Temple, the one piece of neutral land that all the colonies gather to for a festival once a season. The pillars need certain items (mostly prey) to unlock. Once unlocked, the pillar will tell you where to go and there will be a puzzle that needs solving. Once the puzzle is solved, you’ll get a gem which is used to go inside that pillar. This needs to be done to bring back the Forest Guardian. I don’t know where he went, but he disappeared. Three of the pillars need the items and then certain areas in the forest will open up for you to go and solve the puzzle. The other three pillars, once they have their items, require you to get a key from each of the colony leaders.

This adds an extra step because while your colony leader trusts you and can get you right into the area, you need to get close to the other two colonies and allow those cats to trust you enough. There’s a lot of steps, but none of it seems too tedious.

Overall, there’s a lot to do in the game and I always find myself saying, “just one more day” to get through in the game before I turn it off for the day.

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

For being on the Nintendo Switch, the graphics aren’t at all what I expected them to be. They’re pixelated and the animations are very minimal. It reminds me of a handheld game or even a PC game that might be a little older. Still, the graphics are charming and it definitely works for the game. It looks nice both on the big screen and in handheld mode, though you can’t use the touchscreen when the game is in handheld mode.

The music isn’t bad either but it can go right through your head after a while. There are certain tunes depending on the time of day. At night, there’s silence. When the music is playing though, it just goes on a loop and can get old real quick. There’s no music when it rains or snows either, but the sound effects of the rain is soothing.

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

I have to be honest – this isn’t the best game I’ve played. When I first started playing it, I was slightly disappointed. However, it’s grown on me the more I play it and I want to see the game through to the end. I know I’ll be playing it until I beat the main story. After that? I’m not sure.

I know you can create your own custom colony, so maybe I’ll give that a go at some point. Either way, it doesn’t seem like there’s much to go back to once you beat the main story.

For me, I think I have feelings for this game more so for nostalgic reasons because it reminds me a lot of the Warriors book series – but again, this game has nothing to do with those books. I think it’s just merely a coincidence that they’re similar.

With that said, this game certainly isn’t everyone. But, if you enjoy cute cats and simulations games – even if you enjoy Harvest Moon – this wouldn’t be a bad game to try out.

Cattails gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe [Video Game Review]

Video Game Review: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe | Nintendo Switch | Video Games | Gaming | Super Mario | Nintendo | Game Review | DoublexJump.com

Title: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category:
Action, Adventure, Multiplayer, Platform
Release Date: 
January 11, 2019
How we got the game: 
We pre-ordered it on the Nintendo eShop

krismii
Considering we never reviewed the Wii U version of this game, we thought we’d use the Deluxe version as a good excuse to give our thoughts on it. After all, not too much is different between the two games.

rachmii
I enjoy these kinds of games and there are so many. We have the Wii U version, but it’s always great to see it as a new light on the Nintendo Switch.

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

krismii
The New Super Mario Bros. titles pay homage to the original Super Mario Bros. titles on the NES and SNES consoles, where you have about eight worlds filled with levels to bust through on your way to the castle to save the princess. Along the way, there are some Toad/mushroom houses that allow you to pick up a couple of extra items or one-ups.

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Each world has it’s own atmosphere where it be plains, water, ice, desert, what have you. When it comes to these kinds of Mario platformers, you know what kind of areas you’re going to get. However, the levels themselves in each area vary and with each new level, they get harder and harder.

 krismii
The main objective in each level is to reach the end where the flagpole is within the time frame. Each level has its own hazards as you make your way through in terms of platforming, enemies, and even your friends if you’re playing with multiple people. The levels hand out plenty of power-ups as well to try to help you along, most of them being influenced by the level itself.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Most of the levels are fairly short, each one having a checkpoint halfway through. Almost every level has some sort of secret or pipe to go down to go to a separate part of the level. Each level also has three big coins to collect so, if you’re a completionist, you can always aim to collect those as you go through the game.

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Then, of course, there were some levels where we were running out of time because we were goofing off or too busy chasing runaway Yoshis. Controlling the characters are simple enough, as the only buttons that truly matter are jumping, running, and using your power-up, should there be a button trigger to use the abilities. The levels are able to be completed without power-ups, but they help get through the level quicker.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
You can hold onto to some items as well and use one or two before entering a level. This is something we always forgot and there are limited spaces. Often time, we’d be carrying as many items as we could and would have to throw away some when we got new ones at the Toad Houses. That was something we should have utilized better.

krismii
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe includes the port of the Wii U game as well as the New Super Luigi U DLC for that game, including Nabbit as a playable character. Playing as Nabbit is basically playing the game in super easy mode or if you want to speedrun through the levels. While he cannot use power-ups, he is impervious to enemy attacks, and playing him adds an extra 100 seconds to the level clock.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Nabbit is great for younger kids or people just learning how to pick up the controller. You can also play as Toadette, which is harder than playing as Nabbit, but still makes the levels easier. Toadette has a special crown where she can turn into Peach. Peach floats and is able to save herself from time to time. For example, she can bounce on lava. However, she can only do so once.

