A Game A Week – Week One

A Game A Week – Week One

A game a week. That is the challenge I have set myself. To play one new game every week, for the rest of the year. My hope is that by giving my time a bit of structure I can do more with my gaming time than play the same 3 games all year as my collection gets bigger and bigger. It should mean that, at least, I play 46 games in 2017, putting a sizable dent in my gaming backlog. Why not simply stop buying games until I’ve finished with the ones I already own? If only it were that simple…

Week one is over and I played a game. That’s 100%. A huge success. 

Nioh 

I spent this week playing Nioh. I haven’t finished it, but I’ve done everything I can do (at the moment, anyway) in the first 2 areas of the game and a couple of missions from the 3rd. I’ve had a great time. It’s a difficult game and I typically take these types of game slowly, to explore and attempt to minimise the danger, which is working well for me. The most enjoyable parts of the game so far, though, have come when I have thrown caution to the wind and just opened up on an enemy, making full use of the combat skills that I have unlocked and the ki pulse mechanic for restoring energy/stamina. Linking one stance into another, while refreshing the energy and then extending the second combo with repeated, timed button presses before watching your opponent crumple to the ground, asking to be finished off with a pair of swords in the back is ridiculously satisfying.

I also take a huge amount of enjoyment out of sorting through loot and using the blacksmithing system to reforge the weapons and armour for the stats I want and changing their appearance to make myself look pretty.

The levels are probably the weakest part of the game. Some of them are beautiful, well designed, sprawling Japanese environments. Some of them are literally just caves with thin, boring passageways, that also make the combat difficult. These levels are not particularly fun and I can’t say the idea of going back into areas (that I could have happily just run through) for side missions or collection purposes really fills me with enthusiasm.

This shows through a little in the boss areas, too, with each boss room so far basically being an open arena, but the bosses themselves have been varied enough in looks and abilities that they’re still the enjoyable set pieces you’d expect. They’re frustrating, but not unfair and once you learn what to do, all that’s left is to execute it without making too many mistakes.

With that said, screw Tachibana Muneshige.

I’ve enjoyed it a lot and will definitely see it through to the end.

 
Game #2: Undertale

It’s time that I played Undertale. I’ve heard very good things, but other than positive feelings I have avoided seeing anything about it in the year or so since it came out. I am going in almost completely blind. See you on the other side.

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A Game A Week

A Game A Week

I have an issue. A condition that compels me to buy videogames. A lot of the time, I will buy them and play very little of them. Occasionally I won’t play anything at all. It was I’ll just sit in my library, gathering dust or whatever the electronic version of dust is in this post-disc era of gaming.

There are hundreds of games in my library and I have completed very few of them. This is a shame, because I’m sure that those games have their merits and that they exist as more than another number in my collection.

As this is the year of rebuilding myself as a responsible adult, capable of committing to a project and of personal growth, I feel that my games project for the year should be a reasonable commitment. I’m not going to play every game I own. Nor am I going to play the same couple of games every day for the year, regardless of how much I enjoy them.

A game a week. 

For the rest of 2017, I will pick a game every week to be the focus of my free time.

That’s not to say that I will only play one game a week, however. Let’s lay down some ground rules.

  • At least one new game per week, every week for the rest of the year.
  • It can be a game that I have played before 2017, or a completely new game, but not a game that I have already used in the project.
  • I will play for at least 5 hours, unless the game happens to be shorter than 5 hours in length.

 

Nothing too complicated, or strict. 5 hours means that I can give it an hour a night during the week at the very least and gives me the weekend to either continue with it, or play something else. There’s no hard limit on how many I can play in a week, so I can play as much as I want as long as there’s one new game.

Obviously there will be some weeks that I am unable to play, but for now we’ll say that by my count there are 46 weeks left of the year, giving us a target of 46 games.

Game #1: Nioh

Nioh came out recently and it’s what I’m playing at the moment, so it seems a good place to start. I’ll check back in next Monday with my thoughts and game number 2.

