Donkey Kong Country [Game Review]

Video Game Review: Donkey Kong Country | Nintendo | SNES | DoublexJump.com

Title: Donkey Kong Country
Developer: Rare
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
SNES
Category: 
Platformer
Release Date: 
November 21, 1994
How we got the game: 
We have the game on the Nintendo SNES Classic

krismii
Donkey Kong Country probably makes up some of my earliest memories of video games. It was one of the few games that our older sister played, with her mostly in control of the player one controller, and it was a fun activity for me to join her in. Hearing that this game made it on the SNES Classic’s roster wasn’t a big surprise to me.

rachmii
I remember watching Kris and our other sister play this when we were kids. If I remember correctly, I think our Dad might have played a couple of times as well. Whenever I played I was also Diddy and never did very well, but it was still fun nonetheless.gameplay

krismii
Donkey Kong Country had some simple gameplay in terms of the controls. The D-Pad allows you to move left or right through the levels, and you had your basic jump and run buttons as well. Along with speeding up, the Y button allows you to pick up items, like barrels, to toss at enemies. Both Donkey Kong and Diddy, the two playable characters, had similar controls, but Donkey Kong was stronger and Diddy was quicker.

rachmii
Donkey Kong was able to defeat certain enemies while Diddy was useless against them. Meanwhile, Diddy was faster especially in the underwater levels. All the levels were well done, each world catering to different types of biomes, if you will, such as jungles, wintery scenes, caves and mines, and more. The levels are pretty straightforward though they can be tricky.

 krismii
Throughout the levels, there were sometimes other animals that were allies of Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. A speedy ostrich, a strong rhino, a flashlight-carrying parrot… They’re all helpful additions and fun to see. They’re included in the bonus stages, each one able to collect tokens to help bolster your life count after you collect three golden pieces in their shape to access the bonus stage. Other bonus stages are hidden throughout the levels, most helping you collect more bananas or extra life balloons.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Throughout some of the levels, there are hidden shortcuts as well. After completing a bonus stage, you’ll often get placed right back where you were or sometimes a little further into the level. There are some shortcuts that allow you to skip parts of the level – sometimes just about half of the level.

krismii
Some of our favorite shortcuts were the ones that allowed us to skip half of the level, haha! Donkey and Diddy weren’t the only Kongs in the game, considering they had half of their family playing important roles as well. Candy Kong was in charge of the save points and Funky Kong flew DK and Diddy to other worlds if need be. Cranky Kong gave out advice, if one deigned to ask him.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I would actually be interested in playing as them. I think that would be fun. (Super Smash with just the Kongs, anyone?) The map outside of the levels was straight forward, a Diddy or DK icon on the completed level showing off who was the one who completed.graphics-music

krismii
The graphics of Donkey Kong seem to have held up well throughout the years. Being over twenty years old, the designs of the levels and characters are still well done enough to make the game fun without being annoying or frustrating. Sure, there are the occasional glitches here or there while playing, but for the most part, the graphics were still nice and nostalgia-inducing.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
If anything, the glitches made us laugh. But yeah, the graphics have certainly held up well and I think the level designs were great and aesthetically pleasing.

krismii
The music is some of the best, in my opinion, for Nintendo games. Donkey Kong has some iconic music, and every tune matched the levels well.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is the kind of music that I hum to myself in the shower or randomly get stuck in my head! I absolutely love it and wish I had the soundtrack. The sound effects are also great. I love the sound of collecting the bananas or the klaptraps’ (the little crocodile guys) mouths chomping.
story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The banana horde has been taken! DK asks Diddy to keep an eye on the bananas, but he’s attacked and trapped inside a barrel. When DK comes back, he frees Diddy and then together they go off on a journey to get their bananas back.

krismii
…That’s it. The story is simple enough, prompting Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong traversing through multiple worlds to find King K. Rool, the fiend behind the banana hoard theft. Considering how many bananas are littered throughout the worlds, K. Rool didn’t do a very good job.

replay-value

krismii
This is a game that we’ve gone back to once in a while, even if it’s purely for nostalgia reasons. There are a few modes to play — single-player, two-player cooperative, and two-player versus — when it comes to completing the levels and game, so that’s not too bad.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We’ve come back to this game a couple of times within the past few years – we have it on the SNES Classic now, but we also have it on our Wii from the virtual console. It’ll definitely be a game we go back to again.

