I believe I have talked about one of my side projects before, but for those who are un-indoctrinated… I have been charged with setting up a gaming space at work. For the first pass we decided to go with a Wii U given that it is sort of a universal middle ground between folks who self identify as gamers… and those who do not. Everyone has played at least one round of Wii Bowling, and already since installing folks I never thought would sit down for a game of Mario Kart have done so. Part of the build out involved picking out controller docks because we did not want a bunch of wayward cables. For the Wii U pro controllers I chose the above dock by Nyko… admittedly more on price than anything. However after getting it and setting everything up… I am absolutely in love with the design. Each controller has a boot of sorts that you plug into the USB port, and it fits relatively snugly. Then on the backside is a magnet that holds the controller in place on the dock itself. It just works amazingly well and the magnet is strong enough to not only hold the controller but also serve as a guiding mechanism to make sure that the controller gets docked successfully. Which made me start to wonder… does Nyko make these docks for any other console system? My challenge is that in my office I have a PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and am contemplating moving my Wii U back upstairs. That is five different styles of controllers that need to be charged and cradled in a reasonable manner to keep from getting a whole slew of cords tangled.
The tragedy however is that while Nyko makes controller docks for pretty much every system available… none of them work like this one. In a perfect world you could simply buy one base dock tree and then a bunch of connectors for the various controller types that you have. After a few hours of frantic googling… it seems like no one really has a system that works like this. There was however one apparently for the previous console generation that had support for the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360… but for whatever reason never carried forth into this generation. What I would love is for Nyko to simply just release versions of this docking system for all of the platforms, or in truth… just sell me docks and then controller boots individually and allow me to mix and match my own system. In part I am writing about this problem today, because often times as soon as I complain about an issue… one of my readers comes out of the woodwork to present a solution. So if you have any ideas… that does not involve access to a 3D printer because I am already thinking along those lines… I would love to hear it. It is honestly the magnets that make this system work so amazingly well and quite honestly… I don’t have the electrical chops to make a magnetic USB connection work. I think part of the problem is that the Wii U pro controller uses the USB connector that the previous generation used… so mini instead of micro. That said… this feels like money left on the table because I know a lot of people like me with multiple console systems all with controllers that need charging.
Last night I returned to the cursed lands and continued my process of roaming around aimlessly. I went a completely different direction than the one I had been heading in… and encountered the Fire Bellowback… or as I think of them Fire Beetles. I ran into a trio roaming around some ruins… and after scanning them a few times to sort out how I was going to attack I went after them with gusto. The thing I didn’t expect was the fact that they essentially throw napalm at you, and have an insane range. I was well into the fields on the far side of the river and they were still lobbing fireballs at me. Essentially I got damned good at dodging while fighting them, and eventually whittled them down using my bow kitted out with extra tear damage. As you can see in the above screenshot they each rewarded an insane 1050 experience, but also provided a hefty amount of salvage. Other than that I actually started working on quests… namely the “Revenge of the Nora” story line. I have been playing this game in short spurts, and prior to last night it largely meant just roaming around and taking down machines. I cannot underline just how much fun that is… and how perfect the game play feels as you bulls-eye a watcher in the eye and watch it explode.
I really like that Horizon seems to reward you equally for aimless roaming and focused gameplay. I essentially had looked at the direction that the game was suggesting I go… and went in the opposite direction and largely… that was a completely fine decision. It was not really until last night that I finally sat down and started following the quests… and that too was a perfect fine decision. I am broke once more however because I bought a purple set of armor, and decided to go with the version that has balanced resistances since… more often than not I end up in melee range before fights are finished. Probably a lot of my success with the fire beetles is due to the fact that I had fairly decent resists going on. What I really want now is some upgraded weapons, because I am still using the Carja bow that you get from either collectors edition or the pre-order bonus. I got a whole slew of items and I am not completely sure which ones came from which thing. I’ve heard that the hunter trials reward items, so in theory I need to focus on doing some of those now. Regardless this game is still freaking amazing… and it serves as part of the reason why I have struggled to get into Breath of the Wild. In many ways the newest Zelda game just feels awkward and cludgy… whereas Horizon absolutely nails smooth and flawless gameplay.