Playing Sonic Adventure – Oh No…!

Wow, what a month it has been! Settling into a new job, helping the husband also settle into a new job, and rekindling my obsession with coffee has left me with few opportunities to blog. Our poor gaming systems have as of late sat unused most of this past month, but finally I looked over to Felix last Tuesday evening and went, “Hey, wanna play Sonic Adventure?”

My intentions were actually to have Felix begin playing Banjo Kazooie before any of my other childhood games, but I fear I may have to purchase a new N64 to play it, as my old one flickers out every 5 or so minutes these days. D;

Regardless, I was able to convince Felix to start playing Sonic Adventure this week, and I’ve therefore made some observations about what’s to come for Felix and the gauntlet of Sonic Adventure/childhood games ahead. Here are just a few.

Felix will probably have issues with the controls from some of my childhood games.

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I played a variety of game titles growing up. I played well-known classics like Ape Escape, which was fun and super easy for me to get into as a kid. I also played well-known irritations like Tomb Raider, which were nearly impossible to play at times because of the tank controls. For child me, Sonic Adventure was a comfy in-between in regard to control difficulty. Sonic is supposed to feel fast, but while I watched Felix play through the different levels in Sonic’s campaign, I noticed how much of a challenge running in a straight line was for him.

Little does he know, however, that moving on to the different character campaigns in this game will bend, sometimes even reverse what he knows about controlling the characters. Sorry, Felix!

Felix has been frequently flabbergasted with the quirks in this game.

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I have to admit, the GameCube remastering for this game wasn’t much of a “remastering.” I feel it was more of a new skin and an attempt to boost Sonic’s popularity in the States. I said this before in my previous blog post, but the English dub syncing was…pretty cringe-worthy. Watching it being played again has not only confirmed my opinions (watching Felix stare at the screen with jaw agape is quite humorous), but has also reminded me of the super lame jokes that served as the dialogue sometimes. I often wonder how the voice actors didn’t just walk out of the studio sometimes when they read some of their lines.

I still have love for the strange characters in this game, however, dime-turning movements, dated 80’s puns and all. Plus, watching Felix pause the game sometimes to rest a forehead in his palm makes my day. ❤

Felix will hate the Big the Cat campaign.

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I don’t say this in regard to the bandwagon of hate for Big’s campaign that emerged after the Game Grumps played this game. I say it because Felix is very scrutinizing of fishing segments in games. Legend of Zelda? Yakuza? Animal Crossing? He’s talked about them all. Since this whole campaign is fishing, I do fear for Felix’s sanity, because for me, the campaign was a chore, sometimes tedious and hard on the eyes. If I didn’t like it, even as a diehard Sonic Adventure fan, I’m willing to bet that he won’t.

He also probably won’t like how suddenly slow Big is in comparison to literally every other character you can play as in this game, but that’s a subject for another time, I suppose.

Felix, I’m sorry if I spoiled anything for you, and good luck on the Amy campaign!

– C

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Tactical RPGeez

A couple of months ago my husband and I started to play Fire Emblem: Awakening. And when I say that we played it, I mean that he played while I watched, because I was busy with other games. We actually just beat it, much to both my joy and my sadness. While I know that we were incredibly late to the party, we kept ourselves as spoiler-free as possible and thoroughly enjoyed our first play-through.

I started to think, however, about how Awakening compared to the other Fire Emblem games we had played before. Sure, with time and better consoles, the franchise has been able to make massive leaps in quality over the years, but some aspects of the Fire Emblem core remain the same, with the exception of Awakening.

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Awakening really focused on building relationships between characters. Everyone who’s played it knows that, and I feel like it really helped boost the franchise’s popularity in North America and other non-privy countries. It was probably my favorite part of grinding levels, in fact. This mechanic of relationship building isn’t new, however. It’s simply way more justified. In Awakening, the player could pair up whomever they wished, which would essentially guarantee a support conversation at some point.

