Late To The Party: Atelier Ryza 1

Ever since I’ve gotten a Playstation 4 in January of 2014 I’ve been a little dragon hoarding all sorts of games. Finally having a disposable income combined with a bad impulse spending habit led to me building up a backlog of almost 300 games in about 10 years time. Even though I do play some games “on time” most of the games I’ve gotten I barely touched, if at all, and are patiently sitting there waiting for me to play it. My goal starting in 2024 is to finally get to all the games that I have neglected over the past 10 years and even though I’m late to the party I still intend to enjoy myself moving through this backlog. I will be writing about the games I finish with full spoilers, so be warned!

My first late to the party game: Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness and the Secret Hideout.

I picked up the first instalment of the Atelier Ryza series out of curiousity when it was on a Steam sale. There are a lot of JRPG series that I never touched and after reading the description I figured I wanted to give this game a try. This was in 2021. After playing it for about an hour and a half I shelved the game until last week where I dusted it off and started a brand new playthrough.

Atelier Ryza takes you to the world of Reisalin Stout, nickname Ryza, and her two best friends Tao and Lent and their home on Kurken Island where nothing ever happens and Ryza spends her days trying to go on grand adventures away from her parents farm. There are a lot of strict rules on the Island and one of the big ones is that you’re not allowed to go to the mainland for any old reason. However Ryza’s world will change forever when she meets Empel and Lydia who help her save Klaudia, a wealthy merchant’s daughter, from certain death on an illicit trip to the mainland.

After this meeting Ryza turns into an “Alchemist” and the grand adventure starts. A really big part of the game consists around gathering materials and turning said materials into other materials, useful items and armour through Alchemy. Story beats are locked behind certain Alchemy recipes and your ability to craft them to certain standards. Yes, next to being able to craft recipes in the first place all the things you can craft also have a quality level. If you are unable to meet said quality level you have no chance of continuing quests or storylines in the game. If you’re into that kind of gameplay loop it’s very satisfying to do the gather -> craft -> craft bigger loop over and over again. There is 184 recipes to be learned and very high quality items to be crafted. Personally I found the loop to become pretty boring after a while and as such didn’t pursue the Alchemy tied post-game grind after I was done with the mainstory.

Speaking of story. This game is a real coming of age tale with a young girl finding her path in life together with the friends she’s made along the way. It’s a real bog standard JRPG tale where a big bad is threatening the world as our protagonist knows it and that reality isn’t what it seems to be. Of course in the end our group of heroes vanquishes the big bad and after fixing their Island, which turns out to be artificially made, all is well in the world and everyone is able to pursue their dreams.
I think I personally would’ve loved this type of story a lot more when I was younger but now that I’m in my 30’s it kind of falls flat for me. Next to the mainstory there are also numerous side stories to do in the game, and even though I did them all because I’m a dirty completionist, I don’t think they are really worth your time. Apart from some nice recipes and some upgrade gear here and there, which you can also craft yourself if you want, the stories themselves aren’t very interesting or innovative and they are mostly craft/fetch and talk to people quests.

As far as combat goes, there is a combat system and it’s a bit of a weird mix between turn based gaming and real time ticking away. I didn’t really like it all that much because even though the game tries to encourage you to mix and match your party (you will have 6 characters total where 3 can be active in the party at any time) there is no real reason to ever swap characters out once you have found your comfortable playing combo. Just kit out your three main characters with the best gear, completely ignore the other three and you’re ready to tackle everything the game has to offer. The only good thing is that levels are gained group wise so if you ever do want to mix and match you can easily swap out and swap gear and you’re good to go. With alchemy you can make some really powerful items that completely cheese any type of combat in the story mode part of the game which is nice but also makes it kind of dull. I was able to craft an item with which I basically 4-shot the final boss of the game, the Queen of Darkness, just by using it on every turn I got on the character I had it equipped. Not particularly how you want get through a bossfight. It did came in handy when grinding levels though since it would straight up kill any non-boss creature in the area.
Unfortunately the combat turned me off enough that I didn’t want to take on the post-game super bosses which are apparently a lot harder than anything you face during the mainstory.

Finally I’m still kind of intrigued by how some JRPG’s use Europe in their games. This particular bit of the Atelier series draws heavily from the German language to name things and even though it’s not immersion breaking at all it sounds weird to hear German in a completely Japanese voiced game.

