March 2017 Day by Day...well, days I gamed, anyways
3/01 - Horizon. I actually felt like I played the real game tonight and it was a better experience. This was the game that people had been talking about and looking forward to - Aloy, the red haired warrior, fighting it out with mech-imals. Oh, and there are real animals too - I shot a bunny, I'm ashamed to say. The dialog still seems out of place, but the action of the game can get past that. On the downside, however, I've read that this is a 30-50 hour game! It seems very unlikely I'll want to play this one for that long, especially with Zelda and Andromeda coming out THIS SAME MONTH!
3/02 - I spent some of the evening doing something I've meant to do for ages - prep my phone for use by Sarah so she can listen to music or play games on it. We have a concert to go to tomorrow night and I felt, as a responsible parent, I should FINALLY be prepared. When I got to gaming, I just didn't feel like going back to Horizon right now. It's not that I didn't like what I played of it, but I'll be getting Zelda tomorrow and the reviews have been off the charts! I'll have to at least start Breath of the Wild and see what everyone will be talking about on my podcasts very soon. So, I booted up the Wii U to make sure it still worked, dug out the pro-controller so I could charge it, and ran through a little of the remaster of Twilight Princess. It looks fantastic! I'd say it looks even better than the remaster they did for Ico, and this is a similar kind of upgrade - old gen to new. But for now, sleep.
3/03 - Zelda Day!...except I did have a concert to go to, for which I'm NOT complaining. It was a very good show and one of the few things I can share with my daughter. I ignored the clock and actually played the first opening bits (small bits, of course) of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild...and that's the LAST time I'm going to write out the full title! The game looks awesome but it's going to take a little while to get used to the controller (I'm using the Wii U Pro controller) since the buttons are set out differently. I've never really used the Pro before, so I'm hoping the battery life will be up to the challenge of getting through the whole game...which is sort of my goal. At least I'm going to stay with it until the 21st with Mass Effect Andromeda comes out. Then I'll have to decide which game to concentrate on until Persona 5 hits.
3/04 - Due some late FFXIV gaming, I didn't have time to play any console stuff in the evening. But that's okay - we beat the level 40 boss in Palace of the Dead!
3/05 - Got a very late start so decided to dip a toe into Torment: Tides of Numerna...and almost slipped into a coma trying to play it that late! Lots of reading. Multiple choice answer, RPG role-playing. And that was just the character creation section! Sad, but I don't think I can play this sort of game anymore, even if I did back it on Kickstarter. Interestingly, by the time gaming-time rolls around these days, I'm sometimes too tired because we've all be playing Palace of the Dead in FFXIV which is more like an action RPG. Okay, it's not Dark Souls, but it's more action than we usually get in a normal play session.
3/06 - Zelda. I feel like I really started playing BotW tonight. The degree of open-worldness is just starting to sink in and it's a bit overwhelming! Zelda games have typically been fairly linear - you have to do something or have an item to open up something else. Here, you can do whatever objective you want in whatever order you decide. You have equipment that wears out, food you can make to restore health, and the weather on high mountains can kill you if you don't find shelter! Any mountain can be climbed, but you have to have enough stamina to hold on. It really makes you plan your explorations in advance. According to HowLongToBeat.com, the main story is about 30 hours. I might have to make Zelda my game to beat in 2017. That would make it only my second Zelda game completed since Link to the Past back on the SNES.
3/08 - Zelda. Got a late start, but still did two more the of the opening shrines. They basically give you your special powers, one at a time. Neat design. The world is filled with little things to find that you don't have to find, but when you do, they are a delight! And bravo to a game that allows you to climb virtually any vertical surface. It must have taken the playtesters an unbelievable number of hours to put this world through its paces. One shrine to go!
3/09 - Zelda. Has there ever been a higher rated game that was sealed off from gamers by it's platform? You either have to already have a Wii U (they don't sell them in stores anymore) or buy a Switch (if you can find one) plus a decent controller (the Pro, which is about $70). So, price to play Zelda on a Switch is roughtly $450 ($300+$60+$70+tax) It's terrible that more gamers won't be able to enjoy Breath of the Wild.
3/10 - Mar10 Day! But no gaming tonight since we played FFXIV late and tomorrow is SDCC 2017 Returning Registration Badge Sales. Oh joy.
