Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV 4.3 Preliminary Patch Notes Highlights

The preliminary patch notes for 4.3 are out, and I’m really looking to them to pull me back into the game and excite me again. I’ve been kinda taking a break from FFXIV, playing other games, and only logging in here and there to take care of FC stuff… sometimes run an alliance.

I’d love for something in 4.3 to catch my attention. I know that this is supposed to be the final story update for the Doman arc, and maybe that’s a good thing. While I do like some of the characters of Stormblood, I have to admit that overall, I haven’t been as invested in the story as I was during Heavensward. I’ve been hearing a number of other folks echoing this sentiment, so I don’t think it’s just me.

There’s just been too many “Oh, btw, this character isn’t dead” situations happening. It’s been overused at this point. But anyhow, that’s a thought for another blog post. Let’s hopefully get hyped over stuff in the patch notes, shall we?

Continue reading “FFXIV 4.3 Preliminary Patch Notes Highlights”

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: It’s Fun to Die on the Death Road to Canada

One of the gifts I got for my birthday this year (they were all super awesome) was a Nintendo eShop card from my sister. I have a huge list of things I really want to play on my Switch, and a backlog forming, but I’ll never turn down an eShop card!

Death Road to Canada wasn’t really a game on my radar until it released. It just so happened I was looking at reviews of different games while trying to decide what to pick up with my gift card. That’s when I saw that this was a rogue-lite zombie game, similar to Oregon Trail, with a lot of zany RNG story and events.

Oh and it has local two player co-op, which I haven’t tried yet. And it was (is still?) on sale, too!

That checked a lot of boxes for me, so I picked it up. This post contains a lot of pictures since that’s the only way to really express the nature of Death Road to Canada. All the stories you’re about to see are true and really happened.

Continue reading “Nintendo Switch: It’s Fun to Die on the Death Road to Canada”

Posted in Blogging, Gaming, IRL, Uncategorized

Vegas Pokemon Conglomeration

Apologies in advance, this is going to be a really random post. Mostly, it has reference to a number of recent posts I’ve made, and a little to do with geeking and gaming. So, I figured it was relevant enough to ramble about.

Yesterday was my birthday. Syn, who has been my best friend for many years, was cooking something devious up, and I knew it. She mentioned it the night before, but I had no clue exactly what she meant to do.

Last night, she dropped the bomb on me: She bought me VIP tickets and a Photo op with my favorite band in the whole world – The Moody Blues. In Las Vegas. This September.

I was beside myself — mostly because it wasn’t cheap (but she had it in her head to do this, so I accepted the gift as graciously as I could). And then I thought of the planning I’d need to do for the trip.

And finally, the fact I really need to get into better shape before going on another trip. I spend my work time sitting in an office all day, and the time after that on the computer at home… and have for many years. I’m embarrassed to admit that my personal endurance and level of activity are both rock bottom, and have been for a while.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I needed to start paying more attention to diet and exercise now that I’m not as young as I used to be. (Git off my lawn! :p ) And there’s nothing like a trip that requires being out of your normal elements to show you just how out of shape you are.

We had thoughts of attending the FFXIV Fan Fest again this year (not sure if that’s a thing that’s going to happen or not), and I told myself that I needed to get more active so I could feel better when I was in Vegas. Well, now I have show tickets, and am going to meet my musical heroes face to face. I really need to start moving!

And that leads back to Pokemon Go.

Yesterday, I joked and said that catching my first shiny was a sign that I needed to get back into the game. Well, here’s another sign that I need to get back to it, for health’s sake.

The nice thing is that there’s now a Pokestop in the local mall. Summer is starting up full force already — it’s going to be 90+ degrees today — and braving the heat at the local park is just too much (and dangerous).

While the park is much better due to having 2 gyms and several stops, having one stop in the air conditioned mall gives me a reason to walk the mall. Previously, the mall didn’t have a stop, much less many Pokemon to speak of (it was odd – lots of Pokemon in the parking lot, few inside the mall itself). I hope that’s changed!

