Flashback Friday: Sims 2

Double Jump Kris Mii It’s another Friday! Yay!

We’ve been going back and forth between playing our Switch Games and living out perfect lives on the Sims 4. This month I thought we’d go back to when Rachel and I had first gotten hooked onto the Sims series with Sims 2. 

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The Sims 2, first published in 2004, is the second installment of the Sims franchise published by EA Games and developed by Maxis. Like the original Sims, the Sims 2 is a real life simulator where the player controls the characters and aids them in living their lives day to day.

The game itself was released on a plethora of platforms, most notably the PC but also the Xbox, the Playstation 2, and Nintendo’s GameCube, Gameboy Advance, and DS. It was a commercial success, smashing records with its release, and sold over 13 million copies over all platforms by March 2012.

The Sims 2 allows the characters — the Sims — to age through life cycles, such as child, teen, and adult, with a 3D game engine. Players customize the Sims’ looks and personalities before throwing them into a world where they can get jobs, develop relationships, and grow old or die unfortunate premature deaths. The game allows the players to play the role of a god, choosing and manipulating every aspect of the Sims’ lives, or just letting the Sims choose their own fate however their personality dictates they would act.

Besides the base game, the Sims 2 had expansion packs to greatly expand the gameplay. For example, Pets included dogs and cats, Nightlife boasted clubs and a dating system, and Seasons brought weather to the Sims’ world. Expansions tended to bring new life forms for the Sims, such as PlantSims, Vampires, and Witches. Stuff Packs were also developed and sold separately, bringing new items to decorate the Sims’ world with.

Since then, the franchise has evolved to The Sims 3 and most recently The Sims 4, each bringing new content to the franchise. Despite initial glitches and problems with the games’ releases, the Sims franchise continues to be a success.

Have you ever played the Sims 2? What did you think of it?

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Gaming Is For Everyone

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

Some people think of video games and also think of “lazy” in the same sentence. We know that’s not the case. Video games are actually a lot more important that most people seem to think.

 

I read recently on My Nintendo News that a 5th grader from Japan sent fan mail to Nintendo. Nintendo responded with a personal letter instead of just an automated letter or not responding at all.

This young boy is blind. In the letter, he stated that he would love to play video games just like everyone else, but can’t. So, he plays the Rhythm Heaven games because all he has to do is listen to them. He wrote to Nintendo willing them to make another Rhythm Heaven game so he could continue to play video games with his friends.

Nintendo responded, with a letter written in Braille, that they forwarded his letter to the developers because they want everyone to play and enjoy games.

I thought this was great. Being a special education teacher I know how important video games can be to children with disabilities.

There’s something about video games that helps kids (and adults) get through their day.

Kids with Autism are especially drawn to video games. There are a number of reasons why:

  • Some games have a predictable playthrough and are repetitive
  • There’s no face to face social interaction
  • They can control their environment
  • It’s an escape and stress reliever from the real world
  • They’re fun

My cousin has Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of Autism, and he used to memorize games like the back of his hand. He would remember how to unlock everything from every game he played. Of course, his father played a lot of video games so his love for gaming stemmed from that, regardless of his disability.

I used to babysit for a boy, also with Asperger’s, and whenever he was home, he was playing video games. It was actually kind of a problem, but that was his outlet.

A lot of my students, though they’re preschoolers, play games such as Mario. They mimic the coin and jumping sounds, they try to run fast like Mario, and one of my students held up a book and starting spinning it like a wheel saying, “Drive the controller!” She used to be non-verbal and her current speech is scattered, so I was surprised when she did that because, of course, my first thought was Mario Kart. And she started doing that shortly after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe came out.

With all that said, I think it was wonderful that Nintendo took the time to respond to that young boy. They probably have no idea what an impact their work has on such children.

And I think it’s awesome that everyone, no matter what, can get involved in gaming.

How does this make you feel? Do you know anyone with impairments who are drawn to video games? Let me know in the comments below!

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Legend of Zelda Ocarina Medley

Being fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise, when we were younger, we actually bought a couple of beautiful pendant ocarinas. We don’t play them very well, but it’s a fun souvenir that reminds us of one of our favorite video game series!

Recently we stumbled upon a new YouTube channel called STL Ocarina, a company that produces ocarinas and promotes them with beautiful music videos. Below is a Zelda Medley, with the musician being Lena Leclaire. We hope you enjoy the music and wonderful scenery as much as we did!

Have you been musically inspired by a video game series? What did you think of the video? Let us know in the comments!

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Gaming In Nicer Weather

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

Gamers have a certain “stereotype” that they stay in the basement all day, lights off, TV on, their eyes bloodshot from staring at their games all day and all night long. That’s obviously not the case, but let’s be honest – we all joke around about how we hate going outside and talking to people in real life.

Summer is my favorite season. I love being outside breathing in the fresh air. I lounge out by my pool, go swimming, take walks with the dog, or sit on my deck reading a book. I feel better finally being able to sit outside rather than sitting at my desk or on my couch or bed day in and day out.

I feel like I’m doing something extra, even though I’m really not. Still, the sun feels good after being holed up in the house during a dark winter.

The main downside to this is that it’s hard to play video games outside.