Update #2

Update #2

More stuff that I played at the end of last year.

Final Fantasy XV

I was not overly excited about Final Fantasy XV when it was announced or when they started to show stuff from the game. I prefer turn based JRPGs and I also prefer the more…traditionally styled Final Fantasy games (to try to be clear, I prefer 9 to 7). As with many games though, I was sucked into the launch hype and bought it on release. It was surprisingly good and while the game has its flaws, it was easy to overlook them due to its charm and sheer playability. Only at a certain point in the story did the game feel like a grind and the usual end game leveling push was actually painless due to the way experience works in this one. The combat is flashy, although not very deep, the back and forth between the characters is actually well-done and the boss fights are, quite simply, awesome. It was very enjoyable. 

Hitman

I’ll come right out and say it – Hitman is my favourite non-Pokemon game of the year. The last episode of the first season came out in December and it’s the best one of the lot. One of the best missions ever. The episodic releases worked perfectly, giving ample time to revisit each one and complete different challenges before the next episode came along. The elusive targets are fantastic, showing up for a couple of days and giving you only one chance to complete the mission. It’s been great and I can’t wait to see what they do with it in the next year. 

Pokémon Sun and Moon

I love Pokémon. It was always going to be my personal game of the year. The game starts slow, but it is master crafted Pokémon game. Each trainer is an individual person with their own look and personality, the new Pokémon and re-imagined first generation Pokémon (to celebrate 20 years since the first releases) are, for the most part, great. The story has been changed just enough to keep it both fresh and traditional. It’s just about everything you could ask from a new game in the franchise. 

 

 

Update #1

This post is an update relating to the things I was playing and trying to play before my absence. I was playing a couple of games and trying to play several more (quite unsuccessfully) and I will now let you know how that went. I am generous.

 

Overwatch

Last time I posted about Overwatch I was getting burnt out on it. This went all the way with the Sombra ARG garbage and countdown to a countdown to a countdown. The Sombra tease went on for, literally, months and at the end of it, I had very little desire to play Sombra or Overwatch. I still jump into a game every now and then and I like to check in with each new event and have a loot at the new skins, sprays and poses. It’s a good game, I just can’t do multiplayer only stuff for too long anymore.

 

Neverwinter

I was playing this with my dad, but between the two of us working, we were actually mostly playing alone. I was concentrating on a single character, while he decided to level 4 of them. I hit max level and tried to do some end game stuff, but it seems you really should be in a group for it. After hitting max level and gearing up a bit, I didn’t really enjoy the daily grind as much as some other MMOs and lost interest pretty quickly. I did get to see some guy solo a max level dungeon boss dragon after the rest of us had died for over 20 minutes, which was really impressive. I did buy a quasit, he is awesome.

 

World of Warcraft : Legion

After re-subscribing I went for it and bought the new expansion. I focused on learning how to play my monk in Brewmaster spec and found it to be a lot of fun. For the first time ever I played the expansion in a guild and those first few days were really, really fun. Probably the most fun I have had with the game since first playing the game. Everyone pushing to reach max rank, teaming up to do quests or dungeons. The chat. It was awesome. There’s also no shortage of stuff to do once you hit the max level and it feels less of a grind than it should. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a grind, it can be tedious at times, but it wasn’t unbearable. I stopped playing it though. I am still subscribed and every couple of weeks I feel the urge to play, especially with the new content coming fairly quickly this time around. I just don’t have the time. When I log in, I feel a little lost and it takes me practically all the time I have to think about what I want or need to be doing in the game.

 

That should do it for #1. There’s more to come, including my 2016 games of the year!

 

#2 coming soon.

 

 

9/2/17

I suppose the best thing to do here is just jump into what I have been up to recently.

Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 is cool. I’m not sure exactly how far the game I am, but I have killed a fair few bosses now and traversed some pretty cool environments. I love that you can look up at the backgrounds in whatever area you are in and see the places you’ve been to, or are going. It really brings the world together. Some of the bosses have been rough on me. I am currently bashing my head against one and getting some small, slow progress. I could explore another area to give myself a break from the boss, but I am reluctant to give up the souls I have left on the floor of his room.

I’ll get back into this at the weekend, when I can really put some hours into it.

Nioh

I wasn’t very excited about Nioh when the first trailers showed up. It looked a little goofy. I got hit by the hype though and bought it on release. I played the opening mission and tutorial and I think it seems cool. This will be my go to game for the next few days at least until I get to grips with it.

Pokemon Duel

I gotta catch ’em. I can’t help myself. This is a mobile, turn-based, strategy thing with pokemon figures and my collection disease wants to play it despite my brain thinking that it might actually suck. It has the always fun mobile pay to win problem where my free to play team of small pokemon does not stand a chance against the big spender squad that I am matched with, full of legendary pokemon.

Tales of Berseria

This is my first Tales game and it is fun. It scratches the JRPG itch that I have. I like what I have seen so far, but the environments seem lazily done. They’re very basic in both looks and function. The movement around the overworld is the same and it gives the game the feel of a previous generation game. The combat seems to be quite deep and there are a lot of tool-tips popping up in the first few hours of the game, but so far I have gotten by just mashing out attacks in almost every fight, so hopefully that is not the case later on in the game.I still have a long way to go, but it’s a nice one to chill out to after picking the controller out of the wall following an hour on Dark Souls.

That’s what I’ve been up to this week. I’ll drop back in presently to catch up on stuff that happened since the last real update in August (it’s quite a bit!)

2017!

I have been neglectful. I am guilty of neglect. It’s been several months since I last updated this blog and I have no real excuse. I’ve been doing some real life stuff, playing some games, binging on tv series and all sorts of things, but it’s not as though I haven’t had the time to keep doing this.

So a resolution! This year I am trying to be better at committing to things. Once I start doing something, I want to keep doing it.

I don’t like being one of those people who says they’ll do something and then gives up after a couple of weeks, or in my worst cases, doesn’t bother at all. It’s a flaw that I am not happy with and can actively change.

This blog can be a platform for that change. There’s nothing to stop me updating this frequently except myself.

This weekend I will post a catch up for the games I’ve been playing or have played since the last update and we’ll see about some real life updates, too. From there, I will try to keep a weekly thing going about the games I am playing and I want to (like everyone else) start clearing out the backlog of games I have. With so many exciting releases around the corner, I’m not sure that’s going to be very viable at the moment, but it’s something to think about.

Overwatch Summer Games!

Overwatch Summer Games!

I am still playing Overwatch. Neverwinter has eaten up a lot of my time and I tend to burn myself out on online, multiplayer games which has happened with Overwatch to an extent. I get frustrated by little niggles or doing poorly and give up and go back to nice peaceful questing.

The developers have been surprisingly active and open, though.

-Balance changes are happening all the time, along with quality of life changes.

-Competitive mode! Gimme rank points.

-A new character was released – Ana, a new support sniper character that I desperately want to be good with.

-A summer games update was released on the sly (sadly it was leaked a few hours before they planned to sneak it out), including new skins, sprays, poses based around an olympic type event and a new Rocket League like mode called Lucioball.

-Another new character, Sombra, has been teased and they have been hiding all sorts of silly messages within videos and other messages for some very dedicated people to decrpyt. These are getting silly, converting this into that to see this to convert it…It’s way over my head, but it’s a neat little game outside the game for those that can do it.

-They have an active forum presence and are putting out streams and videos talking weekly.

I don’t agree with some of the balance changes. D.Va is way too strong now and even though I love him and want him to be the best, so is Zenyatta, but it’s not something I’m worried about because they’ve been so good about watching what people are saying about the changes. It’s refreshing to see a games company trying to keep people happy and make a game that people enjoy. I hope they keep it up!