Posted in Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch: Miitopia – An Absolute Delight!

Miitopia was one of those games that I had a hunch I’d enjoy, but had no idea it would tick off so many boxes for me. I’ll just say that it’s the solo-player RPG game that I’ve been needing for quite a while.

Going into this, I had no idea it was a full-on fantasy RPG with jobs and a turn-based battle system. I’m not sure what I thought it was – maybe something more along the lines of that Miitomo app I messed around with a long time ago. Maybe I got it confused with Tomodachi Life – which I’ve never played either.

When this originally came out on the Nintendo 3DS, I sorta had my eye on it, but then forgot about it. So when it was re-released on the Switch, I put it on my Amazon wishlist – and received it for Christmas!

The story is pretty basic in Miitopia – you have to defeat the big bad and save the world. But I’m not playing for the story (for once). I’m there to watch the Miis I created connect, grow in their relationships, and interact with each other as they journey together.

You can be as creative as you want in making your team. Put yourself, your friends and your family in the story if you like. Or, as I did, choose characters from other stories that you write or enjoy.

You can not only craft your own Miis (it looks like you can also share and import them from friends), but you can also customize their personality type and their job. Personality comes with perks and quirks which can effect the way battles and interactive scenarios turn out.

Battle is also pretty straightforward – in fact, the other characters in your party default to auto-battle. I’m not sure if you can change that, but I’m fine letting them make their own choices and focusing on my one character alone. Even if the system is simple, the relationship and personality system adds layers to what can happen in battle.

The closer your characters are with each other, the more automatic actions and reactions happen during a fight. This can be anything from encouraging a party member to do their best, helping to boost a party member’s next attack to taking blows for other party members and dealing extra damage if someone falls in battle.

You do get to control how relationships grow whenever your Miis stop to visit an inn. There are opportunities for Miis to go on outings together to further bond, such as watching a movie or visiting the seaside. These scenarios have a lot of randomly generated outcomes – as many as I’ve done so far, I rarely see a repeat.

I’ve put a number of hours into this game already and I’m still having just plain old fun making my way through it and seeing how my Miis change over time. There’s nothing super serious or difficult about the game, but that’s why I think I enjoy it.

It’s one of those laid back romps where your heroes take a moment to ponder whether someone just tooted. You know, the real questions in life.

Posted in Nintendo Switch

My Nintendo Switch Review (2021) Made Me Sad (Again)

It’s that time of year again – Nintendo sent out an email for yearly Switch stat usage. Last year, reading this made me sad. This year, I was still sad, especially since I’d made resolutions around my Switch gaming to improve how much time I spend with the system and tackling the very real backlog I’ve formed.

I even made some resolutions last year to play more Switch and find a way to organize switch games in my backlog. I did discover Deku Deals, which I’ve been using as that tool to not only track sales but keep an eye on what’s on my Switch game-wise. This has been an excellent change, but it’s not been enough, apparently.

So, what do my stats say?

Well, this is a little better than last year. And in fact, I actually finished one of these games that I played (Coffee Talk). But I still need to encompass more of my backlog since I’m absolutely picking up more games than I’m playing.

Not quite as much time playing games, either. I did have a drop-off of Animal Crossing, but I know it’s still the game I played the most this year. Speaking of which:

Yeah, that’s a MAJOR drop-off in Animal Crossing. And I know a bulk of this gaming time was in October/November, especially during the Mog Tomes event in FFXIV when I was using it to fill my time during Praetorium cutscenes.

I still haven’t finished Zelda – and I want to – and I really want to put more time into Monster Hunter Rise, but now I’m going to have to relearn the game again at this point.

I can see where I made a strong effort to come out of the gates running in January and February – I’m sure that’s when I was working on Zelda and Coffee Talk. In May and June is when I was playing Monster Hunter. And, again, October/November was Animal Crossing again.

