So, I’m currently in the process of getting a shed built so that I can do some organization of my closets and get some junk out of my house. Fun times!
Yesterday, I pulled out a bunch of storage bins in my back bedroom which contained lots of old stuff – childhood toys, VHS anime tapes and some old gaming controllers. Admist the box of controllers, I found a few treasures of old!
I kept most of my original SNES boxes whenever I bought the games brand new. I folded them flat for safekeeping. I knew I had a bunch of them in a bin in the other closet, but I didn’t expect to find what I did in this particular bin! Talk about a flash from the past.
Note: I still have the original carts and the manuals for all of these, though they’re in another bin somewhere else.
Click images to see bigger pictures!
Final Fantasy II SNES Box
I even have the sales slip from when we bought this game. I remember that we found the best price at Lowes of all places. They had one little glass case with just a few SNES games, and FFII was one of them!
November 7, 1992 was a good day for my teen self. 🙂
Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest SNES Box
Final Fantasy III SNES Box
Final Fantasy I NES Box
I also found some complete Famicom versions, gifted by a friend a long, long time ago.
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.
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!
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.
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!
I am no stranger to Nintendo eShop cards or codes. Friends and family alike know that the way to light up my birthday or holiday is to slip me some credit for my Switch. That being said, I rarely purchase a digital code – I unusually get them in the form of physical gift cards.
Here is the story of the time the Nintendo eShop code from Amazon arrived… already redeemed… and how I got the issue resolved. I’m not sure who should have taken the responsibility for this issue. But in the end, Nintendo was pretty quick to resolve it… after I’d jumped through a few procedural hoops.
Sunday, December 13, 2020: My dad buys me a $10 Nintendo eShop code as part of a Christmas gift on his Amazon account.
Hours Later: The code still hasn’t shown up in his game downloads section. I do some research around – some say that the code could take up to 4 hours to process. This went far beyond 4 hours.
Monday, December 14, 2020: I check the download section to see if the code arrived. It finally had. But strangely enough, I also noticed that on the item page, it said that two had been purchased (which I know wasn’t so). This was strange….
Not to mention, there was only one code in the download section… so…. that was weird.
Anyhow, I go to enter the code in the eShop just like I would normally and…
This activation code has already been used.
Now, there’s not a chance that someone else with access to this Amazon account used this code. My parents don’t even own a Nintendo, much less know what the games download section of Amazon does. And my dad’s account is protected with OTP so no one else is getting in there except him or me.
I try the code again, and got the same response. So, it was off to Amazon support chat for me.
I explained the situation to the rep on the chat and she had someone from Amazon digital games support call me directly. This happened almost instantly – I do have to say that the response times were very fast in support!
Then, I explained the situation to the new rep over the phone. He proceeded to “gather information” about the situation, including what’s called a Control Number – which was provided along with the code. Then he told me he was sending this information to Nintendo Support and that I would have to call Nintendo and they would sort it out for me.
This felt like a lot of to-do for a $10 card and an error I did not make.
But this was a Christmas gift from my dad, so to honor the money he spent, I chose to pursue this to the end.
So I call Nintendo support.
In all the years that I’ve been a customer of Nintendo (since childhood) I’ve only ever called support once – when my Switch dock got fried by a power surge. So I wondered how this would unfold.
Again, wait time was surprisingly short! The first rep I got was pleasant, quick to respond and helpful. He took the information I provided (I guess Amazon’s information had not arrived?) and was able to confirm that the code had indeed been used (before I got it).
He escalates my issue to a Specialist. And this is where the ball sorta drops.
He was like: Did you contact Amazon?
And I was like: Yes, and they sent me to you.
He remarked that this was “very strange.”
Then he was like: Are you sure you used the correct code?
And I was like: Pretty sure. And it recognized it (1) as a code (2) a code that had already been used. That’s why I’m here.
The fellow was polite enough, but he was so very uncertain that there was anything he could do to help me. In fact, he told me straight up, “I don’t know what to do about this.” and later said “I can’t promise this will get resolved.”
I’m like… what…? This is a $10 card for Heaven’s sake! It’s not like I’m talking about $75 or $100. Just $10…
The main reason he was so uncertain (or so I gathered) was because this was a digital code. Apparently, if you have this issue with a physical card, you can take a picture of the back of the card and send a photocopy of the receipt to prove you bought it.
In this case, all I could do was provide a screenshot of my dad’s digital download section and the invoice from Amazon. I had to tell this fellow repeated times that this was a digital code, not a card, so I didn’t have an actual card or receipt to send.
Still, he got the ball rolling for me, though acting still very unsure that I could get this resolved, and certainly having no clue how to handle it himself. And that’s… just not what you do in support (saying this as someone who worked retail and support for years).
He sends me an email from Nintendo Support, to which I have to respond with the information requested. So I do this as completely and thoroughly as a tech writer can. I typed out my story again, using bulleted lists to describe the steps I’d taken to get this resolved.
I then explained this was a code, not a card. But included a screenshot of the digital download section of Amazon and the invoice from Amazon because that’s all the proof I had.
From there, I could do nothing but sit and wait. After dealing with the uncertain Specialist, I wasn’t too confident that I’d get an answer or a resolution.
BUT. A few hours later, I get this email:
Seeing it was only 7PM EST when I got it, I realized I still had time to do this, so I hopped on the phone that moment. With pretty minimal wait time, I was then forwarded to someone who identified herself as a Supervisor.
