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Gaming Goals June 2019

Seeing as how April and May have been really weird months for me I refrained to do anything gaming goal related for those months. But June is rolling around and with it I will have access to my PC again so I feel like I can start writing up some goals again for me to attain.
I have pre-ordered Shadowbringers and it comes out at the end of the month so once that date hits my focus will probably be completely on FFXIV and getting through the first few weeks of the expansion. However we are still four weeks off when that happens so in the meantime there’s a bunch of stuff I hope to achieve!

FFXIV

  • Level Goldsmith to level 70 and Alchemist to 50 (atleast)
  • Finish off leftover quests

WoW

  • Get up to speed with latest content
  • Play Classic beta?

Other games

  • Make significant progress in Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Beat Kirby Star Allies on the Switch
  • Make significant progress in Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee on the Switch
  • Make significant progress in Paper Mario: Color Splash on the WiiU
  • Pick a game to play on 3DS

Hopefully I can get really far with leveling my crafters in FFXIV. I will try to keep up with the job quests as I level up but I’m not too bothered if I let it slide. I can always finish those up later. If all goes well I’ll only need to level 4 more crafting jobs past the Ixali dailies by the end of the month, hopefully to never return to them again. I’m quite looking forward to getting my character to be an “omnicrafter” and I’m planning to definitely push up my gathering and crafting jobs to level 80 early on in the Shadowbringers expansion.

With my PC back in the fold I’m definitely going to resub to WoW and play my Paladin or Mage and continue leveling my (Void Elf) Hunter for the Heritage gear. Next to that I hope I may get a Classic beta invite so I can get a chance to sniff the flowers when it comes to that. I’m not actively seeking to play Classic but I might stick my nose in and see if I enjoy it. I’m not 100% sure what class I’ll be rolling. I’m having major doubts between Nelf Druid and Human Warlock. I’m not interested on playing Horde side for now.

I’ve set some really ambitious goals when it comes to non MMO games. There’s just so many games that I’ve started over the years and never finished that I feel like it’s time to carve out blocks of my week to work on that. My main focuses are the games that I’ve been playing in more recent times and complete those, after that I can start reaching further into my backlog and pick up other games to play. I’ve left Monster Hunter World off this list for now, even though I am playing it in bits and pieces. The game hasn’t really hooked me fulltime yet but I do enjoy it for what it is.

All in all I feel these goals are definitely obtainable throughout the month. With a 3 day weekend coming up aswell as having a bit more structure in my evenings it frees up game time, that I definitely eagerly will grab.

A weekend of wrapping up

The past week and weekend I’ve been solely focused on finishing off a lot of things. I’ve been making a ton of progress in FFXIV, I’ve been playing my Switch again and I’ve been reading on my e-reader more than I have before.

My first “big” achievement is that I’ve finished off the main objective in Yoshi’s Crafted World. I gathered all the gems and defeated Bowser Jr. who made a pretty interesting end boss. It took me a bit over 10 hours to get this done with me pushing through the levels and ignoring all the bonus stuff for the final part. I really enjoyed some of the levels and world and overall there were only one or two levels that I didn’t really enjoy. With having seen the credits roll I’ve opened up a few new things aswell. First off there’s the bonus levels which turn out to be really hard on normal mode. After dying a ton of times on the first level I decided to throw in the towel and go down to easy mode just to get through the level. I’m quite happy with the fact that I just pushed through and finished off the main thing though since I usually don’t even do that. I’m planning to play through the bonus levels atleast so I can get to the secret end boss. I also want to leisurely go back to levels that I’ve completed and do flip sides, get all the red coins and any flowers that I’ve missed. Again I’m probably going to do this on easy mode so it’s easier to find all the collectibles and to keep it a relaxing experience.

In FFXIV I’ve finally finished off the level 70 Weaver quest, something that has been in my quest log for a very long time. I’m also done with the 65 Carpenter quest, my Carpenter is at 67 as we speak, and the 40 Goldsmith quest, who is level 41 as we speak. All in all it’s nice progress on multiple crafters and I’m still planning to push them up untill the expansion comes out. I don’t think I can get all my crafters up to level 70 before Shadowbringers, I simply have too many in the level 30 range, but I want to make an honest effort to get as many up as I can. I’m hoping to get my Carpenter to 70 by the end of the week and then my Goldsmith should be close to 50 aswell. Which means I can move that one up to Moogle quests and use my Ixal quests on Alchemist, which I want to level up next. It’s a long journey, with tons of irritating Ixali dailies but eventually I’ll get there.

Next to gaming I’ve also finally finished reading the Liveship Traders trilogy. It was interesting although I found the story to hit a slow stretch somewhere in the second book and I had to struggle to keep reading. All in all I’m happy I’ve finished it and I can move on to the next trilogy in the series: The Tawny Man trilogy. Robin Hobb has created a wonderful world and I’m really excited to see where the stories in that world go.

So all in all I’m quite happy with myself. I’ve finally finished another game. I’m making steps in FFXIV, I’m reading again… Now I just want to pick up some of my other hobbies again and start figuring out a workout schedule. It’s baby steps but just being able to finish a game again in an enjoyable manner has been a huge step for me and has motivated me to do more. With my dining table coming in next week I will also finally have access to my computer again and I hope I can start blogging in a more regular manner again aswell. For now though this week will be focused mostly on work, cleaning, people coming over and a bit of gaming on the side.

