Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King (3DS) Review

The Dragon Warriors Return

The Dragon Quest franchise has always been a hot commodity in Japan, with each entry selling millions of copies. The series hadn’t been as popular in the West until Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King shipped for the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2005. DQVIII captivated audiences with its beautifully animated 3D world, compelling storyline, and stellar fully-voiced cutscenes. Square Enix went on to re-release most of the mainline entries on modern systems, garnering fans on both sides of the globe. Hot on the heels of the Nintendo 3DS remake of Dragon Quest VII, the company has finally released the 3DS port of DQVIII, bringing the series’ Western renown full circle.

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Say hello to your silent protagonist. He won’t say hello back though.

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Weekly Panda Roundup – 100 YouTube Subs Celebration!

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend! We had quite a fun, busy weekend at a large anime convention! I have some pictures to share, and have already shared some on my Twitter @MrPanda2002. But I’ll go more in-depth into those conventions we love to attend in upcoming roundups. For now, my wife and I have a special milestone to celebrate!

So without further ado, let’s round ‘em up!

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A huge THANK YOU from our plushies and us!

100 Subscriptions Celebration! THANK YOU!

We have exciting news about our YouTube Channel! We recently hit 100 subscribers, which we were certainly not expecting so soon! This is super crazy for us, and we’re so floored to reach this milestone! We’re incredibly thankful for all of you who have watched, subscribed, liked, shared, and commented on our videos! I still can’t believe how wonderful and kind you all have been through our journey. We hope you know how huge every one of your contributions have been. Your love and support go such a long way, and we can’t thank you enough for your kind words and encouragement!

Upon reaching this milestone, we now have our own personal URL – https://www.youtube.com/mrpanda2002 – I nearly had to hold back tears upon seeing the custom link to our channel. This means so much to me, and I’m grateful to have an identifiable URL that is distinctly ours in the vast land of YouTube.

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Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS) Review

So Long, Farewell

The time has come to bid farewell to our beloved BoxBoy. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know there was a BoxBoy to say bye-bye to. After all, his first two games arrived on the Nintendo 3DS eShop with little fanfare. Developed by HAL Laboratories of Kirby fame, Bye-Bye BoxBoy! marks the finale of this 2D puzzle platformer’s trilogy and is just as enjoyable as its predecessors.

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The 3rd game stars our heroes, BoxBoy, BoxGirl, and… TallBoxMan?

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Weekly Panda Roundup – Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Nintendo Switch’s Tabletop Mode

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! My wife and I had an exciting weekend filled with city excursions and friends, which means we got some great Switch portable play in. First, I’ve got some great videos to share that I think you’ll enjoy!

Without further ado, let’s round ‘em up!

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Our new banner!

Video Roundup

I have some big news about the YouTube channel! We are nearing 100 subscriptions, which we were certainly not expecting so soon! We’re incredibly thankful for all of you who have watched, subscribed, liked, shared, and commented on our videos! Seriously, your love and support goes an incredibly long way in making a difference for us! We hope you know how huge every one of your contributions have been. We can’t thank you enough!

If you haven’t yet seen our videos and want to see what we’re all about, you can check out the links below! We sincerely hope you enjoy!

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review

My latest review video is for Nintendo’s latest Switch game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe! You can probably guess it’s a good game, but is it worth it for anyone who has owned the original Wii U title and its accompanying DLC packs? Like many others, I bought all the previous DLC and still made the Switch *snaps fingers* so I give some honest thoughts on whether the revamped Battle Mode and the other racing improvements are worth the double dip. Check out my review!

Snipperclips Co-Op Part 7 – Princess Blueberry’s Wild Ride

Part 7 our co-op playthrough of Snipperclips is up, and we have finally made it to the end of the old-school world of Retro Reboot! In this episode, we escort a spoiled princess (who we gave our official fan name of Princess Blueberry) on a series of wild minecart rides. We also unintentionally force her to relive her death over and over again. Check out the fun misadventures of Princess Blueberry below!

Please be sure to check it out! As always, you can start with the above episode or find the full playlist starting at Part 1 – Stabby Sticks here: http://bit.ly/2nFmc5v

Snake Pass Co-Op – Playing with Separate Joy-Cons Announcement

Here’s some news for our Snake Pass – Playing with Separate Joy-Cons series. After a hard look at scheduling, we have decided to postpone future episodes of Snake Pass until after we are finished with our Snipperclips run. It takes so many resources to record and put together an episode, making it tough to produce a third weekly video at the moment.

