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What I’m Playing

Overwatch Season 11 – Super Mega Ultrawatch

Overwatch has just launched Season 11, and it’s paying tribute to Tokusatsu. A lot of folks are calling it the Power Rangers season, but the designs on the sentai skins are closer to the bug eyed Kamen Rider than to Power Rangers. Power Rangers usually have a more themed helmet for each team and solid visors not bug eyes.

There are also several monster skins that are more of a nod to Kaiju, though nothing super directly “Godzilla” or anything. Road Hog has probably the closest thing to a Godzilla skin and Zenyatta is wearing some dinosaur pajamas. There is also a pink squid-haired Lucio.

Not to be confused with Pink Mercy, which is returning to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation. It seems like some gatekeeper type folks are upset about this one. Because somehow it’s bad that other people can spend money to get an untradable video game cosmetic.

People are also upset about the Ultrawatch theme. Several of the skins are light reworks of other skins which people are saying is lazy. I am inclined to agree a bit. I don’t really care about the “lazy” skins, the pass is $10. I am concerned a bit that Blizzard is trying to push the value there being for the Mythic coins (which cost $80 otherwise), versus quality pass content. Some of the highlights, victory poses, and emotes are also essentially just the same thing repeated, which is a bit lame. Several are for newer characters, who I have almost nothing for though, so that’s ok, I guess.

Even more lame is that all of the voice lines are currently unavailable. I guess there was a bug with the special audio. I mean, this is Season 11 Blizzard, and this is a big company. It feels like this should be nothing to make work.

I also kind of wish the special mode was a bit more themed around the season, maybe Monster team heroes vs Sentai team heroes.

I ended up buying in though anyway, and I decided to go in for the Ultimate Bundle deal, which had a couple of extra skins and $20 worth of OW currency. With the 20-level skips that I forgot that bundle had, I am already over halfway through the base pass. I really like the Sentai-themed, much more than a lot of the previous themes.

There is also a beach theme as a sort of secondary theme with a whole mess of “Lifeguard” themed skins. They all kind of feel like Baywatch Overwatch with their red outfits. There is also a Kiriko lifeguard skin that seems like the one everyone wants. The trailer also has teased some sort of upcoming Transformers crossover, though it’s not clear how that will work with Overwatch. Most of the speculation suggests Bastion (Shockwave), Ramattra (Megatron) and Reinhardt (Optimus) will get some sort of Transformers-themed skins. I could see maybe Starscream from Pharah or Optimus Primal from Winston as well.. Hopefully it’s some remolds and not some lame recolors.

Lastly, the Pink Mercy skin is making a return with a new variant, along with proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I already have Pink Mercy but I will probably donate for the “Rose Gold” variant.

What I’ve Been Playing

I’ve been, really bad about keeping up on these.

Oh well.

Anyway, let’s take a little trip down what I’ve been playing since uh… (checks notes) … wow, January. I’m definitely going to forget some things.

Horizon: Zero Dawn

I started this one a while back, then in traditional fashion, got distracted and stopped playing it. I don’t really know why, it’s quite a lot of fun. I got just out of the initial starting zone and to the point where the plot started actually moving along and just sort of, got overwhelmed, I suppose. I often try not to fast travel too much in these sorts of games, because I find you discover more by traveling, and it’s just, more immersive. But sometimes it’s useful. In this game, fast travel is a consumable item, which means I just, never do it.

Yeah, probably a bad mindset.

Notable on this game, i was playing on a controller, which is unusual for me in anything 3D, especially on the PC.

Fortnite

It’s worth mentioning, I am sure I probably played some Fortnite, though, I’m not positive, considering I mostly just idled for XP last season. I have not really bothered with the current greek season. I’m not big on any of the Pass Skins and I’m just, kind of burned out.