Physical keyboard again!

For the first time in a couple of weeks I finally have a physical keyboard to work with again so I figured I might aswell pump out a blog post. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures for this one so you’ll just have to do with words.

I’ve had a two week hiatus off work where I settled into my new home and tried to find a new rhythm for life in general. It included a bunch of gaming, watching TV shows and movies and reading books. It also included a lot of anxiety about leaving home, lots of cleaning of the new place and getting adjusted to life on my own. All in all I think I’ve done a decent job so far. The only things I need to work on now are making sure that I eat properly during the evenings and start up my workout schedule again. I have taken the first few babysteps to achieve this by going out for a walk after dinner every night. For now the walks are only about 30 minutes long but I hope to go up to an hour. It’s a great way to digest my food and clear my head, especially now that I’m back at work with all the chaos and stress that accompanies that. I don’t take my phone with me on these walks, just my iPod with some music and my house keys and that’s it. I really hope to expand on this by going to the gym during the weekends but I’m not there yet.

As far as games go. I’ve been spending a lot of my time playing FFXIV. My Carpenter is currently sitting on level 63, my White Mage has gotten a nice weapon and is sitting around ilvl 375. I have collected all the items from the crossover event with FFXV and I’ve picked up finishing off all the ARR relics again. Right now I’m in the middle of the questline on my Warrior and once I finish that I only need Scholar to be done. For now I’m focusing mainly on completing these quests and leveling my crafters. I’m sure my Carpenter will be level 70 before the month is over and I have already started doing Ixal dailies for my Goldsmith which I want to bring to 70 next. For the rest I’m just waiting out my time untill the new expansion launches. I’m planning to level my White Mage first through the story but I’m also really interested in picking up Dancer.
As far as other games go… I’ve made some decent progress in Yoshi’s Crafted World. I have collected 3 out of 5 gems and make sure to get as much collectibles as possible during my first playthrough of a level. Of course I will need to go back to the flipsides to find all the Poochy Pups and collect all the flowers and other things but for now I’m focusing on getting through the worlds and claiming all the gems. I have to say that the level based on a Haunted Mansion is my favourite so far, I’m hoping there is one that can top it.

Against all the deals I made with myself I picked up a new game aswell: Monster Hunter World. I’m really interested in the franchise and I need something to do besides the classic MMO. After messaging Belghast on Twitter whether it would be a good time/deal to pick up the game now I just went ahead and purchased it. I don’t understand most of the systems yet but for now it’s nice to be able to drop into quests that complete fairly fast and see immediate progress as result. I’m sure that things will pick up in difficulty soon but for now I’m enjoying myself and taking a really relaxed approach to the game.

I do notice that I miss my computer in more ways than one. I miss playing WoW and I may want to take another stab at GW2 but unfortunately I won’t have access for another 3 weeks or so. In that time my main gaming will come from my consoles which isn’t too bad considering I can play on a comfy couch while watching a nice big screen now.

In non gaming related news I’ve finally gotten round to watching some films and series. I watched Avengers: Endgame in the theatre two weeks ago, great movie by the way, and I watched The Social Network last weekend. Next to that I’m watching Lucifer on Netflix and of course Game of Thrones. Only one more episode to go and honestly I’m really disappointed with this final season. Everything is super rushed and it feels really underwhelming. I don’t agree with all the story line endings and I really hope that if the books ever get finished they’ll be better than this hot mess.

All in all it’s been a very busy couple of weeks and being back at work where it’s just a gigantic chaos isn’t really making anything much better.

Yoshi’s Crafted World: First impressions

There’s a handful franchises of Nintendo that I really enjoy. Mario is the prime one followed closely by Kirby. However since Yoshi’s Woolly World I have to add the Yoshi franchise to the list aswell. In light of this information it should come as no surprise that I picked up Yoshi’s Crafted World aswell when it came out this week. Unfortunately the Switch screenshots aren’t always that good so my apologies for the one heading this post, I just wanted to give an impression of how the game looked.Anyway I’ve played for a few hours now and wanted to give my first impressions of this game and the things I have discovered so far. I am giving a fair warning now, I am going into some detailed things that I’ve found over the first 2-3 hours of playtime so if you want to stay spoilerfree turn away now!

“Story”
The story like in the previous Yoshi entries is a simple one. The Yoshi’s live happily on their island with the Sundream Stone who makes all their dreams come true. Ofcourse Kamek and Baby Bowser caught wind of this and try to steal the sun stone, breaking it in the process and scattering all the Dreamstones across multiple worlds. You are tasked to find the stones and make the Sundream Stone whole again. Throughout the game you are being thwarted by Kamek and Baby Bowser but you also meet new friends and come across some familiar ones!
All in all it’s  a simple setup, nothing too fancy. It’s a very kid friendly story but that’s something I’ve come to expect from the Yoshi franchise thus far.

Gameplay and levels
The gameplay for this game is the standard Yoshi gameplay. You swallow enemies with B and create eggs with most of them which you can then aim and throw at almost anything in the world. Yoshi’s still flutter when you press A for jumping a bit longer and Yoshi has a ground pound. There’s nothing too fancy about the gameplay, I guess to keep it simple for the kids aswell.
Right at the start of the game you are asked if you want to play the game on “Easy” or “Classic” mode. From what I’ve seen Easy mode doubles the amount of eggs you create when swallowing an enemy and it will let you know when a flower, one of the many collectibles in the game, is nearby. I’ve opted to play on Classic mode myself since the game is simple enough as is so I don’t need it to be even easier. You are free to chose the colour of your Yoshi, there’s 8 total, and you can switch colour any time. As seen on the above screenshot I’m currently playing with the purple variant but I’m thinking about switching to Orange or Lightblue next time I start up the game.

