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The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “H”

One of my favorite parts of games is decorating spaces. So when Happy Home Designer came out, I was bound to love it. Actually got this game as a gift, but I sunk many hours into it trying to make the nicest homes, shops, cafe, school, etc. It’s a spinoff of Animal Crossing, and though it is a letdown that it doesn’t actually matter what your space looks like as long as you put in the bare minimum, I find it relaxing. Yes, it could have been better and I fully recognize that. Even so, it’s a game I’ll gravitate to during poor mental health times.

For something of a way different speed, I loved the original Halo games (1-3) and Halo Reach. Halo 1 is full of memories for me, playing multiplayer maps with my best friend many times. We had a blast! The story, music, and atmosphere was great too. I love Halo Reach too, for much the same as well as the voice acting.

Harvest Moon is a “gateway drug” into addictive gaming. You can spend hours and not even realize it. It’s because of Harvest Moon that I decided to collect them all, as well as Story of Seasons (same type of game as Harvest Moon, since the devs lost the rights to the title), but after experiencing it on Gamecube, I’m almost too scared to try them because of the time sink. Which is probably ridiculous. But yes, this made me understand the appeal of the farming sim, and a big reason for why I wanted Stardew Valley (yes, another timesink, but dang is it fun!).

Honorable Mention:

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 had major appeal to me as it was an adventure game on DS you played holding like a book. It appealed to my geeky mystery solving side and it was my first point and click on the DS. It was also very good. Sadly there was no true sequel, but there was a related game released only in the UK, therefore I do not have it.

What are your favorite H games?

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The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “E”

E doesn’t have a lot of games (as I include whole series together if I played more than one), but there are some gems I’ve played. But here’s a confession: I have only completed one of these! One of these days, right? So I guess we’ll start with the one I finished.

Ever Oasis really excited me when it was first announced, so I got it day one. And then proceeded to play for 8 and a half straight hours, with some short breaks. If you know me, this is rare, I generally don’t spend an entire day playing games (I got it around 1 or 2 pm that day, still rare). I don’t think I have done so since ACNL. But sometimes, you just can’t put a game down. When I got stuck and looked up gameplay on Youtube, I came across SapphyStars, who is now one of my favorite youtubers so I’m thankful for that. The game was addictive, and I loved building up my village. Then I got to the post-game and I can’t even be bothered honestly. Post-game is a letdown, but main story is fun.

Etrian Odyssey series has to be on the list! I’ve played EOU1, EOU2,EO4, and EO5. Like mentioned, I haven’t completed any, but got the furthest in EOU1. This happens due to other games popping up that I feel like playing, it’s a notoriously bad habit when it comes to RPGs. My favorite part of playing is the map making, of course. I also appreciate that sometimes it requires more thinking than other RPGs I play. The challenge also leads to having to retry bosses multiple times, but it feels awesome when you beat them. I’m intrigued about what the Switch Etrian Odyssey will be like, and if I will enjoy it as much without the map making. But seeing as I’m a huge Atlus fan, you can bet I will continue to buy anyhow.

Honorable Mention:
Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube is full of memories for me. It’s the scariest I go as I do not like jump scares. This game got into my head, and it’s probably the only game that has made me scream (I refuse to play anything scarier). When the screen suddenly goes dark, when the “volume” control gets messed with, when bugs cover the screen, and more, I screamed. It was a masterpiece in horror, that even if it got a remake I might not be able to play it with modern graphics. But I will always have the memories!

What are some of your E favorites? I know a lot of people love Earthworm Jim, but I never got into it.

The ABC’s of Favorite Video Games! The Letter “C”

It’s time for the next letter! This one wasn’t too difficult as it contains one of my top RPGs.

That’s right, my top pick for this letter is Chrono Trigger! It was my first game involving time travel and I absolutely loved the concept. It was a blast to play. Lucca, Frog, and Robo were my favorite characters, Ayla was my least favorite. The music is great too. I first played the DS version, as the vast majority of my console gaming life came much later due to not being able to afford stuff in childhood. I was so happy to get it since I’d heard so many great things, and it was worth all the hype.