Final thoughts
All in all I thought the game was okay so if I had to grade it, it would be a 6/10. The story was standard. The combat wasn’t too interesting. Alchemy was fun but also became tedious after a while. The game didn’t pull me in enough to want to try the post-game bosses nor to want to buy into the DLC they added later. I know there’s two more parts to the Atelier Ryza series but I think I’ll let those pass me by for now. I got it off the backlog, it took me about 29 hours and I’m content I got it done.

When DLC Is Not Fun

After I finished last week’s post I also finished the base game of Final Fantasy 7 Remake. It was a wild ride with a lot of emotion, as is usual from modern Square Enix, and especially the final battle sequence against what is essentially fate and then Sephiroth was incredible. Square Enixe really did kick the cradle and told us to expect the unexpected with this remake of one of their most beloved games going forward. Even though I never played the original game, I’m very much in love with the story of this remake and I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.
Which brings me to the topic I want to talk about…

Right after finishing off the base game I dove into the Yuffie DLC that was announced later and I think is a PS5 and PC exclusive. I bought it on sale to play after I finished the main story since I owned the game from PS4 and thought it was silly to just buy the entire game again for PS5 while I got an upgrade for free. And I think that is where I made the mistake. See I already burned out pretty hard on a DLC last year when I finished Horizon Zero Dawn and immediatly did the Frozen Wastes DLC after. I just got off the main story high and after that the DLC story just seemed… Less. I understand that, for people who actually finished the game on time getting a new snippet of story about a year later and getting to go back to a beloved game must’ve been epic. For me though, I burned out on it, didn’t like the new machines and basically only put in the effort needed to finish the main story content and I ignored most of the side stuff.

The same has kind of happened in my Yuffie DLC playthrough. The tone of the story, especially in chapter one, is completely different from the maingame and I had a hard time adjusting to it, aswell as the gameplay of Yuffie herself. Not to mention that I didn’t get complete control over Sonon and that really bothered me after being able to switch freely between all characters in the FF7R maingame.
This made me almost game over on the very first fight I had both of the characters in the party. Granted it was the Ramuh summon fight and that isn’t the easiest to complete but still. I couldn’t position Sonon and just had to rely on the AI to not be dopey and accidentally keep him in bad stuff. Which is exactly what happened and what caused him to die midway through the fight. Luckily I could solo the rest with Yuffie but it did annoy me.
I feel like the story only really came alive in the second chapter which, because of the lack of sidecontent, was way shorter than the first. I also gave up doing the stupid timed box killing challenge for the trophy because I just couldn’t get Yuffie to target the things I wanted to and the moment you’re not perfect in your run it’s impossible to get that 50k points done.

Perhaps it’s also to do with just coming off the epic story that was the Final Fantasy 7 Remake into a two chapter mini story that may or may not have significance for the next installment. I didn’t really get to bond to these characters because I was done so fast. 6 hours and I spent at least an hour or two trying to do all the Fort Condor sidegame stuff, and as such my overal feelings have just been “meh”. Which is rather a waste of what is supposed to be a fun little step back into the world of FF7R after finishing the game at an earlier point in time. Maybe I just need to learn to play games on time and then maybe I can enjoy stepping back into the world I so loved for a small story. I guess I can test this theory with the DLC for Final Fantasy 16 that has come out and which I bought with funds from my work Christmas gift. I haven’t touched the game since I played it back in June/July last year and I’m actually quite eager to dive in and play as Clive a little more and see what content they added to the game. I’m planning to do that somewhere this month so I guess I’ll let you guys know how that turns out.

As far as plans for gaming the rest of this week. I’m working on the current Disney Dreamlight Valley season pass as well as poking around in Persona 4 Golden and Sea of Stars. I’ve taken a little break after FF7R though so I can reset my brain for the next epic story to settle in and I don’t think I’ll get that much gaming done since I will be gone for most of the weekend. Anyway I’m happy that I managed to tick a game off my backlog and hopefully this is the first of many this year!

2024: A New Gaming Year

It’s been a while since I wrote here about gaming goals, gaming in general and well… you know. It’s not been a quiet year for me in 2023. I’ve played through a few games, both long and short. I added to my backlog, I raided in Final Fantasy XIV and cleared P12S and I had a few weeks of complete gaming burnout where I didn’t want to touch any of my consoles or my PC at all.
As far as 2023 goes, my game of the year definitely was Final Fantasy XVI. I played through it at launch and I had a blast doing so. As usual Square Enix tugged majorly on my heartstrings with that game and maybe I’ll go back and finish it on Final Fantasy mode to get the platinum trophy. For now though I will tackle the first DLC this month and go back to the world I loved playing through so much in June.