Collectability is a big thing in this game. The levels themselves aren’t hard and you can probably rush through them in two or three minutes but that’s not where this game shines. It shines in the collectibles and replayability of the levels themselves.
On your initial playthrough of a level there’s a few things to collect:

  • Flowers. Flowers are hidden throughout all the levels and it’s up to you to find them and obtain them. Some levels only contain five flowers but I’ve already had a level with ten aswell. Flowers are also the main currency needed to open up new sub zones within worlds, so if you lack them you need to go back to your previous levels and collect more of them if possible.
  • Hearts. Yoshi starts off with about half a heart bar. If you play the level right you end up with a full hearts bar which in turn awards you with a flower.
  • Red coins. Red coins, like flowers, are hidden throughout the level. There’s 20 to obtain each level and some of them can be really well hidden. If you obtain all 20 in a level it awards you with a flower.
  • Gold coins. Gold coins are scattered throughout the level and easy to obtain. When you meet a certain amount required per level you will be awarded with a flower. Next to collecting them for flowers Gold coins are the currency needed to obtain costumes.

Yoshi train costume

So far the collectibles have been quite standard. They’re all known from previous Yoshi franchises and shouldn’t surprise you in any way. However in Yoshi’s Crafted World there are myriads of ways to obtain collectibles and they’ve added a few more things to collect outside of the items I’ve already mentioned.

  • Costumes. Costumes are essentially “armour” that Yoshi can wear as you play through the levels with him. There’s three tiers of costumes, with the golden type being the most rare and awarding the most extra armour. Costumes are obtained from a gumball type machine at the end of each world that you need to feed Gold coins. It’s 100 Gold coins per costume and there’s ten costumes to get per sub zone. Luckily for us you’re not dependant on RNG, you can only get each costume once. You can switch between costumes freely and they are registered in your Scrapbook tab in the menu.
  • Crafts. Crafts are another collectible you can find in the levels, once you have initially played through them. You get assignments to find certain crafts within the levels and if you find (all of) them you get a flower for each turn in. They also register in your Scrapbook.
  • Poochy Pups/Flipside. Once you get a few levels into the game you run into an old friend. With this help an extra layer is added onto the levels: the Flipside. Basically it’s playing the original level in reverse. In the Flipside you are tasked to find Poochy pups and if you do that within a certain time limit you get extra rewards. Again the rewards here are flowers. Once you open up the Flipside of the levels you also get more tasks to find Crafts. The normal levels are then called “Front side”. As sidenote, it’s not possible to collect coins or flowers in the flipside of a level, only Poochy pups and Crafts.

Taking all of the above into consideration it makes the replayability of the levels high. Essentially you are sent back to a level multiple times to gather all the collectibles there are to gather. It’s not necessarily needed to complete the game but it adds an extra layer to the simplistic gameplay that is the Yoshi franchise. It also has you actually look at the levels in more detail than you normally would. Lots of things are hidden in the back (or fore) ground and especially Crafts are sometimes hard to spot. It helps you appreciate the amount of detail the developers have put into the game and it also “trains” your brain in a way because you are constantly looking for things.

Graphics and music
As I mentioned before the screenshots don’t really do it justice but the game is gorgeous and top notch as we’ve gotten used to from Nintendo. The colours are vibrant, the structures are pronounced. I can see how the Yoshi’s, who are made of felt, are in stark contrast to the cardboard world. There’s a lot of detail that has gone into each level so it’s a joy to watch and discover everything as you play through. Even the use of focus/blurring is done very well and makes for a natural flow as you move from the front to the back of a level and vice versa.
The music is cheery and simple like in most games. I like playing with the sounds and music on, it doesn’t grate on the ears so far. I’ve only played through four levels though so the music variety hasn’t been super big but so far I’m enjoying it. The sound effects do add this extra touch to the game that I think would be very bland otherwise. Hitting cardboard structures makes cardboard sounds, Yoshi itself sounds very cute and so far the enemy sounds have made sense aswell. It so far has not made me want to turn my sound off so that’s a big win.

Overall first impression
So far I’m quite happy with my purchase. Although the game is on the easy side there’s enough challenge in it to make the purchase worth while as fan of the franchise. The game is beautiful and vibrant and lifts your spirits as you play through it. The replayability of the levels is high due to the massive amount of collectibles that are present in the game. It’s the perfect game to relax to for an hour or two after work ór when you’re feeling a bit glum and need cheering up.
Is it innovative? Yes in some ways and no in others. Did Nintendo lift the franchise to a new level? Maybe, I think it’s on the same level as Yoshi’s Woolly World when it comes to visuals and gameplay even though they’ve put in some interesting gimmicks in this one and added even more reasons to replay levels.

