Switch

Donkey Kong Is No Joke

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch) Review — DarkStation

I’ve just come back from having my throat and nose swabbed by a woman in a white hazmat suit with facial protection. The joys of suspecting you may have corona symptoms and then needing to be tested to see if this is indeed the case. I started feeling sick on Saturday, although initially I thought I was having some allergy symptoms. Runny nose, watery eyes. I didn’t immediatly make the connection that it could be anything else. Then on Sunday I started feeling like I had a bad cold. Runny nose, constant sneezing, throat ache and coughing. Normally I’d not make a fuzz about it but the climate being how it is these days I couldn’t rule out if I may have been infected with corona at some point last week. So I scheduled a test and went to get it done about an hour ago. I can’t really recommend it. There’s multiple q-tips involved that go way too far up your nose and down your throat. Now I just have to wait 48 hours to see if it is indeed corona or if I’ve just been struck down with a common cold. Time will tell.

Right now I’m in my second week of a two week holiday. I was supposed to go to Spain for a week of lounging at a pool with a cocktail and not a care in the world. Unfortunately due to multpile outbreaks of corona across Europe that vacation was cancelled and left me sitting at home for two weeks trying to decide what I wanted to be doing with my time instead. As it so happens my best friend was off for a week aswell last week. We had already agreed to meet up, you can here in the Netherlands, but I thought it would also be fun if we would start the same game to spend our vacation time on. We both own a Switch and a 3DS and he has some Switch games that I have on my WiiU so there was plenty to pick from.

He decided on Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. A game that had been sitting in my library for a bit, and that I was supposed to tackle over the summer anyway, and one he borrowed from a co-worker with the intent of playing it and returning it as soon as possible. So after that decision was made we both set out to complete the game before the week was over. Initially things seemed to be going well for the both of us and I was already in world number 3 when he started complaining that the game was “too hard”. I had warned him beforehand that reviews of this game indicated that it was no joke and had a few levels that required some pretty tight platforming. Since he had the Switch version of the game though, instead of dropping it he opted to play “Funky Mode” and, not surprising, blew past me once he made the swap over to that. Unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury to switch to an easier mode so I plodded along playing on the normal difficulty. In the end I didn’t have that many issues. Way less than I had with New Super Mario Bros U anyway. I think one of the only levels that really got to me was a level where you’re riding a rocket in the final world. Steering the rocket was a bit of a pain in the ass to begin with and then I had to maneuver my way through really tight corridors with only two chances to hit something and nowhere to replenish a heart once I lost one.
Other than that I really enjoyed the game. It took me back to being a kid and playing Donkey Kong on my Gameboy. I remember being hooked on those games and spent a lot of time trying to get all the stuff I could back then. I made it in the end though and managed to finish the “final” boss and get to the credits yesterday. It was a relatively short game, according to my WiiU log it took me around 9 hours to finish it. Then again I did skip out on most of the collectibles and finding hidden exits to levels and all that stuff. I just wanted to get to the credit roll and call it a day. I know that eventually another world unlocks if you do all the bonus stuff like get all the KONG letters, unlock all hidden levels and all that jazz but I’m not really feeling up to doing that right now. Maybe at some point in the future when I’ve played through some other games and I feel the need to go back and get games to 100% completion. But the tight platforming and sheer determination that is needed to do all that is not something I want to spend time and energy on as of right now.
That being said I really hope that Nintendo will drop a new Donkey Kong game somewhere in the near future. Tropical Freeze was initially brought to the WiiU in 2014 so it’s high time they come with a new entry in the franchise. I’m certain to be more hyped for that than for anything they would bring out with the Mario label.

For now though I’m happy that I’ve finished off another game from my backlog. I’ve been really inconsistent with playing single player games over the summer, even though I had really big plans. I guess life happens. For now though me and my best friend have picked a new game to play through, one of my choice this time. It’s Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch. A game that I started a long time ago but kind of gave up on when I was 8 hours in. We both started a new game and I’m running around again in the first little town you get to. It’s a vastly different game from Donkey Kong but I feel like I can do with a longer JRPG right now. So I guess we’ll see where that ship strands. I hope that having someone else play the game simultaneously will keep me motivated to play aswell so that we can share our thoughts on stories and fights. Maybe this is what I needed all along to finally tackle my backlog…

Gotta Catch ’em All!