Yep, I’m still very much a docked TV player. The time spend handheld was likely Animal Crossing while running Praetorium in FFXIV. However, I’m quite happy to have the option for handheld for situations like that!

The takeaway – my Switch needs more love! I knew that already, but really, these stats hurt. It’s just tough since the Switch competes with PC gaming such as FFXIV and now my PC Game Pass.

I vow to do better next year, even if it is to a point to focus on trying one new game each month for Switch. I’m really not sure I want to go back to monthly gaming goals, but I might need to come January. I slacked off on goals this year in a big way, but now that I have a lot more to work on in FFXIV with Endwalker’s release, it might be a good thing to start again in 2022.

Posted in Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing New Horizons 2.0 Update Comes Early!

I’ve been working on getting my island ready for the 2.0 release – which was supposed to drop on Friday – ever since I heard the 2.0 announcement back before Halloween. I’ve been moving around buildings, fixing up the island, and thinking about how I really need to figure out what to do with some of the spaces I have.

Little did anyone know we’d be seeing the patch drop early. Two days early, in fact. I caught wind of it last night on Twitter, whereupon I went and immediately figured out how to get the download going before I went to bed.

For more information on what all is in the update, spoil yourself here! 🙂

The DLC is still yet to release on Friday, and from what I’m hearing, this will be the last of the large updates or DLC that New Horizons will get. However, I’m also hearing that this update has added possibly over 9000 new items (yes, I did that). It’s going take a while to discover all of that, especially since it doesn’t look like a store expansion is in the cards.

I haven’t been able to explore a whole lot just yet – though I have set it up for Brewster to come to my island.

He seems to like gyroids as much as I do!

I have a lot to do on my island such as rearrange my dedicated farming area. I was lucky enough to get wheat starters today from Leif, and I’ve stashed some pumpkin starters away from Halloween. I’ve got a good idea where on my island I want to plant stuff going forward, too.

I’m not really in a rush to get the DLC just yet (I may even hold off until the holidays – it just depends). It seems like I’m going to have a lot to explore already. I haven’t even made it to Harv’s yet! Nor have I looked into anything but unlocking the cooking recipes. I’m pleased that our ovens actually have functionality now!

What’s got you most excited for 2.0 so far?

Posted in Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: A Return to New Horizons

I played Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a pretty solid year before I found myself taking a break from the game. I think it was around Easter of this year when I ended up putting it down, mostly because I felt that there were not a lot of new things in the event or game.

Not that I’m anywhere near being finished with it. I haven’t even really sat down and figured out what I want my island’s design to be. Unlike some of those amazing islands I see out there, mine is pretty bland and unorganized.

When dream visiting released, I thought it was finally a chance to hop around to other islands to obtain inspiration. Only, originally, you had to have codes in order to visit an island. For me, searching for codes and inputting them was more work than I wanted to do just to find inspiration. I’d hoped I could just randomly visit islands in dreams – something they implemented eventually. But by that time, I’d fallen away from logging in.

So now, I’ve heard we’re getting a huge update – the final update – to New Horizons and it sounds fantastic! I won’t go into listing all the new and quality of life content we’ll be getting for free – this site does a great job of rounding up all that information. But it was enough to catch my attention and make me log in to clear the weeds.

On top of that, we’re getting the first Animal Crossing DLC that blends the features of Happy Home Designer (which I do own but never got very far into) with New Horizons.

Again, I won’t go into all the information on this DLC, but I do plan to pick it up. It sounds just the thing for folks who (unlike me) have reached end game with designing their own island.

This DLC comes two ways – a straight out purchase for $25 or as part of an upgrade with Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. I know that I’m going to straight up buy the DLC because I’m not sure if I’m going to upgrade my Switch Online yet. I like having the service, but I also don’t use what I have as much as I should already. I’m going to wait and see on whether the N64 lineup is worth it to me – there were some games that I loved from that system, but it wasn’t one of the systems I owned a ton of games for.