Would I recommend this game? If you want a relaxing experience and if you think hunting for collectibles is more fun than challenging levels this is the game for you. I fear however that the game is “too easy” for the more veteran gamers who will be done with most of it in a very small timeframe. This is a game you don’t want to rush but that you want to enjoy and take your time on. For a Yoshi game it’s an excellent entry in the franchise and a day one/week one pick up for fans. If you’re on the fence about this game however I’d advise you to wait untill it eventually will be discounted and pick it up then.

June 2018 Goals

Druid class hall flight form

I’ve had a rather active month in May. I started working fulltime in my new position. I’ve jumped back on the FF wagon since the new patch dropped. I’ve been chasing Mage Tower challenges (and am currently sitting on 10/36 done) and my most recent unlock in World of Warcraft has been the new flight form for my Night Elf Druid. You get this instead of a Class Hall mount and I have to say it looks really good!

Looking ahead at June I find my game time to be rather limited. I work 40 hour weeks now so I only have time to game after dinner really, cutting my evenings short to about four hours. I also want to make it a bi-daily habit to go onto our crosstrainer (respectively weekends, Tuesdays and Thursdays) effectively cutting short my gaming time even further since following a workout I would obviously need a shower. There’s a few single player games I’ve picked up that I want to finish, I’ve been rewatching Grey’s Anatomy from the start and I’m reading my way through the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. All in all I’ve started a lot of projects over the past month and I want to use June to complete some of them, be it game related or not.

Gaming Goals June 2018

World of Warcraft

  • Get Rogue to level 110 and finish the first leg of the Class Hall Campaign
  • Do Mage Tower challenges on as many class/specs as I can. The ones I really want: Guardian/Feral Druid, Elemental Shaman, Holy Priest.
  • Unlock more Class Hall mounts.

WoW looks to be basically continuing what I’m already doing. I’m still focusing on completing as many Mage Tower stuff as possible but seeing how Legion is only about 2 months away things are starting to look a bit dire. I’m hoping Blizzard decides to permanently enable the Mage Tower at some point but I doubt it. So I’m trying to double down on gearing up my alts and getting stuff done. Luckily getting to about 920 ilvl isn’t that hard anymore and most challenges are doable at that gearlevel even without optmized gear. I also want to finish up leveling the last class I need to 110 and inbetween unlock a few more Class Hall mounts.

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Get my Machinist to 70 and start leveling something else
  • Get my Weaver to 70 and start leveling another crafter
  • Play on my Au’Ra and progress through Heavensward story

I’m trying to keep my FFXIV goals light. Right now I’m just doing dailies and ex roulette for cap and that’s it. My Machinist is sitting on level 68 now though and I think I should be hitting 70 sometime next week if I continue on doing what I’m doing. The same goes for my Weaver. She’s dinged 64 today thanks to the Namazu quests and I’m hoping to push her to 70 this month. Then I will need to start working on another crafter, I’m probably going to go with Carpenter since that one is level 37 and I want to get it to Heavensward so I can take advantage of the Moogle quests.
You also may have seen me mention my Au’Ra on Twitter. My Moogle FC unfortunately has disbanded and moved, in large part, to Cerberus. Not wanting to transfer my Miqo I instead opted to bring over my Au’Ra. She’s still in the start of the Heavensward Story so my goal for now is to slowly push through that as Monk.

Other games

  • Progress in Mario+Rabbids
  • Progress in Monster Hunter Stories

Seeing as most of my attention is going into my MMO’s I don’t have that much time for other games. However Mario+Rabbids seems to have me hooked for now and I’ve already made it to world 2-6 in the mainstory. This is also what I want to focus on moving forward this month. I hope to be able to make it through atleast the rest of World 2 and hopefully a good chunk of World 3 aswell. I’m really enjoying the game and can’t wait how it turns out.
Monster Hunter Stories is one of those games that you really need to bite into for a longer time to understand the concept and to just get through the story. I’ve made my N3DS my Monster Hunter machine for now (save games are stored on the console rather than the card) and I’m planning to play this on the train and during any form of transportation/inbetween time. It’s a nice bright game and I do want to see how it plays out.

Real life and non game related goals

  • Finish the second book of the Farseer Trilogy
  • Clean out and rearrange some cabinets
  • Use the crosstrainer more

I’ve alluded to these goals at the start of my post but I want to start working on my health a bit more, so I want to use the crosstrainer we have on the attic on a more regular basis. Weekend mornings seem to be ideal for this and I want to take atleast two nights a week on the thing aswell. I may expand my routine later on with some strength exercises but for now some extra cardio to build stamina and start losing weight is the way to go.
Another thing I want to be doing over the course of the year is continue cleaning out our attic and more importantly start picking out things of mine that can go. I’ve been told that my apartment will be done sooner than expected (June 2019 instead of September 2019) and it’s time I start making lists of things I still need and things I already have and things that I want to get rid of. I don’t want to end up like my dad with a house full of stuff so I need to think long and hard about what I want to take with me and what not. As bonus perk this helps my dad aswell with getting rid of things from the attic, thus creating more new space.

Finally I’ve kind of found my reading vibe again and I want to continue that. I’m over halfway done in the second book of the Farseer Trilogy and I want to atleast finish it and hopefully start on the third. I’ve unexpectedly fell in love with the series and I know there’s more trilogies ahead for me to buy, which has me quite excited. However I have a bunch of other books that I still need/want to read first so I’m probably going to hold off on more books in the saga untill I’ve read all the other ones I still have.

