Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon: Splatted by Murf!

So, tonight I was just earning some gold in Splatoon for my new 18K shades in Turf Wars when I saw this pop up on my roster:

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I saw the name Murf, and even though he’s on my Switch friends list, I was like, “No way. that can’t be Murf-Murf!”

But, sure enough, right after the match was over, I get a tweet.

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@ctmurfy “I roll you!”

So, thus the friendly rivalry begins… in which Murf splats me a whole heck of a lot. I’m just a noob with an oversized paint roller who plays far too recklessly for my own good. So I’m sure he was probably shaking his head by the time the matches were over.

Sadly, we only got put on the same team twice, but both times, our team were winners.

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Good game, Murf! 

I had to go and find you in town to part peacefully. I hope we’re still friends? 😉

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: First Splatfest Experience

Last week, I picked up Splatoon 2 with some hesitation. I’m not a shooter player, and I started out being really, really bad at playing this game. I’ve kept at it, though, and have gotten better (still need a lot of practice though). I find it a fun game to pick up when I’m looking for something quick and energetic to play.

Last weekend was the first time I experienced a Splatfest. For those not familiar with Splatoon, this is a week where players choose one of two sides, usually something silly, then battle it out on a weekend day. For example, the theme of this Splatfest was Ketchup vs. Mayo.

Players had the week to choose a side and hype the event. Then, on Saturday, from midnight to midnight, teams battled for their chosen side. The winner was (supposedly) a combination of the most popular side and how many wins each side had.

I logged in on Saturday, ready to go but not sure what to expect. The whole Square was transformed into a big block party! There was a laser light show, fireworks, and live music provided by Off the Hook.

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There were inklings of both teams happily partying down to the lights and the music, and billboards of user-drawn content on the walls, on flags and on signs inklings were holding.

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Gotta say, it was riveting to experience that alone, and I spent a good bit of time just sitting in that environment, exploring. I was stoked to find a few different pieces of art from one of my favorite gaming webcomics, SaveState.

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Too bad I couldn’t send a friend invite — he would have probably just been like “who’s this?” if I did. Just voted him up Fresh cuz that’s all I could do. 😀

Also saw a lot of other funny art, of course.

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When it came to the actual battles, you went to the Lobby as usual, and Turf Wars had turned into the new Splatfest option. These were two rotating maps, but done up at night (you usually only see these during daytime). Plus one extra map made just for the Splatfest.

The majority of the time, my fights looked like this:

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This was because Ketchup was so overwhelmingly popular that most of the fights I had were Ketchup vs Ketchup. The sad thing was, none of these fights actually mattered in terms of the overall score, because a win and a loss against the same team canceled itself out.

But the battles still went towards upping your rank and title. As you fought, your rank increased (faster if you win the battles and have a higher power rank). The title you earned at the end of the day dictated your reward after Splatfest was done.

Somehow, I pushed through long enough to get the max rank, Ketchup Queen.

The next day, I logged in to see the outcome of the Splatfest.

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Wow. Amazing that Ketchup was so popular – I knew it would be, but maybe not 73%. I chose Ketchup mostly because I can’t stand Mayo, so I voted with what I’d eat, and for no other reason.

Weirdly, though, Mayo still won the day, even though the winning stats were really, really close. Some people are starting to question these outcomes, but you know, there wasn’t that big of a difference between winning and losing. Winning got you something like 3 more snails.

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I was happy to get the Snails I did. I used one to open up a third slot on my shoes, since I like them so much. I’ll save the rest for whatever.

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Aww… don’t worry, Dave. Marina is still pretty fresh.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Splatoon 2: Getting Ready for Splatfest

I haven’t played Splatoon 2 in a few days, mostly because the beginning of this week was riddled with bad headaches for some reason. But I think I’ve shaken them just in time to participate in this weekend’s Splatfest (Ketchup FTW)!

Before I took my break, I leveled up to level 11, and unlocked ranked battles when I hit level 10. Needless to say, I’m so noob that there’s no way I’m trying anything beyond Turf Wars right now, though.

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I did start to experiment with a few other weapons other than the Roller. I love the Roller in theory, but I’m not very good at playing it (yet). My stats show that I lose far more matches than I win with Roller.

So, I picked up the Aerospray MG, which I do know is overused. But it has been working pretty well for me, so I’m rolling with it for now.

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I also took the plunge and unlocked Salmon Run. After a short tutorial, where the game teaches you about the mode’s objectives and the bosses, it opens up the mode, as long as the mode is currently available.

I haven’t played it a ton — I find it slightly annoying that you’re forced to use random weapons. Some of them I seriously suck with. But I guess it’s good to find that out now, and be able to experiment with different weapon types. Overall, despite the weapon thing, it’s good fun to play cooperatively.

I didn’t get enough games in to get the shirt from last month’s run, but I did earn the mining hat from this month!

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I also really prefer Spawning Grounds to the other map I tried.