Anyhow, that’s my ramble for today. I’m taking tomorrow off in celebration of my birthday, so I’m going to have a long weekend. Hopefully I can spend some time with Death Road to Canada and have something to write at you guys next week. 🙂

Posted in Gaming, Pokemon GO

Pokemon Go: First Shiny!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written about Pokemon Go. I’ve been a little out of touch with the game for a while, but I’ve kept it on my phone, and I check the news from time to time.

I keep thinking I should get back into it since it’s added things that sound fun — like quests, weather and things. And lots of Pokemon I haven’t caught yet. I wasn’t that into the whole raid thing, but I’ve heard good things about all the newer changes.

I guess this is a sign.

We went out to the local Mellow Mushroom for my birthday lunch today. The fountain there is one of my most visited Pokestops. I just haven’t been in a long while. In fact, I’m so low on Pokeballs that it’s one reason why I haven’t played much.

So, as we were eating, I was spinning the stops and catching whatever random Pokemon popped up. I’m not very familiar with the 3rd gen Pokemon, and I wasn’t paying much attention to what I was catching. I was more interested in getting stuff I didn’t have and filling that “Catch 10 Pokemon” quest.

Later on, I logged back in to review the quests I had (which I haven’t done much with) and see what I caught. That’s when I noticed an odd icon next to one of them.

2018-05-09 15.07.33

Hold on a second… could that be?

An actual Shiny Meditite?

Can I just say this is the first ever shiny Pokemon I’ve caught in any Pokemon game. I mean, aside from the one time someone transferred a Shiny Steelix  to me that was infected with Pokerus.

And on my birthday, too!

I guess it’s a sign I need to get back into this game. 😉

Posted in Blogging, IRL

The 4th Decade

Nintendo sure knows how to spruce up a birthday, doesn’t it? Growing up a Nintendo kid, I couldn’t resist using the above image as my PC wallpaper. They also sent along some cute little paper craft templates, stuff that reminds me passingly of the new Switch Labo stuff.

So, today is my 40th birthday. Time for a little rambling.

I’d like to think that to see me and talk to me, my age isn’t very apparent. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing to say about yourself.

vintage78Every time you hit a decade milestone, though, it makes you stop and reflect a bit. I remember being antsy about the idea of turning 30. I was told “30 is the new 20, don’t fret about it.”

And they were pretty much right. I did a lot in the past 10 years to set a foundation under me — pay off bills, start a real career, get a place of my own that I own, buy my first new car… all of those adulting things. I’ve managed to survive it all somehow.

This year, I’ll have both my home and car paid off by fall. I still have some student loan stuff I’m working on, but my finances are good.

I feel like I’m in a position to start saving and thinking about where to go next. There’s still lots to see, do and look forward to. I’ve chosen to do things solo so far, so I have a lot of freedom to come and go as I please. I have good friends and family, and I’m a bit of a hermit by nature, so I’m alright with it.

However, year after year I tell myself that I need to pay better attention to my diet and health. I’m still saying that this year, and I have a feeling I’m going to really need to start to act on that.

gogbirthday
Thanks Green Man Gaming… I think?

Anyhow, my sister got me a $35 Nintendo eShop card, and I picked up the new Death Road to Canada since it’s on sale for Switch right now. I haven’t put a ton of time into it, but I’ll be sure to post about it once I have!

I’m struggling to decide what to use the rest of my card on, though. So many games on my Switch wishlist – it’s a good problem to have. 🙂

Have a great day!  

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Thoughts: Nintendo Switch Online Announcement, No Virtual Console

I’ve been waiting to hear information on the Nintendo Switch Online service, like many gamers, since last year. This was originally supposed to launch sometime last fall, but now is set to go this September.

Until that point, we’ll be able to enjoy online multiplayer in games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart and ARMS without having to pay for a service. We were told from the beginning this would eventually change, but the price point would be affordable.

Now keep in mind that I don’t own any of the new Playstations or a single XBox, so I’ve not been a console gamer where paying for online services costed me extra.

The Cost

The cost is per account, not per system, but there’s a pretty affordable yearly family option.

