This weekend was a fun one, and not because I did anything special… but more for the absence of anything planned. Saturday we got up fairly early, and ran errands. I had been putting off going to the eye glasses place since getting my prescription, and I guess I was doing so for good reason. Bifocals are extremely expensive. I priced out a set of daily wear and a set of sunglasses and it was going to be almost $800. That is just straight up ludicrous for eyewear… but it is a carnival of errors that adds up in a final price. I have an insanely strong prescription which generally means I need some of those double super bonus lenses with all of the bells and whistles to keep the thickness down. Then when you combine that with the fact that this time around they were going to be adding bifocals and a prism… shit got crazy really fast. Instead I opted to wait… since my Optometrist said I was really on the borderline as to whether or not they would actually benefit me. So I opted to think about it… and wound up just ordering more single vision glasses for the moment from Zenni optical. I have a feeling that I am going to have enough trouble getting adjusted to the prism… that I am not sure if I want to further complicate things with bifocal lenses this time. However I guess when it comes time to renew I will be going for the vision insurance since that at least will hopefully dent that blow.
As far as the rest of the weekend… we cleaned the house like mad when we got home from errands and this largely freed me up to be able to just chill the hell out upstairs with a cat on either side playing some Andromeda. I have to say I love that I ultimately have two cats on my desk most of the time… I have blankets on either side of the keyboard and it isn’t super long before I have attract both Allie our eldest cat, and Kenzie our middle cat. Hell right now as I am writing this post at 6 in the morning… I already have Allie crashed out on the blanket to the right of my keyboard. She will probably sit there in that state for a bit longer until she decides it is time for food and starts prancing back and forth in front of my keyboard. As far as gaming went… I am so deep into Andromeda at this point. All told I am nearly 70 hours into the game and I have been stalling moving the main story forward until I can complete all of the side stuff. As I learn more about the universe… I am starting to feel like maybe this is a better game than the original trilogy. I know that is going to be a controversial statement. I will however add the qualifier of “for me” to the statement, because personally the original trilogy hit a high point with the second game and Andromeda is really structured in a similar fashion. It involves going off on small missions with your team to effect the world in subtle ways. The game play itself feels like this amalgam of Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, namely the way that KOTOR used to let you roam around planets in what felt like at the time a free manner.
This free roaming nature is for good and bad… like the fact that I never seem to park my Nomad in a reasonable way as I hurriedly hit the E button as I roll up on the next combat vignette. In this case I literally had to jump and try and hit E to re-enter in order to get back in after finishing the remnant site. Side note the N7 armor is still probably the coolest design in Mass Effect, and the Andromeda logo especially will never be quite as cool as it. At this point I am I believe level 43, and I think in truth the game probably expected me to be done with it ages ago. There is a lot of sadness about to happen however, because with the deluxe edition I got a set of really awesome Pathfinder weapons. I’ve become very close with my Pathfinder Auto Rifle, and every time I leveled into a new bracket the next pattern was magically available for development. This has been the biggest resource sink for me as I made one of these each time it was possible. However it seems like you stop getting patterns at Tier 5… and I am not really looking forward to the prospect of trying to find a new auto rifle crush. I am hoping that one of these patches fixes this and lets me keep making my little Pathfinder auto rifle friends. For the moment I am going to be getting my hands on other types of rifles and trying out which seems to fit best for that archetype. In a way it reminded me of the way that Red Death feels in Destiny… and while this game calls it an auto rifle… by Destiny terms it would be a pulse rifle. Whatever the case I am slowing wrapping up some of the loyalty missions because before I start moving the priority ops again I want to make sure I have access to all of the toys.
The weirdest part about this play through is that I am playing in a fashion that I never really thought I would. For the most part I have maxed out a number of the weapon abilities and all of the passive benefit traits. From there I am largely playing a “pet class” for lack of a better term. I am using the turret which I find insanely handy, and my common MO is to open the door to a base… chunk a turret in and then back out to safety as I let it soften the defenses before ducking back in and mopping up. In addition to the turret I am regularly using the hacked observer that PeeBee gives you access to, and letting it loose to run amok. These two things often times distract the enemy and I can pick them off with headshots from either the auto rifle if medium range, or sniper rifle if extreme ranges. For up close and personal action… I have shockwave with the knock back that can clear out a bunch of things rushing at me. In truth it is more of a jack of all trades build than any deep synergy between abilities… but it is also tailored to some of the things that I like from other games. In the Borderlands series I have almost exclusively played whatever character could use auto rifles and turrets. While I like getting up close and personal in most games… in shooters I tend to relish hanging out in that medium range with the ability to duck behind cover. Lately however I have gotten into using my Asari sword to slice and dice Kett in close quarters… so maybe that medium range thing is shifting. Whatever the case… I spent so much time with Andromeda this weekend and the game just keeps getting better as I get further into it. While the game might have started out awkwardly… it really feels like it is going to finish in style.