Honorable Mentions:

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. Adorable, fun puzzles, what’s not to love? The upcoming Switch and (surprising) 3DS versions were just announced, but I played on Wii U. Buy it if you didn’t, great game!

Chocobo’s Dungeon. Okay, so this was a Final Fantasy spinoff game on Wii but I thought it was adorable and enjoyed my time with it though I haven’t finished. It’s a good pick up and play rogue-like RPG, which is always nice to have in a game collection.

What are your favorite C games?

The Alphabet of Favorite Video Games – Letter A

I saw someone doing this on Twitter and thought it was a great idea for the blog. I’m going to dedicate regular blog posts every week with a new letter until the alphabet is finished. So yay, more activity on the blog. Now let’s get right to it!

For the letter A, I obviously have to go with Animal Crossing. I started with the original game on the Gamecube and loved the relaxing gameplay, collecting fossils and interacting with my villagers. I was into it enough to get an extra memory card for a second town to trade with. And then New Leaf came out.

I spent so much time in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, nearly 500 hours. The ease of multiplayer was a blast and I made a lot of friends, had great conversations even within the limited text space, and there was more to do than ever. It barely left my 3DS for a very long stretch of time. It is my most played 3DS game, and most definitely my most played console game as a whole. The only possible exception is casual games over several years, but that hardly counts.

Some honorable mentions: Age of Mythology, Age of Empires II. Both of these introduced me to the RTS genre and I had lots of fun using the cheats. Anyone remember the flying purple hippo or the lazer bear? Those were my favorite.

What are your favorite games that start with A?

A Quick Review of Hey, Pikmin! -My Initial Thoughts

I finally finished up Monster Hunter Stories (not all quests or monsters, but main story and Poogies), so I popped in the game I got for the holidays, which is Hey, Pikmin!. I’ve just gotten to the second area.

So let’s chat! First thing I realized is there is so much similarity to Chibi Robo: Zip Lash. This could have just as easily been a Chibi-Robo game in that vein, it’s simply been Pikmin-fied. The collection now is random real world items versus real world candy. You use Pikmin instead of Chibi-Robo’s plug.

This sounds like a complaint, and it kind of is. Yet I enjoyed Chibi-Robo and I’m enjoying this too, I definitely understand why it was a disapointment for Pikmin fans. I feel like I’ve already played this game. I could show screenshot comparisons and it seems an obvious copy and paste job with Pikmin art instead. Granted, there are some differences, but they’re pretty minor. I do enjoy the item descriptions, as they are often amusing.

I would say that if you loved Chibi-Robo, you’ll like this but maybe don’t play them back to back. If you hated Chibi-Robo, there’s a good chance you won’t have fun with this one either.

Some secret stages are locked unless you have certain amiibos. You can use the Pikmin amiibos released for the game, Super Mario Bros series amiibo, Animal Crossing amiibo (figures only), Splatoon series 1 amiibo to unlock these stages, where you can receive the amiibos as statues in game with each one equaling 200 sparklium. Sparklium is the fuel you need to collect throughout the game, but it can easliy be achieved without using any amiibo.

I will finish the game (minus some secret stages) as I find the style of gameplay relaxing and enjoy seeing my Pikmin Park fill up. Also, I love collectables and having complete in-game collections, so that’s going to keep me playing as well. I haven’t decided what I’ll play next on my 3DS, but it might just be a replay of Radiant Historia, as the 3DS version comes out really soon! Radiant Historia is one of my favorite handheld RPGs, and I highly recommend it!

What I want to see in a Nintendo Direct

Although a rumor went around that there would be a Direct on Jan. 11th, that still has yet to be confirmed (Although there are definite teasers now, as NOA just posted a picture of Chibi Robo on fire…). However, I thought I’d do a general “what I’d like to see announced” during the course of this year, whether that is now or later (I will probably do an E3 specific one later).