As of today I can actually call myself a Pokémon Master. I have caught them all! Well atleast I caught all the Pokémon of the Galar region Pokédex, which still amounts to having to have registered 400 mons in total. I’m thrilled! I knew I set this as goal when I got the game and I have been working towards it on and off for the past half year or so. I’d have weekends where I would sit down and grind for a few hours to get everything into the correct evolutions or where I would fish/walk around for a while to catch that one elusive Pokémon. I’ve even tampered with the date settings on my Switch to get the right weather type to spawn, since some of the final Pokémon I needed only spawned in one or two locations and then also with only with a certain weather type.
Eventually it all came down to needing some Shield exclusives, some Pokémon that would only evolve by trading them and then four or five more Pokémon that I could catch in Sword. I went over to my best friend yesterday to get the Shield exclusives and the trading done. I got there needing 30 Pokémon still and by the time I left I was down to four more. I managed to get three of them at home yesterday evening and then I only needed Sylveon, which I could either wait for to spawn in the wild or train up an Eevee and hope it would evolve into Sylveon. The second method would require me to make quite some effort to get it to love me. But lo and behold, another friend happened to have Sylveon and was willing to trade it to me, even if it was just for me to register it in the Dex. So we did just that this morning and now I’m finally complete!

I’m really happy with this achievement. Pokémon as a series has been the only gameseries that I’ve played consistently since I was a kid. There’s only two generations of games that I’ve skipped, them being Black/White 2 and UltraSun/Moon. I think the time inbetween those games and the previous installments coming out were just too short so I skipped over them. I do intend to go back at some point and play them, but for now I’m content with having those skipped. It’s also the first time I’ve actually completed a Pokédex since the beginning. As I mentioned in an earlier post I remember having around 146 Pokémon registered on my original copy of Blue but then for some reason I reset the game. I think I also did quite an attempt of getting them all on my copy of Pokémon Silver, but that save has been lost by the battery running empty. After that I have made attempts here and there to atleast complete the regional Dex of any game that I played but with every new installment coming out that got more and more difficult. I think the last “big” attempt for me was with Pokémon Moon, but I stopped trying at some point and never really picked it back up.
So yeah, big accomplishment for me and a big goal of my “ultimate gamer goals” list has been crossed off.

Of course with the addition of the Isle of Armor (and the Crown Tundra in the near future) more Pokémon have been added. There luckily is some overlap with the normal Galar Dex so I don’t have to catch an additional 211 Pokémon but only around a 100 or so. However I think I’ve had my fill of Pokémon for the time being so I’m going to put catching more Pokémon on hold so I don’t burn out completely on the game.

Nearing Completion

Character in field of flowers

I’m so, so terribly close to getting all my battle jobs to level 80 in Final Fantasy XIV that I can almost smell it. Right now my Gunbreaker is just shy of level 78 and I need to do most of my roulettes still this reset, which I’ll probably do tomorrow since it’s already past midnight and I’m really sleepy right now.
I’m hoping I will be level 80 by the weekend, get my Amaro mount and then drop the mad grind that I’ve been on for the past two or three weeks. Granted I could have gotten this milestone a lot earlier but I’ve been on hiatus in FFXIV a bit so it didn’t happen when I originally tought it would.
Being in the middle of the first week of another two week holiday though means I have ample time to get this done while also steadily working away at leveling my crafting jobs with the “new” Dwarf beast tribe dailies. I’ve gotten my Carpenter to 80 so far and my Weaver isn’t far behind. Seeing as I never really enjoyed the whole Ishgard crafting grind I’d rather opt into leveling my crafters this way, slow and steady wins the race right?
I also need to find a new sort of “daily” routine when I don’t have any more battle jobs to level. I think I may just stick to doing ex-roulette for now and the weekly clears next to the crafter dailies. I want to gear up my jobs and the only way to do that is to get through the latest content. I may do a bit of level roulette on my tanks for the achievement but I’ll see when I get there.

