Switch

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!

On A Roll

I texted my best friend earlier this week how for some reason I’ve been feeling more relaxed than I have in a very long time. Even if I did get called out of bed in the morning by a delivery driver. And honestly? It’s the truth. I feel like some sort of calm has finally settled into my erratic brain and because I’m not forcing myself to do anything now that I have a few days off I can finally focus on doing fun stuff instead. I still got some adulting done though, but not with as much pressures as I normally have when I have my regular weekends where I need to fit everything into two days. So with this stated I can proudly say I’ve been on quite a roll gaming wise these past few days.

For starters I sat down for a bit and moved my way through the Pokémon Sword post-game questline. All in all it took me a little under two hours to complete, with a lot of traveling back and forth and a lot of battling. I finally caught Zacian (the Sword Legendary Pokémon) and unlocked the Battle Tower in Wyndon. I’m not sure when I will be checking that out though, seeing as I spent quite a bit of time hunting a shiny Magikarp yesterday because of a special event. I managed to get one on the last max raid I did during the evening, so I am the proud owner of a shiny red Gyarados now. I also managed to catch a Lapras and a Gigantamax Butterfree aswell as start working away on evolving all the Pokémon in my bank.
All in all I’m quite content with how much time it has taken me to get to this point in the game. Granted, the game feels rather short compared to some of the older entries. I have over 70 hours clocked in Pokémon Black for instance and am not nearly finished with filling up the Pokédex there. It’s the one big flaw of the game for me, except the lacking of a National dex and all available Pokémon. It feels like with every new entry into the Pokémon series the stories have been getting cut shorter and shorter and the post-game has been made smaller aswell. Gone are the days where you’d have an enormous post-game riddled with mysteries and interesting ways to catch multiple legendary Pokémon. Now it’s a questline which opens up the Battle Tower after you’re done… And that’s it. Granted, I still need to fill up my Pokédex so that will take some time. However, unlike many die-hard Pokémon fans I’m going to stop the moment I have all the Pokémon registered in my dex. I have no interest in keeping a “living dex” where you have every single Pokémon as captured Pokémon in your boxes. I’m also not a huge fan of hunting shiny Pokémon. I think I’ve managed to capture two in my lifetime, not counting the shiny Magikarp of this event. One in Pokémon Black, a Golbat, and one in Pokémon Moon, a Rattata. Not the most thrilling Pokémon to have as shinies but I got them nonetheless. I also have a few shiny Pokémon from distribution events, but those don’t really count. So yeah. Right now I’m on about 33 hours played, mostly caused by the hunting for the shiny Magikarp, and I’m quite curious where the timer will be on once I manage to fill up the dex.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been making a ton of strides in clearing out sidequest content and leveling my Ninja. Not only did my Ninja hit 80, before that I managed to clean up all the side content in Raktika Greatwood, earning me the Ronkan Serpent minion aswell as finishing up the final quests I had in the Tempest. I also took some time to do some FATEs in the Tempest untill I had my “do 10 FATEs” challenge from the challenge log done. Luckily for me there were a few other people doing FATEs there aswell so we had a nice little train going. I even had a shimmer of hope that we could spawn the big boss FATE at some point seeing as how we got to the final prerequisite FATE but alas, the chain reset. It’s the one FATE achievement from Shadowbringers that I’m lacking. Maybe I should join a hunt discord or ingame channel seeing as how they usually keep tabs on the big FATEs and S-Rank hunts.
Speaking of hunts. I’m slowly working towards getting the mount from the Shadowbringers hunt clan. I don’t actively participate in the A-Rank and S-Rank hunting but I do try to do my daily hunts atleast. Doing those every day gives 110 seals a day, which isn’t actually too bad. Maybe I should look into doing the weekly B-rank aswell. For now though, if I keep going like this, I should have the mount by next week!
Finally I’ve started working way on my Bard. I’ve chosen to go the Trusts route here though. I want all my Trusts leveled and I only have a few classes left where I can do that on. So I’m taking my Bard through the motions with one team and one of my tanks with the other team. I’m probably going to keep it down to one Trust dungeon per day, mostly because running the same dungeon over and over gets tedious fast. Even if they upped the experience the Trusts get. Pixie dailies and cleaning up the remaining sidequests are also on the agenda for Bard, but I will skip roulettes for the time being.

All in all I’ve been diligently working away at my gaming goals. Having the extra time off has really given me a bit of motivation to push trough and get stuff done. I may even need to set some new goals at this pace!

