Games I’ve been playing – May 2021

This is one of those unusual months where it was mostly more of the same as the previous month. At least until about halfway through the month.

The second part of the month I was either too tired or too into TTRPG stuff or both to actually play any video-games.

Hopefully this month will fare a bit better in the video-game department.

Monster Hunter World

Fighting a Barroth and a Radobaan in the arena
Not seen here: Me about to be headbutted by a Barroth because I was trying to take a screenshot

I am still progressing slowly in Monster Hunter World. I thought I had unlocked all the tools I wanted from the base game but turns out I was wrong. There are still some tools where I need to hunt certain monsters before the quest for those become available. So that is what I’ve been focusing mostly.

On the positive side, I’ve found a good build to progress through the main story of the Iceborne expansion. I’ve been trying to mix progressing through it, farming and doing the tools unlock so I don’t get too bored/frustrated with the game.

It is a slow process but it is better than the alternative which would be to give up on the game entirely. I’d like to at least finish the story of Iceborne and see as many monsters as I can. After that I am moving away from World and never looking back.

Monster Hunter Rise

My character and her pet buddies posing with the Kulu S set.
I think I already upgraded from this set… Or might be looking into it. Been a while since I played!

I am not sure if I said this before but just in case I will say it anyway: I am glad I gave Monster Hunter Rise a try as it as has rekindled my love for the franchise.

Monster Hunter World isn’t bad but it can get a bit grindy and I just hate grind. That is not a problem I’ve felt with Rise so far and my enjoyment has been way higher with it than with World.

Despite that, progress has also been a bit slow with this game. Mostly because I haven’t been playing it as much as I would like to. At the time of this writing I am just at Hunter Rank 4, with monsters starting to get tricky.

The only thing putting me off Rise right now is a hardware problem. My right joy-con got the dreaded drift bug which isn’t much of a problem in Rise since it just spins my camera randomly. But I also feel the controllers aren’t as responsive as the ones in World. I don’t know if that part is a problem with the Joy-con (very likely) or with the game.

If I ever become annoyed enough with it I will just use my 8BitDo controller to play. The only reason I haven’t done that yet is because I use it for my PC and having to resynchronize it every time I wanted to play on the PC or the Switch would get annoying really fast.

XCom: Enemy Unknown

A soldier about to shoot an Outsider alien with 55% to hit chance.
Not seen here: this soldier about to miss his shot because… well, that is how XCom is! XD

I swear every time I participate on a Community Succession Game I end up getting the itch to play more of that game. With the Xcom 2 one it hasn’t been any different.

The problem is that I’d like to play Xcom 2 with all the DLCs/expansion while for the succession game we are playing with the base game only to allow as many people as possible to participate. And XCom 2 is kind of a pain to disable/enable the DLCs since doing so pretty much requires Steam to delete/re-download the DLCs.

Thus to try to scratch this itch I decided to try playing the first XCom game with the Long War mod. I’ve been meaning to check this mod in forever so this felt like a good opportunity to finally do it.

Unfortunately my first impressions of the mod weren’t all that great. It just felt like they added a bunch of stuff for the sake of adding stuff. Most of the new additions just didn’t feel different enough to make it an interesting choice over what the vanilla game already offered.

Granted I barely played it. So it is quite possible that at a certain point it will offer actual interesting choices and strategies to make it stand out from vanilla XCom. However at this point I am just not interested in pursuing this further and will most likely uninstall the game and forget the mod.

My next attempt will be to try to play XCom 2, with all the DLCs/expansion, on Linux. Since the builds are different Steam doesn’t seem like it will try to synchronize between the two OSes. Well, maybe the save games but the expansion saves are kept separate from the base game so that shouldn’t be a problem. 😀

XCom: Chimera Squad

The recruitment screen for XCom: Chimera Squad. The choise are between Torque, a viper alien, Shelter, a human, and Zephyr which I believe is a hybrid.
I took a few screenshots of this game and none of them felt interesting enough for this post… So here is the closest one I could describe as such!

Playing this game was another attempt to scratch my itch for XCom 2. The other reason is because I have been legitimately curious about it but kept forgetting it existed.

Well, my curiosity is mostly sated now. The game feels like an appetizer of a mainline XCom game. The maps are pretty small and it doesn’t feel like it has the broad options of tactics and interesting choices as its bigger cousins, even with aliens as part of your squad.

The difficulty of the game also seems to spike up pretty early on. But that might be because I haven’t quite figured out yet some good tactics for this game.

Having said that, it is not a bad game. It does have some interesting ideas like the Breach parts which I wished were integrated into a mainline XCom game. Although I will admit I don’t know how they could do it without drastically altering the rest of the game play.

I also like the banter between the characters. Makes it worth the change from “generic customizable soldier” to pre-made ones.

Another interesting bit is that it is a glimpse on what an Earth post-XCom 2 where we won would look like. Makes me wonder if they will make this cannon in an eventual XCom 3 or if they will come with some convoluted reason for why we lost XCom 2 and there are still humans around to fight the aliens overlords. Or just reboot everything just to keep things simple.

It is also another game I didn’t get too far into yet but I definitely want to see it through to the end.

World’s End Club Demo

Vanilla surprised that Pochi is playing a  game despite their situation
Hey! World’s End Club is not a dumb game!

At first I thought this was a platformer game, a genre I am just not that into anymore with some exceptions1. Because of that I was planning to skip it but it had an interesting art style and a demo so I decided to give that a try.

The impression I got from the demo is that it is actually a platformer light game mixed with adventure elements all wrapped in an interesting story and cast of characters.

I enjoyed my time with the demo enough that I am thinking of actually buying it now.

Fate Grand Order

Moriarty complaining about the situation they are in and declaring that he wasn't behind it.
That is exactly what the culprit would say, Moriarty!

It is interesting how Fate Grand Order’s events can often reframe a character that, in another media, was forgettable or annoying into an interesting one. Such was the case with the Lady Reines’ Case Files event.

I only knew the main featured characters in that event, Reines and Gray, from the Lord El Meloi II Case Files anime. In that series Reines barely had any screen time. Gray on the other hand had plenty of screen time but it felt like the anime assumed the viewer already knew her. This event pretty much fixed both problems.

Unfortunately Reines never answered my summons and I am not sure if this event will return next year for me to try again. On a better note Gray was a welfare servant and she is a pretty decent assassin too!

As for the event itself it was okayish. The story was interesting, it had some annoying fights and the grinding wasn’t too bad.

The next event after that was A Meihousou Most Foul. This one was almost purely story, with just a couple of easy fights here and there. To finish it all there was a community poll to decide how they want the story to end with everybody getting a reward regardless if their choice won or not.

Previous events tried this method of getting people to support their favorite characters but it always failed because they would always go for what gave them the best reward for effort. Making it purely a story makes it so people can vote for who they actually care for instead of worrying about missing out on rewards.

Lastly, it was the Hunting Quests Part V event. Much to my surprise I didn’t end up grinding it as much as I thought I would. I have a good stock of most materials so in the end I only really farmed for bones and dragon scales the two materials that I am always low on.

Now I am just waiting for Lostbelt 4 to be released. I am really curious about Arjuna Alter as a lot of people seem to be saving their quartz for him.

Honorable Mentions: Nurse Love Syndrome (Finished all the routes)

  1. For example a Megaman game. I always make an exception for Megaman
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