Next to completing a long standing goal in FFXIV, I’ve also been making more progress towards filling up my Pokédex in Pokémon Sword. I’m now down to needing only 38 more Pokémon for the base dex completion and I’m going over to my best friend tomorrow who owns Shield and trade a bunch of version exclusives with him. Which then leaves me with only a handful of Pokémon I still need to catch on my own. Yay! After that I’m going to turn my attention to the Isle of Armor and the Pokémon there so I can get my awesome crown and be ready for the Crown Tundra DLC that’s not too far away now either.
If I manage to complete this Pokédex it will be the first time I’ve completed a Pokédex in a Pokémon game ever. The closest I came to achieving this feat was when I was still a kid and playing my copy of Pokémon Blue. I was up to 146 Pokémon caught for the dex but for some reason I resetted my game after that, much to my regrets. Afterwards I’ve never come close to completion again, with the best try on Pokémon Black but that were just so many Pokémon.. That I basically gave up after over 70 hours played.
In Sword I’ve clocked in around 65 hours now, making it the game I’ve put the most hours in on my Switch by far. I dare take it even further and say that if I cross the playtime I had on my copy of Pokémon Black with Pokémon Sword it will be the single player game that I have spent the most time on of all time.

Finally I’ve been slowly working through my backlog again. The latest title that I’m working on is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Me and my best friend both own a copy of this game, me on my WiiU and he on his Switch. I figured it would be nice to go through the game at the same time so we can share our triumphs and frustrations. Little did I know that he would be way more frustrated than me. Even so frustrated that he has switched from normal mode to Funky Mode so that the game was doable for him. I don’t have this luxury on the WiiU and as such I’m playing the game on the original difficulty level. I’ve made it up to the boss of the fourth world, meaning I only have two more worlds to go after I defeat it. I’ve not really been doing a completionist run so there are a lot of levels that I have yet to unlock and a lot of collectibles to get. However my main goal is to just see the credit roll so I’m not really fussed about skipping these. I just want to stripe another game of my backlog. And with the tempo I’m going that should be doable by the end of the week aswell.

All in all it feels nice to be completing so many things at once. It’s mentally rewarding and it gives me the chance to set new fresh goals afterwards! But first it’s time for some much needed sleep.

Sandy’s (non)MMO Sunday: Melting Melting Melting!

There’s a heatwave absolutely terrorizing northwestern Europe. It’s one of those things that has become the new “norm” with climate change but unfortunately my country especially isn’t trained enough yet to deal with this. We’ve been so used to having a mild climate, cool summers, gentle winters, that these obscenely hot temperatures are throwing everything into disarray. The worst part isn’t even the fact that it’s 30+ degrees for over a week, it’s that our houses are built to keep the heat in. So once they heat up, they’re almost impossible to cool back down. It’s horrendous and one of the reasons I’m keeping most, if not all, of my electronics turned off. My computer and consoles all just generate way too much heat to use and with this heat lasting atleast another 3-4 days I think the only times I can get a bit of MMO time in is either really early in the morning, or not at all. I’m blessed enough to be spending a few days at the office while enjoying airconditioning, so there’s that, but otherwise it’s grin and bear it and wait untill the heat breaks.
On top of the heat it’s also prime insect time and there are way too many flying bugs in my house right now and it’s giving me the creeps. I have had to catch and release atleast two moths that made their way in and I’ve been trying to chase out flies and other winged insects while trying to keep as much as I can out. I’m doubting if I want to install some screens in my windows to keep everything out, but outside of a few weeks in summer I don’t really have that many insects around so I’m still doubting whether or not I should.

Anyway, that’s the current state of things and as such I’ve had to rethink how I spend my free time. Obviously playing a lot of World of Warcraft and/or Final Fantasy XIV is out of the question since I’d either have to use my PC or PS4, both of which generate a lot of heat. Added on top of that I’m kind of burned out on WoW anyway so I don’t really feel like logging more than two times a week to keep up with emissaries on my Warrior. FFXIV is releasing patch 5.3 next week though so I may jump into that, once temperatures have come down again (hopefully) at the end of the week.