As Felix was playing Awakening, I was playing Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. This game also included support conversations, but I personally paid very little attention to them. While they helped boost stats between two characters with a high support level, they weren’t essential to completing the game. Not only that, but it was far more difficult to keep two characters side by side in Blazing Blade – at least, personally.  Toward the end of the game, I had at least a few support conversations unlocked anyway by sheer length of playing, so I appreciated Awakening making it easier to build relationships.

A big complaint I had about Awakening, however, was its difficulty level, or lack thereof. Felix usually flies through new games, so he was able to beat Awakening pretty fast. I’m normally the opposite, but when I was playing Blazing Blade, I took longer than usual the beat it because of how ridiculous some battles became. I enjoy games that are actually doable in their difficulty, but the game loses some of its luster when it has no challenge. If it hadn’t been for the deep character interaction the game allowed, I probably wouldn’t have liked Awakening nearly as much.

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Nowadays, Felix and I are playing two different Fire Emblem games in our attempt to call ourselves true fans. Felix is playing the remake of Shadows of  Valentia-  Echoes, and I’m playing his copy of Sacred Stones. We’ll eventually make it to Fates, of course; gotta save up some money, first.

I’ve heard from different reviews that Echoes is far more difficult than other recent games in the franchise, which will prove to be quite interesting, but so far it has also surprised us with some new features, like dungeon crawling and full voice acting. Maybe, if the game is difficult enough, I’ll beat Sacred Stones before Felix has a chance to beat Echoes. Wish me luck!

– C

Magikarp Jump is a…SPLASH

I was going to talk today about more Fire Emblem stuff, but then suddenly I started seeing ads this week on my Instagram and Facebook from Pokémon and its associates about a new app called Magikarp Jump.

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I initially didn’t have interest to download the game because frankly, it looked kind of stupid. I don’t dislike Magikarp as a Pokémon, but the only reason I usually catch one is so I can evolve it into Gyarados, and in this game you can’t do that, no matter how much you train. Plus, the meat of the game is simply to make your Magikarp the highest jumper.  So why would I download the game?

Well, you can thank my husband for that. He downloaded it earlier this week and plays it daily. I watched him off and on to see what all you can do in the game, and that’s when some of the small details really got to me.

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The game is really straight-forward. You’re asked to fish for Magikarp and train them to compete in jumping leagues so that one day you can have the highest jumping Magikarp in the world. To achieve that, you feed your Magikarp berries while in its pool, get boosts from support Pokémon, like Pikachu, and train it using a variety of techniques that, more often than not, involve your Magikarp slamming itself against either a counter or a formidable force, like a tree or a punching bag. These methods let your Magikarp gain JP, or Jump Points, and gain levels too.

When you think you’ve gain enough JP, you compete against other Magikarp in various leagues to see who can jump higher. If you win, your trainer gains experience points as well, which increases your motivation score, allowing your Magikarp to grow faster. If it loses, however, it is forced to retire.

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Like I said, the essence of the game isn’t that exciting. What made me download the game was the sense of randomness the game provides. When your Magikarp retires, you get to fish for a new one, and this game introduces many, many different patterns your Magikarp can show on its scales. There are patterns with calico splotches, fishbone patterns, and even shiny Magikarp!

Plus, as you’re training, you might encounter the mayor of the city, who will come by to massage your Magikarp, letting you train him an extra time. You might find that your Magikarp is slacking off and you’re given the choice to either scold him, or leave him alone. Random chance makes it to where scolding him will either pump him up some more, or even make him feel bad about himself and lose JP. You might even find a Pokeball in the pool and open it up, either rewarding you coins, or revealing a Voltorb that electrocutes your Magikarp and kills it. That’s what I’ve enjoyed about the game. It keeps me on my toes just enough to keep me interested.

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Will I be playing this game months from now? Maybe. Probably not, but if the game keeps me on my toes the way it has so far, maybe. Magikarp Jump a quirky game that I know Nintendo put some actual thought into. It’s not the most fun I’ve ever had in a game, but it’s something nice to pass the time when I’m bored. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’d recommend at least giving it a fair shot. Who knows? Maybe you’ll encounter something random that no one else has.