All in all I’ve tried to keep my goals realistic. With me class hopping on WoW (and focusing on one class at a time) I can do most of the daily stuff there in less than an hour. The same goes for my Final Fantasy XIV dailies. That leaves me with 1-2 hours a night to spend on whatever else I want. I can read, I can play more of WoW/FF if I feel like it. I can choose not to game at all and just relax with my tablet and a show. I just hope that when July starts I’ve made a lot of progress in all the things I want because then I’ll have even less time to game due to vacation and more business at work. For now though it’s time I logged off and started cleaning my room. The dust seems to be everywhere!

March Gaming Goals 2018

Wow, I’ve kind of straight up abandoned my blog somewhere at the start of February. I have no idea what exactly happened. Maybe it was writer’s block, maybe it was just a lack of willingness to sit down and type. Whatever the reason I’ve not looked at my blog at all the past few weeks and I do feel slightly guilty about it.
I want to take this chance though to look back at my gaming month and look ahead to the best month in the year, March!

Monk Class Mount & Pet

February has been a mixed bag for me with a lot of MMO time and not that much time for anything else. I did make some progress here and there though and I guess I’d want to share this with you guys!

  • In World of Warcraft I’ve gone above and beyond the goals that I had set for myself. Not only did I level my Shaman to 110, I’ve also leveled my Horde Priest and Horde Monk to 110 and finished both of their Class Hall campaigns respectively. On my Monk I’ve gone even further and also made the push towards the Class mount because I really REALLY wanted that tiger. So yeah, I’m down to four classes that still need to be leveled to 110 and five classes that still need their Class Hall campaign finished. I’m currently working on finishing my Shaman’s campaign while also trying to level my Mage, who is sitting at 104. All in all I feel I’ve done a lot in WoW and I think the majority of my MMO gaming time will be spent there in March aswell.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve leveled my Summoner/Scholar to level 70 as I hoped I would. I’ve barely touched any of the other classes though, except for a few crafters that I’ve gotten up to level 30 (Armorer, Culinarian and almost Blacksmith). I’ve done my beast tribe dailies here and there and did the first wing of the new Omega raid but otherwise the game didn’t really keep my attention much.
  • In single player games I’ve not actually played that much. I’ve continued a bit of Yo-Kai Watch, dabbled a bit in Persona 5 and started Dragon Quest Builders on my Switch. For some reason my willingness and energy that I want to put into games is at an all time low so besides MMO’s I’ve not really played that much at all.
  • IRL I’ve not lost the weight that I wanted to lose. I had hoped that I would be able to go outside a bit more but especially the past week has been unbearable as far as temperatures go so I rather stay inside than go out and freeze to death.

What am I looking forward to in March?
Well first of all I’ll be celebrating my 29th birthday halfway during the month. I had kind of agreed to not wanting a birthday present, but maybe my Dad will surprise me nonetheless. I can also finally pick up my diploma at the University, an event which I’ve been looking forward to for the past four years or so. It finally closes a very stressful chapter in my life and I would love to finally feel stress free in that regard.
I’m also starting the search for a new job since I feel like I’m not really where I should be at work anymore. I’m kind of grumpy, do not enjoy my tasks anymore and don’t feel inspired by the people I work with. All signs that it’s time to move on and luckily I will get some help from one of my managers. I also really want to get on track with working out more so keep your eyes out for some fitbit news on my Twitter and maybe here on the blog.

Now to the actual topic: Games.

  • I want to keep up what I’m doing right now in World of Warcraft which is work towards getting Exalted with the Argus factions on my Warrior and gear both my Warrior and Monk so I can run high level Mythic + dungeons on them. I really enjoy doing them on my Monk and I actually predict that I’ll be getting to higher level M+ on her than on my Warrior. I also want to get my Mage up to 110 and finish the Shaman class campaign. I’m thinking of leveling one of the new Allied Races but I’m not sure yet. I’d rather focus on getting all my remaining high level characters to 110, which are Warlock, Rogue and Death Knight after I’m done with Mage.
  • In FFXIV I want to check out Eureka. The patch is coming in two weeks and probably (finally) has the Stormblood Relic weapon tied to it so I’m definitely going to check out all of that. I also want to level atleast another class to level 70. As it stands right now it will probably either Machinist or Black Mage or maybe even both. I’m also slowly nudging my Crafters up so if I could get all of them to level 30 atleast that’s another goal I can strike off my list.
  • I want to spend a bit more time on both Persona 5 and Dragon Quest Builders. I absolutely adore playing both games and I feel like I need a serious story game and a lighthearted one side by side right now and those two games fit the bill perfectly. I know that especially Persona can be quite long before I finish it but I still want to play it, it’s just that good. For the rest I’m unsure what I’ll do with my time games wise. I’ve picked up the latest Layton game recently and am hooked on all the tiny mini puzzles that you get as daily downloads, but the mainstory isn’t that appealing to me yet. I may pick it up as distraction from the more story driven RPGs.. I do like solving the puzzles.

All in all I mostly want to use this month to further my real life goals and maybe pick up some gaming on the side. I’m in a bit of a slump anyway and I feel like I should do other stuff than spend most of my free time playing games. It’s a phase that will probably pass, but for now expect a bit less gaming from me and a bit more real life stuff.