Anyhow, I still have a LOT to learn. Still a lot to practice. I look forward to getting out there and representing my team this weekend. Good luck to you at the Splatfest (unless you’re Mayo)! 😉

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Trying Splatoon 2 for the First Time

Let me start by explaining my situation.

I am not a competitive (online) player. I’m not a shooter player.

I owned the original Splatoon because it came bundled with my Wii U, but I have never launched it once. Though there is a single player portion to the game, I knew it was primarily online team multiplayer. I was too afraid to try it, despite the color and quirky appearance, and hearing everyone speaking so highly of it.

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New Squid In Town

When everyone else was going nuts for the new Splatoon 2 on Switch, I’d tuned most of it out, the same as I did with ARMS. Then, last Friday, I surprised myself when I suddenly decided to pick up the game as I headed home from work.

I don’t remember what got me to consider it. I don’t remember why I changed my mind. Maybe I was feeling a little over-confident from the PvP I’ve been running on Frontlines. I just know that I came home with Splatoon 2 and wondered if I had made a mistake. I bought a physical copy just in case I needed to return it.

Researching

I actually did a bit of research. I read through the tips and suggestions for noobs. I read to use the motion controls, even if there was a learning curve for it. I read to try out the single player mode first to learn the ropes.

So, that’s what I did.

After exploring the hub area a bit…

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Whaaaat?

…I jumped feet-first into the single player scenario.

Tutorial and Single Player Scenario

For someone completely new to everything about this series and shooters in general, the single player scenario does a great job as a tutorial. Despite all the help it tried to provide, I was absolutely terrible at it. I tried with and without motion controls, and determined that motion controls didn’t make it all that much harder, so I stuck with them.

I hated the feel of the starting weapon (mostly lack of range), and got frustrated really fast at the objectives like “Throw a bomb to distract the enemy, then shoot them in the back.” The enemy never sayed turned around long enough!

I had to start and restart the scenario several times, and almost didn’t clear it at all. Finally, I went to watch a video of someone clearing it to see how they did it — he didn’t fool around with the bombs, he just went in with guns blazing.

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So, I worked up my courage and followed his example. Somehow, it worked!

I beat the first scenario with a time of 33 mins. (Ugh)

I put the game down a while, then came back to it again later that night. I replayed the first stage, and I was able to clear it, this time in 12 mins. That’s not fantastic, but hey, it’s a clear in less than half the time of my first.

I could see I wasn’t earning experience or unlocking anything by doing the single player stuff, so I decided to work up the courage to just jump into the multiplayer turf wars.

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She looks about as confident as I felt.

Turf Wars

So the objective of Turf Wars is to cover as much of the ground with your color ink as you can. Splatting other players is a means to an end, but only going for PKs won’t win you the round.

I was really happy to see that each round only lasts 3 mins. This means that if you’re losing something terrible, you don’t get too beat down because it’ll be over quickly. Also, it keeps the action fast pace, and encourages quick play.

There’s no typing or forced group chat, so you can play without fear of being yelled at by people who are so much better than you are. I’ve probably been really frustrating to carry through things, though I try my hardest to learn and adjust.

It was encouraging that on my very first game, my team won in Turf Wars. I’m at the bottom of the list for my team, but not too bad for a first try on a weapon I didn’t really care for.

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How I Roll

After several matches, I gained enough levels and gold to be able to experiment with other weapons. That’s when I picked up the roller. And I really liked it! Now, I have a LOT of learning and practice to do with this weapon. But, I’m trying — reading tips and watching tutorial videos.

I’m getting the feel for the motion controls a bit better after several hours of play. Now, I need to learn to incorporate the flick attacks on the roller, and just get a better sense of spacial awareness.

Even with just noob rolling techniques, I was sometimes pulling top coverage for my teams.

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But when I’m up against more skilled players, I don’t have a chance. I keep trying, and working to learn the different arenas, though.

I have unlocked the Carbon Roller now, but still prefer the first roller due to the Splashdown special. I’m also learning about what abilities I should pick up in order to be more effective with the weapon.

Cosmetics & Apps

Yesterday, I bought a jacket that I really liked based on looks… only to learn that it would never have the abilities I needed to be more effective. Apparently, rollers should hook up with Ninja Squid to help them move unseen… I did order a 3 Star shirt with Ninja Squid on it last night, but it’s going to cost me 30K gold. Seeing that I only have 8K right now, I have a lot of gaming to do tonight before my order expires!

I like that you can browse and purchase cosmetics through the Nintendo App, as well as check your stats and progress. I don’t use the app for anything like voice chat (I’d use Discord for that), but what I do use it for, it works well.

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Also, it looks like my first Splatfest is coming up this weekend. I don’t know how that works, but Team Ketchup FTW!

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Switch Gaming: Mario Kart 8 Delux

This weekend, Nintendo Switch owners in my FFXIV Free Company got together to play some online Mario Kart 8 for the first time. We got Syn’s Switch set up and running, and Discord did surprisingly well on phones and wireless headsets as a means of group chat for Switch play.

For some people, playing Mario Kart online is old hat. For me, this is the first time I’ve been online with a group of people like this. I tried it out back when the game first launched with 3-4 racers, and yesterday with Syn alone. But the game really starts to ramp up once you get a solid group of friends together!