So what do I want to see from Nintendo this year? Well they certainly gave us a lot in 2017, and things I wanted were announced to come this year such as Kirby and Yoshi, there’s still more I want. Isn’t that just the way of things? Without further ado, here’s the list:

Animal Crossing! I know this is unlikely with the recent release of Pocket Camp, but it’s been years since a main console title in the series. It would be the best yet due to the nature of Switch.

F-Zero! Only because I’m STILL waiting and hoping for a new entry. It’s been way too long and would be epic with today’s graphics. I love eye candy.

Golden Sun. Highly unlikely after the 3rd game, but a fan can still hope, right?

Wave Race would be cool.

A new IP as those are always welcome.

More third party titles, both indie and big titles.

A physical copy of Style Savvy: Styling Star. Why not the US??

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Of course I want more info/gameplay on the games already announced for this year, and games in development (like hints of the upcoming Etrian Odyssey, and SMT 5).

What games are on your desired wish list for a Direct?

All I want to do, is play XC2

I totally sang that in my head lol. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 arrived on its release date, but I was sick with a migraine so didn’t actually start playing it until that Sunday night (Dec 3rd). I have not wanted to play anything else since, it has sucked me in! I say that and I still have only about 25 hrs in, because I only play in the evening generally. But I look forward to playing it every day! Even when that doesn’t always happen for one reason or another.

Major difference that was noticed quickly was that it is not as serious as the first game. The characters are much sillier, the stakes in the plot don’t seem as high (note from progress made: not so anymore, story quickly ramps up). That said, it’s still loads of fun! You collect Blades to help you fight, and you use core crystals to unlock them. So far, I’ve gotten only 2 Rares, but they are adorable! (by time of posting, I now have 5!) You will get many commons, which aren’t very useful, but you can release Blades that are duplicates or don’t have good stats. Blades also have abilities you need for different functions you find in the environment (opening certain treasure chests, using airflows, etc) so be careful when releasing them.

The graphics are noticibly lower in handheld mode, so it’s not a game I’d suggest playing solely that way. Handheld is fine for leveling, but if you move the story forward, I recommend docking as the cutscenes will look better.

It doesn’t hit you with emotional punch at the beginning like the first game, but it does come later. Get through the first 2 chapters, because by chapter 3, it really kicks the story into gear. I’m absolutely invested now. It’s got the feel of a good book, where you just want to keep playing so you can understand what’s going on. If you love games with story elements, this one is a winner.

E3 2017: Thoughts on Sony and Nintendo presentations

Sony had their presentation Monday night, but I was feeling too bad to do anything but watch and take notes. Overall, they didn’t show what I most wanted to see, and there wasn’t anything that got me too excited. I had wanted to see a new Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer, Ni No Kuni 2 or The Last of Us 2, though I guess I should be thankful I didn’t see the latter in case of spoilers (I’m still playing the first game).

They showed expansion packs for Uncharted and Horizon Zero Dawn and while I plan on playing both in the future, expansions don’t interest me on their own, unless included in GOTY editions or have a good deal (for instance, I did buy both Witcher 3 expansions, because they were loaded with content). I’m not at all interested in Days Gone. I’ve tried Monster Hunter in the past (MH4U specifically) and it wasn’t really for me, I find it too difficult. Shadow of the Collosus seems to have made a lot of people happy, but I’ve never played it and still don’t think it’s the game for me personally. Marvel vs Capcom Ultimate though? Yes, though it wasn’t “new” as I knew of it already. The only negative I have on the trailer is that it didn’t really show what kind of game it was. There was a single VR game that I wish wasn’t VR; that game was Moss. It was adorable with the mouse warrior! You’d think I would have read Redwall with how I reacted (note to self: read/listen to the Redwall series already). Detroit Become Human looked interesting (I’m a cyberpunk fan), and Marvel Spiderman was a nice surprise.

Now let’s talk Nintendo! This is what I was most excited about and they did not disappoint! I loved EVERYTHING. So let’s get started!

1. Rocket League is coming to Switch, which is awesome though I haven’t played. This fact might make me change my mind though. It will also have exclusive customizations and cross play with other platforms. I can see this being popular for Switch users.
2. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 still has British voice actors! I loved that about Xenoblade Chronicles and will definitely be picking this one up. And yay, there are still Nopons!
3. KIRBY! Not until 2018 but still makes me so happy.
4. METROID PRIME 4. Every fan has already heard about it but hooray for the confirmation, I hope we get actual footage in a future direct or next E3!
5. YOSHI! He’s felted this time, in a cardboard diorama world. The crafty geek in me loves this as much as I loved Yoshi’s Wooly World.
6. Fire Emblem Warriors makes me think I really need to start Hyrule Warriors this weekend.
7. I’m not really planning on buying DLCs for Breath of the Wild, but maybe if there’s a sale or something. There’s so much to do without and I’m nowhere near finished so it’s no rush for me.
8. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle has me sold, even if rabbids are annoying. I like everything I’ve seen.
9. Super Mario Odyssey. Does anything need to be said? I NEED a Switch before it comes out, come on Nintendo, make them more available!

These were announced after the Direct, but nevertheless I’m going to buy both. Metroid Samus Returns is a gorgeous 2D Metroid remake of the 2nd game, but more than just a remake. And the Metroid amiibo is perfect, hope I can get my hands on it. The other game is Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga remake + Bowser’s Minions.

Overall, Nintendo did awesome this E3, while the others were sort of lackluster in comparison. The future of gaming is bright and I have WAY too many games to play already but I don’t care. What was your favorite thing about this E3? Did you watch any of the tournaments?

TTT: Top Ten Games That Made Me Smile in 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and features weekly top-ten lists! This week is a freebie, meaning the topic can be whatever we want! I decided to focus on games this time. So this is my list of Top Ten Games that made me smile in 2015 (and yes, it is two days late). Not best or anything, but they were games that brought me joy during a difficult year. Though some of these are favorites, others are not but will probably always make me smile when I need it.

Fantasy Life
Fantasy Life is so adorable and addictive, I’ve fallen in love with this game. There’s loads of content to keep you busy for hours, and DLC you can add that gives you a whole new area after finishing the story. It was the highlight of my holiday in December, even if I played more of it in 2016 technically.

Bayonetta 2 - Nintendo Wii U
Bayonetta 1 + 2 combo pack was very fun. Although I’d gotten it at the end of 2014 for my husband, I didn’t play it until 2015. And when I did, I had a really great time with it. No link for this one as it’s currently not available at a decent price, but it might still be around in physical stores.

Mario Kart 8 - Nintendo Wii U
Mario Kart 8 was something I got back in 2014, but of course kept playing in 2015. Every time I play this, I’m grinning. It’s a great mood lifter! Also probably the best Mario Kart to date.

Lego Harry Potter 1-4 was my birthday gift, and having missed the HP world and never getting to play this because I’d heard of the bugs, I was so glad to get this DRM-free version on sale. So far as I played, I didn’t run into much problems, and I enjoyed getting to experience some parts of the books again (I just reread the 2nd book via audiobook, and hope to continue listening to the rest as rereads).

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl - Nintendo 3DS
Etrian Odyssey Untold: Millenium Girl is a game I got when it came out, but it took me getting Fafnir Knight to prompt me to actually get into this one. And I love it a lot, as I did Fafnir Knight before I switched to this one. I should finish it this year so I can get to Untold 2, but I have a ridiculous amount of games to play, so who knows!

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. - Nintendo 3DS

Puzzles & Dragons is just a fun casual game, that’s highly addictive.


Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a game I honestly wasn’t sure about, but when I saw the collector’s edition for only $45 at a convention, just a few months after its release, I couldn’t walk away. From what I played, I enjoyed it, until I realized how slowly I was progressing, which put a damper on things. But still, the pet pig and those felynes sure did provoke a smile out of me, and I might return to it from time to time.