Looking ahead to 2024 I really want to make a serious dent in my backlog. I’m not making any new game purchases this year with the exception of the new Final Fantasy XIV expansion in the summer. Otherwise no new games will get added to my backlog. I’m going to resist all the sales, even if they’re amazing. This year is the year of finishing games, not buying more that just sit there to collect dust.

Speaking of which, I can knock the first game off my backlog for this new year. I saw a discord member in one of the streamer discords I’m in streaming Final Fantasy 7 Remake and it made me remember that I never finished that game. I got to chapter 8 back in 2020 and then put the game down and never picked it back up, which is a huge shame because the game is absolutely amazing. As of writing this blog post I’m in the final chapter (18) of the game and I’m on the final bossfights. I will be doing these fights tomorrow after work and then it’s just the DLC left, which I bought on sale, and I can shelf the game and mark it as finished. This also means I’m very ready for the next part to come out, but I won’t be buying it immediatly because 1. it’s very expensive and 2. my resolution is to not add to the backlog so I’m not going to, even with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth around the corner.
I’m pretty happy to be able to cross this game off the list though, it’s a great game with a great story and it boosts my motivation to be able to take a game off my backlog within the first week of January.

As for writing about games well. I want to use Wednesdays for that, to keep you guys updated on what I’ve been up to, what games I may have taken off the backlog, what I though about them and what the next week will probably look like.

So in summary my two major goals in gaming for 2024 are:

  • Make a signifcant dent in my backlog, this means about 10% of my total played
  • Write about this, and other gaming shenanigans every Wednesday

Let’s make 2024 count!

I’m in my gamer girl era

I’ve always hated the moniker “gamer girl”. Especially 10-15 years ago it was a negative label. As if you were an attention seeker and not a real gamer. I always saw myself as a gamer who happened to be a girl and so I avoided being labeled like the plague. I felt like I couldn’t like the cute stuff and the pink and white setups, because those weren’t for serious gamers but for girls who liked games like the Sims, Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing only. However, if you want to improve your poker game, it’s essential to focus on strategy and skill development.
Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I never was a girly girl growin up. Sure I liked to wear dresses, but as a child I would climb the highest trees in our neighbourhood in those dresses. Pink as a colour never really appealed to me and I hated most traditional girly clothes. In my teens I was a bit of a goth/emo kid and liked to have a very dark wardrobe with some splashes of colour and I was still very far from feminine.

As I’ve grown older I feel like I’ve outgrown the need for labels. I’m a huge fan of Sailor Moon, always have been, as well as Pokémon and a lot of other adorable things. I’ve been looking up ways to make my gaming space more to my taste and surprisingly enough these tastes now also feature more girly colours like pastels, lots of purples and even some pinks. I really enjoy browsing all the cozy girl setups with their adorable PC’s and PC corners, both minimalistic or stuffed to the brim with stuff. I’ve been looking for stuff that I enjoy using and what I feel looks good in my little corner. I’m still holding on to my (black) Razer Naga and I have black monitors and a very black and blue steering wheel attached to my desk. But I’ve also invested in a very cute Sailor Moon themed keyboard (as shown above) and a big Star Guardian mousemat, which is obviously Riot’s take on the magical girl manga genre. I’ve also gathered some small Disney plushies, some of which actually smell sweet as well, and gotten a few figurines and Funko’s to liven up my desk space. I’m saving up for a peg board so I’ll have a place to put my controllers and my headset as well as some other miscellaneous stuff. I’m also looking at some RGB paneling to put on my wall and set it to the colours I prefer every day.

So I guess I’m turning into a gamer girl and honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with that anymore. Hopefully in a while I can post a picture of my cute setup and I will bring all the stuff with me when I move to a new place, where I can hopefully dedicate an entire room to my hobby instead of just a small corner in my living room. But you have to start somewhere right? And I get to be a grumpy 30+ year old, dressed completely in black surrounded by pretty pastel gaming gear. And I’ll be loving the heck out of it.