Pokémon Sword “Finished” and January 2020 Goals

I figured I would start the New Year with a bang and as such have spent some time grinding away on the Pokémon storyline untill I saw the credits roll. Spoiler, it happened after I won the championship (shocker!). It took me about 22 hours to get through the story and when I was finished I had 86 different Pokémon species registered as “owned” in my Pokédex. I managed to do almost all of the content with a team of Galar only Pokémon but I have to admit that I had to swap in an Ice-type not from Galar at some point to defeat the Dragon Gym-leader, since I didn’t have anything that was effective against Dragons before I captured one of the two Legendary Pokémon that you can capture in Pokémon Sword/Shield.
I’m pretty happy that I’ve managed to finish this game in under two months from getting it and for now the focus will go out to completing the post game storyline so I can get the other Legendary Pokémon and slowly filling up my Pokédex. I’ve actually started that part already and I am now up to 106 Pokémon registered. Only 294 to go!

I also took the time today to finally do the World of Warcraft anniversary raid event before my sub would run out (it has less than two days to go at this point). I did the raids, they were fun, people suck at the Plague Dance for Heigan and then I got the Deathwing mount so all is right. I know that I could run the raids more often so I can get some gear from them but for now I’m satisifed. I think I’m going to let my subscription lapse for the time being, seeing as how I’ve not really touched the game ever since I unlocked flying and got Exalted with the Mechagon and Nazjatar factions. Maybe I’ll come back when they release the next patch or a bit before Shadowlands so I can gobble up a bunch of the story content that I’ve not done yet but for now I’m taking another hiatus.

So, with that information out of the way let’s look at what I want to do in the first month of 2020! I predict Final Fantasy XIV to still be my main MMO so I will set some goals there first. I think it’s the game where I will put most of my time so I want to set a generous amount of goals!

  • 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

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.

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

All these goals should be easily doable. Especially the FFXIV ones. One of the things I want to (again) start doing is pick a game from my massive single player games backlog and just play through it in a month’s time. Some games are shorter or longer than other games but I want to start making a dent in my massive collection. I also don’t have any plans to pick up full games this year for now. I’m probably getting the Kingdom Hearts 3 expansion and the new expansion for World of Warcraft but other than that I have nothing on my radar that I desperately want to get. But let’s start with Spider-Man for now!

December 2019 In Review

So here we are. The final month of the year. The final month of the decade even! I can’t believe how fast things have been flying by. I’ve been living in my own apartment for eight months now. I’ve been working my new job for four. I’ve had a lot of struggles throughout the year and unfortunately December hasn’t been much different. Despite it all I have made some progress when it comes to gaming and then especially in FFXIV. Let’s see what I’ve been up to, eh?

In Final Fantasy XIV
I’ve been steadily leveling battle jobs. The last time I wrote about this my Dancer was still sitting at level 60-something. Right now my Dancer is level 80, my Dragoon is level 80 and I’m slowly leveling my Ninja up to 80 aswell. I’ve been taking it slower on this job though. Instead of grinding out roulettes and whatever else I could get my hands on I’ve opted to do only one or two roulettes per day and instead focus on clearing out all the sidequests that I still have around. Oh and do pixie dailies and hunts because they are fast and easy. Right now I’ve just hit level 77 so I think I will be 80 on that by the weekend, even with taking it slow.
I’ve also been grinding out a lot of FATEs to get to max rank in all the areas of the First. And it’s been actually going quite well! So well in fact that I only have Ahm Araeng and The Tempest to go. It helps that you get a challenge log bonus for completing five and ten FATEs with a gold medal respectively. I’ve also been using it as a medium to level my Chocobo who, finally, hit rank 10 this month, earning myself the White Mage Barding seeing as I specced my Chocobo to be a Healer.
Finally I’ve been mopping up sidequests in various zones. I still have hubs to go in the Raktika Greatwood, Kholusia, Ahm Araeng and a few quests in the Tempest. It’s going to feel so good to finally not see any exclamation marks on my map anymore though!

In Pokémon Sword
I’ve gotten all 8 gym badges! It’s currently idling on my TV because I’m probably going to go into 2020 while playing this game and hopefully get closer to the credits as I do. I really only have the Pokémon League and whatever postgame is after that left and then I can kind of scratch the game off my “to-do” list. I’ve played for about 18 hours so far so that’s not too bad. I am going to try to finish up the Pokédex so I think I will have many more hours to go.

