Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Resolutions, Done with my Coffee Talk

I’m pleased to announce that I finished a game this week! (Gasp!) Actually, I finished TWO games, but I’ll talk about the other one later.

It’s been a while since I’ve played a game from start to finish, even one of the shorter indie games. So I felt pretty good to be making my resolutions to play more Switch Games a reality this early in the year.

I wrote about how I was playing Coffee Talk and how the story being broken into 20-30 minute pieces really did well to fit into my nights. I was able to consistently pick the game up just about every day until I finally completed the main story.

Of course, the game let me know that I missed some content along the way (this was stuff you wouldn’t have been able to figure out unless you looked it up online). While I’m curious and really enjoyed my time with Coffee Talk, I have way too many other games to tackle to circle back to it at this point.

By the end of the game, I was a little sorry that the story was over. I had fun getting to know the folks at the coffee shop and seeing how they developed and connected with each other. There were no huge shocking plot twists in the end – it remained all fantasy slice-of-life.

Though I’m still curious as to who/what my character was – it was hinted at but never explained. Maybe that’s the content I missed. Who knows!

Onward!

So, while I still had momentum on my Switch, I decided to pick another game from my backlog to tackle. I looked over titles that I’d started but never finished and chose to return to the remake of Link’s Awakening.

I wrote about my experiences with the game back in 2019 – yes, it’s been that long! I know that I had a lot of fun playing it but… for whatever reason, I just set it down and didn’t get any further than I was at the point when I wrote a post about it.

Seeing that I was only three dungeons in, I had a choice to make. Either I could push on with the save I had (though I only dimly remembered what had happened up to that point) or I could start over since I wasn’t too terribly far into the game.

I decided to start over and picked a clean save spot. In playing it over the weekend, I’m almost back to the point where I was when I left off before. I remembered a few things that helped me get through a bit faster this time around, but for the most part, it was like playing the game anew for me.

I’m going to try to pace myself, like I did with Coffee Talk, and work towards finishing this game. I have a handful of games that are in a similar unfinished state (some which I just won’t spend the time to start over from scratch again), but I’m feeling good about making progress in my Switch backlog.

And it’s fun, too, of course!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Coffee Talk

In trying to make good on my goal to play more of my Switch backlog, I began playing the game that I picked up over the holidays with the Switch gift card I got from family. I’ve had my eye on Coffee Talk for a bit, and seeing it on sale, decided to pick it up.

Coffee Talk might fall into the visual novel category… maybe… except unlike most visual novels I’ve played, this one doesn’t have you making choices and trying to romance a character in the story (so far). In fact, about the only thing you as a player do is make the best coffee or tea for your customers as you can.

Oh, and you serve as sort of the central heart of the community and cast of characters in the game. Which is really what the game is about.

The combination of low-fi music, pixel art style and slice-of-life storytelling in a modern fantasy Seattle connects with me. Each night when you open your store there are new folks to interact with, new coffees to learn to brew and new or expanding stories to hear.

Much of the game is observation and listening. Really. That’s it. The characters (including your own) interact on their own – there’s even a button that allows for conversation to move automatically without you needing to press a button all the time.

Every now and then you have to fix something for someone to drink, but it’s nothing like some of those cook-serve-delicious timer games. This is laid back, and you even have a in-game phone app that updates as you learn new drinks or when you need to reference drinks you’ve already made.

The app also includes news stories for the world these characters live in, which is a very interesting world! You have modern-day humans and elves and cat girls and and orcs and vampires and werewolves all rubbing elbows at your counter each night. You never know what personal trouble someone is dealing with and who at the counter might provide advice for their situation.

The characters are well-defined and feel like individuals with their own backstories. They also have social media pages on your in-game app where you can go back and look at the details of their profiles. These update as you discover new things about the people who frequent your shop. I’m definitely finding myself fond of them.

Each night serves as a new story arc, and these can last from 15 to 30 minutes each. I find it pretty easy to sit down and play through a night or two each day as it doesn’t require a whole lot of time to do. It’s also quite chill and relaxed, so I’m finding it a nice game to pick up each evening for a story or two.

If any of this sounds interesting to you, I’d say give the game a shot. I’ve really enjoyed it!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

My Nintendo Switch Review Made Me a Little Sad

Nintendo sent out a year in review for Switch-playing folks a few days back. When I got mine, I was surprised and a bit sad about some of the statistics I saw there.

First, it determined what kind of player I was — turns out, I played Animal Crossing the most of all the games this year. This made sense.

It also turns out that I tallied up this many hours…

Wow, did I really ONLY play 23 hours on my Switch in 2019. That makes me sad, for one. But Animal Crossing certainly got me putting more time in on my Switch this year.

What made me sad was the tally of games that I played this year:

FIVE?

