I took the day off to deal with some stuff around the house and hopefully catch some of the opening festivities of Pax South. Unfortunately the timing did not work again this year and I will be missing the show. I have to admit I am more than a little bummed about that, and I figured hanging out and watching the twitch streams was honestly the closest I could get to attending. In many ways the stream watchers get a better view of some of the show than the folks that are there… given that I quite honestly found it a challenge to hit all of the presentations that I wanted to. Ashgar is there and I am hoping he has a blast and comes back to the podcast with all sorts of cool things to talk about. In the meantime however I thought I would use the opportunity of not having a time scheduled associated with my morning post… to do some administrative work and push out a Regularly Playing post given that they tend to take significantly longer than the usual morning fare.
To Those Remaining
Destiny 2 – PC
While I have been spending a lot of time playing single player games right now… I am still very much engaged with Destiny 2 and popping in every few nights to do stuff. Yesterday they released a “This Week at Bungie” post or TWAB as the community calls it this time penned by Luke Smith who is now donning the title of Franchise Director. In it he goes through a bunch of tweaks and some of the things that they are working on… and I personally think we have some good times ahead of us. There is some discussion of catch up mechanics… and quite honestly that is the weakest part of Destiny. The onboarding process for new players is atrocious if you were not playing from day one and somehow remained relevant. I am on board with this game and while my time is pretty split right now I am still keeping one food in so I can experience the cool stuff.
Dragalia Lost – Android
I am shocked as hell that I am still engaged in Dragalia Lost given my previous history of bouncing pretty fast from mobile games… especially those with Gacha mechanics. This is essentially my wind down every night before going to bed… I play through the five things that make up the dailies and then anything else that happens to suit my fancy that evening. I think what keeps me engaged is the fact that there is either always an event going on or one just about to start… so the release cadence is such that it always keeps me poking my head back in to get whatever happens to be the new stuff. The accumulation of whatever the hell the rainbow currency is called is fast enough that I can pretty reliably get one 10 times summon every single week, which also keeps me interested in spite of quite regularly getting nothing of use. For whatever reason this game seems to be the perfect blend of action-ish combat, raid bosses and interesting backstories for the characters.
Monster Hunter World – PC
While I am playing significantly less of Monster Hunter World… I am still very much engaged and have been in one form or another since launch. This past year has more than anything been the tale of my changing tastes in how I want to interact with a game. MHW and Destiny 2 both have a sort of drop in and get to playing quickly style that I find greatly appealing right now. Whereas there are other games I will talk about on this list that I am struggling to stay interested in. I played an awful lot during the Universal Studios of Japan event, and will likely engage shortly during the release anniversary event when all of the things that they have put into the game to date are available once more. The only part that I am a little bummed about is how they have yet to catch the PC version up to the Console… and because of that it feels like a second class citizen. I am really concerned that Icebourne may not release at the same time for PC and Console… because at this very moment I am deeply committed to the PC release and have not touched the console since August.
Pokemon Go – Android
PoGo stays on the list but honestly it is sort of holding on by a thread. I am still engaged because my TicWatch and the integration of Pokemon Go with android wear devices means that I can capture movement without the application up. As such I am spending a lot of time hatching eggs and not a lot of time actively catching Pokemon. I will go in spurts with this one, where I play religiously for a week… and then do not touch it at all other than clicking on the egg hatching notifications. Shocked however that I have maintained at least a passing interesting in the game since release.
Elder Scrolls Online – PC
This game is one of those games that I keep poking my head back into every few weeks, but not really gaining traction. I think more than anything I am struggling to engage with the MMORPG style of gameplay. In theory I should just start Summerset and be done with it, as that will keep me engaged for awhile because what I have seen thusfar looks pretty great. I am also really interested in the Elsweyr expansion that they just announced. I should really pop in and spend some time on my Warden or quite frankly ANY of the other alts that I have rolled… because since launch I have been almost 100% devoted to the Dragon Knight main.
Final Fantasy XIV – PC
This is another game that is just barely holding on by a thread. I am pretty much logging in every week when we do the podcast to collect my Cactpot winnings… and not logging in any other time. The Blue Mage just went in and I should do that… but there are a few things that are stopping me from engaging. The anxiety over starting tanking again… mixed with the frustration of the queues for DPS… give me a lack of things that I feel like I can realistically do in game. Probably more importantly…. my inventory is nonsense and I need to spend time dumping things into the glamour vault but I have not wanted to do the gaming equivalent of filing my tax returns. I hate inventory management… and if there was a button that would just dump everything that was not relevant to any of my classes into the glamour bin… I would absolutely have pushed that awhile ago. I deal with paperwork at work constantly… and I have not wanted to do that in the gaming world so I keep running away from the game. Stays on the list however since I keep popping back in for short periods of time.