Next to Pokémon I’ve actually not really touched any single player games. There are a few that I may go back to after finishing up though, with Spider-Man on the PS4 and Link’s Awakening being the biggest candidates for that. I really want to make more of an effort to tackle my significant backlog of games in 2020 and seeing as how I’ve been able to complete games in 2019 I’m sure that with the right planning I can do it. I have so many amazing games that are just waiting to be played and for the first time in a while I’m actually really motivated to pick stuff up and finish it.

In other MMO’s…
I’ve logged into WoW to pick up the presents from the tree on Christmas day but that’s basically it when it comes to Azeroth. My sub is about to expire and I only have a few days left to complete the Anniversary Event and get the Deathwing mount so I may just reserve an evening to do exactly that.
I’ve also installed Lord of the Rings Online to see if I can get somewhere in that game. I want to expand my MMO horizons and it was a toss up between that and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Apparently both games are okay to start with on a F2P basis so I’m just going to roll with that and see if LOTRO captures my interest enough to want to put down money. So far I’m mostly trying to get over the outdated graphics and get used to the gameplay. I’ve only really played the tutorial fight though so I can’t really say anything just yet. I can say that I rolled an Elf (sorry Syp!) Archer because it’s my favourite fantasy trope. Let’s see how things will unfold there shall we?

In offline hobbies…
I’ve decided to pick back up puzzling again and bought myself a 1000 piece puzzle as said in my last post. I also have a diamond poster thing going on that I want to start on next. I’ll take a picture and explain better what it is when I get there. I really like just doing stuff like that, it helps me calm down and unwind without having to stare at a screen. I also let my eye drop on a very pretty, yet very expensive, Lego X-wing. I really want to build one but I have no idea where to put it once it’s finished so I’m holding off on buying it for now.
I’ve also been picking up reading again and am spending a bit more time watching movies and shows on Netflix and Disney+. I pay for both services so may aswell use them! I managed to devour the Witcher in one sitting and I’m currently rewatching the entire Star Wars saga after seeing Episode 9 in the theatre two weeks ago.

Finally…
I’ve decided that after this little experiment I do take kind to setting myself goals on a monthly basis. Even though I don’t always do what I want to do it helps me sort of make sense of what I want to achieve for the month. So starting tomorrow I will do a goals for January post again. For now I wish you all a nice New Years Eve!

Controllers and Tiny Hands

I told Belghast from Tales of the Aggronaut yesterday that I really enjoyed his post about finding a controller that would suit someone who has big hands. Mostly because I suffer from the exact opposite. My hands are, by all standards, tiny. It comes with the total package of being only 1.60m (or 5f3in for my US friends) tall. I have a small shoe size and smaller than average hands. Just to draw an equation: My best friend’s daughter, who is only 7 years old, almost has as big hands as I do.
Having these tiny hands can be very handy in some situations but for someone who likes playing games, a lot, this has caused it’s share of issues over the years in finding what controller and mouse fit my hand nicely without feeling too uncomfortable.
I can honestly say that I’ve not yet found a controller that is truly comfortable to hold for me, but there are a few that come very, very close.

Playstation’s Dualshock


I’ve been a Playstation gamer since I was very young. Their dualshock controllers have therefore always made the most sense to me layout wise and I guess I trained my hands from a very young age to handle this specific controller. Is it completely comfortable for me to hold? No. However this comes closest to taking the cake. It’s one of the smaller controllers out there and ergonomically it’s pretty good to be holding for longer amounts of time. In it’s current incarnation I can reach all buttons, although I have some issues with using the touchpad itself. My thumbs sort of reach the lower bottom corners so I can press it when needed but when I need to use the navigational features I have to take one hand off the grip and navigate that way because my thumbs just don’t extend enough.
Any variation of the Dualshock usually turns out bigger and bulkier and as such I never bought anything else to play with, with the so called “Pro” controllers being completely unusable for me. I currently own two Dualshock Controllers. One that came with my Original PS4 and one that I bought on sale a few years back so that I always have one to use while the other one charges. They’re very sturdy and I think they will serve me well for a few more years atleast.