Only FIVE games? I could have sworn… no… well… maybe that WAS all that I played this year! How tragic, especially when I had goals set to spend more time with my Switch!!

What were the five games I played?

Bargain Hunter and Graveyard Keeper were both games that I got for my birthday, so I made an attempt to play a few games I got as gifts this year. But the rest of it was simply dismal.

I have got to do so much better than this in 2021. I have a LOT of fantastic games I want to play on this console. It’s just lack of time and focus that keeps me from doing so.

What a wake up call. 😦

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Transferring Screenshots to PC via USB

It’s not very often that I get excited about a system update for Nintendo Switch. Not that I don’t appreciate all the hard work that goes into updating my hardware, mind you, but rarely is there something that effects me as much as this one simple update.

As a blogger, transferring screenshots to my PC is a major deal. Up until now, the process for doing that on the Switch was a bit cumbersome (but thankfully easier than Wii U or 3DS).

I had to:

  • Undock the Switch (I play it docked about 99% of the time)
  • Turn it completely off
  • Pull the SD card of out it
  • Put the SD card into fiddly card reader that I usually had to fight with to figure out the proper direction of insertion every time
  • Put that in a USB slot on my PC
  • Hope the USB reader didn’t give me a fit – if not, find it in My Computer and open it to see screenshots
  • Transfer the entire folder of screens for the last couple months because I had no idea what I already have on my PC vs what I’ve taken since the last time I did this process

Now, it’s as simple as undocking, connecting to USB and tapping a few settings in the Switch menu. Here’s how.

1- You have to have the right type of USB cable.

Just a heads up, not just any USB cable will do. Basically, you’ll need a USB-C cable. The official patch notes says:

A USB charging cable [model HAC-010] or a USB-IF certified USB cable that supports data transfer is required to connect to a computer.

Patch notes

I had to go rooting around to find one that would work. In the end, I discovered the USB cable that came with my SNES Switch controller did the trick.

Once you have the cable, just connect it to the USB-C port on the bottom of the Switch, and the USB portion to a slot on your PC.

2 – Initiating Transfer

Once you’ve made the cable connection, then it’s time to start the transfer. From the Home screen of your Switch you:

  1. Tap Settings, then tap Data Management.
  2. Tap Manage Screenshots and Videos, then Copy to a Computer via USB Connection.

And just like that, you’ll get a prompt on your PC to manage a new storage device. Once you open the folder, you’ll see something like this:

That’s right, the Switch so nicely breaks down your content by title for you, making it much easier to transfer just the screens for just the game you want!

Previously, when transferring from the SD card, the system simply organized files by date, so there was no knowing which game you were downloading screenshots for. I just ended up dumping months worth of screenshots on my PC rather than messing around with it. But then I’d have to fish through those folders to find the screenshots I really wanted.

This is so much nicer!

Just copy the shots you want from the game folders and you’re ready to share, blog or whatever you want to do with your screenshots.

Thanks for the great QoL update, Nintendo!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Steam Gaming, Xbox Game Pass

December 2020 Gaming Goals

Happy December! Welcome to the final month of 2020, and to the Holiday season! I’ve got a bit of vacation at the end of this month to look forward to, but lots of goals on my mind as well!

In FFXIV, we have a patch incoming, which always means taking time out for story and whatever goodies the patch brings. Folks in my FC have been dabbling in Blue Mage lately, and this brings yet another level cap increase for that job.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Warrior to 80 and do job quest
  • Level Gunbreaker via Trusts
  • Clean up quests in the First (to level tank)
  • Level BLU when patch drops
  • Cap BLU skills
  • Work on crafting Relics for Main and Amon

This time around, I really want to finish leveling the last of my Trust members to 80 for the achievement. This will also coincide with leveling one of my tanks. Once Warrior and Gunbreaker are done, all I’ll have left is Paladin to have everything to 80 and the Amaro mount.

I really, really need to work on crafting relics! This next patch is going to drop an update to them yet again… ugh. Not to mention I didn’t even start on the gathering relics. I’m so behind. : /

MISC Goals

  • Continue to level Taming in UO
  • Continue playing Steam Games
  • Play Switch Games
  • Play 3DS Games
  • Play Xbox Pass Games

So I have a few very loose goals here. I do want to dabble in UO again this month. I don’t want that falling to the wayside.

I have a handful of Steam games I’ve been putting time into that I’d like to keep my momentum with, if only a little. I also need to blog about them!

I also dusted off my old 3DS system — there’s so many games there I haven’t touched/finished that it’s a shame. I need to blog about that, too! 🙂

And finally, I really want to put some time into some Switch games other than Animal Crossing. I just need to nail down which one I want to make my focus.

Oh, and Xbox Pass… I’ll… talk about that later.