Donkey Kong Country gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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

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Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting [Game Review]

Video Game Review: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting | SNES | Capcom | Gaming | DoublexJump.com

Title: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform: 
Arcade (Nintendo SNES)
Category: 
Fighting
Release Date: 
December 1992
How we got the game: 
We got it on the Nintendo SNES Classic

krismii
This game is older than me! Our grandparents used to have a copy of the game at their house, with their SNES and our uncles’ other video games, and Street Fighter was one of those games that Rachel tended to pick up rather than me.

rachmii
I don’t know why, but I remember always playing this at my grandparents’ house. I always picked Chun Li to play and had such a great time. Maybe it was because I just enjoyed button mashing?

gameplay

krismii
Street Fighter is a fighting game (duh). Players pick a character, each with their own unique looks and fighting styles. Characters move left to right on the fighting stage and can duck or jump if the D-Pad’s down or up directional is pressed. The rest of the buttons enable the characters to kick or punch, with combos being possible.

rachmii
The gameplay really is as simple as it sounds. Of course, there are combos to be created, though Kris and I aren’t that good. We tend to just button mash and whoever manages to hit the other one first, wins.

 krismii
After every couple of matches, there were also these bonus stages to rack up more points, with the three being about destroying objects. The first was busting up a car, the second was a stack of bricks, and the third was going against rolling barrels, of all things.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I dominated in the rolling barrels one since I kept hitting Kris instead! Still, the bonus stages were quick, easy, and totally random. It broke up the battles a little bit though.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics for the game aren’t too bad. The stages are simple enough with the backgrounds decorated to resemble the part of the world that the characters are fighting in. The movement of your characters is fairly well done, the graphics responding smoothly to the controls.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The backgrounds are actually my favorite aspect of the game. They aren’t stiff, things are happening and moving in the background and it’s pretty cool. I especially loved India because the elephants cheered when someone was declared the winner.

krismii
The music was fun as well, the tunes getting you pumped up for the fights. The music wasn’t overpowering, however, allowing you to focus on the fight without getting too distracted. Rachel and I did find ourselves bobbing along every once in a while, of course.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I was bobbing along with the theme on the main menu of the game. I did enjoy the music, but I’ll admit I didn’t hear too much of it during the battles. I was too focused on battling and… well, I was shouting most of the time.

replay-value

krismii
Street Fighter is one of those games that you may pick up once in a while just for fun, with it being one of the simplest fighting games in the genre. It’s pure button-mashing at its finest, with the rounds being quick enough to play a few matches during some downtime.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It was certainly a great game to get back to. I’m not sure if I’ll pick it back up again anytime soon, but it’ll be something quick and fun when I need something mindless.

Street Fighter gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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Pokemon Ranger [Game Review]

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

gameplay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

graphics-music

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

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

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

replay-value

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

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

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

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Yoshi’s Island [Game Review]

Yoshi's Island | Game Review | Video Games | SNES Classic | Nintendo | DoublexJump.com

Title: Yoshi’s Island
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Super NES (originally), Gameboy Advance, SNES Classic
Category: 
Platformer
Release Date: 
October 4, 1995 (SNES Classic release: September 29, 2017)
How we got the game: 
We bought the SNES Classic

krismii
Yoshi’s Island was a game that I remember watching more so than playing. Our older sister used to try her hand at the game, and I don’t remember how far along we got in the game. It was definitely nostalgia-inducing.

rachmii
Yoshi’s Island is a classic to us. I’ll be honest, I didn’t remember too much of the game as I was too young when it originally came out, but I remembered the music and sound effects and I was excited to give it a go.

gameplay

krismii
Yoshi’s Island is fairly simple to figure out with the controls. You control one of eight Yoshis, each of them going through a level of the world while protecting Baby Mario. As Yoshi, you travel the levels from left to right, jumping and hovering when needed, as well as eating enemies with Yoshi’s tongue and creating eggs out of them. The eggs follow you until you need them as projectiles.

rachmii
This game is similar to Super Mario Bros. where you have multiple levels in a “world.” Once you defeat a level, you pass Baby Mario onto the next Yoshi and move onto the next level. Each level contains coins, special flowers for a chance to get a bonus, and red coins hidden throughout. At the end of each level, you’re “graded” based on how much you get.

 krismii
Our average score is probably in the 70s. Each world has six regular levels, then two castle levels, one in the fourth spot and one in the eighth. The bosses of these levels tended to be more of a challenge, but most of the gameplay consisted of dodging attacks while hurling eggs at the main enemy. Strategy-wise, it wasn’t that difficult, but it could be challenging to execute it.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The poor yellow Yoshi always got stuck with one of the castle levels. He must have gotten the short stick on that draw. Each level was challenging in its own right because whenever Yoshi got hit, he’d lose Baby Mario and the clock would start ticking down until Magikoopa came to get him. It was always stressful and tense whenever that happened.