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krismii
The graphics of the game on the Switch look great, even though the game isn’t different at all from the Wii U version nor from the previous 3D Mario games. Nothing in particular stands out, graphics-wise, but the picture is still clean and crisp.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The picture is wonderful. I absolutely love the ice and water levels. The water looks awesome and the ice is so shiny. The background have always been nice as well. The game as a whole is vivid and appealing to the eye.

krismii
The music is also well done, giving way to the familiar Mario tunes as you make your way through the levels. Voice clips give the characters a bit of depth, such as the Koopalings’ laughter or the main characters asking for help out of their bubbles while returning to the level after losing a life. My favorite thing about the music is the enemies in the background dancing along!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music is fun, as always. I’m always humming along. And yeah, the enemies dancing or singing along with the music is an awesome touch. I love how Nintendo actually felt the need to code that in.
Story | Video Game Reviews | Video Games | Gaming | Blogging | DoublexJump.com

krismii
As with most Super Mario games, the story for this platformer revolves around Bowser showing up at Princess Peach’s castle, taking over while kidnapping her, and Mario and friends racing through the multiple levels and worlds to rescue her.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The beginning sequence was funny, in my opinion. I enjoyed how everyone prepared to help Peach, when Bowser went after them instead and threw them all out of the castle. Bowser’s children then station themselves in their own world and it’s off to Mario and friends go to save the world, once again!

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

krismii
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has decent replay value. There are a few secrets in the levels and special coins to collect, not to mention the multiplayer aspect of the game. The true replay value of this game comes with having people to play with.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This game is fun, but not as fun alone. It’s for four-players, so if you have a lot of friends, there’s a lot of replay value. No two play-throughs will be alike either, depending on who you play with – also who you play as. Overall, it’s a fun game and I’m glad we got it.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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The Legend Of Zelda [Game Review]

Game Review: The Legend of Zelda | Nintendo | NES | NES Classic | Zelda Month | Video game review | DoublexJump.com

Title: The Legend of Zelda
Developer: Nintendo Research & Development 4
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
NES
Category:
Action, Adventure
Release Date:
February 21, 1986
How we got the game:
We have it on the NES Classic

krismii
The original Legend of Zelda video game came out a few years before I existed. Having a chance to play both the Legend of Zelda and The Adventure of Link were a couple of reasons why we were interested in getting the NES Classic.

rachmii
This is a game we’ve heard a lot about and have seen others played, but we haven’t had the pleasure of playing it ourselves until now.

gameplay

krismii
Being a game for the NES, there are only a few simple buttons for a player to keep track of when controlling Link. The A button swings your sword, the B button uses whichever special item you have equipped from the menu that’s brought up with the start button, and you can move in a whole four different directions with the D-pad.

rachmii
The controls can be a little wonky at times, but it’s a NES game, so that was kind of expected. A lot of times Link would swing his sword with some delay after we pushed the button which put us in some trouble on many occasions throughout the gameplay. Most of the items you have to buy through random shops you find on the main map while others you get by going through and completing the dungeons.

 krismii
Your adventure involves exploring the over world map, finding secret locations and dungeons that hold monsters and pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Instead of the game having a linear direction, Link is plopped down in the middle of the world and released to go forth wherever he pleases.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The over world map itself doesn’t show where Link is or where anything is, even if you’ve already been there. You just need to explore, find stuff on your own, and remember where it all is. You can do the dungeons somewhat out of order though you might get stuck needing certain items to get through. Plus, the enemies are tougher later in the game. The dungeons are made up of various rooms with a ton of enemies and puzzles to get through. While it’s pretty simple, the enemies are tough and they can be tricky to get through.

krismii
It was an interesting dynamic where the controls and environment are simple enough, but there were definitely times where we found ourselves dying over and over again to the same bosses or other enemies. While I love a good story-based game, I definitely enjoyed the openness of this Legend of Zelda. It reminds me a bit of how Breath of the Wild is an open world, allowing you go explore the story however you want.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s certainly a fun game and well done for its time. It seems like such a small, short game, but there’s a lot to do, collect, and explore.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are nothing to be blown away by these days, but it was definitely charming to see the first appearance of Link and the world of Hyrule as their original pixel-selves. The color palette was enough to be able to distinguish the characters from the environment and it was simple enough to tell what was going on, even if there were a couple of glitches here and there. Nothing to make the game break, of course.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, we did have a couple of glitches throughout the game, but some of them were in our favor, which was kind of nice. The pixels are great and looking at some of the enemies are hilarious because they look nothing like what they would today. Also, watching Link shimmy on the raft is wonderful.

krismii
The music is fantastic, being the classic tunes that we know and love from all the other Legend of Zelda games we’ve enjoyed playing. It was a treat to hear where the tunes came from, especially the overworld music.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music and the sound effects are satisfying. I have the soundtrack in my car so hearing the music and actually playing the game at the same time was great. It was a nice throwback to a game I’ve heard so much about but have never played.
story

krismii
There’s no true introduction to a story in this game. You take control of Link, you find an old man in a cave who tells you to take a sword because the world is dangerous, and off you go. Objectively, you are collecting pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom from the dungeons scattered about the world, presumably in order to rescue Princess Zelda.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Again, since it’s not really explained at all, Link is exploring the world, ultimately preparing himself to battle Ganondorf and save the world. The story is there it’s just not as flushed out as we know and love it today. Which, is kind of cool in a way. I wonder how we would have felt about it if we had no knowledge of the series when the game first came out?

replay-value

krismii
The Legend of Zelda is an oldie but a goodie. While there’s only so many secrets to uncover, it’s a game with a simple enough premise that allows you to play through it many times without getting bored. It’s a classic.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’m happy we finally got a chance to play this game. It wasn’t easy (even though it’s older and I was expecting it to be) but it’s one I’ll definitely play again.

The Legend of Zelda gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

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