That’s a lot of gaming! Thankfully I have a week off.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

October 2020 Gaming Goals

I’m happy that October is finally here! The weather is starting to cool off and the fall/Halloween vibes are some of my favorite. It’s time to break out decorations in all areas – IRL, Second Life, FFXIV, Animal Crossing.

I do have a few light goals for this month, so let’s get to them!

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Ninja to 80 and do job quest 
  • Start leveling a Tank
  • Clean up quests in the First
  • Level Tad’s gatherers with beast tribe quests
  • Do crafting/gathering quests in the Mean
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood
  • Level Mocho’s Paladin

So I’m almost done with all my DPS leveling on my main. All I’ll have left are the tanks. One thing I want to do, since I’m getting closer to finishing my job leveling, is clean up all the quests that are hanging around on the First. May as well get that extra XP and put it to use somewhere.

Speaking of quests, I never finished the series of crafting/gathering quests in the Crystarium. I’d like to do that and see what stories they have.

Back to progress with Zuri some more. I just got her through Doma Castle last night, and she’s half a level shy of hitting 70. So if I can keep pushing forward at this rate, I should be able to get her through Stormblood base game. I’d love to go much further than that, but we’ll see what kind of time I have.

And a little side project that came out of nowhere: leveling Mocho’s Paladin. When I was running Frontline roulette for Tad to get some glamour for him, I discovered this was a really good way to level a job if you didn’t want to run dungeons with them. I’m not the best at PvP, and really not the greatest when it comes to PvP with a tank, but I’ve jumped him from level 31 to 35 in two days with two runs of Frontline roulette. So I’ll keep trying it this month!

Nintendo Switch

What’s this… goals other than FFXIV? Am I nuts? No, not really. Just in the mood for Halloween. There’s a couple things I’d like to do:

  • Decorate Animal Crossing Island for fall/Halloween
  • Play horror game on Switch

So, Animal Crossing is kicking off Halloween starting today, and I’m really stoked about it. I’d like to put some time into doing stuff I haven’t around there – namely, decorating my island.

Also, I know I’ve picked up some horror games on the Switch in the past. I’d like to actually sit down with one sometime during this month. I really need to spend more time with my poor Switch, even though I do log in to Animal Crossing almost every day.

So that’s what I’ve got on my mind to do this month!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: Where the Blue Rose Grows

Like many folks, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons since the day of release. I’m not sure why I haven’t blogged a whole lot about it, but I continue to play in some capacity every day.

Blue Rose Breeding

In previous AC games, I never paid much attention to flower breeding. In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to flowers in general. But this time around, I decided to look into it.

Of course, there’s the easy crosses you can make… then there’s the roses. It seems like roses have the most complex and deep breeding of any of the AC flowers.

I was pleased when I started getting black roses to decorate around my second character’s house. But then I saw something about blue roses. Blue being one of my favorite colors, I decided to give it a shot.

Roses are native to my island. So had a bunch of them already. I figured this was a good starting point, and I read up this guide on what to cross to get what color to move in the right direction.

It seemed pretty straightforward:

  • Yellow + Red = Orange
  • White + White = Purple
  • Orange + Purple = Hybrid Red
  • Hybrid Red + Hybrid Red = Blue

So that’s what I started to do. I dedicated pretty much all of the northern part of my island to fields and fields of roses. I never got a zoomed out screenshot, but I’ll just say, it took a LOT of watering.

Eventually, I got the purples and the oranges. They got their own field.

Then I started getting hybrid reds, which I put aside in their own field, too. The thing about the hybrid reds is that they look exactly like normal reds, so you have to be careful.

Bad Genetics

However, after a few weeks passed, my hybrid reds produced more hybrid reds and an occasional black. Most of the time, they didn’t produce anything at all. So I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong.

I also wondered if I should have been crossing the hybrid reds that spawned from other hybrid reds, or if that was messing things up. So I decided to do further reading to look for answers to my questions.

What I found was disheartening. Apparently, there’s a lot more going on with the genetics of roses than I knew. I ran across this video here…

And learned that there were such a thing as “bad” hybrid red roses and “bad” genetics that would just never produce a blue rose. And that several breeding steps, tests and weeding out bad genetics would lead to the highest chance at success.

Even if you do have two “good” hybrid red roses, according to the video, you still only have a 1 in 64 chance that a blue rose will ever spawn. This was all supposed to be taken from tests and data provided by the community who delved into breeding.

And every guide I ran across said the best way to ensure good genetics was to start with planting from seed bags. Because this was the only way to start with pure genetics.

Considering I just threw a bunch of roses together that were already on my island, I started to think that my chances were next to none in getting a blue rose at this point.

Starting Over

Last Friday, I started to dig up all of my breeding roses and start over again from scratch. That was a lot of roses. I kept the purples and oranges as decoration around houses. But tossed most the whites, reds and yellows that came native to my island.