Instead of playing real games though, instead, I went back to…

Overwatch

Because I apparently hate myself and can’t game without playing tedious grindy games I hate. Also, there was a sweet Ramen Noodle Bastion skin in this season’s pass. I ended up unlocking it instantly because I had several rounds of “free battlepass tiers” from Amazon Prime stacked up and I used Bing Rewards points to get the pass. I have been playing a lot of, and enjoying Mystery Heroes. Anything else, not so much.

I’ve also really enjoyed the goofy April Fool’s mode “Totally Balanced Overwatch.”

I am not sure if I’ll keep going much longer. It’s getting a bit dull and regular Quickplay is annoying. Also annoying is the locked heroes from seasons I missed, though I guess they are changing that next season and just giving everyone all heroes. I didn’t get to play as Tiny Mauga in the april Fool’s mode, because I don’t have Mauga unlocked.

Lame.

Sky: Children of the Light

I’ve been coasting out the last of the Season of the Nine Colored Deer. I’ve rather enjoyed this season. Next season adds player housing, which sounds like it could be quite fun, but I’m not sure yet. I’ll probably keep going and get the pass, since I have new ways to get currency and hearts. I still feel incredibly candle poor though.

Pokémon Go

One I have come back to lately, in force is Pokémon Go. The Sinnoh Event was really great. Sinnoh is my favorite region. I even went downtown and cause special Palkias and Dialgas. I’ve been doing some remote raids with Poke Genie too, which is cool, because I can get neat Pokeymans like this rocketship Pokeyman.

I am getting really close to level 40, which isn’t the top anymore, but starts some new special style of leveling, up through level 50.

What I’ve Been Playing – Idling For Hats Edition

A new year, a new time to try to build new habits. Hah ha ha, yeah right… probably. Anyway, I picked up a slew of new-ish games over the holidays in various sales, and I look forward to forgetting that I wanted to play them over the next few months. Off the top of my head, I picked up, yet to really play, Spider-man Miles Morales, Alan Wake 2 and Alan Wake Remastered, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Horizon Zero Dawn. Plus some cheapies in bundles or randomly, A bunch of Oddworld Games, Need for Speed Payback, Tron 2.0, Karateka. This doesn’t even include the whack of free games from Epic, though of those I only really care about Saints Row, Deathloop, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

I might be a bit slow getting going on these though as I’m doing some work-related training in the evenings 3 nights a week for most of January.

Spider-Man Remastered

I bought this one back at the start of December. I’ve since finished it. I started on some of the DLC, but I’m not really sure I’ll bother doing much more. I really enjoyed the gameplay in this one, but the combat is kind of super repetitious. It’s just the same 3 or 4 enemies in groups but in different outfits depending on the stage of the story.

The game itself is fun, the story is decent, I made the stupid assumption about the end boss not being in the game because, unlike all the other big villains, there wasn’t an explicit achievement. It did a pretty good job of weaving together several unrelated subplots all into one larger narrative. Swinging and running around the city is fun, but it starts to feel a bit slow after a while.

Spider-Man Miles Morales

If I am going to do more of the same Spider-Man, I may as well mix it up, which is why I’ve started on the “Not number 2 but still a sequel” game of Spider-Man Miles Morales. Miles shows up in the first game, and you play as him a few times, as not Spider-man. There is a subplot that sets up Miles gaining his powers and then this game lets you play as him. It’s the same map with a few changes, and the same basic combat with a few new additions, but it’s basically more of the same. I’ve only done one major mission and the game says I am 22% done with the main story, so I guess it’s pretty short compared to the first.

The first isn’t that long either really, it just has a ton of optional mini-missions you can do scattered across the map.

Deathloop

I decided to give Deathloop a quick try, it was a freebie from the holidays. In the 10-15 minutes I played, it kept losing the controls. Repeatedly. I don’t know if it’s something I was doing or if it’s just THAT buggy, but the experience was pretty awful.