 

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My Mii is being antisocial

It was all pretty casual and fun, since some players were new to this version of Mario Kart. We took to some of the tracks first, then, as some of the players left the game to do other things, we ended with a round of battle mode, which was really fun with team play.

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Later in the afternoon, once everyone went off their own way, I decided to spend a little time practicing and unlocking kart parts, since I haven’t done much of that on this version of the game (had a lot of parts unlocked for the Wii U version, so need to catch up).

While I usually play using my Mii character, I decided to try out something different and started racing with Cat Peach. I’m not usually one for picking the cute, pink, girl characters, but I have to admit, she’s pretty adorable, especially when she taunts.

The first thing I unlocked on my solo play was the pink cat cart, so I decided to take it for a spin, and actually did pretty well on most the tracks I tried. Of course, this is just 50CC, but you have to start somewhere.

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I’m still experimenting with my kart build, but for now, I’m consistently coming in first on the easy tracks, so I’m sticking with what’s working. I’ll probably have to adjust once I move up to a higher speed.

Overall, I enjoy the Switch version of this game more than I did the Wii U version. I think the major issue was that the Wii U’s main control pad was so huge and bulky for me that it made it difficult to play games that required quick response. The smaller joycons in their holder have proven to be extremely comfortable and easy for me to use in comparison.

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch Weekend: Zelda BotW & Minecraft

So I spent a good chunk of my weekend playing my Nintendo Switch, and I had every intention to blog about it yesterday. But that was before I came down with this cold/flu business, and before the Stormblood hype took my attention away.

I juggled between Zelda and Minecraft most the weekend, and overall had a pretty awesome time with them both.

Minecraft

Most of what I did in Minecraft this weekend was to take the little village I discovered and start building protection around it. Seen here, it has a nice snowy mountain backdrop and everything.

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I built my own house as part of the town, and tried my hand at actually building something more than a box for once. It’s not fantastic, but functional for now.

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As I started putting a fence around the village and placing torches, I found a hill I decided I wanted to level so I could use the land as pasture or more building space.

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As I started pulling it down, I discovered there was a tiny underground cave with a pool there. I thought that was kinda neat, so I kept the water and turned it into a village swimming pool area. Here’s what it looked like after I got it cleared and fixed up.

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Me being me, I also captured a bunch of horses, including this mother and son pair. Once the son grew up, I tamed him, too!

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I’ve got most of the fencing and lighting complete, and have been testing it at night to see where danger might come from. I’ll be building more houses to hopefully expand the population soon!

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’d wanted to chronicle my adventurers of Zelda, but lost momentum with that back when a power surge took out my Switch’s dock and power supply. I did get this repaired, and actually was able to replace the power supply of all the gadgets I owned, except for my TV (RIP). I ended up replacing my TV with a nice monitor, so all is well.

However, with the Switch out of commission, I didn’t make my goal of defeating my second Divine Beast in Zelda in April. Over the weekend, however, I rectified that!

Warning: Spoilers!

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I went in thinking that Rudania would be as difficult or harder that Ruta. I was really surprised when I breezed through it, including the boss fight. Unlike Ruta, I only got stuck on one of the doors, and it was due to a technicality.

So I beat up the boss there and gained a new protection skill for Link!

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Following that, I cleared a handful of Shrines, and found a new fairy for gear upgrades!

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I then tackled clearing some of the towers, including one up in the north that I’d been puzzling over for a while. This unlocked a bunch of the map I didn’t have before, and I felt pretty darn accomplished. I still have a lot more to go, though.

I headed off to the south west where the land turned dry and desert. Though I’d faced Death Mountain, which required fire resistance, this area required heat resistance instead. It’s still very neat and atmospheric.

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I got my first glimpse of the next Divine Beast on my list. This looks like it’ll be a doozy with sandstorms and lightning.

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And then, I run into Gerudo Town, which doesn’t allow Link to enter because he’s a guy. Of course, the answer to this was pretty simple.

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Anyhow, I got in to talk to the chief there, and they gave me a quest to recover a stolen artifact to prove I’m really a legendary hero. And…. that’s pretty much where I left off.

Honestly, my quest log in BotW is getting quite long with unfinished quests to the point I’m getting antsy and feeling a bit behind in that area. I know it’s not important and that you can play the game at your own pace, but I don’t like a messy quest log. So I might have to clean that up before I keep moving forward.

Disgaea Disappointment

One last thing about the Switch. Disgaea 5 came out today, and though I pre-order a copy from Amazon a week ago, my copy didn’t come. It seems Amazon had oversold their pre-order stock or something, and they don’t know when they’ll be getting any more in.

Seeing that between the Prime discount and some Amazon trade-in credit I got the game for an extremely discounted price, I’m going to try and wait it out on this. I’ve got plenty enough to keep my attention with Zelda and Minecraft, especially after hearing just how deep down the rabbit hole Disgaea can take you.

If you want to know more, check this out: