16-Bit Dad and Mental Health

For so long, gaming has gotten a really bad reputation through a lot of media outlets. Claims that it can have negative effects on a person’s psyche run rampant, and that’s a real shame. Not only because it degrades and attacks an entire industry of creativity, but also because it hides and masks the positive nature…

via Gaming Can Really Help Mental Health! — 16-Bit Dad

16-Bit Dad wrote a post recently on how games can help mental health. I believe this is something that everyone should know about video games. I have anxiety and a big thing that helps with my anxiety is video games. They allow me to just get away from whatever is making me anxious and just relax.

For example, last week I started my next semester of grad school. This week I was feeling anxious over an assignment that I really wanted to be perfect. After I was done working on the assignment for the day, I played Yakuza Kiwami for a little bit.  I felt better after running around helping people and laughing at the ridiculous side quests. I felt energized and ready to start working more on my assignment the next day!

I think this article is a perfect example of the positives of playing video games. Check out the article here!

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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance – A Fun Game with Fun Memories!

white and red plastic heart balloon on sky during daytime
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Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance was recommended to me by my friend who loves Kingdom Hearts! I fell in love with the game immediately as soon as I started it and the theme music played! I also love the 3D cutscene that starts before the main menu! The game was so much fun to play! I have fond memories taking this game everywhere with me! I would take it with me especially on Fridays when I would hang out waiting for my friend to be done with his undergrad classes after my classes were over!

Fun Beginning!

This game starts with a fun tutorial after the game’s beginning cutscene ends. The story revolves around Sora and Riku competing to become Keyblade Masters with a Mark of Mastery exam. This also involves a timed mechanic in the game because you play as Sora and Riku and switch between their characters when a timer runs out. This is done so you will play as both characters instead of only focusing one character at a time. The tutorial revolves around you defeating Ursula on a raft while learning the controls of the game! I love getting to fight Ursula because I loved her in The Little Mermaid. After the tutorial and a few more cutscenes, my first dive into another world began!

Dive Sequences

These could be hit or miss with me depending on how tough they were. Bosses could be really fun except for one big problem! You cannot heal during dive sequences so they could drop me down to no HP before I could finish the fight. This would be frustrating when I was stuck on a boss and could not get into the next world. The stars were easier to collect then the bosses for me. Mostly this section was fun and could be appealing to those who want a challenge.

Dream Eaters

I loved them as both enemies and allies! They were so cute and adorable and I love cute things! My absolute favorite that I always had in my party was Meow Wow. I loved that it was both a cat and a dog that had bouncy attack moves! I also loved that I could name them. Meow Wow was named “Cotton Candy” because of the bright colors. I also had the Tama Sheep which I named “Fluffy” because the sheep looked so soft. I enjoyed that I could pet them to upgrade their abilities because I love having virtual pets! I do not have pets so having virtual ones are amazing! I also enjoyed fighting the nightmare enemy forms because they were so bright and colorful!

La Cite des Cloches World

I loved this world because it reminded me of my friend! He loved The Hunchback of Notre Dame and would sing music from the movie frequently. This world was impressive looking because it looked just like the movie! I also loved the boss here! Sora and Riku both fight the Bullet Gargoyle although Riku fights him while the bell tower is on fire! It was an epic first boss fight because the boss is flying and I was trying to hit him!

Symphony of Sorcery World

I also loved this world because my friend and I had taken a music class together and this world featured classical music! I loved how bright and colorful the world was! The only frustrating feature that took me a while to get was the timing of the “Melody Catch” touch screen mini game. I remember struggling to grab the note in time and even asking my friend for advice until I finally figured it out.

Sora and Riku fight different bosses in this section. Sora fights Spellcan who I first had to chase on an ice sliding area until I reached the final boss area. I remember the boss being slightly frustrating because he flew around, but he was still a fun boss.

Riku fought Chernabog who was tough because the game switched to Dive rules. I had to dodge fire and reach him to hit him and try not to get hit and lose all my health. It was worth it to fight this boss especially with the orchestral soundtrack playing which made the boss fight so fun!