A (slightly) Disgruntled WiiU Owner

I’ve been mulling over whether or not I want to write this post. With the recent announcement of more WiiU ports to the Switch, and me reinstalling my WiiU again to play games, I feel like I want to get this post out sooner rather than later.
I am well aware that this is a debate going on within the Nintendo community and it has split the community into various camps. I find myself to be in the digruntled WiiU owner camp mostly, but the reasons may differ from what I’ve seen online so far.

What is it all about?
Nintendo has announced their line up plans for the Switch multiple times. From the get go it was clear that they were going to reuse some of the things from the WiiU to target a broader audience now that the Switch was launched. I myself hopped on the bandwagon for Mario Kart 8 DX, mostly because it’s one of my favourite franchises, it had bonus tracks as default that you had to purchase as standalone packs on the WiiU and being able to take Mario Kart with you anywhere and be able to play with anyone was super appealing. Later on we got Pokken Tournament DX. I wasnt too phased by that since I’m not interested in that type of game but I could hear the community grumble a bit. Luckily with Arms and Splatoon 2 Nintendo showed us that they were more than capable of bringing us new IP’s and also sequels instead of direct ports. Even though by all means Splatoon 2 is half a port, I still picked it up because I’ve never gotten Splatoon on my WiiU. Notice that I’m not counting Breath of the Wild as a port seeing as it was a simultaneous release for the WiiU and Switch and I personally chose to get it on WiiU.
Fast forward a bit and more ports of WiiU games are announced. We are getting Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Bayonetta. Two great WiiU titles that should have gotten a bigger audience than they did. Nintendo realized this and chose to bring these games over to the Switch as ports.

Now this is where it starts to wring
As a WiiU owner myself I’m happy that Nintendo recognizes that games like DKC: TF and Bayonetta are deserving of more love and that they want to bring them over to the Switch. Hell if you don’t own a WiiU it’s great to be able to pick up these games and play what you’ve been missing out on! The ports themselves are probably just fine, you get more polished images and maybe a few extra modes. If you don’t own these games I strongly recommend to pick them up. However….
Nintendo is releasing these games at full prices. Me, being the WiiU owner that I am, already own these games. There is zero incentive for me to rebuy a game that I already own for a new system. And certainly not at full price. Just for comparison, DKC: TF is only €25 right now because it’s a Nintendo select so it’s easily picked up for WiiU owners. The Bayonetta special edition (which contained both Bayonetta 1 and 2) cost me €50. Seeing as these are marketed as new games for the Switch they will be expensive. I’m sure as hell not going to rebuy a game that I already own, that gets little to nothing special added, at full price. It may be nice to have the portability of the Switch for these games and they may look better but it’s simply something I refuse to do.
And I’m not the only one.
It also saddens me a bit because instead of focusing on new games in the series (with the exception being Bayonetta 3) they release ports and then hope people will be happy. I rather get an entirely new Donkey Kong game than a rehash of one I already know and have. The same can be said for Pokken DX and MK8 DX. I much rather would have had an entirely new Mario Kart game. I know that ports require less resources and I know Nintendo wants to keep people’s attention so they probably feel the pressure to bring as many games to the system as they can. Which is fine, but I feel like they’re going about it in a less than ideal way.

Ofcourse I’m not a big publisher and I know these games will sell well, even for people that already own their WiiU counterparts. But it still feels like they could have put this time of porting into focussing on bringing the Virtual player to the Switch, do something about the My Nintendo rewards for Switch (which they have finally announced!) or just give us more customizability. And maybe take a look at the Switch E-shop and get rid of all the shovelware games.

I guess I’m just a bit salty about not being able to look forward to a lot of actual new games. I know that Kirby Star Allies will come out and I will definitely pick that one up, aswell as most likely Project Octopath Traveler and Bayonetta 3. I’ve also not nearly finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Super Mario Odyssey so I still have tons of hours of playtime to get out of my Switch without even having to look at the ported games. But where my 3DS library is full of amazing games I feel like my Switch is falling behind… And that’s not what I hoped it would do.
I just really hope Nintendo picks up on the mixed messages when it comes to porting games and devotes more time to develop sequels instead.

Gaming Goals: January 2018

First off all I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that 2018 will be 100% better than 2017 for everyone. I spent my New Years eve celebrating with one of my best friends. It was a day and evening filled with games, good company and nice food. Ofcourse I went to bed a bit too late which means I’m going to bed nice and on time tonight to be well rested for work tomorrow. I’m also happy I decided to clean my room before leaving. I’m now home and have a bed with freshly washed sheets and an empty desk to look at, which makes me happy.

Now before I want to start talking about my plans for January I want to look back at December and what I’ve accomplished.