  • One month: $3.99
  • Three months: $7.99
  • Twelve months: $19.99
  • Twelve Month Family Membership: $34.99 (Up to 8 people)

I personally don’t have a problem with the cost of the service, and will be handing over my $20 without hesitation.

What You Get

Paying for the service provides:

  • Online play
  • Access to free NES games  (only NES? – don’t know yet)
  • Nintendo Switch App
  • Save Data Cloud Backup

I want to take a look at each of these.

Online play. We knew it was coming, the day when we’d need to pay to be able to play games online. I never had any illusions about this, but the fact of the matter is that releasing this service renders games like Splatoon 2 unplayable without it.

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It was nice of them to let us play for free during this period of time, but I still feel this should have been in place before these online-required games released. I dunno. Maybe I’m a little sad that I’ll probably never play online Mario Kart with my sister again because she’s not going to pony up the cost to play online. This was never a problem with older Nintendo systems.

I can only imagine how it’s going to hinder things like Pokemon games, which traditionally are greatly enhanced through online features.

I know I sound wishy-washy because on one hand, I don’t think the cost is outrageous. On the other hand, I still question having the cost at all.

Access to free NES games. This is a nice little perk… however… it leads to something that I was afraid was going to happen.

Nintendo has announced there will be no Virtual Console for Switch.

This is a big bummer for me. I mean, Virtual Console was pretty much the selling point that got me to pick up a Wii U back in the day.

wii-u-gamepad

Instead of a Virtual Console, they are giving us a Netflix-like service for NES games. Looking at the list, these are all Nintendo-developed games, too.

The games are supposed to have online and even multiplayer features, though I have no idea how they’d add that to a game like Legend of Zelda. I guess that only applies to games where online play makes sense.

It looks like they want 3rd party developers just to put their retro games in the eShop. Some have already, but I still feel the lack of a label like Virtual Console won’t encourage devs to do this quite as much as they would have with the label. I’d love to have some oldskool Final Fantasy and JRPGs on the system, but will companies bring them over to the Switch without the Virtual Console label?

I kinda don’t know how to feel about renting the games instead of owning them. I guess I own most of these in their original format, and do have an NES Mini if I really want them.

I’m choosing to look at this as an extra perk, but still miss the idea of the Virtual Console.

Nintendo Switch App. I have it on my phone somewhere. It’s pretty lackluster at the moment. Theey talk about enhancing gameplay with voice chat, but I’d just as well use Discord, honestly.

Not to mention none of my close friends/family are going to be buying into the service, and I don’t willingly voice chat with strangers, so I doubt I’ll ever have a use for it. I’m sure someone will.

Save Data Cloud Backup. Ah. This is the huge one. The one that everyone has been asking for.

I guess I can understand that save data in the cloud probably costs something for storage. But I still feel like putting a feature like this behind a paywall is a little crummy. I really do think this is a feature that should have been built in and available to everyone from the start… especially since I hear the horror stories of people sending in their Switches to get fixed, only to have their device wiped and returned to them with all content lost.

Or, at least give people the ability to back saves up on a separate drive somewhere if the cloud can’t be free. This is just basic needed functionality… I’ve been able to do this for yeras on other systems without problems.

Not only that, but it’s been hinted that not every game will support cloud saves. So, we’ll see.

TL;DR Final Thoughts

Wow, this all came off sounding a lot more negative than I meant it to be. Please don’t misunderstand… I absolutely adore my Switch. Overall, I like Nintendo bunches. But I still think that there are some things that should have been done differently.

Let me recap: 

  • I’m willing to pay the cost for the service. I feel the price is affordable.
  • If you offer a service for free, even with good will, but then stamp a price on it, some people are going to see that as taking service away. Especially when it deals with games you play pretty much 100% online. If you’re planning on doing that, do it from the start.
  • I’m going to miss the Virtual Console. I do appreciate the offer of renting free old games added in to the service, but I’d rather just buy my games outright. I feel a little squirmy about the direction that’s going.
  • The app is meh to me and remains meh.
  • Being able to back up save data is something everyone should have. If it’s not in the form of cloud saves, at least allow backing up to another drive.

Do you have any thoughts on the Switch Online service?