So instead of playing MMO’s I’ve been reading a lot and playing on my Switch. Book wise I’m working my way through the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb and I’m at the final book now. Games wise I’ve been putting a bit of time in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and finished off the first official mission. There’s a lot of things to take into consideration by playing this game, especially with the whole “daily life” aspect that happens in between the battles. It feels like there’s always so much to do and not enough points to spend to do everything. Of course this will change the further I get into the game but for now I’m slightly annoyed that I can’t do everything I want… But oh well.
In Pokémon I finally picked up where I left off on the Isle of Armor and took my Kubfu to the Tower of Water so it could evolve into Urshifu Water form. I’m kinda sad to see the cute little fellow evolve but I know it was one of the big goals of this DLC so I did it anyway. Now I’m working on the questline to unlock Dynamaxing for it, but I kind of abandoned that for a bit to chase more Pokémon to fill up my Pokédex with. I’m currently sitting on 330/400 Pokémon caught for the Galarian Pokédex and I made a list for my friend who has Shield, I have Sword, of exclusives that I still need. Those add up to about 18 Pokémon which means I still need to catch around 50 on my own. So I’ve been working on that and it’s slightly annoying since most of the Pokémon that I still need now are either a very low encounter chance, 1-5%, or only appear during certain weather types. I’m super close though, I’ve never been this close to completing a Pokédex since I was a kid and had 146/150 caught in Pokémon Blue.

All in all I foresee a lot more reading and playing Switch games this week aslong as temperatures stay the way they are. As for the rest of today… The final regular week of the League championships in Europe and North America are happening this weekend and a lot of things are still at stake so it’s a really good weekend to watch. I need to do some light chores still, folding some laundry, taking out the trash, cleaning up my tables and of course there’s the matter of cooking dinner while trying not to melt.
So yeah, this is what my days look like right now. What are you guys up to? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Summer of Platformers

I am an avid Reddit browser. I enjoy the petty drama over at some subs and I think some of the gaming subs are okay aswell. As such I can keep myself entertained for hours on end just scrolling through hundreds of posts in the evening. It’s also the reason I shouldn’t take my phone to bed with me anymore because this is simply what keeps me up at night.
Anyway. On the Nintendo Reddit someone wrote a post about wanting to do a Summer of Nintendo challenge where they would tackle their Nintendo backlog this summer and it would span every Nintendo console they owned. This looked like a really good idea to me but looking at the games I own for all my Nintendo consoles (WiiU/Switch/3DS) I would never be able to fit all of that in a single summer. I have multiple long RPG’s to play through and those alone would take me forever to finish. Case in point me taking months to finish up the Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

However I did want to start tackling my backlog and as such I was suddenly inspired to tackle one of my favourite gaming categories: Platformers. I own a lot of those. It was what I grew up with on my SEGA when I was little, and I enjoy the genre till this day. I have numerous platform games both physically and digitally and for now I want to focus on completing my physical games. There are some that I have completed (and with that I mean I have seen the credits roll) and as such I have excluded them from this challenge. I purely want to focus on all the games I haven’t completed yet and bring those to a credit roll. Again, I’m only tackling my physical games for now since they’re just easier to keep track of than all the stuff I own digitally. So without further ado here’s a picture of all the games I’m planning to tackle.

This may not seem like that many games but according to Howlongtobeat completing all these games will take me roughly 200 hours in total. For this estimate I’ve used the metric of Mainstory + Extra’s since I do like to go off the beaten path and grab all the extras in a level when I can. It’s not a priority and I’m not going to go back specifically to get coins or crystals or whatever when it takes too long or is too frustrating but I do like to find most of the hidden stuff when I can. My main objective in all of these games is to defeat the “final” boss and see a credit roll. For some games it means that the game actually ends there but for some games it means bonus worlds are opened up to conquer afterwards. Depending on how much time that takes and/or how difficult it is I may tackle those aswell.