We do a little travelling and gaming

As the summer wanes and the days gradually shorten, I reflect on the fortune of living life on my terms. Travel has become my passion, especially to Budapest, a city I’ve fallen deeply for over the past three years. In fact, my dedication to exploring its beauty is so steadfast, much like the commitment of a friend who works at a fire watch company in Dania Beach, providing indispensable safety services with the same reliability and consistency. Just as they’re prepared for any emergency with their well-trained personnel and immediate response capabilities, I am ready for my annual pilgrimage to Budapest, planning to cherish this tradition for the foreseeable future.

I came back home from Sziget on Monday evening. Last year the festival was an absolute blast, but this year it felt less. There were considerably less acts that were performing, the food was disastrous and the prices of everything went through the roof. I understand we are living in a time where there is a cost of living crisis, but expecting me to pay €15 for a plate of reheated (IN THE MICROWAVE) fries and onion rings is beyond absurd. So I turned my back on the festival for the most part and enjoyed Budapest as city. I climbed up to the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Castle to take in the amazing views of the city from up high. I ate good food and melted away in the city parks because it was 30 degrees Celsius during the day in the shade. I still got to see the acts I wanted, most notably Yungblud and David Guetta, and I managed to turn what was a very disappointing experience into something I could still enjoy.

Next to travelling I’ve also been busy with and in games. For some reason I finally caught the “I want to tackle my backlog” bug and with the release of Final Fantasy 16 I knew I had some epic game times ahead of me, and boy I wasn’t wrong.
In the past 2 months I’ve finished three games and I’m working my way through the fourth and fifth as we speak. I managed to get the platinum trophy in Horizon Zero Dawn and play through the DLC. After that I picked up Final Fantasy 16 and completed the game in a little over three weeks time. No platinum trophy there though because I’m just not up for another playthrough right now. After that I picked up Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart which I finished last week, and platinumed. Finally I’ve started playing Horizon Forbidden West right before I flew out to Hungary and I’ve been playing Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D on my 3DS during my Budapest trip. I’m going to try to platinum Horizon Forbidden West but I don’t know if I want to get all the collectibles in DKCR yet, I guess I’ll see how I feel once I reach the final boss. I’m only in the second world as of right now so I still have most of the game ahead of me.

In Final Fantasy XIV I’ve been raiding with a static for the final raidtier of the expansion again. We have killed P9/10/11S and are currently staring down P12S. I hope we can kill it sooner rather than later but seeing as we’re still in phase 1 of the fight I don’t think it’ll happen anytime soon. My Dancer is completely kitted out though and apart from a weapon upgrade and the final tomestone upgrade token I’m completely in best in slot gear. Something I’m actually pretty proud of. I’m also not doing too badly on the DPS rankings, parsing greens and blues when I’m not being a derp and dying and all in all I’m having a good time. I’ve also been steadily working away at leveling all my alt jobs, I just finished Summoner/Scholar to 90, and I’m catching up on some beast tribes that I’ve neglected. Finally I’m pursuing all the relic weapons of this expansion, seeing as how they’ve decided that the only grind there will be is the tomestone grind it’s not as hard as previous expansions.

All in all I feel like I’m in a good space when it comes to spending time on games and finally tackling all the games I’ve purchased over the last 10 years. I’m really enjoying sitting on my couch and playing stuff on my PS5 as well as grinding away in FFXIV for the time being. In a few weeks we will also get a new patch for Disney Dreamlight Valley and of course a new season pass so I will put some time into that as well.

As far as other aspects of my life go… I’m picking up my training routine again after letting it slide for the past few months. I bought a few nice brand jeans on sale and I want to fit them properly so that is the goal for the next month or two. Eventually I want to get down to 65kg, but babysteps. Work is stressful but manageable and I already know when my next holiday will be so that helps to keep my sanity in that department. Hopefully once I get a good work/sports/gaming/social life routine figured out I can tackle more things but for now that is the aim and I hope to be able to do it in the remainder of this year.

FFXIV: Manderville Madness

I’ve been on a bit of a tear when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV the past few weeks. I’ve been leveling alt jobs and crafters, with getting Warrior, Paladin and Weaver to level 90 and Carpenter sitting at 86 right now. I’ve finished up the Tank story questline for this expansion which was pretty neat and I’ve managed to gear up my Dancer as much as I could with a combination of tomes and the weekly raid. I’ve also started gearing up my White Mage as I may be raiding as that in a few weeks but the verdict is yet to be out on that. It could just as well be Dancer. I guess we’ll see.