But just in case, I decided to leave my hybrid red field alone. And I still watered it on Friday.

Saturday was my birthday, so I hopped in game long enough to celebrate my birthday with the animals. I didn’t think to check my flowers or water them at all.

Sunday, I came around to check the progress of my new roses, and went up to see the hybrid reds I had kept around. To my absolute shock, there was a blue.

The fact that it was already in flower means that the very day after I dismissed the chance of getting a blue rose this way, on my birthday, this blue rose spawned. I just didn’t find it until the day after.

I took it back to the center of my town where I’ll certainly be watering it hoping for it to multiply. After reading and hearing how hard it is to get a blue rose this way, I feel like fortune was seriously shining on me.

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Bringing the Smiles

I know that a ton of people have picked up Animal Crossing: New Horizons lately, myself being one of them. I’ve played AC through out the years, ever since the original came out on the Game Cube in 2005. So I’m no stranger to the ways of Nook.

But what makes this release so different is the timeliness of it all. Right now, we can use more smiles, a place to chill, and a way to connect with people when it can’t be done IRL. AC:NH has been a way to do that.

My sister and I (pictured above) both preordered the digital game with the intention of playing together before all the work at home started for me. I got the word that we’ll be out of the office until the end of April now. This doesn’t bother me a whole lot as I’m usually a homebody. But I have to admit that it’s nice to have a social outlet.

The two of us hook up over Discord, sometimes including other friends and family, and we explore our islands and all the fun things Animal Crossing offers together, yet separately. Sometimes we visit, but a lot of our time is spent doing our own thing while just being on the other end of voice chat to talk about what changes have happened and what we’ve learned.

Oh, and those fun trips to islands of never-ending spawns of tarantulas. I’ve been there twice now. They’ve helped pay off house loans quite a bit.

I haven’t done anything super fancy with my island, Sojourn, yet. I’ve mostly been moving through the “story” and racking up the Nook Miles. Unlocking things and paying for larger house upgrades. Seeing who moves in, and learning to try to like the personalities, even if none of them are Kid Cat yet.

I’ve never been one to plan out my towns in the past, and don’t really have an idea for what I want to do with my island. I’ve seen a lot of very clever and creative use of space visiting the AC Reddit, so I may come up with something eventually.

The game is everything I loved in older Animal Crossing games, merged with a bit of survival-game crafting and the ability to decorate outside like never before. While the graphics aren’t hyper-realistic (this is AC…) there’s been many times the serene beauty of my island has struck me, especially as the sun gradually sets over the ocean.

This is pretty much all I could have wanted in an AC game, and I’m having a blast!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Organizing My Switch Backlog with Deku Deals

One of my goals for this year was to find a way to organize my Switch backlog, which is getting quite large now. If I know what I’ve bought, and can see it at a glance, then I can remove games from my Switch that I’m not currently playing, and download them later when I’m ready to do so.

I considered making a spreadsheet to do this, and it was even part of last month’s goals. But I never quite got around to doing it. Until now.

I found an organizational tool in the most unlikely of places — a website called Deku Deals.

Now, I’ve been subscribed to Deku Deals for a long while now, and mostly used it as a way to see what’s on sale in the the eShop. But what I didn’t know is that if you have an account there, you can not only set up a wishlist, but you can create a collection of games that you already own.

I’m still working on setting mine up, but here’s my collection page if you’re interested!

It’s a little bit like Steam in that you can choose to mark a game as completed, currently playing, want to play or even abandoned. You can also indicate which games you have physical vs. digital.

As you’ve seen above, you can copy the link to your collection and share it out.

Not only that, but you get a lot of information about individual games on their pages.

This includes where to buy it, the price history, Metacritic scores, How Long to Beat, screenshots, trailers, and pretty much anything you’d need to make a choice on whether the game is worth picking up.

So what used to be something I’d use just to watch sales, is now going to be my backlog organizer for the Switch. I’m really stoked to be able to find something much better than a spreadsheet for this!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

December 2019 Gaming Goals

Welcome to December – the last month of this decade! Crazy to think about, pretty soon it will be 2020. I’m going a little light on the goals this month because who knows what’s going to happen with the holidays here. 🙂

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Trusts & Alt Jobs (Main)
  • Level Crafters and Buy Master VII Books (Main & Amon)
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood

Nintendo Switch Goals

  • Earn at least one new badge in Pokemon Sword
  • Finish next temple in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit

And yeah. It’s short and sweet this month. Mostly daily leveling and making progress through expansions. I am working on Tad’s crafting/gathering and leveling on the side, but it’s nothing I want to set down as an official goal at this point. Mostly stuff I’m doing just for the fun of it and to test to see how fast crafting/gathering leveling is.

Hope you have a great December!