For now the plan is to start going through this backlog once I’m finished with the FF7R. I expect this to be somewhere in June which is also when summer starts. My goals is to get through all of these by the end of summer, which is September 21st. All in all this would mean I would have to complete a game per week. With the average game time per game being somewhere around 12 hours that’s not actually too bad. Furthermore there are a few games here that I already started to play and, if I still remember enough of the game, will pick up where I left off. Most notably these are Yooka Laylee and New Super Mario Bros U. Thus shaving off a bit of gametime there. For the rest I will probably start fresh and work my way from there.
Together with playing the games I will also aspire to make a blog post about every game I’ve beaten. They probably won’t be professional type reviews but mostly posts about what I thought of the game and if I enjoyed it and how long it took me to beat it. So I will have something to look back on later!

So yeah, this is my plan for this summer. Let’s see how it turns out!

Animal Crossing is crack

So with almost everyone getting their copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons today I can finally spill the beans about what I think about the game so far for myself. I managed to get my copy two days early due to the chain where I ordered it having to close shops. Why close shops? Well unless you’ve been living under a rock… This particular chain decided to close to protect their employees from the COVID-19 virus. Since they allowed everyone to pick up their physical copy from the store two days earlier they also decided to do the mailing two days earlier. As such I ended up with my copy on the 18th and I was pretty happy to once not get the short end of the stick.

So far I’m really enjoying the game. It’s a bit like crack in that I’m instantly addicted and I keep wanting to do more and play more whenever I take a bit of a break because I need to do something else.
It really plays like any other Animal Crossing game. You start out with a tent which you can then upgrade to a, progressively bigger, house. Tom Nook is there with Timmy and Tommy and they run the island shop. Blathers is there aswell and I’m currently working on the museum stuff. I have two inhabitants, Hammlet and Lydia, and I’m running around collecting various materials and catching fish and bugs. Oh and planting flowers.

This game is one for the long haul. Obviously I want to unlock everything as fast as I possibly can and be able to expand on my island and make it look pretty. The native trees on my island contain oranges but I’ve also planted a few cherry trees. The graphics look smooth and pretty while still keeping that familiar Animal Crossing vibe. I want to start posting screenshots from my island soon but since I don’t want to spoil things too much I’m just sticking to this short post for now.

Happy playing everyone!

Sandy’s Sunday: What A Long Strange Week It’s Been

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As predicted in my look ahead post from last week the training week at work absorbed a lot of my time this week. We had a program every day, although some days the program was only 2-3 hours and some days it was all day. It sure didn’t help in feeling less tired since I managed to get home exhausted everyday with the lowest point on Wednesday where I literally fell asleep after dinner. I guess I needed it.

In spite of all of this I managed to finish off the main “story” in Cat Quest on Monday evening. Now I just need to tackle all the remaining dungeons and the few side quests that still remain in the game. And get to level 99 of course. I really enjoyed this game for what it was. An RPG-light with lots of fun jabs at other games and so many amazing cat puns. Now that I finished the main story I unlocked New Game+ and “Mew” Game, which is a game type where you can set certain parameters like not being able to wear armor or not being able to level up and play the entire game at level one. Even though this sounds very interesting, and I’m sure many people are thrilled about this type of stuff even if it is just for the exclusive rewards that come with it, I don’t think I’ll go back and play those game modes. I tend to be one and done once I finish a game and I may go for 100% completion if the mood strikes me within a single game mode but I just don’t like replaying the exact same game but on a higher difficulty setting. I guess this is why I don’t care for trophies that require me to play through a game multiple times on my PS4. So yeah. Cat Quest was fun and adorable and a game I can scratch, pun intended, off my backlog.

Playing through Cat Quest on my Switch has also kind of reinforced the belief that it has become my preferred console for single player games. Being able to play on my big TV but also take it on the road with me has helped so much in completing games that I otherwise wouldn’t have. Even though I also use my PS4 a lot I notice that I’m just having much more issues finishing games on there compared to on my Switch. I guess we’ll see this year how many games I actually finish on what console. For now I need to look for another game to sink my teeth in and I’m still deciding what it will be.