Terraria is another game I had before 2015, but learned how to play in 2015, and enjoyed. I like Sandbox games quite a bit, as it turns out (which is why I got excited on Twitter this morning when I saw Starbound is now on GOG).

Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash with Chibi-Robo amiibo bundle - Nintendo 3DS
Chilbi-Robo Zip Lash got a lot of dislike, but I couldn’t help myself. And I couldn’t play this game without a silly grin on my face. Sweet as the candy and snacks you collect, Chibi-Robo wormed his way into my heart, despite the negativity surrounding it. I adore this little robot and hope we’ll get to see more of him.

Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario Bros 3D Land is a game I waited a long time to play, mainly because I’d wait for Black Friday to try and get a copy, as Target would discount it to $15. This year I had luck on my side, as I was able to grab it before it got sold out like it did in previous years. And it’s quite fun. I look forward to Mario 3D World when I can eventually pick that one up. 🙂

Honorary mention would be Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer, because I’ve loved designing spaces since the original Sims. However, it didn’t make my list simply for the absolute lack of challenge. It’s basically just a sketchbook for designing, but there’s no real point. Still fun though, but I felt I couldn’t add it to this list because of that.

*Amazon links give me a small monetary kickback if you choose to buy from them. GOG links don’t, but I prefer sending people there over Steam and these are the versions I have.*

Waiting on Wednesday: Book and Game Edition!

I’ve decided I will be doing this tag, but with a little twist. I’ll be featuring not just an upcoming book, but also a game. This might evolve to also mentioning a movie at times. However, you can always count on a book and a video game, which could be for any platform, as I’m not going to break it down. Anyway, what am I excited for this week? Read on!

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has been on my radar ever since watching videos from BEA 2015 (Book Expo America, if you’re not familiar). This book looks so AWESOME and I am kind of a sucker for books written in a non-traditional, more experimental way (which is why I’m forever attracted to House of Leaves but am too much of a wimp to actually read the whole thing). It comes out on October 20th, though I don’t know when I’ll actually get to buy it. However, I’m eager to read this one!

Here is the synopsis: It follows a girl named Kady and she has a typical life until her planet is under attack from an unknown enemy. She manages to escape on a ship, with her mom on another and her ex-boyfriend on another. While their trying to escape their planet Kerenza, the enemy is in pursuit and at the same time a virus is spreading through one of the ships while the main ship’s AI goes haywire. It just seems like a fun ride and I love sci-fi and space operas, so I’m excited. I actually haven’t read sci-fi in quite some time, so this will be a nice foray back to the genre.

For games, I’m actually listing two that are technically out already. However, they’re still brand new, so it still applies. Both games are for 3DS.

Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash with Chibi-Robo amiibo bundle - Nintendo 3DS

The first game to mention was one I learned about back at E3 week, so if you read my Nintendo post, you might remember this title. That game is Chibi-Robo!: Zip Lash. It actually was released on October 9th. I preordered this game with the amiibo figure, despite not having a New 3DS or NFC reader, but it was a good deal and the amiibo is adorable (also, I plan on getting a New 3DS in the future, so it will be used, just not right now). I just couldn’t resist the cuteness of this platformer, and I love collectibles in these types of games, so I’m looking forward to trying to collect all the snacks available. It should be lots of fun. Reviews have come out that were unfavorable, but I still think I’ll enjoy it for what it is.

The other game I went to mention actually released yesterday (the 13th). It is Legend of Legacy which I heard about through Atlus, since they’re the publisher. It was actually developed by a studio I never heard of, but includes former members of Square Enix and Level 5. When I heard the writer of Chrono Trigger was working on it, my interest was piqued. I have a love for JRPGs admittedly, and I look forward to adding this one to my collection. There are 7 characters to choose from, each with their own side of the story, so you have to play through the game 7 times to get the full experience. When I play games with multiple endings like this, I usually never end up playing them all, but I’m okay with that. The focus is on exploration, and you can freely progress through the game rather than having your hand held throughout. Anyway, I hope it will end up being a great game, but check it out if you find this interesting at all.

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