graphics-music

krismii
Yoshi’s Island has adorable graphics, some of the backgrounds and levels reminding me of crayons. Being a predecessor of games such as Yoshi’s Story and Yoshi’s Woolly World, where the graphics were storybook-like and yarn, respectively, the graphics for Yoshi’s Island fit right in.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I always loved how this game looked. Yes, it looks like a drawing, and it’s certainly charming for a Yoshi game. The backgrounds of each level are vivid and colorful. The whole game just looks happy, despite the circumstances.

krismii
The music matches the world quite well, with music being fairly upbeat for most levels. The castle level music sounds a bit ominous, but it is offset by how bright Yoshi (and even the enemies) are. They’re the kind of tunes where we easily found ourselves humming along.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music is upbeat, yeah. It’s some of the best gaming music. The sound effects were spot on as well. For some reason, that’s what I remembered the most. The sound effect for Yoshi sticking out his tongue was great for me… I don’t know why.
story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Twins Mario and Luigi as babies are on their way to a new home by the stork when the trip is interrupted. Magikoopa kidnaps Luigi while Mario somehow gets away and is found by a bunch of Yoshis. Together, the Yoshis take turns carrying baby Mario on their backs through various levels, defeating bosses, and trying to get baby Luigi back and keep Mario safe.

krismii
Throughout the levels, Magikoopa and his cronies are always ready to swoop down and kidnap baby Mario if he is ever separated from Yoshi. The Yoshis do their best to protect their new little friend throughout all the dangers found on Yoshi’s Island.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Like most Mario games, this game is all about saving someone who’s kidnapped and protecting the ones you love. It’s just Yoshi’s time to shine this time.

replay-value

krismii
This game was tons of fun to go back to. There’s nothing really after the main story, but there are plenty of levels and adorableness to make you want to play again down the road. It’s a game that aged well in terms of controls and graphics, and it’s fun to revisit once in a while.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I can see ourselves going back to this game and trying to get better scores than what we already got. This game was a lot harder than we remembered… or maybe we just got bad at games the older we got.

Yoshi’s Island 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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Overcooked [Game Review]

Overcooked | Microsoft | Game Review | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Overcooked
Developer: Ghost Town Games
Publisher: 
Team17
Platform: 
Xbox One (also on the Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows)
Category: 
Simulation
Release Date: 
August 2, 2016
How we got the game: 
We bought it

krismii
We first heard of Overcooked when a couple of our favorite YouTubers played it on their channel PB and Jeff, and it looked so silly and fun that we put it on our to-play list. When we finally got the game about a year later, we weren’t disappointed.

rachmii
This game is hilarious to watch others play and just as hilarious to play yourself. Of course, it can get tense and stressful, but that’s part of the fun.

gameplay

krismii
Overcooked features these little cartoon chefs trying to work together to cook up dishes in various kitchen settings. Most of these settings are ridiculous and puzzle-like in appearance. Cooperation and communication is key to winning enough points to get through the level.

rachmii
Together, you and your partner go through the orders listed at the top of the screen. You need to coordinate with one another – someone to chop, someone to get the plates, wash the dishes, deliver the food, and more. A lot of the areas are small and tight causing you to run into each other often and get stuck… which usually results in you screaming at your partner to move and get out of the way.

 krismii
Yes, this game can probably be on that list of “Games that Ruin Friendships” with Mario Kart and Monopoly. The controls are fairly simple, as you really only use three or four buttons. You move with the analog stick, pick up items with A, perform actions like chopping with X, and can dash (and smack into others) with B. The A button could be a little finicky at times, but it wasn’t bad.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes, the controls were easy but sometimes you’d have to be in the right spot to pick something up or put it down. There were so many times my character would put chopped mushrooms on the counter beside the boiling pot rather than putting it inside the pot. Oh, and the kitchen can catch on fire. That was always fun.

krismii
Luckily, the game provided you with a fire extinguisher. If you weren’t fast enough, though, then the whole kitchen can go up in flames!

graphics-music

krismii
Overcooked is quirky. The graphics are very cartoony, with the playable characters ranging from different people, animals, and even a box. It matched the fun music, even if the countdown music successfully makes players panic enough to, perhaps, mess up on the last few dishes.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I loved the graphics. They were bright and colorful and even though the characters were so simple, they were cute and unique in a way. I ended up playing the game as an orange cat, someone you would definitely want to be cooking your food. The music was calming despite how stressful the game is, but it worked. The countdown in the last ten seconds or so reminded me of the timer in Sonic games where he was about to drown.

