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!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

November 2019 Gaming Goals in Review

And just like that, November is gone and December is almost here. Wow!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the progress I made for November’s goals. A few things slipped through the cracks, but other things took their place. So it’s all a bit of balance.

FFXIV Goals for My Main

  • Daily Pixie Beast Tribe Quests 
  • Daily Nuts Hunts (For New Mount) 
  • Finish Dancer Job Quests 
  • Finish Gunbreaker Job Quests 
  • Level Crafters with new weekly Scrip turn-ins 
  • Get Eden Weapon for Red Mage 
  • Upgrade Gear with Factory Coin Drops 
  • Decorate House (?)
  • Clean up Shadowbringer Quests 

I finished up all of my job quests (woo!), got my Eden weapon, completely leveled Black Mage through beast tribes and hunts, and finished leveling Weaver. I also finished max rank with the Pixies and got the new hunt mount.

In the meantime, I’ve been cleaning up Shadowbringer quests here and there. Not a huge effort for that, but I have done some work. I actually did do a tiny bit to decorate the house – found new walls I liked, and I’m toying with the idea to work on a cabin design, which would be good to work on through winter.

FFXIV Goals for Amon

  • Finish 5.1 MSQ 
  • Daily Pixie Beast Tribe Quests 
  • Daily Nuts Hunts (For New Mount) 
  • Level Red Mage 
  • Level Crafters with new weekly Scrip turn-ins 

I did all of this with Amon as well. Finished 5.1 MSQ, max rank Pixies, hunt mount, leveled Red Mage using those, and leveled a crafter from scrips. I haven’t been hitting Ishgard to level up my higher crafters for some reason. I guess I’m more interested in the fluff.

FFXIV Other Goals

  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers 
  • Progress Zuri through Stormblood
  • Level Zuri’s Fishing & Fishing Retainer 

As you can see from the picture above, I have been making progress with Tai in Shadowbringers – I unlocked flying in Lakeland, and as of last night, am working through quests and MSQ in Ill Mheg. Will likely Trust through Dohn Mheg today. And while I never look forward to the Titania fight, I believe that might be around the point that Pixie tribes will open up for him, too, which will help with his leveling.

Zuri didn’t see any progress in Stormblood (no surprise there) as it feels like I need to focus on one character at a time when it comes to making it through content. And I’m just never thrilled to be going back through Stormblood again.

But, I did level her fishing to 72 through almost only fishing turn-ins by themselves. It’s starting to slow down and get a bit more costly at this level, and she’s nowhere near being able to fish in Shadowbringers yet, so I may put this on pause until she gets closer.

Nintendo Switch

  • Defeat next temple in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit leveling

While I didn’t play either of these games much in November, I did put some time into the new Pokemon, which I knew I would. I’ve earned two badges so far, and spent more time than I should breeding and trading. That always happens. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the game and should probably write about it sometime. I want to make sure I keep making progress in December!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo Switch

October 2019 Gaming Goals

Happy October everyone!

My gaming goals for this month are pretty simple as most of them fall in the realms of doing things I probably would have already been doing. But, that’s okay, because it’s still marking progress.

My major goal for this month is to get all of my battle jobs in FFXIV to level 70. Considering I was just hoping to get some of those to 60 earlier this year, this is a pretty big deal for me. An ultimate goal is to get all my jobs to 80 for the Amaro mount, but I really don’t see that happening this year. Next year, though… yeah.

Major Goals

  • Earn Mogtome mounts (Main & Amon)
  • Level Gunbreaker to 70
  • Level Dancer to 70
  • Continue leveling crafters with weekly Scrips (Main & Amon)

Some of this may change since we do have patch 5.1 dropping, and a Halloween event coming. But those are the basic things I want to finish.

Possible Goals

Here’s some stuff I’d like to do if I have downtime. With the Mogtome event and the new patch coming, I’m not expecting to get a lot done on the side.

  • Make progress in Shadowbringers on Tai
  • Make progress in Stormblood on Zuri
  • Level Zuri’s fishing
  • Decorate my main’s house

Nintendo Switch

I’m adding this back to the mix this month. I picked up the Legend of Zelda last month and don’t want to lose momentum on it. Also, the Ring Fit is coming out mid-month and I want to get involved in that. So:

  • Make progress in Link’s Awakening
  • Ring Fit Release

There’s other stuff going on, such as a possible Inktober, and me picking my Bullet Journal back up again. So it really does seem like this month is already shaking out to be busy. Wish me luck!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Switch: Link’s Awakening Remake

Last Friday, I felt a little itchy to pick up something different to do for the weekend. Two pretty important things released that day in the Nintendo world – the new Switch Lite, and the remake to Link’s Awakening.