Hogwarts Legacy

I played a bit of Hogwarts Legacy again. I really enjoy this game, but it’s taking up space on my drive, and I want to uninstall it, but I need to play up to the last achievement with a Ravenclaw character. It’s really odd just how tedious replaying this is. I am not real sure why it’s like that, but even skipping the cut scenes and rushing, I just don’t want to keep going. I think it took me like 2 hours to do this as Gryphondor and Hufflepuff, but somehow this last run is just so annoying. But I don’t want to reinstall it, I want to finish this and be done.

Fortnite

The game I am not playing, but making progress on. I’m super burnt out on Fortnite, but because I had a screw sub from the last season, I got this season pass. Most of the skins are pretty meh, but it has Solid Snake or will have Solid Snake. A lot of people are going crazy for Peter Griffin, but I don’t care about that at all.

I also have not written about the new Rhythm game or Race game, because both are pretty lame. LEGO is, ok, I’ve gotten a bit better hang of it, but it’s still pretty tedious. The new modes are great for leveling up though. I’ve never leveled so fast in a season ever. In Fortnite LEGO and Fortnite Festival Jam stage, you can load it, and walk away and gain about 5-6 levels a day, for EACH mode. I’m already something like level 165, but I’ve stopped for now until Snake drops. Also, occasionally I kind of need to drop in to catch up on the Weekly quests for those item drops.

It’s like back in Team Fortress 2, when you could idle for hats.

All I wan to add is the pricing on the cosmetics, especially for the new modes, is fucking bonkers nuts. You can buy a Lambo in Fortnite and play their mediocre Mark Kart clone, or for the same price you could buy Forza Horizon 4 (on sale), and get infinite Lambos and a real racing experience on a large, open-world map. The music tracks are like 3x the price of buying the track itself in MP3, and the game mode needs some tweaks to make it playable (lanes should be different colors).

Sky: Children of the Light

I’ve shifted into a weird phase with Sky. It’s brought on by the Steam version being available. I’ve now shifted to alts and mechanical farming mode. I’ve got like 5 or 6 total accounts now, one being my main account. I spend a short bit each day, generally in the morning when I would have been eating breakfast (which I am not at the moment, but that’s for a BI post later), where I’ll log into each account, send my main a Heart, and farm out 3-4 candles, to replace the candles I’ve spent on the heart. Two of these accounts have a pile of reserve candles now because the season ended, so if I am feeling time crunched, I’ll just eat into those.

Hearts are one of several in-game currencies. The only way to get them is to be sent one from a friend, at the cost of 3 candles, once per day, or to gather bits of light sent from friends, which I think takes like 60 bits. Getting these normally, is a pain, even with a lot of friends, because half the time, they don’t send you anything even when you send it to them, because who wants to spend their candles on strangers? You can only get like 20-25 candles per day, and Candles are the main currency.

Anyway, I did some rough math, to complete just the main tree, none of the Traveling Spirits trees, I need like 1000+ hearts. Even with 4-5 accounts feeding me hearts daily, that’s 200 days. You start throwing in events and Traveling Sprits, it’s easily a year of farming.

I will probably give up before I get there, but it’s a little nuts. Granted, the bulk of this is the handful of Ultimate Capes, which tend to run 100-200 Hearts each.

I may look into automating the candle and heart farming with some automation tools later, so it just sort of, happens. It would be pretty easy to use some sort of input macro tools to log in, run to a handful of regular candle sources, and send the Hearts.

Part of this exercise in creating accounts also meant running through the game some to unlock areas. Twice now, I’ve done a no cape run, once as a test, and once recorded, which can be viewed in it’s entirety below.

What I’ve Been Playing – Web Slinger Edition

Another day, another time I remeber I was going to post more often about gaming habits. Maybe one day I will start posting about Toy habits too. for now, I’ll stick to games. Let’s look at the pseudo staples.

