Games I’ve Been Playing – December 2021

December was a very intensive and busy month as far as gaming went. It felt like every game I cared about decided to release something major and time-sensitive at the same time!

Ok, not all games but enough of them and with enough content to keep me very, very busy.

Although I am happy I played them, this kind of intensive game is just not sustainable. In fact, I am still feeling a bit exhausted by it and if I could take the next few months of gaming at a more leisurely pace that would be nice. But I don’t think that will be possible, knowing certain games… *glares in Fate Grand Order direction*

Anyway, these are the games that kept me busy this month!

Final Fantasy XIV

A picture of a giant statue of an elven looking man with long hair holding a vase on his shoulders. From the vase flows water down to the sea below.

A man explains "Mythology tells us that Thaliak bore a magicked pitcher, from which poured  forth waters of knowledge."
And according to certain people in the internet it is impossible for fountains to exist. They didn’t seem to complain about cat people though.

Pretty much everybody in the internet knows this by now but December saw the release of the latest expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, Endwalker. The only reason I didn’t immediately played it is because I had to do the post-story patches for Shadowbringers first. Something I would have done a long time ago but didn’t have the required iLevel to do the dungeons. Back then I didn’t feel like grinding for the required tomestones to buy the gear upgrades I needed so I didn’t touch that content until recently.

Lucky for me, they got rid of some tomestones and made the previous gear upgrades available for Allagan Tomestones of Poetics, a much easier to acquire token.

Going through the story patches in one go turned out to not be so bad though. It was nice to see how they tied up all the loose ends from Shadowbringers without pause and there were so many hits to the feels!

After that I tried to get through the expansion as fast as I could without skipping any part of the main story. Usually I would just take my time but I was scared of people spoiling major story parts before I could play it.

Fortunately I managed to finish it a couple days ago. Now I don’t have to worry about going into self-exile from the rest of the internet! XD

Anyway, they managed to give closure to the storyline they started back in…. 1.0, maybe? Whatever the case may be, they managed to make it into a very satisfying chapter. All the loose ends they have been building up for years have been neatly tied up, leaving them pretty much a blank slate to start a new story.

It was a very long journey from A Realm Reborn to Endwalker but worth it. So much that I’d happily play through all of the story again. For now though I will just go back to my usual slow pace, trying to tackle all of the little things I stopped in the middle or meant to start but didn’t.

On a side note, there was also the usual Christmas event. Thankfully these seasonal events in Final Fantasy XIV are pretty short, with just a few quests and it didn’t take too much of my time away from Endwalker.

No Man’s Sky

My character looking over the Normandy flying over at the distance
The reward for all my hard work!

I’ve been meaning to play No Man’s Sky for a while but every time I tried to give it a go I felt it just wasn’t the right time for this kind of game.

Then the developers decided to do a redux version of their expedition events and I knew I couldn’t miss this second chance to get the Mass Effect’s Normandy!

To anyone who doesn’t know what the expeditions are, they are basically a community event where everybody starts on the same planet then are required to do tasks that will lead them to a certain destination. At the end you unlock a permanent reward for your account.

From my understanding the expeditions usually last for a month but for the redux version they changed it to only 10 days. They also tweaked each goal to accommodate for the shorter amount of time to complete them.

I skipped the first expedition redux as I didn’t feel like I’d be able to complete it in time since I was completely new to the game. Looking at the list of tasks, that was probably the correct decision. There is no way I would be able to complete them in just 10 days.

The second expedition though was a lot easier and I managed to complete it. However I did start on it relatively late, wasted some time getting side-tracked and had trouble finding undiscovered systems. Fortunately my friends helped me with that last part and I was able to complete everything.

The third expedition was even easier but it still had some annoying steps that required me to do some googling.

Now there is only one more expedition left which will start in a few days, I think. Looking at the task list that one might be a pain to do but I think I will give it a try anyway.

Playing through these expeditions have been pretty fun and make me really want to play a normal game of No Man’s Sky. But I think I will try that after all the current expeditions are over, so I don’t feel burned out.

Also, I think it would be cool if they made them as some kind of permanent, special tutorial. They do a very good job at directing players towards certain features which can be pretty good for players to get their feet wet with a sandbox game like No Man’s Sky.

They could even remove the multiplayer aspect of it so people don’t “cheat” by using other people’s bases to complete certain tasks and give some non-exclusive reward for completing everything.

Anyway, don’t be surprised if I write more about this game in the future!

Fate Grand Order

Saber Alter, dressed in a black Santa outfit and saying "Santa does not do tricks. her job is to fly around with a jet engine throwing presents at good little boys and girls."
Uh, Santa Alter… I think there is a couple of problems with that statement.

December in FGO started with Lostbelt 5: Atlantis. When this whole Lostbelt storyline started I thought this would be like the “last stage” or something like that. But no, seems like we had to go there now!

Story-wise they are certainly making it feel as dangerous and hard as a “last stage” is meant to be. It also has introduced some twists that I am curious to see where they will lead.

I was also curious to see how they would portray Super Orion, given his other… “form”. Turns out he is pretty much the same, just actually heroic.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to finish it because of all the other games’ events and FGO’s own Christmas event. But I hope to do it before the end of January.

As for the Christmas event, grinding for the shop materials was surprisingly not as bad as I was fearing. I was a bit worried in the beginning though that I wouldn’t be able to open all the lotto boxes I wanted to because the CE for it was being a bit stingy to drop. But once one dropped for me it didn’t take long for others to drop too and I was able to blow way past my goal of opening 50 lotto boxes. XD

I also liked how they managed to make Nightingale into a Santa in a way that felt appropriate for her personality. I haven’t actually tested her in play though so I can’t say how well she performs gameplay-wise. But she does seem to have some good support skills.

Lastly in FGO news, today saw the arrival of the New Year’s Lucky Bag where you can get a guaranteed SSR servant from a small list for 15 Quartz.

I was torn between the Berserker, Ruler/Avenger or Alter Ego/Foreigner Lucky Bags. They all had some pretty good servants that I regretted not trying to get before. In the end I decided to go for the Alter Ego/Foreigner Lucky Bag.

There isn’t any servant that I particular need so I figured I might go for whatever tickles my fancy. I got BB Summer which I already had but I am not going to complain about getting her to NP 2!

One servant I didn’t expect to get was Asclepius which I didn’t even know was in the pool. I didn’t have him so this was an interesting surprise. I will have to read up on what he can do though to decide how much I want to invest on him.

And that should be all for the games in this month! Hope everybody has a good year!

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