I’d not even considered the Switch Lite until release day. But then, hearing everyone discussing it and seeing the pretty teal colored model started to get me interested in it. Even though my current Switch is perfectly fine (and hardly played as much as it should be), and I only partially spend time playing it in handheld mode as the TV mode is really what I’m interested in.

So it seemed really counter-intuitive to buy a whole new system for… what reason? Just because I got hyped?

Anyhow, Syn talked me out of spending the money there. But I still felt like I wanted something new to mess with this weekend. So, instead, I dropped by Target and picked up a copy of the remake of Link’s Awakening. I also got a couple of really cute promo pins for being one of early purchase people at Target, which I didn’t even know about until the guy added it in.

Hardly a History

I was a Nintendo kid through and through. However, I admit that the one system I never had growing up was a Game Boy — not until Pokemon Blue released and I bought the Game Boy Color for it.

Truth was, I wasn’t really much into handhelds. It wasn’t until later years, when I really started enjoying my 3DS that I actually got into those smaller platforms.

Despite that, I do briefly remember playing Link’s Awakening, and I swear it was on the original Game Boy. It might have been at a friend’s house. It’s really fuzzy, but I do recall the whole trading item for item thing and playing a strange Zelda game where Link’s washed up on an island.

Needless to say, I never finished the game, even if I did play it. So, even if this version was exactly the same as the original, it would have still been like a brand new experience for me.

Just Fun

I generally enjoy the oldskool Zelda experience – an adventure game where you wander around, put the pieces of the story together, and slowly build up items that give skills that unlock more areas to explore.

Of course, this game has that, and it has charm in spades. I don’t know how much was changed from the original in terms of story and script, but it’s just downright fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and that’s what I enjoy most about it. Several times, it’s made me laugh out loud or just grin because of its gentle sense of humor.

I wasn’t sure if I’d get on board with the art style at first. But I watched a few videos and thought it was pretty cute. Now that I’ve played it, I think it meshes really well for what it is. Sometimes the characters and objects in the world strike me as adorable little toy figures, especially when seen from afar. And then sometimes you get lovely scenes like this:

The only minor gripe I have – and it seems this is experienced by many – is the moment or two of slowdown you get sometimes when crossing area lines or when you move into a screen where there’s a lot of monsters. It’s just for a second, but I noticed it as soon as it happened the first time.

This is no game breaker, and I’ve accepted that’s how its going to be.

So far, I’ve cleared the first three dungeons, and I just finally saved up enough to buy the bow, which will allow me to defeat the sub-boss and enter the next shrine. You know, I love everything I just said in that sentence, because it has the feel of good oldskool Nintendo gaming!

Things don’t have to be complicated or fancy to be fun. This remake, whether you’re a long-time fan or someone who never really played the original, is just plain LoZ fun. And seeing the number of folks who were on my Switch friends list playing this over the weekend, I know I’m probably not alone in feeling that way.

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Ring Fit Announcement

Last week, Nintendo teased this weird ring-like joycon addition which absolutely had to have some sort of fitness gaming connection. Yesterday, they finally announced the Ring Fit Adventure.

Back in the day, I was a fan of the Wii Fit. It was a fun little system, though at times I did wish for something other than a balance board (which required more batteries to power and had to be synced to your Wii/Wii U).

Though this Ring Fit seems strange on first glance, it appears to be far more flexible in what you can do with it since you’re not locked into a balance board for measurement. The only thing I’m not quite sure of is the leg strap — I’m a bit concerned about my joycon getting wrecked if something unforseen happens.

Long trailer with super smiling people…

Overall, I’m interested in this, even if it does look unusual. I’ve been hoping for some sort of workout system to come to the Switch, and I’m even more pleased it would be in the form of an adventure game. I certainly could do with some get-up-and-go, and launching in October is a good time of year, when the weather starts to cool down in my area.

It is a little on the pricey side, but so was the Wii Fit, if I remember correctly. The response to the announcement is typically uncertain – some folks really like the idea while others see it as silly. But I might just get in on this simply because it looks like fun and it certainly couldn’t do me any harm to try. As much as I love my Switch, it could do with some more play time.