  • In World of Warcraft I managed to get my Paladin to level 110 and completed the Class Hall Campaign pre Legionfall. I decided to stop there and focus on gearing up and clearing out the remaining quests that I had before pushing on to Argus and eventually my Class Mount. She’s sitting on ilvl 850 now and I’m slowly whittling down my quest log. I’m quite happy with the progress I made considering I was sick in bed for an entire week. I really have to mention that I enjoyed the Paladin Class campaign like no other campaign so far. I like how it tied in with the Priest one and how everything played out. Next to working on my Paladin I’ve also picked up my Warrior again. I finally finished the Legionfall campaign, got Exalted status with them and got my Class mount. I’ve decided to slowly work through Argus on her and do some LFR to experience the story of Tomb of Sargeras and Antorus but that’s it.
  • In FFXIV I managed to get my Astrologian to 70 early on in the month and had my Miner ding 61. I’ve stalled on my Botanist however, she’s currently sitting around halfway to level 68. I do want to make the push towards 70 asap on that and my Miner so I can clear gear from my bags and maybe so I can start making some money. I’ve also casually been leveling my Machinist, it’s 61, and I’m quite happy with that. Ofcourse I’ve also done the christmas Event on both my characters so I now own my very own flying bear!
  • In non MMO games I’ve not made that much progress. I’ve played a bit of Xenoblade Chronicles, some I am Setsuna and Puyo Puyo Tetris but otherwise I’ve not really touched any games. It’s a bit disappointing but inbetween the stress from work and buying a house and feeling sick it really can’t be helped. I did manage to level another hero to level 5 in HotS so there’s that.
  • On the non gaming front I read the book I wanted to read in less than a week. I really enjoy this series by Patrick Rothfuss and I’m planning to read the rest of the series aswell. In series country I just couldn’t get into the Punisher. I don’t know if it’s just Marvel overload or if I just can’t watch another action packed series but instead of watching that I’ve delved deep into the serie “Lie to Me”. I’m currently halfway through season 2 and I’m sure I’ll watch the rest by the end of January.

Looking ahead to January I still want to keep my goals small. I will have a very tough month ahead of me work wise and I’m still not quite over my cold so I don’t want to plan too much while I know I probably won’t be able to do what I said I would. But this is what I’d like to accomplish the next month.

  • In WoW: Get Prestige rank 2 on my Warrior, finish off Argus on my Warrior and clear out any remaining quests that linger in my questlog. Do Tomb of Sargeras and Antorus for story on both Warrior and Paladin.
    On Paladin, push through the Legionfall and Argus story and get my Class Hall mount.
  • In FFXIV: Level my Botanist and Miner to level 70. Fiddle around on Machinist, no real level goal there, if I make it to 70 it’s nice, if not then no harm done.
  • Other games: play more Xenoblade Chronicles. Any progress is nice but I’d like to see a considerable part of the story before the month is over.
  • Non-gaming: Read “The Wise Men’s Fear” by Patrick Rothfuss. Finish watching “Lie to Me”. Watch the new season of “Black Mirror”

All in all this should be obtainable goals for the month. I have many more planned for the rest of the year and I’m planning to do a “goals for 2018” post somewhere this week. I don’t have big “real life” things to consider this year except for getting my apartment built so nothing should interfere with finally playing some of my backlog and having fun in MMO’s in 2018.

Super Mario Odyssey: Done!

Odyssey completed

After cleaning out over 300 spam messages I finally found some time to sit down and write again. I know I’ve not been active but I feel like I have to write about the game that has taken over my life for the past week: Super Mario Odyssey.
It’s funny how a game that I wasn’t even that hyped about has become the most fun game I’ve played in the entire year. From the moment I picked up the game on October 27th untill the moment I had beat Bowser I had a hard time putting it down. Nintendo did such an amazing job with this game and I’m so happy that I was able to pick it up and play it straight away. I don’t intend this post to be a review of sorts, I intend it to be a story about my journey through Super Mario Odyssey with a few screenshots added in here and there.

So where to start. I picked up the game on Friday last week and immediatly started playing it. The story for this game is obviously the classic Mario story, Peach has been kidnapped by Bowser and it’s up to you to save her. Only in this game you get a bit of help from Cappy, whose sister Tiara is also kidnapped to serve as headdress for Peach. You see, Bowser kidnapped Peach this time with the intent to marry her.
What follows is a crazy chase by Mario and Cappy through 13 kingdoms to save Peach from Bowser. Each kingdom is meaningful in it’s own way and contributes to the final wedding theme. What makes this game “unique” is mostly the Cappy capture mechanic. You can take over creatures in the world by throwing Cappy on top of them, which often leads to hilarious results. I’ve done obstacle courses as bullet Bill. I’ve built Goomba towers. I’ve taken over frogs, birds, hammer guys and in the end (SPOILER!!!!) even Bowser himself. This mechanic is important because you need it to cross levels, defeat bosses and get to moons and other collectibles in every level. Moons are the replacement of the usual Stars/Star coins and you need a minimum amount to be able to finish the game.

All of this sounds simple enough but Nintendo really overdid themselves with the level design for this game. All of the levels are 3D (with hidden 2D parts!), crazy big and open to exploration. You’re completely free to go almost anywhere and explore everything. Nintendo put in so many secrets and fun crazy little things that you won’t be done with this game for a long time if you decide to chase everything there is to get. You can collect outfits and give Mario different looks. You can collect stickers to put on your ship “the Odyssey”. You can collect interior decorations. All of this with regular coins and special currency tied to each level. And then there is the Moon chase game. There are a total of 800+ moons to collect in the world. Some will only open up post-game and there are even some worlds that are only accessible post-game. I’ve spent hours and hours just wandering through different worlds trying to discover all the secrets they had and I’m not even close (I’m currently sitting on 300 moons).

The worlds themselves are incredibly gorgeous. Obviously it’s not as realistic as say the new Assassin’s Creed but Nintendo really did their best. There are so many details. The lighting, the structures, the shadows. The water physics are gorgeous and you can take some amazing screenshots along the way.