I don’t want the hassle of not having DLC content should I decide to drop the Switch Online Expansion service in the future. As far as I’m concerned $25 is a fair price for a hefty DLC that I’ll probably put time into and enjoy.

All that to say, I’m going to be squeezing in time to dream hop and see if I can’t make my own island something I’m a bit more proud of going forward. Not to mention the Halloween event actually does seem to have new items this year, so I’m there for that!

Posted in Nintendo Switch

Dabbling with Monster Hunter Rise

When I mention playing Monster Hunter, sometimes I get surprised comments like – “Oh! I didn’t expect you to play Monster Hunter!” or “I didn’t know you played!”

I really can’t blame them because for all due purposes, Monster Hunter really shouldn’t be my kind of game. I can’t explain why I like games of this type, either, considering some fights can get really brutal and action type games aren’t usually my go-to.

My first and only Monster Hunter game before this was Monster Hunter Tri on the Nintendo Wii. Woo boy. I remember it being really tough.

But I also remember my first win against the Great Jaggi… and how I didn’t do so well in the beginning. I recall fighting and fighting and fighting until finally I got it down. Something about overcoming that first large hunt broke the difficulty curve for me, and while I never got all the way through the game, I hunted quite a bit!

I’ve heard a lot about Monster Hunter World, and have been curious about trying it. But seeing my time is often taken by FFXIV in the MMO realm (and because I’m not sure my friends would be into MHW), I’ve never played it.

Fast forward to Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch. I’ve heard lots of great things about it – even that it’s more accessible to new (or rusty) players! It’s on the Switch, which is a huge plus for me. So when I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday, I knew exactly what I was going to buy.

I’ve had the game for almost a month now, and I’m making my way very casually through it. While it is far, far, far easier than Tri from what I’ve experienced (I was shocked at how gently it eased me into the game considering how bad I am at it), I still feel quite a bit of triumph with each big hunt accomplishment. I’m sure things will get more difficult, but the difficulty curve has been surprisingly nice to me.

I’m not sure why I decided to roll an Amon character for this (hunting monsters is not his thing), but everything fell right in place for him, including a musical instrument weapon (hunting horn)!

I’m not very good with the wirebug system yet, and I still have a lot to learn about the controls of the game. But there’s just so much to do that I often don’t know how much I’m overlooking. There’s leveling buddies, crafting and upgrading armor and weapons, gathering materials, light crafting, unlocking more hunts, trading requested goods, quests for the folks in the town…

Yeah. I only unlocked three star quests last night, and suddenly my weapon crafting tree just expanded many-fold. I went out on an expedition run of a new area and ended up going head-to-head with a big hunt – the Kulu-Ya-Ku – due to running across it by accident. I’ll have to fight it again, I know, for the actual quest associated with it, but it was a fun hunt that gave me a good sense of where I’m standing in terms of gear and progression.

I love how the game doesn’t take itself too seriously despite the fights being tough. The translation is light-hearted, the music in the town always makes me smile, and I’m starting to like the folks who live there and interact with my hunter.

Not to mention the on-purposely cheesy movie-Japanese intro cutscene for each area and big hunt you undertake.

The one thing I haven’t done is play multiplayer – I never did it in Tri, either. I doubt that I’ll take the chance to do it in Rise since I heard the game can be beat pretty much solo, even the quests that are meant to be done in a group.

I’m just not skilled enough as a hunter that I wouldn’t embarrass myself trying to play with other people. I’m seriously surprised I’ve gotten to three start quests, to be honest.

Right now, I have enough to explore on my own. There’s still plenty of quests, stories and gear to work towards, even if I’m doing it quite casually. I’m just trying to move forward a little bit at a time, and sometimes going back to hunts I beat simply to practice what I’m learning.

I’m open to any tips about the game — and even though I have more than enough on my plate with Rise, I’m starting to side-eye Monster Hunter World as well. Maybe next time it’s on a Steam sale. We’ll see.

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.