Next to Cat Quest I’ve also been spending some time playing World of Warcraft this week. I did the Timewalking Dungeon event before the reset on Wednesday and got a nice trinket upgrade on my Warrior. I also did a +2 Mythic to open up a chest and I managed to unlock and get through a big chunk of 8.3 quest chain this morning. As such I have the legendary cloak unlocked and can start working on upgrading it so that I can tackle more challenging content in the horrific visions. I realize that my Warrior is kind of shitty geared still so I will need to work on that if I want to make a serious push in that content.

All in all I’m happy that things will go back to “normal” the coming week, even though I have my annual review tomorrow and I’m preparing for it to be not as stellar as previous years. Oh well.

Gaming Goals February 2020: Thinking long and hard

Two posts in one day?! Why yes. I guess it’s an exception. Mostly because I wanted to get this goal post out before I forget to publish it and we’re already a week into February… You catch my drift.
This month I’m actually dialing back a bit on the goals. I have an exhausting training week coming up at work next week and a bunch of weekends that are filled up with visiting friends and family and as such I really need to squeeze in gametime when and where I can. I think my main focus for February will be catching up in World of Warcraft on my Warrior and finishing off leveling the final two DPS classes in Final Fantasy XIV. Next to that I’m still pretty much hooked on Cat Quest and with the Re:Mind DLC I’ve also kind of been drawn back into Kingdom Hearts 3 so I want to spend some of my time in that game again aswell.
For now my goals for February look like this.

Single Player Games:

  • Finish Cat Quest
  • Fill the Pokédex to 300 Pokémon in Pokémon Sword
  • Go back to Kingdom Hearts 3 for trophies and grinding for the super bosses in the DLC

World of Warcraft:

  • Catch up my Warrior to 8.3 content
  • Start working on the Legendary Cloak on my Warrior
  • Catch up to current Raid content on my Warrior

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Get my Bard to level 80
  • Casually work on Trusts? I’ll need to see how this pans out
  • Get my Machinist to level 80

So yeah. I’m keeping it light. I think I will have finished Cat Quest by the end of the week. I think I’ll need some guides if I want to finish it 100%. With that I mean having defeated all dungeons, done all sidequests and leveled up to 99. I’m currently level 47 so almost halfway there! After that the plan is to dive back into Kingdom Hearts 3 to grind away on some trophies that I’ve not yet obtained and level up Sora so I can start doing all the Super Bosses that have been added in the DLC. Finally I want to go back to Pokémon and fill up my Pokédex to 300!

In MMO’s I’m mostly going to focus on playing catch up on my Warrior. I want to get decently geared and start working on my Legendary Cloak. There is a Timewalking event up right now which is providing me with some catch up gear right now and otherwise it’s just grinding out World Quests. I’m pretty sure I need to work my way through the Nazjatar questline before I can get to the 8.3 content so I’ll see how fast that goes.
In FFXIV I just want to get done with Bard and Machinist. Then I can get rid of all the “low level” aiming gear that is still cluttered in my bags and I will only have the three tank classes left. I’m still not sure if I want to push through with Trusts. I’m not really enjoying the grind but then again doing one Trust dungeon max on a given day isn’t actually that horrible. I need to see how that pans out.

All in all these should be smalls attainable goals. Anything extra is a plus here, I never know when the gaming mood takes me and has me finish up way more than I thought I would.
What are your plans for February?

January 2020: A look back


Is it February already? Where did the time go? It feels like January only lasted two weeks this year. Maybe it’s because I’ve been extremely busy at work and dealing with emotional turmoil due to my friends’ illness. Maybe it’s because I’ve taken up working out again, making some of my evenings and weekend mornings fly by aswell.
All in all it’s been a chaotic month for me and on the work and personal front it seems like that’s not going to end anytime soon. But I don’t want to look at my personal stuff in this post, but instead look back at the goals in gaming land I set for myself and see how I fared…

In FFXIV:

  • Get more battle classes to level 80. I have 6 to go, with Ninja currently being 77. I hope to get Ninja and atleast two others to 80 by the end of the month.
  • Work on getting my first crafting classes to 80. With Ishguard restoration this shouldn’t actually be too hard. My Carpenter is 77 as we speak so that should be able to get to 80 fast. Ideally I want 3 Crafting classes to 80 by the end of the month. Let’s say Carpenter, Weaver and Leatherworker?
  • Level up Fishing. I’m currently sitting on level 64 and I want to get atleast to level 70 this month.
  • Level up Blue Mage. I want to hit atleast level 20 by the end of the month.
  • Complete all the side quests that are still up in the First
  • Work towards rank 3 FATEs in Ahm Araeng and the Tempest. Preferably I’ll have both done by the end of the month

Wow. I really thought at the start of the month that I would be able to do this. However because of work and other stuff I’ve actually barely logged on to FFXIV the past month. I’ve been slowly chunking away at leveling my Bard, she’s level 75 right now, with Trusts. And I have to say that leveling Trusts is boring and grindy and probably the reason why I’ve been logging less than I wanted to. I did the New Year’s event, Heavensturn, and will probably do the Valentione Event somewhere this week but man. Maybe I should just drop this whole leveling Trusts thing for now and just focus on doing stuff I enjoy while leveling up instead. I did get Ninja to 80 at the start of the month so there’s that. I really need to think long and hard about what I want from FFXIV in February.

In other MMO’s:

  • Make progress in LOTRO. I’m level 3 and at the absolute beginning of the game. I have no idea about the layout of this game yet and how zones and other stuff works so I just want to head out and explore and see where that ship strands.
  • Finish off the current zone I’m in on my character in Guild Wars 2.

So I discovered this month that I just really don’t have the time or patience to start from scratch in a new MMO. Just having to relearn everything from the bottom up is not something I’ve enjoyed. So my little experiment with LOTRO will end here. Maybe when life isn’t as chaotic and I’ve found my perfect gaming rotation schedule I will put this back on the menu. For now though both LOTRO and GW2 will be put back into the closet. I may break out GW2 on occassion to atleast unlock the episodes of the living story but that’s it.
On the other hand I started playing WoW again. I want to see the new 8.3 content and start working on the Legendary cloak. Instead of picking up where I left off on my Rogue though I’ve decided to take my Warrior to 120 instead and play her. I missed the Warrior too much in the end and I want to do the Legendary stuff on her for now. I managed to get to level 120 a week ago, with the final level solely on doing Archaeology digsites, and now I’ll have to focus on gearing up so I can start the 8.3 content. I’m still very casual and basically only play on the weekends for now but atleast I’m enjoying myself!

In single player games:

  • Finish the Pokémon post-game questline
  • Get 200 Pokémon registered in my Pokédex (atleast!)
  • Pick Spider-Man back up for my PS4 and play through/finish the game

I actually rocketed through Pokémon and got both the goals ticked off pretty fast. I actually had a blast doing it aswell! I’ve been keeping up with the Max Raid events that they have been releasing. I’m also hoarding up Pokémon that evolve through trading so I can trade my friend when he comes over and fill up my Pokédex even more. I’m definitely putting this game back on the menu for my February goals because I want to keep working on my Pokédex. Now if only I could finally catch a Ditto…
Spider-Man has been a bust. I’ve barely played on my PS4 to begin with this month and all the time I did play on it either went to FFXIV or, last week, to playing the Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC. Instead though I’ve started playing through Cat Quest on my Switch and having a ton of fun doing that instead. It’s a short game and if I play like I’ve been doing I’ll probably finish it somewhere this week. Because it’s such a short game I think I’m actually willing to try for 100% completion. Even though the Switch version has no trophies like the PS4 version I will have to use a guide for it, but that’s fine.

All in all I got a few things done, which I’m happy with, but less than I had planned. I dropped one MMO in favour of another and I once again realised that my moods are heavily influenced by what goes on at work and in real life. It is how it is, better luck next month?