krismii
Oh my God, it did… I never realized that until you just mentioned it. The apocalypse music was a little ominous at times, making it seem silly rather than suspenseful when coupled with the cartoon graphics. It definitely worked for the game. story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story for this one is plain and simple. It’s a little silly but the main thing about this game is the gameplay. The Onion Kingdom is in peril as the beast, a giant meatball with spaghetti arms is starving and we need to feed it. The Onion King and his dog, Kevin, entrusts us to build up our cooking skills so we can satisfy the beast and save the world.

krismii
That’s pretty much it. The introduction gives you a brief overview of the controls before the Onion King decides that your cooking skills are not up to the task of sating the beast. He takes you back in time where you then travel to kitchens of the world (including space and Hell) to hone your cooking skills until it is time to face the beast in the apocalypse once again.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The story was a bit abrupt, especially at the end, but as I said earlier, the story wasn’t the main focus of the game. So it worked well.

replay-value

krismii
Overcooked is tons of fun and it’s always a good challenge to try to beat your scores on the limited number of levels. The only major downside to this game is that it is definitely more catered to multiplayer. With that said, the more people you have playing, the more chaotic the kitchen can seem, even if chores can be evenly divided between everyone.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We beat the game together and then grabbed our two cousins into playing with us. We started the game over and having four people in the kitchen is definitely chaotic but so much fun. I can see us playing this over and over again.

Overcooked gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

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Kirby Super Star [Game Review]

Kirby Super Star | Game Review | Nintendo SNES | DoublexJump.com

Title: Kirby Super Star
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
SNES; SNES Classic
Category: 
Action, Platforming
Release Date: September 1996; September 2017
How we got the game: 
We bought the SNES Classic

krismii
My first introduction to Kirby was actually Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo 64. After that, the only actual Kirby game I’ve played was Kirby: The Crystal Shards, stolen borrowed from a family friend eons ago. It was nice to play one of the original Kirby games.

rachmii
I don’t think I’ve ever played a Kirby game… I had Nightmare in Dreamland for the Gameboy Advance but I don’t remember playing it at all. I ended up giving it to a kid I used to babysit because he was so much more into it than I was. So it was interesting to try this game out.

gameplay

krismii
Kirby Super Star boasts eight games in one cartridge, with two of those games being classified as mini-games while the other six are shorter adventures with different gameplay. Kirby has his trademark moves — inhaling enemies and items, swallowing enemies for power-ups, or spitting them out as projectiles — but he is also able to turn his power-up abilities into a Helper. The Helper character can be an NPC that moves on its own as it helps Kirby against enemies or it can be controlled by a second player.

rachmii
I enjoyed the adventure games such as Dyna Blade and Spring Breeze. Since I haven’t played Kirby much if at all, it was fun to play a “normal” game as him. They were short and sweet, but it was fun to go through the levels eating people and exploring the many powerups.

 krismii
Our other favorite game was Gourmet Race, which was short and silly. It featured the player as Kirby racing King Dedede while eating as much food as possible. There were three courses and, between the three rounds, one must eat more food than King Dedede while also beating him in a footrace.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Of course, we didn’t always eat more food but we beat King Dedede by a hair each time and ended up winning with both points combined. It was close and even though the races were short, both of us were very much into it. It was a tense few moments! One game I didn’t care too much for was The Great Cave Offensive. It was a treasure hunt game, which normally I would love, but it just didn’t do it for me. I found it to be a little boring.

krismii
The Great Cave Offensive wasn’t my cup of tea either, but it was a little fun to see the treasures that were references to other Nintendo franchises, like the Legend of Zelda and Metroid. Revenge of Meta Knight and Milky Way Wishes were other adventure games, and The Arena was a boss mode game. Dream Course, while not part of Super Star, is another Kirby game on the SNES Classic where one uses Kirby as a “golf ball.” It did not hold our interest at all, although we felt as if it would have been at home with the other mini Kirby games on Super Star rather than its own game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Dream Course was going to be its own review, but there wasn’t much to it. We decided to tag it on here because we felt as though it was another “mini game” that would fit perfectly within Super Star.

graphics-music

krismii
The SNES Classic has, so far, done very well capturing the nostalgia-inducing graphics of the original games. Kirby is one of Nintendo’s cutest characters and his world was usually colorful and bright with unique areas and images.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Kirby was always a fun character and simple enough to draw and capture. The story of his games are usually pretty silly, but they’re always lighthearted and colorful.

krismii
It was fun seeing all the different enemies and abilities play out on the screen! The music was as light-hearted as the graphics, keeping the game casual and enjoyable.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I always get the Kirby music stuck in my head. The sound effects are fun too. I love listening to Kirby suck everything in!

replay-value

krismii
Kirby’s Super Star didn’t age too badly. The games were quick and cute, easy to pick up and play again if one wants. However, the games weren’t very story-orientated and didn’t hold my interest for too long, so I’m not sure if I would pick it up again.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We “beat” most of the games within it in one sitting. It’s something quick and mindless if you’re just looking to sit back and relax.