I could bring my 3DS outside, but sometimes it’s hard to see the screen with the bright sunlight and sometimes it gets too hot depending on how warm it is and how long I’m playing. I get nervous when my 3DS starts feeling extremely warm and stop playing when it does so.

I can’t bring the Wii U gamepad outside because… we’ll, the console is more than three feet away from my deck outside. So that’s a no.

Now, I can bring the Nintendo Switch outside. It works wonders far away as Kris and I took it for a car ride one time. I can easily prop it up on the table on the deck and play some Breath of the Wild or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

The only downside to this (right now) is that the games are pretty limited on the Switch. If I want to play Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, I can’t play that on the Switch. If I want to play Pokemon, I can’t play that on the Switch.

Still, I’m looking forward to sitting outside and playing some Switch games as they come out.

Then again, I wonder how much I’ll actually get done this summer? Will I play more games or read more books?

Only time will tell, I guess.

Do you enjoy sitting outside and playing games? Let me know in the comments below!

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First Impressions: Fire Emblem Echoes

Double Jump Kris MiiMonday is back… I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

The weather around where I am is supposed to be cloudy and a bit rainy all week, and I’m totally fine with that. It gives me more of an excuse to spend my downtime inside playing new video games!

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My copy of Fire Emblem Echoes arrived Friday evening and I didn’t get a chance to open the game until Saturday afternoon. It taunted me from atop my desk until I was able to start it up.

I’ve really enjoyed the past couple of Fire Emblem games, most notably Awakening and Fates was close behind it, so I was eager to try out Echoes. I know it’s a remake of a Japan-only Fire Emblem game from way back when but, other than that, I didn’t know too much about the plot.

I’ve reached about the end of the first act, and I’m really enjoying the characters! Gray so far seems to be my favorite, but the little entourage around Alm are all entertaining. The voice acting so far is phenomenal, and I was pleasantly surprised that the game has full voice acting rather than the partial acting that Awakening and Fates had.

The beginning cut scenes and story was cute, if a bit corny enough to make me chuckle at the drama. The male-fighter going off to find the more passive female main character is a little frustratingly cliche, as is the first two to three “missions” revolving around rescuing female characters, but the story isn’t too bad.

I was a little bummed when it came time to reclass a few members of my army. Some classes are back to being gender-locked after Fates had seemed to lift them, so I couldn’t have a male Pegasus Knight or Cleric or even a female Archer at the beginning. Being a remake of an older Fire Emblem game, Rachel pointed out that perhaps the gender-locked classes were kept in from the original game. It made some sense, but with the upgrades the game has had in the meantime, I’m disappointed that this aspect couldn’t be tweaked.

Overall, I’m enjoying this new Fire Emblem game and I can’t wait to keep going!

Are you playing Fire Emblem Echoes? Keeping spoilers to yourself, what do you think of it so far?

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Elliot Quest Game Review

Thanks to Miketendo, we got a free download code to play Elliot Quest on the Nintendo 3DS! Check out our review on their site:

Title: Elliot Quest Company: PlayEveryWare Console: 3DS version Release Date: May 2017 (3DS); November 2014 (Steam) How we got the game: We received a free digital download code for the Nintendo 3DS from the developers and Miketendo. Miketendo and PlayEveryware were gracious enough to provide us with a digital copy of Elliot Quest. Rachel and I had never […]

via Elliot Quest Game Review — Miketendo64! The Place To Go For Anything Nintendo

Friday Favorites: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tracks

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday!

While I’m not the best racer out there, I’m still having fun playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Rachel did a Top Tuesday of her favorite tracks a couple of weeks ago, and today I’ll be sharing mine.

Mute Citymaxresdefault

Holy sugar, the sheer speed of this course is amazing! It gets insane the higher the CC level you pick, and it’s just tons of fun trying to ram into the other racers. The music itself just keeps you pumped up throughout the race.

mario_kart_baby_parkBaby Park

Baby Park was originally in Double Dash, one of my favorite installments of the Mario Kart franchise. The course itself my look like a simple oval, but it showcases the pure chaos that is the Mario Kart series with everyone lapping or being lapped on the course. It’s always hysterical and crazy with all the items flying everywhere, so much so that it often gets difficult to tell what place you’re in until you cross the finish line.

mqdefaultCloudtop Cruise

This course brought a real sense of adventure, soaring among clouds and sky ships, dodging lightning bolts while trying to reach the speed boosts, and carefully maneuvering around the giant vine-like road. It always reminded me of the battleships from the original Mario games as well as the Rainbow Ride level of Super Mario 64.

Hyrule Circuitmario-kart-8-dlc-pack-1-trailer-01-1280x720

Being such a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda franchise, I was so excited to hear that Link and a track of his own would be joining the Mario Kart scene. While we never bought the DLC for the original Mario Kart 8 game, he’s quickly become one of my favorite racers in the Deluxe version, as has his track. The music, the backgrounds, the use of keese and deku babas in place of bats and pirahna plants, rupees instead of coins — the course is chock-full of indulgent Zelda references.

 

mount20wario-noscaleMount Wario

This track is just pure adventure and adrenaline rush. Immediately you start at the top of a snowy mountain and traverse through ice, woodlands, and downward hills. It combines speed and technique, allowing every racer to bring their best strategies to the course.

What are your favorite or least favorite tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

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