The World Ends That Never Was: Riku’s Hard Final Boss Moments

Riku has to save Sora by fighting a few bosses. Ansem was memorable because at one point he is protected by a black guardian with lots of health. I had to take down his health while keeping my health up. He had powerful attacks so that was really hard to do! The boss fight was challenging but was nothing compared to Young Xenahort

Young Xenahort was a hard boss. The fight was challenging , and I was barely keeping up when a clock appeared. I hate that clock! The mechanic is you have to destroy the clock really quickly with a Reality Shift using the touch screen or else Young Xenahort gets health back. If you succeed then you have to beat the clock while multiple Young Xenahorts try to stop you and quickly take out your health so he will again not regain health! I eventually beat him and the clock, but it was hard!

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

(I felt like this cat trying to fight the Young Xenahort boss!)

Hype for Kingdom Hearts 3

I wanted to talk about this game after all the news for Kingdom Hearts 3. I was thinking about it because I have not talked about it yet on the blog. I beat it a couple years ago so this is not a recent review!  My friend and I are both excited for Kingdom Hearts 3. Any time a trailer comes out, we start talking about it. We are also both concerned for Aqua! I am excited for the Toy Story world because I loved that movie as a kid! Kingdom Hearts 3 is just months away and I am so excited!

What did you think of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance? Are you also excited for Kingdom Hearts 3?

Random Selects Advice on Encouraging Others to Try Video Games

Sometimes it’s hard to get others as excited about videogames as we are, especially if they didn’t grow up playing games like many of us. Today we’ll share how to smoothly ease non-gamers into our hobby and look at some games worth trying to get things started. “This has too many buttons!”, “You’re too good!”, […]

via How to ease non-gamers into gaming — Random Select

Random Select has a great article on encouraging non-gamers to try video games! I love playing games as a way to relax and I like playing games with family and friends!

My mom has watched me play games a few times. The last time she watched me when I was playing The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD on the Wii U and I was fighting the Kalle Demos boss. She saw me moving the Wii U GamePad while I tried to cut down the vines hanging from the ceiling to bring the boss down. She found it really funny that I had to move my arms around and that sometimes I would miss! She seemed to enjoy me playing especially since I looked funny waving the Wii U GamePad around like crazy trying to cut down vines!

If I wanted her to try playing a game, I would go with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Just Dance 2018 which are both on my Nintendo Switch. My mom loves cars so she would enjoy a racing game and we both love to dance so a dancing game would be fun to play together.

Check out the article here if you would like someone to try playing video games!

Twilight Princess HD: Beautiful Story About Light and Dark

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I picked up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD when I got my Wii U. This game is very different from Wind Waker HD. It has a more realistic art style and a darker story. It is a fascinating story about the light realm, Hyrule, and the twilight realm of the Twili people. I loved the story and the characters!

Spoilers below!

Story

The story is that the twilight realm is taking over Hyrule because major antagonist Zant is angry that the Twili people were banished to the twilight realm because of their ancestor’s actions. He wants Hyrule to be covered in darkness instead of trying to find a way for the two realms to coexist.

Midna wants to stop Zant. She teams up with Link after he turns into a wolf when he is forced into the twilight realm by Bublins attacking his home village. Together they fight to bring light back to Hyrule!

Favorite Characters

Midna

She is bold for standing up for Zant to regain her leadership of the Twili people. She is also a playful trickster. For example, when she meets Link she teases him about being trapped in a wolf form before she helps him escape his cell. She is also a helpful companion. She is helpful in the game without being pushy like Navi. You simply have to press a button for her to give you advice or help you warp.

Ilia

Ilia is Link’s childhood friend. She is also a possible love interest for Link. I related to her quickly because we both love horses. She spoils Epona and scolds Link for pushing the horse too much causing an injured leg. She is also a caring person. She looks after Prince Ralis when he is injured by Zant’s army attacking Zora’s domain. She stays by his side and is concerned for his safety.