Fortnite

Oh Fortnite, how I love to hate thee. The whole of the OG Season has come and gone since my last post, which is kind of sad, I didn’t realize it had been that long. Granted, it was a shortened season. I went back to my “trying to wind down” strategy on the Battle Pass, If I finished it before the season ended, I would buy in, since you get more V-bucks back than it costs. And I did manage to make it to level 50 something. Weirdly, after the end of the season, I was awarded the last two bonus styles that I had not earned. So that was cool, I guess. The Mix-up skins really didn’t interest me beyond sort of the customizable one.

The season itself was interesting, but it kind of sucks that the already mostly non-existent lore of Fortnite has basically just, completely vanished. There was some sort of build-up in Chapter 4 about a time machine, then suddenly we are back on a modified “OG” map. Except it was like, Ch1 S5 or something, so not even the original original map. I have no nostalgia like many folks for this early map, but the map was ok-ish. Kind of too much wide open spaces for my liking. Plus I like a lot of the newer mechanics and gimmicks.

But now things have moved on to Chapter 5, and I’m kind of torn, because, the pass skins seem kind of neat, but I am just kind of, tired of playing again. Plus they have added three new modes, each with their own ball of FOMO and grind. The game doesn’t respect my time, so I have no interest in playing it anymore. I’ll probably try to write up some thoughts on the new modes, so far I have just done the LEGO mode. They are all kind of neat, but I’m just, not really feeling it.

Sky: Children of the Light

The best part of the PC version is that it’s much easier to manage a few alts to get hearts. Hearts are a PAIN to get, and you can’t even buy them if you wanted to. Plus there was a “Double Hearts” event for Heart gifts, so I managed to buy several of the heart currency items. Which was cool, for a bit. Then the Fireworks event going on gave out a budget version of the Heart currency Fireworks staff. And a traveling spirit came along, offering a much nicer black-colored cape, versus the Heart currency black cape. So in the end it was a bit fruitless, but at least I am bit closer to completing the trees.

Otherwise, it’s just been the normal stuff, though the new Aviary home area seems like it could be pretty nice. It is much larger and more robust for features as a central hub than the old bare-bones island.

Spider-man

Black Friday week, Fanatical was doing their “Better than Steam Sales” sales, plus coupons and such. I bought a couple of games, though so far I have only been playing through Spider-Man Remastered. I’m maybe, 60-70% through the main game. I have not done any of the DLC but I can’t imagine the DLC is that complex. It’s been a lot of fun, though combat is starting to get a bit repetitive. Traveling around the city is a little repetitive as well, though at least I can fast-travel if needed.

The Taskmaster Drone missions are “kind of bull shit”. But that’s just recent frustrations talking. I may have to look into getting the Miles Morales game around the holidays if there is another blowout sale moment again.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village

Speaking of Black Friday deals, Google was doing $!/month for 6 months or something on the Play Pass thing. I’ve been considering subscribing to it anyway at regular price, so this is a good way to test it out. The Layton ports were all part of that deal, so I have been playing through the first one again. It’s kind of nice that I don’t really remember the puzzles, so they are, for the most part, fresh and new. The port seems to work pretty well, though considering it was on the touch-screen-based Nintendo DS, that makes sense that it would work.

What I’ve Been Playing – Light-Based Lore Edition

I kind of want to do these weekly, but I don’t really know if I rotate my game interests enough these days to do them weekly. I just wish I could get more consistent, though I have no one to blame by myself. Though part of the desire to do these sorts of posts was to maybe, encourage more variety in my gaming habits. I think part of the reason I don’t have much variety lately is that, anymore, I play games to fill time more than for enjoyment these days. It’s certainly not for lack of options of things to play.

Hyperlight Drifter

This game kind of reminds me of Zelda a bit in play, it’s top-down, and you go around swording and shooting things. It’s essentially an adventure game like Zelda, though visually it’s all stylized pixel art. In that department it makes me think of Dead Cells. The sort of, core mechanic, is that you can sort of hyperlight speed dodge a short distance. This comes up a lot in combat as the standard strategy tends to be, dodge then hit.