The Nintendo Switch Joycons

Surprisingly, I really enjoy handling the Nintendo Switch Joycons. I guess this stems from the fact that the Switch has been partly developed to be handled by children and as such the Joycons are pretty small by any standard. I actually really enjoy just taking the Joycons off the Switch and play with holding one of them in each hand. They fit snugly and I can easily reach all the buttons. And even though I show them in the picture with the wrist straps attached I actually prefer playing without those. It’s kind of a shame that Joycons are so ridiculously expensive, €75-80 for a pair. I currently own two pairs. The pair pictured here and the neon blue/red ones that came with my Switch when I bought it.
Compared to the Dualshock the Joycons do feel way more fragile and “cheap” in a way, but then again they are much smaller and still hold all that technology to make them work. For me the small and flat shape of the Joycons is ideal atleast and I have no issues playing for hours with them. I even want to go as far as to say that these are the best controllers Nintendo has made for me so far since the NES/SNES area where controllers were still much smaller. And even back then the NES/SNES controllers were inferior to the SEGA Mega drive (Genesis in the US) controller for my tiny kid hands since the Genesis controller was curved whereas the NES controllers were square bricks and the SNES controllers just made no sense to my kid brain. And as far as the rest of Nintendo contraptions go.. Let’s just say I’m happy that they went with Joycons.
I think the only downside to the Joycons is that they’re miss a bit of grip on the backside of them. If they had a place where I could comfortably rest my fingers they would most definitely take the top spot for me.

And I think for me the list ends here with controllers that I actually use without feeling like my hands cramp up from having to hold them for a longer amount of time. It may be a bit dull but I’ve not really owned many different types of consoles and thus controllers in my lifetime. I was always a handheld gamer, which was pretty nice for someone with small hands. Even there I notice that I can’t really use some handhelds properly though. When I was a kid I got a Gameboy Pocket because the bigger original Gameboy was just way too bulky to hold. I’ve always owned the smaller versions of the Nintendo handheld lines and even though my “main” handheld is a 3DS XL right now it’s actually a bit too big to fit my hands properly and as result I can’t play with it for very long before my hands get tired from holding it.

There’s two more controllers that I can handle okay, but that I don’t really feel belong on this list, and that’s the Switch Pro controller and the Wii-U Pro controller. They’re both slightly too big for my hands, for instance on the Wii-U controller I can’t really reach the Home button well but ergonomically they do work, with the button layout on the Wii-U one being a bit more sensible to me.

And for all other controllers out there.. I’m sure I’ve not tested enough to really form an opinion. There is however one controller that is just a HUGE no for me.. And that’s the XBOX one. Sorry Microsoft.
I own a wired 360 controller that I bought before I got my PS4 to play games with a controller on my PC. I managed to make it work but ever since I got my PS4 I switched to the Dualshock and basically chucked that controller into a corner and never looked back. The layout is horrible for my hands. The controller is too big and just so unwieldy for me to hold, I really don’t enjoy playing anything with it at all. This has been true for all incarnations of the XBOX controllers and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

All in all I feel the scope of controllers for people with small hands is rather limited. I know that in the PC gaming world they’ve developed some mice for women, which are smaller, but maybe the console world should start looking into this aswell. Not all gamers are men and there are some of us out there that could do with smaller and less weighty controllers that are easier to wield. I think Google has tried to make an effort with their Stadia controller, which they designed with smaller hands in mind aswell so they can appeal to a larger audience. Unfortunately I don’t think I will ever get to test that controller since I don’t ever plan to subscribe to Stadia but atleast there’s one company making an effort.

So if any representative from Nintendo, Playstation or Microsoft happens to come across this post, design a controller for small hands! You have so many women and girls that play your consoles and I for one would be so happy to own a controller that is truly nice to hold, where I can actually reach all the buttons and that isn’t heavy after an hour of play.

Gaming Goals: November 2019 In Review

So. In a whim I’ve decided to shake up my monthly goal posts. Even though I really enjoy setting myself some longer term goals I feel like they’re just summaries of all the things I didn’t achieve lately. So instead I want to turn these monthly posts into “reviews” at the end of the month with a short focus on expectations for the coming month instead.
No more detailed goals, no more frustrations over me getting to the goals or not but instead a positive focus on all the things I did manage to accomplish. So let’s start out shall we?