My main focus however has been working on getting all the Manderville weapons, which are the relic weapons of this expansion. There’s a bit of a lull in the game right now as everyone is waiting for the new patch to drop. We have a Moogle tome event right around the corner, which has some rewards I definitely have my eyes on, and all in all it’s a great time to turn to something that requires a bit of a grind. I have tried to get a lot of Relic weapons in the years I’ve been playing this game. Some I got during the appropriate expansion, or in case of my Dragoon Zeta right after, and there’s one expansion I’ve completely skipped because I really really dislike Eureka when it was released. Now however we are still on the first two steps of this relic weapon and seeing as how it’s just a tome grind so far it’s relatively easy to obtain them. It’s 1500 tomestones of astrology, which is the non-weekly capped currency, for the first stage of the weapon and then another 1500 tomes for the second. I’ve calculated that it’s about 800 tomes if you do all the roulettes in a day (I know I’m off by a few, but I can’t be arsed to look it up) so that means you get the base and the first upgrade doing four days of roulettes.
All in all not too bad, even though I am slightly disappointed that this is the way Square Enix decided to go for the relic weapon in this expansion. Although the Hildibrand quests tie-in is hilarious, as always, I wish they would make the steps to acquire the relic weapon upgrades a bit more interesting than just “go and grind out 1500 tomes”. Maybe they are listening to the fans, because this is the sentiment that lives in a big part of the playerbase, and the next step will be more interesting than just a tome grind.

Now. I’ve been working down a list of weapons and I’m currently sitting on four relic weapons plus the first upgrade. I obviously got the Dancer one and then I got the White Mage one next. This week I’ve finished both the Warrior and Dark Knight weapons, as shown in the screenshot above, and I’m currently working on the Sage weapon. Eventually I want all the weapons but seeing as how I don’t have all jobs at level 90 yet I have a nice list to work with, making it a doable project. I think I will get to a point where the moment a new job reaches level 90 I will have a weapon for it ready to go. For now though I’m sitting at 4/19 weapons obtained so I still have a long way to go!

Pathing Away

As I’ve spent an hour this morning running around in my Dreamlight Valley I’d figure I talk a bit about that game today. A few weeks ago the new patch dropped giving us Simba and Nala, a new seasonal pass and the Easter event. There were also some quests added and of course a variety of new companions, furniture and outfits. But the big three things were the two new Disney characters, the new Starpath (aka season pass) and the Easter event. Which gave me plenty of reason to return to my Valley again after finishing up all the stuff I wanted to in March.

Unlocking Simba and Nala was pretty straight forward. A new room opens up in the Dreamlight Castle, you enter it, you go to their realm. A few quests need to be done that will require you to travel back and forth between their realm and the valley and at the end of it all they agree to come back with you. After which they start to remember that they were living in your valley all along. When they find out that Scar is there you get a bit of an interaction, but otherwise the process is smooth and they move into their home of Pride Rock without a hitch. From there I’m working on getting both to level 10, which in turn will unlock various other things in the way of furniture, clothes, designs and, with Nala’s quest line, new recipes for me to make.
The Easter event is pretty straight forward aswell. There’s eggs you can harvest from bushes and eggs randomly on the floor of your biomes. These eggs you can combine to plant seeds for a third type of egg and you need all of these to make furniture, some meals and to unlock three spring type bunny companions. All in all something you can be finished with in a week. On top of that you also get a weekly and daily quest from Wall-E to catch rabbits and make flower baskets, which in turn will reward eggs. It’s cute, it’s simple and it’s something to do when you don’t have anything else going on.

The Starpath is this game’s version of a season pass with rewards. It asks you to do certain tasks, as shown in the picture above, that will reward you with tickets. From those tickets you can then buy rewards like designs for on your clothing, outfits for the various characters in your valley, furniture and premium currency.
Seeing as how this is planned to be a free to play game once it goes out of early access the game needs to make it’s money somehow, so they implemented a premium currency because of course. The premium currency is also needed to unlock the full rewards of the Starpath and the full range of duties you can do for rewards. If you don’t unlock the premium path you will only be able to get certain rewards and the amount of duties you can do to earn tickets is reduced to three instead of six at a time. As you can see in the above screenshots I have six duties at a time, which means that yes, I used premium currency to open up the Starpath. Why? Because at the time of writing this post the game is not free to play yet. You need to buy into it with a founder’s pack and if you do it comes with premium currency as reward. I bought the cheapest pack, which was €29,99 and so far I feel like I’ve definitely got my money’s worth. I’ve spent almost 100 hours in the game so far (96,6 hours at the time of writing this according to Steam) and I’m not nearly done with it yet. I plan to rearrange my entire valley after I’m done with this Starpath so I can put down all the cool furniture I’ve gotten so I’m sure that will take up a lot of time before I’m happy with what I have. And with the new update coming in June, with another Starpath attached to it, there isn’t a lack of content to look forward to.
This months’ Starpath is tied to Disney Parks and it gives you a bunch of iconic Disney rides, clothes and designs that are tied to Park motifs and a few outfits for Donald and Goofy. There is also a community challenge running to place certain furniture, that you partially get from the Starpath, which in turn gives rewards as well. I think it’s a cute theme and it only makes my desire to visit one of the Disney parks in the US even stronger.