Colin

Colin is a young boy who looks up to Link and ends up finding his own courage. He wants to be brave like Link so he saves a young girl called Beth from Bublins. At the end of the game, he also has a mini sword and shield to protect the people from his home village on their travels. I love how he matured throughout the story and found his own definition of courage.

Favorite Temple: Snowpeak Ruins

This temple is actually a mansion for the Yettis, Yeto and Yeta. I loved that this dungeon was unique! I also loved Yeto and Yeta. Yeto is adorable because he makes soup for his wife to help her feel better. She is sick due to a Twilight Mirror shard infecting her mind. You have to fight her as a pretty scary final boss. Afterwards, Yeto tells his wife that she is so beautiful she does not need a mirror and the two hug while hearts appear everywhere. I just thought the dungeon’s story was adorable!

Least Favorite Temple: City in the Sky

I just found this temple to be tedious. The wind sections that required the iron boots felt like they were there to lengthen out an already long dungeon. I also got lost easily due to the confusing temple design even with a map.

Favorite Bosses: Ganondorf and Aeralfos

Ganondorf has four stages, each was interesting and required precision. The only frustrating phase was Beast Ganon when I had to tackle him as Wolf Link, but I honestly think that’s because I did not know how to correctly time catching Ganon before the tackle. My favorite phase was the final phase because I fought Ganondorf in an epic sword battle.

Aeralfos was a big dragon in the Castle in the Sky Temple. I loved his boss design! I liked that the boss fight gradually got harder with the hardest part being that you have to hookshot across peahats while Aeralfos breathes fire at you so you can land on his back and slash his back with your sword.

Tip: I struggled with this fight because in my settings I set lock on to switch. What happens when you do this is that the lock on auto switches targets and will not target Aeralfos’ back. When I switched the setting to hold and looked at Aeralfos back I could then target his back and slash at it.

Least Favorite Boss: King Bublin and Lord Bulibo

Both of these fights are with Bublins on bridges. I struggled with the timing of these bosses. They could knock me off the bridge with one hit! Basically each fight requires running at the Bublin with your horse while they are on a pig and you have to knock them off the pig a couple times to win the fight. The worst was Lord Bulibo because I had stun him with arrows which he blocked with his shield and then would run me off the bridge.

Conclusion

The story is the strongest part of this game. I loved the plot especially with how Midna and the Hylians had preconceived notions of each other that change. The Twili were originally locked away for being magic users that abused their power, but their people are not evil because their ancestors tried to use their magic for evil. They are also not evil because of Zant’s lust for power. Zelda sees that the Twili people were wrongfully banished from the realm of light because of the actions of a few sorcerers. Midna also sees that Hylians are not evil even though they banished her people. She begins to sympathize with Zelda and Link as she interacts with them.

The reveal of Midna’s true form was amazing! She is really pretty and I wish I could have spent more time with her in her real form, but the scenes were credit scenes.

One thing I did not understand about this game was Ooccoo. She is such a weird design choice for being a way to leave the dungeon.

Overall I thought this game was fun to play and learn about the story. What did you think of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD?  What were your favorite and least favorite parts of the game?

HannieBee Games Got Engaged!

This is a far more personal post than I often write on this blog, but there is good reason for it. I recently got engaged to my boyfriend of just under five years. My recent engagement made me start thinking about my relationship and what kept us going for so long, and I realized that […]

via I’m Engaged: How I Have Minecraft to Thank For This Moment — HannieBee Games

Congratulations to HannieBee Games on the engagement! This post is adorable because HannieBee Games bonded with their boyfriend through MineCraft. HannieBee Games describes how they got into Minecraft through their boyfriend and how they enjoyed spending time together. I love this post because it shows how playing games can help couples bond! Check out this adorable article by clicking here!

Yakuza Kiwami: Majima Everywhere

side view of woman in illuminated city at night
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Note: This is not a full review because I only played Yakuza Kiwami for a little bit last week, but I wanted to discuss how fun the game is so far.

Yakuza Kiwami has a unique feature called Majima Everywhere. I loved Majima in Yakuza 0 so this feature is a part of what makes the game fun!

What is Majima Everywhere?