Kirby Super Star gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer [Game Review]

Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer | Game Review | Video Games | DoublexJump.com

Title: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Life simulator
Release Date: 
July 30, 2015 
How I got the game: 
I bought it

 

 

 

I love the Animal Crossing series. If you know me and have been following this blog for a while, you’d know that. I can’t get enough of Animal Crossing. I was excited when Happy Home Designer was announced because building and decorating houses is my favorite part of playing The Sims. Now I could do it with my Animal Crossing friends… except it wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped.

gameplay

The gameplay is simple enough. The touchscreen on the 3DS is a big portion of the controls. At least it was for me. I found it easier than pushing the buttons.

You get a client and go to their house to decorate the interior. Your character doesn’t have to move too much provided you utilize the touchscreen. The bottom screen has a grid showing off the size of the house. You go into your inventory and place items down and make sure it looks nice and pretty and goes along with what you’re client likes and wants. Eventually, you can choose where you want the house to go and decorate the exterior as well as the interior.

This isn’t a bad concept, but what bothered me was that you have a certain amount of items you can use. With each client, you gain new items. Those items are what your current client likes and wants. So when you decorate there’s no trying to “guess” what your client will enjoy. It’s all laid out for you. Plus, whenever you put something down your client will react positively, negatively, or indifferently. So you can tell by that as well.

Another thing was the search option. You could find items through their category (clothes, chairs, beds, etc.), you could type in the name, or you could just see all the items you need for that current client… Yeah, it lays it all out for you so there’s no thinking involved. It’s a casual game, yes, but that was a little too casual for me. I would have liked to have figured out myself what furniture to put down based on my client’s clues.

After you finish working for a client you write in your journal and the day ends. The next day you can find another client or Isabelle may show up and asks you to help with the town. There are many projects she has such as a school, hospital, office, stores, and more. Later she may ask you to add to them, like adding a second classroom to the school. It’s not much though and neither project was challenging or took a while.

Each project from Isabelle had a checklist of items you had to use. For example, when creating the concert hall the only item on the checklist was a microphone. So, that’s all I put down, despite the many new options I had for musical instruments and seating and the like. Isabella absolutely loved it and it was a hit. A single microphone in an empty room… all because I added the item from the checklist. In other words, it didn’t matter how well you decorated the room. If you used all the items on the checklist, it counted as a win and the clients were happy. Again, no challenge.

Isabelle didn’t come every day and even when she did you had the option to go out and find another client before helping her. I did Isabelle’s projects first to get them over with. However, when you finish all of that the credits roll and the game is “over.” At that point, I had only helped 10 clients. It was a short game.

You can continue playing and get new clients as well as redecorate old clients’ houses after the credits, but that was enough for me.

graphics-music

Like all Animal Crossing games, the graphics and music are great. I enjoy the 3D graphics and being able to turn the camera all the way around to get each and every angle of the characters, the homes, and any place you currently are. The design has a cutesie feel to it which is so calming and really brings out the casualness of the game.

The music is one of my favorite aspects of the game. It’s always soothing and allows you to just get immersed in the gameplay. While I felt as though the soundtrack for Happy Home Designer could have had a little more to it, I enjoyed it all the same.

The sound effects are as silly as ever between placing something down, turning it around, or not being able to turn it around. I enjoy interacting with the objects as well, especially the musical instruments. It’s something small and simple, but it really adds a lot.
storyThere’s not much of a story to this one. You create a character and join Nook’s Homes as an employee. Then you go out, find clients, and help design their homes. Isabelle will show up a few times with some town projects such as building a school or hospital. Once you finish helping her own, the credits roll. That’s just about it.

replay-value

There’s a lot more for me to do in the game. There are so many villagers who need help decorating their homes. I have a lot of more items and furniture to unlock. However, I don’t know if I’ll be picking up this game again. It was a nice casual game to play, but it was repetitive and got old quick.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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