In Final Fantasy XIV…
I’ve had a very productive month. I’ve leveled my Blacksmith, Armorer and Leatherworker all up to level 70/71. This was helped by the crafting/gathering overhaul that patch 5.1 presented and I have decided to take my focus off crafting for the time being since I have achieved the goal that I wanted to at the start of the month. I’ve also completed all the associated job quests for these classes, allowing me to focus fully on those last ten levels when I feel like it.
In a moment of realization that levequests have also been boosted significantly experience wise I managed to take my Fisher from level 48 to 64 in a single hour by just buying fish off the Market Board and handing them in to the levequest people. I’m a bit stuck now though and instead am catching up on all the job quests that I’ve skipped. I’m sitting on the one for level 55 right now which I’m actually trying to complete on my own. I have unlocked Spearfishing aswell and I’m quite curious to see that in action once I’ve caught up on all the job quests.
On the battle jobs front I’ve taken my Monk and Paladin up to level 80 and my Samurai to 77. I’ve deviated from my original plan for this a bit but it has paid off in the end. I finished the last remaining class questchain in Shadowbringers, the Tank one, and opened up the final quest that ties all those class quests together. I’ve gone back and done the level 80 Monk, Paladin and Astrologian quests and enjoyed all the small stories they told.
I’ve also done all the new content that was added with patch 5.1, I unlocked the new deliveries (Kai-Shirr), did the Copied Factory and caught up to the Mainstory. I think the only thing I haven’t properly touched is the Ishgard Restoration but that will probably come up once I turn my attention to crafting again. As for the Pixie dailies.. For all intents and purposes I’ve finished off their story. I am currently not exactly max rank yet but I have the achievement for finishing the “story” and I am the proud owner of a flying pig.
On my White Mage I’ve been slowly getting back into the habit of doing ex-roulettes again so I can start gearing up my other classes and I’ve finished another book for my Animus weapon.
I notice that I tend to play a lot of FFXIV on my days off because it’s just very nice to sit down and get stuff done that way than when I’m tired during the evenings.

On my Nintendo Switch
I have kind of abandoned Link’s Awakening. I managed to get the key to the Angler’s tunnel but I’ve not yet figured out how to get into the dungeon itself. This was around the time that Pokémon released so I shelved the game and instead turned my attention to Pokémon.
In Pokémon Sword I’ve made it past the third badge. My Pokémon are all between level 28-30 and I’ve been sent back into the Wild Area. I have a choice now to backtrack and catch any Pokémon that I missed previously or soldier on to the next town, Hammerlocke, and continue the story and challenge the fourth gym. This is kind of where I left off last week and I’ve not picked the game up yet because I’ve been busy with work and FFXIV.
I am immensly enjoying the game though, in spite of all the negativity surrounding it. I know a lot of hardcore Pokémon fans are really unhappy with a lot of things like a lack of national Pokédex or a very short post game story. Personally I’m just enjoying what the game does have on offer and I am tackling it on my own pace. I do want to aim to complete the Pokédex of this game in earnest so I know I will sink a lot of hours into it the coming months.

In my personal life
I’ve had a really rough month. Work has been an absolute nightmare with me working a lot of overtime and experiencing a lot of stress due to things beyond my control. The only big positive thing was getting my new car last Friday which was everything I hoped for and more. I love the colour and the way it drives. Now I just need to plan a few longer trips so I can take it for a proper spin instead of just driving it around town.
I’ve been watching a lot of tv and reading books. I decided to re-read the Harry Potter series in tandem with the movies that have been showing here every Monday evening. I’m currently halfway through the final book and am rediscovering a lot of things that I had forgotten over time. So a lot of my evenings have revolved around being a couch potato and just staring at the tv, being too tired to really do anything else. I hope the worst has passed though and things will get better from here.

Looking ahead to December…
It will still be a busy month at work and we have holidays to boot. I don’t really have a real vacation to speak off, but I did manage to get the two days off between New Year’s Day and the weekend so there’s that. My Christmas is already booked so I don’t have to worry what I will be doing then and I think I’m going to spend New Year’s Eve at home by myself to enjoy welcoming the new year in my own house for the first time.

I think I will still put the majority of my gaming time into FFXIV to level up more classes and slowly start to gear them up aswell. I really want to find some time to dedicate to World of Warcraft and their anniversary event and Guild Wars 2.
I will definitely have made progress in Pokémon Sword, I may have even defeated the champion if everything goes well.
Maybe the Kingdom Hearts 3 expansion will come out this month aswell and if it does I will set some time aside to buy it and play through whatever they added to the game, even if it only takes me an afternoon.
Other than this everything is up in the air. I realize that I want to blog a bit more often so I may start taking daily notes of what I’ve been up to and turn those into 2-3 weekly posts per week. I guess we’ll see.