We sincerely apologize and would like you to know that we are still planning to produce and finish this wacky series where my wife and I split the controls to maneuver a snake. And when it returns, it’ll be better than ever because we’ll be able to put more energy and time into it. It’ll be for the better in the end, so we hope you’ll enjoy its spectacular return in a couple of months!

Until then, you can find the first two episodes in the playlist here! – http://bit.ly/2pezKUq

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It begins.

What I’ve Been Playing

I finally crawled out a rock and began playing Minecraft: Switch Edition. Believe it or not, I’ve never played this phenomenon, even after it arrived on the Wii U years ago. It’s a new world for me, so let me know if you’re a Minecraft aficionado with some tips for a newbie like myself. So far, I can at least say that I love the custom Mario texture pack! It definitely makes me feel at home!

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A whole new world to craft

I want to extend an invitation to play together, whether Minecraft, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Puyo Puyo Tetris or any multiplayer game out for the Nintendo Switch! My Switch friend code is SW-3611-4684-6706. Please feel free to add me and we can build fun structures or burn rubber!

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Add me on the Switch! SW-3611-4684-6706

Nintendo Switch Tabletop Mode Adventures

I’ll begin by sharing that ever since I was younger, I’ve always brought my consoles around, at least to family gatherings or get-togethers. That may sound weird, considering how bulky they can be or how much effort they take to set-up. But I love having my gaming systems around in case others want to try it out or I get bored at some event (which used to happen often, haha). The most extreme case was when I got a third party accessory that attached a screen to the GameCube system, allowing you to play games in a tabletop fashion. I loved it because I was no longer limited to playing Super Smash Bros. Melee. Now I could experience it in the car, in a hotel, or at a family party. It served me well, but I stopped bringing consoles around once I started getting portables, which did an even better job of amusing me when I wasn’t home.

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Not a trailer, but real life

This weekend, Crystal Dragon and I went on some adventures with friends in the big city, which meant a lot of traveling and opportunities to play with the Nintendo Switch’s tabletop mode. This playstyle utilizes the Switch’s kickstand, propping it up as a miniature TV screen. I actually haven’t used tabletop mode much, opting for either playing on the big screen or my preferred method, using it as a handheld.

At risk of looking just like the people in a Switch trailer, we busted out the tabletop mode to show friends the Switch at a public place last weekend. And it is so much more effective than I could have even imagined. The small screen is surprisingly enough to make you feel like you’re at home on the couch. Having everyone crowd around the Switch turns a game of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe into a special event. We were all enjoying ourselves, lost in the captivating aura that was the Switch. Other people were eyeing us, trying to see what we were looking so intently at.

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The tiny undocked screen still runs surprisingly well!

I usually think of portable gaming as an individualized affair. Sure, you can play wirelessly with other gamers on your 3DS, but you’re still looking at your own screen. Traditional split-screen multiplayer had always been limited to home console play. But now with the Switch, anywhere I can sit becomes the new couch and any surface can be my new “TV stand.” It’s an underrated function of the Switch that seems most relegated to that embarrassing thing people do in Switch trailers. But I can affirm that tabletop mode, despite its small screen, works wonders for local multiplayer.

I’m happy to say that the Switch brings back my desire to have game consoles around me wherever I go. I love that the Switch’s stand allows me to pretend I’m enjoying games at home, and I’m ecstatic that I can share the joy of these awesome games with friends no matter where I am. Those early trailers with the rooftop and tabletop mode were real, folks!

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The infamous Karen, bringing her Switch to a rooftop party

Next Time…!

Thank you so much for reading this issue Weekly Panda Roundup! On Thursday, my wife and I will be uploading a unique playthrough video of a retro classic! I’ll also have a review posted here later this week! Until then, see you next time!

How was your weekend? What games are you playing? What did you think of the videos? What are your thoughts of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Have you used the Nintendo Switch’s tabletop mode and what do you think? Can you explain Minecraft to me?! Let me know any answers to these questions in the comments section below! Thanks for reading and watching!

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch) Review

Worth the Double Dip?

The popular mascot kart racer returns for the Nintendo Switch, but this time it’s an updated port of an older game. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe takes the original 2014 Wii U title and spruces it up, including all the DLC characters and tracks while adding an improved Battle Mode on top of it. The question is if these new bells and whistles are enough to warrant a double dip.

Here is the video review for your viewing pleasure!

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