I was enjoying it though it’s a bit brutally difficult in places, it also doesn’t punish you much since dying just means starting the current screen over again. So you can get a feel for actually improving one’s skill.

But I also basically stopped playing. I’ll probably go back, but I got to the first boss. A first boss? I’m not sure the zones have any real order. I just, couldn’t beat it. Not for trying, and trying, and trying, and trying some more. The strategy is fairly clear, get the boss to kill the adds before they spawn in, then dodge and hit the boss. It’s all just a bit too annoyingly knife’s edge for difficulty for me I think.

The game’s fun though, and tells an interesting story despite no actual dialogue.

Omno

In a much different pace than Hyperlight Drifter, I played all the way through Omno. It’s a 3rd person platform puzzle title, and there isn’t really any way to actually die, so well, that makes it considerably easier than Hyperlight Drifter. It also takes maybe 4 hours to 100%.

I like this sort of relaxing play style these days. Interestingly, the game kind of reminded me of Sky: CotL in it’s story, though not really in it’s play style. Especially with the occasional light up hieroglyphics and light collecting game play.

Sky: Children of the Light

Speaking of Sky, I’ve jumped back on that bandwagon a bit again. It’s an enjoyable and relaxing title but it gets really repetitious after a while. I think the main thing is to stop grinding candles. Just stick to daily quests and events. Grinding candles is incredibly time-consuming and makes the repetition worse.

There was also a demo for the PC version. I’m looking forward to the PC release if only because it means I can set up a couple of extra accounts and send myself hearts. Hearts are the most pain in the ass currency to get in-game, You can get a slow drip of partial hearts from friends daily, assuming you fight people who light your candle, or a friend can gift you a whole heart for 3 candles. That’s not a lot of candles, but it adds up rapidly if you were doing it for several friends. The way the system works, the absolute maximum you can farm in a day if you get literally every piece of wax, is around 20-21 candles. This takes HOURS, even when you are super efficient. And candles are the main currency for other things, so you often want to save them up. Not a problem for a second account that’s just feeding hearts to a main account, 3 candles are fairly easy to farm out.

Anyway, on to the Steam Demo/Beta. I ended up doing two paths here, not really intentionally. When I first logged in on my laptop, my account wasn’t linking properly, so I ended up doing a fresh new run with a “local save”. I ended up running through the entire game, including Eden, and eventually, linked it to a secondary Steam Account. When I loaded it up on my Desktop, everything linked fine. I did some runs and collected Winged Lights on my main account, as I had recently run Eden again and needed to regather them all, and I recorded some gameplay of the Trials and posted it to YouTube.

The game plays pretty well on PC, it’s neat seeing the world in nice huge glory after playing so long on my phone. There are a few issues I came across. Both may be related to some core issue with controls. First, in some tight areas, when flying, it was super easy to end up caught in the clouds and bouncing around. This happened most often in “entry corridor” zones, like at the start of Daylight Prairie and Hidden Forrest, but also during the final ascension sequence at the end of the game. I think what’s happening is the PC controls don’t handle, I’m not sure the proper name, “Pressure based movement”. On the phone touch controls, you push forward a bit, your character walks slowly. Push it all the way, they run. On the PC, with WASD, the movement seems to always be the same speed. This actually makes things feel incredibly sluggish at times. I had trouble during the Trial of Fire at times because my character just felt sluggish and wasn’t quite able to make it to light the next candle or avoid a squiggly slug monster.

I’m not entirely sure how to fix this with KB controls aside from adding a “sprint” button.

Fortnite

I’ve ended up playing Fortnite this season more than expected. I mentioned before the pass was super lame and I wasn’t really interested, but I did manage to accumulate the free tier V-Bucks in order to have enough to buy the pass. This was worthwhile since spending 950 V-Bucks unlocked the paid tier V-Bucks, giving a return of 1200 V-Bucks total. Also, while the pass is really mediocre, I really like the heist elements of the map. There are three large compounds you can infiltrate for good loot. It’s fun infiltrating these places.