Screenshot Mario Earth

The bossfights are innovative. I’ve had so many crazy mechanics thrown at me throughout the game and they all were a blast to play through and beat, even though I wanted to throw my Joycons through my room out of frustration sometimes. I really want to applaud the team that came up with these ridiculous fights because they ooze creativity and love for the game. It wouldn’t be a Mario game without them.

I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to finish the mainstory and do all my collecting post-game or if I wanted to collect as many things along the way on my first time through. It eventually became a mix. Some of the smaller realms I decided to just get as much as possible when I was there the first time. For the bigger realms I decided to go for all the obvious collectibles and get back to them later for the rest. I was afraid that if I would lose myself in the collection objective that I would never see the end of the game. So I made pushing through the story, and seeing the credits roll, my main priority. And I’m glad I did.
I’ve seen all the beautiful levels, I’ve fought all the wacky bosses and I was rewarded with one of the best escape sequences I’ve seen in gaming history. I know that I’ve dumped some screenshots and some movies on my Twitter and I’m currently uploading everything to an album on Facebook aswell. I’ve taken a ton of screenshots. Shot some great movies but above all I had fun. The most fun I’ve had in a game for years. And all thanks to Nintendo and their amazing developers who made this journey a worthwhile one, and one that I won’t be done with for atleast the coming months. Because yes, I want to collect everything that’s out there in the game.

I could go on and on about this game and how great it is and go into every single detail but I won’t. I just want to tell everyone who owns a Switch to go out and get this amazing game and write of dozens of hours of your life in it. Because it’s worth it.
Especially when you meet the most adorable puppy postgame! And discover that he also can help you out in your quest towards more moons.

Mario and Dog desert world

Not Switching… Yet

I know I’m a bit late to the whole Switch hype, but I needed some time to get my thoughts in order and be able to really express what I feel about this new console, the games that Nintendo announced for it and whether or not I would want to buy it at launch.

First up: What do I think of the Switch as a whole?
So far it looks to be a good console. Nintendo needed innovation and something to compete with the PS4 and Xbox One and I think they may have hit the right angle with the Switch. Not because performance wise it’s better, but mostly because they are making console games mobile. They have tried this with the WiiU aswell, but unfortunately the concept kind of failed. Now with the Switch there’s no more need to turn off a game because you have to travel somewhere… You just take the game with you! I loved this concept the moment Nintendo showed us at first and I’m still in love with the concept as of now. The only thing I really wonder about is if Nintendo will do away with the 3DS because of the Switch… But that is something they need to decide on their own. Personally I’m still in love with my 3DS and I hope they can let the two things co-exist for a while yet.
Onto some other details. I think the price tag is too high to warrant buying a Switch at launch. It’s €309-329 here, and then you only get the console with no games. Obviously the same was the case for the PS4 and Xbox One launch. And if I didn’t already own a WiiU and a PS4 with an enormous backlog to work through I probably would have taken the bait and bought a Switch at launch (with the new Zelda game). Right now though I just can’t justify to myself to buy one so I’ll probably hold out untill the after the Summer or around the Holidays of 2017. Seeing as my plan is to make a big dent into my gaming backlog this year, I feel like I can’t invest into a new console when I barely touched it’s predecessor in the year that I’ve owned it.
The amount of games at launch is also kind of disappointing. They really hope Zelda will carry the system long enough that people will invest in it. It’s a gamble, but I hope it pays off for Nintendo. I do realize that PS4 and X1 didn’t have many launch titles either so I can’t really say something about Nintendo not having that many titles at launch either.
All in all I think this could be a succesfull console, provided Nintendo makes a steady stream of first party games for it. I could do with a new Donkey Kong, Kirby or even a cool Disney title to make this console interesting for me.

The announced games
As far as first party games go, I’m mostly excited for the new Zelda game, the Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 2. I’m doubting if I want Zelda on my WiiU or the Switch though. I really need to know the differences between the games before I decide. Super Mario Odyssey just looks cool. Mario sandbox games have been quite succesful so far so I hope Nintendo makes this one just as good as Galaxy was. I’ve never actually played Splatoon but maybe the Switch will draw me into the game.
Now as far as third party games go. Hell yes Dragon Quest! I fell in love with the series after purchasing DQ7 for my 3DS and I will definately purchase DQ11 for the Switch. Next to that Square announced a new RPG especially for the Switch which is always something to be excited about. I also know Yooka-Laylee comes out for the Switch and the makers promised Nintendo players something extra over the other platforms so I’m actually brought to doubt whether I want that game on my PS4 or on the Switch. There are definately some things to look forward to on this console, but I’m unsure if I will buy games for the Switch when they also come out on the PS4 which, by all means, probably has better performance.
I am kind of disappointed by the Mario Kart 8: Deluxe. It really is just a port of MK8 with some added tracks and characters and I’m not sure if I want to invest in that, owning the original one on the WiiU.

So will I buy a Switch?
Eventually, yes. I think I’ll hold off on buying a lunch model. I rather wait untill bundles appear or when it might lower in price a bit. If there’s anything I learned over the years the prices of consoles and games drop really fast so it’s probably better to wait a bit. I also want to see the library Nintendo builds around the Switch over 2017. I really hope they have more games planned than they initially let show, but I guess only time will tell. Next to that I already stated that I have a huge backlog to work through, so I can’t justify to myself to buy a new console anyway. Not when I have so many unfinished games lying around. But maybe around the Holidays… maybe I will get a Switch.