To The Returning and Brand New
Ashen – PC
I’ve not really talked much about this on the blog, but Ashen is a game I started playing over the break that currently is only available Xbox One via the Game Pass or on the Epic Games store on PC. On some level it reminds me of what you would get if Dark Souls and Breath of the Wild had a love child… but somehow wound up without a face. That is quite frankly the most disturbing part about the art style is the fact that NO ONE HAS A FACE. You roam around with a companion that is assigned to you based on what quest you happen to be doing… or have the option to play with another person. The game escalates rather quickly and I have been roaming around an area… where the first and second boss of the game just straight up become normal mobs that you have to face ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I like it though… but I can’t exactly explain why I like it.
Far Cry 5 – PC
If you’ve read my blog over the last couple of weeks you will know without a doubt that I have been playing this game. While I have technically beaten it… there is a new game plus option as well as a ton of DLC content so I am keeping it on the list. I enjoyed aspects of it greatly and other parts… frustrated the shit out of me. However I have said plenty in recent memory so just leaving it at that.
Assassin’s Creed – PC
Similarly I have been playing a not insignificant amount of Assassin’s Creed, but again you have heard a lot of that talk on this blog in the last few days and are probably going to hear a lot more in the future. I am enjoying the game a lot and expect to see more of it in the coming weeks. It’s a good game brent.
Magic the Gathering Arena – PC
I got into the alpha of this game pretty early all things considered and have been engaged since that point… and as a result I am shocked that today is the first time it is making the sidebar. I love Magic the Gathering and always have since high school when I really got deeply engaged with the release of Revised edition. Sadly it was not something on my radar until then, so I don’t have that many high dollar cards apart from a SUPER beat up Time Vault and Library of Alexandria… and of course a big stack of dual lands. I’ve flirted with pretty much every digital card game that has come down the pipe over the last few years… and all of them were lacking in some way. Arena is the game I was looking for, because it is actual Magic the Gathering… and not Elder Scrolls MTG or Warcraft MTG. I am happy as a clam and have been playing this at least once a week since I first got my hands on it. I find the mechanism for gaining cards to be enjoyable and the prices for purchasing packs to be not too terrible. I also dig the way they are starting to put codes into some of the constructed physical products that give you all of those cards in MTG Arena.
Minecraft – Windows Store
I’ve been oddly back playing a lot of Minecraft lately because I find the freeform building aspect to be extremely relaxing. Also shockingly it has apparently never made my side bar? I am not exactly sure what I can say about the game that has not already been said by a bunch of people. I will say however that since playing on the Windows Store version that I consider infinitely superior to the java client (apart from the lack of modding) I have been having a bit of a renaissance. If only they could take the freeform modding functionality of Java and shim it into the far better running Windows client… the would would be a better place.
To Those Departing
Fallout 76 – PC
I am not exactly sure what happened here… other than the fact that it was a timing thing. The game did not grab me in the way I thought it would. I fully expect to explore it once again when private server options are available, but I missed the boat on getting engaged with the group that was playing it among the AggroChat members… in part because of time zones. I don’t think it is the horrible game that so many other people seem to think it is… I just found myself lacking in drive to really do things. I have to admit… a lot of my frustration with the game was the constant drive to find food and water because I generally don’t like that level of survival in my games. When I can roll a custom server that turns off hunger and thirst… I will probably love exploring.
Diablo 3 – PC/Switch
I am sure it will come back, but for now I am not really playing it. The fact that the new season is upon us tonight, and Grace does not have a functional computer right now also greatly harms my desire to play it. We largely did seasons as a team, and I can’t really see myself going through the grind without a partner. I might poke my head in and work through it slowly at some point… but for now I am not really expecting to play much given the other games on my plate.
Hellgate London – Steam
The Steam release is not exactly a great game, and has some fairly significant performance issues that have not really been addressed by Hanbitsoft. As such I am not playing it, and if I do again… it will be me installing all of the unofficial patches and trying out the emulator server community. For now however this game has gone to bed. I don’t regret picking up the steam version, because it gave me a week or so of joy.
Pokemon Let’s Go – Switch
I am sure I will return to this at some point, but for now I am just not playing it. One of the things that harmed my enjoyment was the fact that I could not use my pro controller at all. I keep hoping that they give me the ability to play with the pro controller in the same manner as I do in handheld mode. However given Nintendo’s desire to make us deal constantly with fiddly bullshit… I doubt that is going to happen. I am constantly asking myself… why the fuck can’t Nintendo just make normal games. I’ve never enjoyed motion controls and probably never will.
To Those I Flirted With
This is a new feature to add to this semi-monthly list… the games that I poked my head into but am not sure if they are for me yet.
Breach – PC
I am not sure if I am on board for this or not, but I did pick up the cheapest starter pack so I would have a fair number of classes that I owned to play now that it has entered Steam Early access. I am intrigued… but not entirely sure how much I will be playing. It is well worth a look however because like I said the other day… it is a bizarre love child of The Secret World, Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm.
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe – Switch
I’ve been playing a bit of this but not really enough to properly add it to the list yet. The switch version performs extremely well and the switch feels like a better controller option than the WiiU did. I’ve just gotten started playing but I expect to be poking my head in off and on throughout the month. I still think this has one of the worst names … because Nintendo also cannot name things properly.