– C

My and My Husband’s Favorite Waifus (and Husbandos)

Fire Emblem Heroes came out this month, and while neither me nor my husband have ever really played a Fire Emblem game before (Felix played The Sacred Stones, but I mean), so we both downloaded it and tried it out.

Suffice it to say that we have now invested more time into the game over the past three days or so than I think we’ve ever invested into a mobile app before in three days. We are obsessed. And the inevitable marketing that this app is meant to provide has worked. I now want to play FE Awaking and Fates incredibly now.

I’d say that most of the appeal that I’ve grown attached to in the game comes from the characters and their variety. There are all kinds of heroes to summon and train, and they all have unique characteristics, making them all worthy of training in one way or another. The variety, however, also stems from the amount of awkwardly sexy men and women (and I mean, girls and boys) you come across in the game. Thus, my husband and I refer to the Fire Emblem series as “The Waifu Simulator,” which, as it happens, actually exists and I don’t recommend anyone look it up.

All Around Best Waifu

Me
Cecilia
16775988_1575706825775998_398028565_oI like Cecilia’s design above all else, to be honest. While I don’t know much about the Fire Emblem lore, I know she was involved in Roy’s storyline, and Roy was the first character that I liked in the Fire Emblem series, so I guess it was inevitable that Cecilia be on my favorite list. She’s intelligent, she has great range in the game, and I secretly feel like she would be a massive momma bear. Like, the kind who bakes you cookies, but smacks you for eating them before dinner.

Felix
Lucina
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Holy heck. Lucina is such a solid character. She’s really dependable, trustworthy, and you feel like you can rely on her for a lot of things – killing baddies, and maybe cooking you a nice stew. She doesn’t seem the type to cook fancy dinners, but she knows what will fill up a belly really well. Plus those boots!

Most Moe Waifu

Me
Catria
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Catria was one of the first characters I summoned in the game aside from the default four characters you start out with. I wanted to pick Florina for this category, but one of the first things Felix and I noticed about Catria was that she has the Sailor Mars pose going on, the kind where she has her body twisted in such a way that you can see dat butt. I’m sure there are way more moe poses out there, but I haven’t seen many, so there you go. She’s still one of my favorites, though, and one of my strongest, too.

Felix
Caeda
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It seems like the pegasus units always get the most moe units, eh? There were plenty to pick from but I gotta pick my personal favourite, Caeda. She’s the strongest of my pegasus units so far, and plus she rocks that blue hair like nobody’s business (sorry Lucina). On top of that, nothing is more moe than garters for your knee-high socks.

Most Waifu (or Husbando) Material

Me
Frederick
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Frederick is one of the many male characters in the game absolutely laden with thick armor. Yet still, he has the most personality from those I’ve so far been able to summon. He wears a collared shirt with a bow under his armor for God’s sake! Plus, he’s a tank. Hard to take down, and super mobile on his horse. And if he were to ever ask me on a date, I’d probably say yes.

Felix
Camilla
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I mean, tits.

Honorable Mentions

Me
Gordin and Gwendolyn
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I couldn’t pick between these two, honestly. They’re both so different, yet I love them for the same reason. They’re both adorable. Gordin’s mainly adorable on looks, but Gwendolyn is my only female tank, and she just tries so hard. I love my tanks, I guess.

Felix
Hawkeye
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“If you wish to get my attention…friend…you have it.”
Kudos to whoever was the voice actor for this guy in the game. His sultry tones have made me feel inadequate as a man, and plus his abs just make me insecure about my own sexuality. On top of that he’s just a ridiculously powerful unit, plus his special attack is nuts. Love the man.

Thanks for your patience in this article. Felix and I had a lot of fun writing it. If you haven’t played Fire Emblem Heroes, give it a shot! You’ll find way more characters in the game than just these waifus and husbandos.

– C