I’m just hoping that they will keep the regular updates coming, and that they tone down the prices of the premium shop a bit because it has people up in arms. And finally do something with the Forgotten Lands biome because the fact that there’s not really much up there, and there is clearly stuff that I need to get rid of but can’t yet, is slightly driving me nuts. In conclusion though I’m more than happy to play AND pay for the game in the foreseeable future. Let’s hope it’s a bright one!

Doing Everything At Once

The past few weeks I’ve been completely sucked back into FFXIV again. As I’ve written about it in previous posts and if you follow me on Twitter I’ve been working on multiple things at once. I got my Weaver to level 90 yesterday and have now started working on Carpenter. I’ve also completed the Studium questline associated with Weaver and it was adorable. The Loporrit beast tribe is my main source of leveling crafters for now, together with the weekly hand-ins to Ameliance Leveilleur. Granted it’s not the fastest way of leveling, but just doing 3 dailies per day is something I can keep up with.
Simultaneously I’m leveling my Paladin on the other beast tribe dailies, the elephant people, daily hunts and 10 FATEs for the weekly challenges. It may not be the fastest way to level, seeing as I’m using roulettes for something else right now, but I’m still getting about 1 level every two days this way and am now sitting comfortably on level 85. I don’t really mind leveling like this since I think Paladin has way too many buttons and I don’t think I’ll ever play it seriously, but I do want to get it to max level and this is the least stressful way to go about it.

My daily roulettes I’m using to grind tomes for the army of Manderville weapons that are available right now. I have the base and first upgrade done for Dancer and White Mage and the base for Warrior and I’ll get the upgrade for that tomorrow. I’m going down the list of classes that I have leveled to max so once I’m done with the Warrior upgrade the next one will be Dark Knight. Inbetween all the roulettes and leveling stuff I’ve been going through all the sidequests in my questlog and slowly ticking those off one by one. I need to go back to the Firmament because there’s a lot of them that popped up for me and I need to pick up the quest in Mor’Dhona to unlock the newest deep dungeon as well. But I’m in no rush to do so and I’m actually pretty fine just working on leveling alts and grinding out the many tomes I need for the relics.

Next to FFXIV I’ve been working on the newest content in Disney Dreamlight Valley, which includes the Easter Event, and I’ve started a new playthrough on Bravely Default II on my Switch. Oh and I’m leveling my Warrior in World of Warcraft to prepare for patch 10.1 seeing as I’m going to reroll to her instead of my Mage. I just really needed a game away from my computer and not something where I have to stare at a small screen on my 3DS so I figured I finally start tackling my Switch backlog. I think I have about 60 hours of gametime staring at me in Bravely Default II and I don’t think I will finish it in the next two weeks, but it’s something I can play when I feel like it or when I have some extra time on the weekends or my Wednesdays. I expect that I’ll have more time for it once I finish my stuff in my valley, but I’ll see when I get there. For now I’m going back to hunting down eggs and doing all the new content that dropped with the patch on April 6th. It’s a busy time with my games but I’m enjoying it! So let’s hope that sticks for a while.

Please Don’t Skip The Sidequests

A new Disney Dreamlight Valley update dropped last week and I’ve hopped right back on the train again. This update has brought both Simba and Nala to my Valley as well as new quests for Buzz, Remy and Minnie. Not to mention the kick off of the very first Easter event and all the new recipes, furniture and companions that come with it. We also have a new Starpath, which is their version of a season pass, and this time the theme is Disney Parks! I’ve just unlocked all the rewards of the first tier and am working on the second while cleaning up my Valley and working on the Easter stuff and leveling up Simba and Nala. All in all it’s giving me enough to do for the next few week(s) I think and I’m happy to fiddle about in my valley again. I’m also slowly reshaping it and making it more functional and prettier than it was before, but it’s secondary to just unlocking everything that I can unlock. I guess I’ll need to make a bit of a theme park corner though, considering I’m getting a bunch of rides from the Starpath and I do want to display them somewhere.