Majima Everywhere is similar to Mr. Shakedown in Yakuza 0 where Majima randomly appears in the street and chases you, but you earn moves instead of money. So, by fighting Majima you earn more moves for a fighting style called Dragon Style.

Majima also has a rank bar that starts at G and increases in rank as you fight and interact with him more.  The higher the rank goes, the tougher Majima gets so it can be a challenge. He also has different fighting styles so you are not facing the same Majima fighting style every time. For instance he might fight with a bat, and then later he might fight you by breakdancing.

Majima Everywhere also unlocks fun side quests with Majima. He can appear and cause havoc anywhere. I have had him photobomb my pictures or just decided to go bowling with me. He has also fought me after I ate at a fast food restaurant to get my health back up.

Best Moments

Majima Everywhere is full of hilarious moments so far. I am on rank D and I have had funny phone calls or emails that lead to hilarious interactions.

I was told to go to a cabaret club. The girl who wanted to see me was called Goromi. She was Majima dressed in a tight hot pink outfit with fishnet stockings, high heels, and wearing a blond wig with makeup and earrings. It was funny because instead of fighting Goromi, Kiryu has a nice date with Goromi and they have an honest talk. You learn a bit more about Goromi and talking with Goromi increases a flirtation meter that is normally shown at the cabaret club when you interact with the cabaret women. Unfortunately, you still have to fight Goromi who can fight extremely well in high heels. Ultimately, it was fun just going on a date with Goromi and then fighting someone who can handle heels much better than I can!

I got an email saying that Majima’s crew could not find Majima. All of a sudden, giant shaking traffic cones started showing up. I interacted with all of them and suddenly one triggered Majima. He stood up and complained that I took so long. When I beat him, he told me he had a leg cramp from being stuck in there so long! I love the idea of Majima hiding underneath a giant cone for hours until you find him. It’s so ridiculous!

I needed to get my health up so I decided to go to a nearby restaurant which happened to be a fast food place that sold cheeseburgers. After eating, a cutscene triggered with Majima wanting to fight me. He told me that he prefers to eat at fast food joints because “Junk food is the source of [his] power.” That quote made me laugh so hard that I shared it with my friend who also loves junk food! I then had to fight him outside the restaurant and only because Kiryu told Majima that they could not fight in a public restaurant.

Is Majima Everywhere Worth Putting Time Into?

I definitely think so. It is funny and it makes you laugh. Honestly, it just makes me happy when he randomly appears and I love getting emails telling me to go somewhere. I always wonder what Majima is going to do when I go to whatever place he wants me to go.

It also is not easy even on easy mode. Majima is tough to beat because he is a great fighter! He also gets harder as he goes along. I am currently at rank D and he is really taking my health. He also has a lot of health so he takes a while to beat.

I will give a full review of Yakuza Kiwami when I am finished playing! If you have played Yakuza Kiwami, what did you think of Majima Everywhere?

Question of the Month: Ultimate Video Game

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This is my first Question of the Month. The question is by Ian from Adventure Rules.

You’ve been tasked with making the Ultimate Video Game, but there’s a catch – you can only piece it together from parts of other releases. You can choose separate titles for visual design, sound design, storytelling, and gameplay. What four games would you use to make the Ultimate Video Game?

This is a question that required a lot of thought and I enjoyed the challenge. I wanted to incorporate aspects from games that I love and thought would work well together. These are my picks for making the Ultimate Video Game.

Visual Design: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

I love that this game looks like a cartoon and I would want my game to look like this. I also love the bright color schemes that make the world colorful and beautiful to look at. I  like how the characters are designed because they have comical facial expressions!

Sound Design: Final Fantasy XV

I love Yoko Shimomura’s compositions! I would love to have beautiful piano pieces and orchestral pieces. The music tends to be emotional, dramatic, or soothing depending on the scene or whether your character is in a battle.

Storytelling: Okami HD

I would love to have an animal protagonist going on an adventure! I also would love to have a story that features mythology. Although it does not have to be Japanese mythology like in Okami HD. I also like how the story is told like it is a mythological tale.