3/16 - Zelda. Opened a new area by climbing a tower. I do wish that weapons didn't break so easily. Can't really fight very many baddies before having to switch weapons. Plenty to find, but still getting used to the "mechanic". The paragliding is really fun!
3/17 - Zelda. Caught my first horse tonight! All I could come up with for a name was "Groot", but I like it. He's (I think it's a "he") a pretty sturdy mount so the moniker fits.
3/18 - Zelda. Sort of got off track trying to climb mountains, but that's easy to do in this game.
3/19 - Zelda. Concentrated on the Kakariko Village. Visited the stores, cooked foods, and caught all the chickens for the guy with a serious cuccos fixation. It's a Zelda thing from way back - the chickens I mean. Noticed a cool blending of styles in this game - some things like flowers and grass are animated when you get close to them, but rocks and walls bare more of a resemblance to textures in something like Ocarina of Time (ie, almost murky). It's comforting in a way to still have that in a new Zelda game.
3/23 - Well, I ended up with Mass Effect Andromeda after all. Big surprise. Actually, I got more interested in it after watching Twitch streams. So, that's what I played tonight. It was about the first 90 minutes and I can see where the reviewer I read was coming from. The writing is more suited to a sci-fi B-movie. It's amusing, but takes you out of the gravity of the situation that started this whole "initiative". It plays well and should make a nice game to play in between Zelda sessions.
3/25 - No night gaming, but we spent a long time in FFXIV finishing a major battle and then went through some Free Company drama. War (and "club mentality") never changes.
3/28 - Zelda. It was nice to get back to playing something outside of FFXIV (which also got played a little tonight). The world for Zelda is HUGE, but it doesn't take a long time to get from one area to another. Weapon degradation is getting bad, but I can start picking up stuff from using the amiibo's I bought. No reason not to. Amazed at how inventive the game is. I was trying to sneak around a large bokoblin and he picked up and threw a smaller bokoblin at me! He did it to do damage to me and to get the bokoblin into the fight quicker. Also had to carry a torch from one side of this village to the other, but I had to wait to the rain to stop before I could begin doing it.
3/30 - All the talk recently about Sniper Elite 4 got me wanting to buy it...which would be foolish since it's still $60 and will certainly drop in price in a few months. Also, I have SE3 which I got super cheap (in a collector's edition, no less) but never played. Sooooo....that's what I did. And I liked it! I think that the Sniper games get stuck in a sort of sim-like perspective - people don't want the tedious part of sniper warfare where you sneak around trying to get just the right shot. Sniper Elite 3 (and even more so in 4, from what I've heard) is like a 3rd person shooter where you can snipe as well as do small arms combat. There's lots of little tricks, like using the sound of a miss firing generator to cover your rifle noise, to make it a bit more interesting than just a cover based shooter. I don't know how long I'll stay with it - might just be tonight - but it's a fun diversion from Zelda and Andromeda (which may stay on the back burner for now until I get through Link's adventure).
3/31 - Ended the month with a game I backed on Kickstarter, Rain World. It's always nice when they actually ship...however, this is another one that I probably won't play much of. Like Dragon Fin Soup, Earthlock, Planescape: Tides of Numerna, Neverending Nightmares, etc, as soon as I start playing, I pretty much realize the game is not for me. Rain World is no different. It's a cool looking platformer (reminds me of Ori and the Blind Forest), but the controls are only okay, the character direction is minimal, and there is no checkpoint system - you die, you restart the level! The slugcats maybe cute, but they're not enough to save the game for me. Well, I tried. I'll have to do a post sometime on stuff I've backed and what the outcomes were.
March 2017 Twitch Highlights...and Lowlights
Killing a sawtooth...with fire! CLICK HERE
Link learning the ropes. CLICK HERE
Miscellaneous Thoughtful Meanderings
March Madness - For someone with too many systems (ie, me), this is a wonderfully, horrible month! Just the three big releases (Horizon, Zelda and Mass Effect) alone is staggering - three open world games in a month's time! If I didn't have a PS4, I wouldn't have to worry about Horizon. If I didn't own a Wii U (or couldn't get a Switch), I wouldn't care about Zelda. Mass Effect Andromeda would have been the only one that would get me if I was just an Xbox One or PC user. There's just not enough time to dig into all these titles! Time to retire and play games all day, right? I mean, who needs food or healthcare? Okay, a big bag of rice, a bottle of ibuprofen, and I should be able to pay the other bills to keep the power on and the Internet connected. What is blood selling for these days, I wonder?