Sandy’s Sunday: Work Sucks

As I’m sipping on a coke I figured I should sit down and write something.
Basically the past week has once again been super busy and chaotic when it comes to my job. My team is gradually growing smaller and as such we need everyone to be able to do everything. So my colleagues have been busy learning new tasks and I’ve been keeping an eye out for everything else that needed to be done. Couple that with a week with a ton of meetings and I was happy when it was finally time for the weekend so I could recharge a bit.
On Thursday I went out to dinner with a colleague/friend, which was really necessary to lift my spirits a bit. We had an awesome evening just chatting about everything and unwinding. Being in a warm and cozy restaurant enjoying a three course meal while outside it’s pouring has it’s charm. Luckily by the time we were ready to leave the weather had cleared up so I didn’t get home completely drenched.

Due to me getting home tired a lot I didn’t get much gaming time in. After I’ve finished leveling Ninja to level 80 and using Bard to level up my Trusts a bit I’ve been having a bit of a burn-out on FFXIV. I just didn’t feel like starting up the game at all so my Bard is still sitting at level 73 and otherwise I’ve not been making any progress. However I’m feeling the itch to log on again so I may do a few Trust dungeons today so I can finally leave Holminster Switch behind me and focus on the next dungeon in the bracket.
The game I did start up a few times over the week has been Pokémon Sword. I’ve been diligently working away at filling up my Pokédex and am currently sitting at 177 Pokémon registered. Only 23 more to get to my goal of registering 200 for this month! It’s actually gone surprisingly smooth. I’ve been focusing a lot on just evolving all the Pokémon I already caught and then I moved on to catching, and evolving, new Pokémon. I’ve also been participating in a lot of Max-Raids to try and obtain Pokémon that have Gigantamax forms, instead of just regular Dynamax ones. So far I’ve managed to catch a Gigantamax Snorlax, Butterfree and Coalossal. I’m still on the hunt for more!
In other Pokémon news, I haven’t actually watched the Pokémon direct but was nonetheless hyped when they announced an expansion to the Pokémon Sword and Shield games. Even though I wish that Game Freak wouldn’t be a sell out and just release a complete game from the start I can’t deny that I’m pretty happy to be getting more content to the game. As I’ve mentioned before I think the overall story of Pokémon has been a bit short this time around. Getting two new areas, with a lot more Pokémon introduced to the Pokédex, plus more story content, is exactly what I and others have been hoping for. As such I actually pre-ordered the expansion straight away so it will ready for me to play once June and November hit.

Finally instead of gaming I’ve been spending my time watching Netflix, specifically two documentaries: Don’t Fuck With Cats and Cheer.
The former has just been disturbing on all counts and I’m not sure if I would’ve watched it if I had known exactly what it would be about. It just goes to show that some people are deeply disturbed and should be locked away from society forever.
Cheer however has been a fun documentary to watch. I was a gymnast on a decent level from the age of 6-12. I never made national championships or anything but I was once in the top of my district for my age group aswell as making it to province (state for the US folks I guess?) championship. Where I was quickly desillusioned with my actual skills because my and our club actually performed pretty bad compared to the rest. Oh well. Anyway, Cheer is a documentary following the Navarro College cheerleading squad who have won a lot of titles. They pick out a few of the cheerleaders to follow more personally and basically show the preparation for the big National Championship that is held every year in Daytona Beach, FL. Cheerleading on that level is basically brutal. It’s gymnastics, tumbling, acrobatics and dancing all in one. Serious injuries happen, as shown on the documentary, and getting on the team that actually will perform the act on the championship is a struggle. Due to the stunts and acrobatics trust in your teammates is required. You need to be able to know that you will be caught if you fall. If someone fails to catch you the entire team gets punished. This sounds a bit harsh but is also understandable. You win as team but you also fail as team.
Watching that made me think of my own gymnastic days and give me a sense of missing out in a way. I think if I grew up in the US being a cheerleader would be totally up my alley, even with all the injuries. I think I would’ve absolutely loved it. Now however I can only look at these girls and hope they haven’t destroyed their bodies too much while doing what they love.

All in all it’s been a week of trying to get back into the work rhythm and giving myself plenty of time to rest up and relax after making long days in the office. Next week should be a bit more relaxed and with that I hope that I can get a bit more game time in when I come home!