Gameplay: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

A massive open world with Okami HD story would be an amazing combination! It would also allow for more side quests. It would also be great to have different types of magic and fighting types so the combat style would depend on player choice.

Ultimate Video Game Decisions

I was torn between using Okami HD for story or art style, but I went for story because I love its story. That’s why I chose The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD so I could still have a unique art style because I would want my game to be more artistic rather than realistic.

I love Skyrim’s gameplay so I would want to have that in any ultimate video game and I also love Yoko Shimomura’s music so having her music in an ultimate video game would be amazing!

Thank you to Adventure Rules for coming up with this Question of the Month. It was a fun challenge to figure out which games could be used for each category!

If anyone would like to participate in the Question of the Month, click here to learn more!

Why Are the Yakuza Games So Loved? A Look at Yakuza 0

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Yakuza 0 was not typically a game I would enjoy. I was never a fan of any mafia type dramas. But, after watching clips of it from YouTubers I loved watching, I had to play it for myself.

This game combines a dramatic story with ridiculous humor. I love this game series! I will examine why I love the series so much by looking at its prequel since that was the first game I played.

Characters

You play as Kazama Kiryu and Goro Majima. Kiryu is a young man who has been falsely accused of murdering a civilian. You have to find out why he was framed and why the place of the murder is so important to the Yakuza.

Kiryu is presented as a serious man. Even for being young he has a strong sense of duty and loyalty. He is loyal to his immediate family and the yakuza.

But, despite seeming to be so tough and serious, Kiryu is also very kind. He has a good heart as seen by his willingness to help his father figure and also how much he cares for his brother, Akira Nishikiyama.

Goro Majima is a civilian working a cabaret club. He is forced to run this club and earn money so he can became part of the Tojo Clan again. This version of Majima first appears to be a fun character because he is supposed to be the leader of a cabaret.

But, it is just a façade for a rigid and desperate character. He desperately wants back in the Tojo Clan and will do anything to go back. But, he is also has a heart. He decides to help a girl being targeted by the yakuza despite also being ordered to kill her.

Gameplay

The gameplay revolves around fighting. Kiryu and Majima have different styles of fighting. Each has four you can pick from. My favorite for Kiryu was his Rush Style because he moved very fast. My favorite overall was Majima’s Breaker style. He fights using break dancing moves which is both funny and effective in combat.

Side Content

This game has the weirdest side quests which makes it so fun to play. My favorite for Kiryu was his had to help protect a parody of Michael Jackson called Miracle Johnson. Miracle Johnson does the Michael Jackson moves and acts just like him. My favorite for Majima was taking down a weird cult with a ridiculous slogan and rituals.

There is also a lot to explore in this world. There are so many things to do! You can eat Japanese food to restore health. You can play Sega arcade games. You can also do disco and karaoke which were my favorites. The soundtracks for both the disco and karaoke songs are memorable and easily get stuck in your head!

Dramatic Story

Kiryu and Majima’s stories both have serious moments and heartfelt moments. Despite the absurdity of the world, these stories are emotional. Several times I cried from how emotional these stories can get. Majima’s backstory and Kiryu and Akira Nishikiyama’s moments made me cry the most.

Should you Play Yakuza Games?

I definitely think anyone should give these games a chance! But, it should be noted that this game is entirely in Japanese with subtitles so it will require a lot of reading.I would recommend at least trying the prequel if you are interested in giving the series a chance!

The games are ridiculously fun and have stories that are dramatic and touching. They have complex characters like Kiryu and Majima and characters that will make you laugh like Miracle Johnson. The side quests and exploration also are memorable and break up the serious moments in the story!

Have you played any Yakuza games? What did you think of Yakuza 0?

Normal Happening’s “Hyrule: See the Sights! Hear the Sounds!”

A collaboration from the Great Land of Hyrule and beyond.

via Hyrule: See the Sights! Hear the Sounds! — Normal Happenings

Normal Happenings did a huge project with other bloggers about the land of Hyrule. I love this article and it makes me excited to play other The Legend of Zelda games. I thought this would perfect to share after writing about Wind Waker HD. Enjoy the article by clicking here!