Next to my valley I’ve also been playing a lot of Final Fantasy XIV again. I’ve gotten the White Mage Manderville Weapon, plus first upgrade and got another step done for my White Mage Anima weapon, leaving me on the last two steps to do there. I’ve also been working away on tieing up lose ends in the form of sidequests. Like any other MMO(RPG) FFXIV has a lot of them and I realised that I still had some lingering in my quest log, not to mention that I was still seeing exclamation marks on my map. This would not do so I got down to business and picked all of them up and played my way through them. Some opened up some new content for me, like making crafting/gathering deliveries to Ehll Tou in Ishgard and Ameliance Leveilleur in Sharlayan. I’ve also unlocked the Loporrit beast tribe, which is centered around crafting, and am using that to level up my crafting jobs. As I am doing that I’m also doing the Studium crafting questline for Weavers/Leatherworkers/Carpenters as Weaver and experiencing that story as well. When I was in the Firmament working on unlocking Ehll Tou I realised I had a few stray sidequests there to finish as well so I did, as well as finishing the really interesting Shadows of the Past sidequest line in Radz-at-Han. All of these have added lore bits and pieces that enrich the world we play in and provide extra story to enjoy. It’s why I can’t understand why there are people out there who are content to skip everything. I realise that not everyone plays MMO’s for the story and that doing all the sidequest content can be very tedious, but it brings so much more life to the world and fleshes out so many characters, areas and backstories. Especially in FFXIV that is more an RPG than an MMO and where they can lean on years of Square Enix storytelling experience.

In any case I’ve caught up for the most part, there’s still some quests in my questlog but they’re not easily tackled. Slow and steady wins the race though and I’m sure that eventually my log will empty out. And then it’s setting my sights on new goals to achieve for as long as the game will keep my attention. Hopefully that will be for the forseeable future because I’m truly happy to be back in Eorzea.

Dancing Again

I’ve been poking around in a lot of games lately. I’ve finished Shantae 1/2 Genie Hero while I was away to Portugal for a few days. I’ve caught up to all the Disney Dreamlight Valley content and am now just waiting for the new patch to drop next week. I’ve started Bowser’s Inside Story on my 3DS and after I farmed out March’s Trading Post in World of Warcraft I’ve made a return to Final Fantasy XIV. A game I haven’t touched in a while outside of a few seasonal content quests.
I’m also playing Power Wash Simulator since they added a few new things for free in recent patches (Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy 7 collabs) so I’m happily cleaning the Croft Manor and various FF related vehicles. I’ve noticed that it’s nice gameplay in the evening when I’m tired and I still want something to do.

But back to FFXIV. We’re currently at patch 6.35 and I’ve been slowly picking away at all the content I’ve missed since I quit back in patch 6.2. I’ve caught up to the mainstory, and am very curious to see where that will go (no spoilers, I promise!) and I’ve finished the second stage of the Manderville Dancer Relic today as you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post.
I pushed my Warrior to level 90, so that’s another job off the tally and as I’m passively getting a lot of tomestones I’m slowly gearing up my Dancer as well as working on the Heavensward Relic for White Mage. I’m at the Umbrite and Crystal Sand step and I need 28 more points until I’m done with that step.
I’ve yet to unlock the second wing of the 24 man Endwalker raid, so I think my focus for this weekend will be to unlock that, as well as get through all the side content that I haven’t touched yet in my quest log. All in all I’ve wandered back into my favourite MMO and I will be enjoying the stay for as long as it lasts.

I’m also planning to finish Bowser’s Inside Story in the next few weeks. I’ve been playing 1-1.5 hours per session and seeing as it’s not that long of a game I think I’ll be able to finish it if I just keep myself playing and not put it down to not pick it back up anymore. Seeing as I have a bit of momentum right now, I’ve finished 4 games already this year, I hope I can keep that going to get small chunks out of my backlog and finally get my money’s worth for all the games that I bought over the years. So far I’m enjoying the game, even if it is a bit repetitive with the fights but maybe simple mechanics is what I need to push through and finish it. And then I can add it to my 2023 finished games Twitter thread which you can follow here.

For now though… it’s bedtime so I can make it through the work day tomorrow. Night!