She looked over the notes in my case, and told me that Supervisor permission was needed to resolve this, and that she would, right then, give that permission. She told me that I’d either get a new code in the mail or that my account would be credited directly (since they did have my Nintendo account info).
I came away pretty pleased by that.
Not even 15 minutes later, I get this email:
Wow! I checked my account, and sure enough, there it was.
Now, I don’t know if it should have been Nintendo or Amazon who rectified this situation. And I’m not going to say this is what everyone else will have to do if they run across this. I honestly don’t know if the fault lay with Amazon’s code distribution or the code itself from Nintendo.
But that was quite an adventure for the $10 eShop credit. And while a little of the Nintendo support was iffy, the first rep and the supervisor who ultimately resolved this were great. I did fill out my customer feedback survey and spoke honestly about my experience – I don’t always do this, but this time, I felt I should.
And there you have it. The story of the already redeemed digital Nintendo eShop code bought from Amazon.
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.
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:
Tap Settings, then tap Data Management.
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.
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.
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. : /
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.
I hesitate to call this a “review” because it’s more of a “this is what this game is about” sort of thing. Overall, I find it enjoyable, though not incredibly deep, and will probably keep playing it casually. If nothing else, it’s been giving me a reason to pick up my Switch and enjoy it in hand-held mode, which isn’t something I’ve done much in the past.
What is it?
Pokemon Quest is a cute mobile game that was released on the Switch earlier this week, and will be coming to mobile devices soon. It’s called a “free to start” game, which means you don’t have to pay anything to play it as is, but you can expect there to be mobile aspects, like timers that limit what you do.
So far, the timers don’t bother me much. I’ve gotten used to these sorts of things with mobile games, I suppose. I rarely spend money on mobile games, and Pokemon Quest is not going to be any different. I haven’t seen any real pressing need to open my wallet as this is just a casual thing I pick up a couple times a day.
How does it play?
So yeah. There are Pokemon, though they have a distinct rounded cube shape. I thought this might be a turn-off at first, but I got used to it quickly. Turns out to be pretty cute.
You set up base on an island, where your main goal is to find the loot. Not kidding. Even the game tells you it’s all about the loot. I haven’t really found loot yet. I have found Pokemon, though.
You enlist the help of these Pokemon, which you mostly attract by cooking dishes of items you gather while your Pokemon explores areas (similar to Breath of the Wild).
Game play is pretty simple and straightforward. You build a team of Pokemon. You send them to areas on the map. These areas are marked with a number that indicates the difficulty. If team also has a number that indicates the strength of the team. Usually (not always, but usually) my team doesn’t have much of a problem beating down a place that’s lower than their strength number.
The part that seems to turn the most folks off is the battle system. Basically, your Pokemon move towards the enemies on their own. You can tap some buttons to make them use their skills, to make them scatter, and to fall back. But that’s really about it.
To be honest, I just leave my team on Auto-Attack almost 100% of the time and do something else while they’re battling. Usually, they’re just fine. This doesn’t bother me at all… I’m used to having mobile games that auto-battle for me after spending so much time playing FF Record Keeper.
It might sound bad, but I prefer letting the game play the fights for me. I enjoy the team building, training, decorating, cooking and setting up stones on my Pokemon more than the battle elements.
Oh yeah. Stones.
As you clear areas and beat bosses, you get stones that enhance your Pokemon’s strength and health. There are also stones with special attributes, such as letting you use skills faster, and the like. Also, some areas on the map indicate that certain types of Pokemon (Water, Fire, Bug, etc) are stronger there… So there’s a little bit of strategy in building a team, picking Pokemon right for the area, and developing those Pokemon.
For example, I got an Onix early on that’s a beast of a tank. I mean, a walking wall. I’ve only seen him defeated twice ever. Without him, I’m sure I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have at this point.
Wrapping it up…
So, anyhow. I haven’t been playing many mobile games lately… I took a bunch of them off my phone not long ago, actually. So this game scratches that very casual collecting and gathering itch and has a pleasant Pokemon twist.
Just know that if you start it on the Switch, you won’t be able to transfer it to your mobile device later. A bit of a bummer, but I think I’ll keep mine on the Switch. The game is tiny and not hurting anything. That way, I don’t have something distracting me at work, and I continue to have a reason to pull out my Switch.
Have you tried it? What do you think of the new little side-game offering from Pokemon?
I set out some pretty ambitious goals for March, and was surprised that I actually achieved quite a few of them this time around. I did get a little distracted by Starbound and Second Life towards the end of this month, so not everything was complete. Still, did pretty well overall!
Level Black Mage (to 70?) ✓
Level Ninja to 50
Level Warrior to 40 ✓
Level Dark Knight to 40 ✓
Level Weaver to 70 ✓
I did, indeed, level Black Mage to 70 this month, and then started on leveling my Summoner/Scholar next… mostly because I’m trying to consolidate gear at level 70. I also got Weaver to 70, and have started on upgrading all of the gear to script stuff so that I can look at improving all of my other crafters’ gear.
The only goal I didn’t meet was getting Ninja to 50… though I did move that up to 42. So, I’m not too far away!
Nintendo Switch Goals
Make progress in Mario Odyssey ✓
Play Dragon Quest Builders ✓
I’ve only made a little bit more progress into Dragon Quest Builders… still in Chapter 1. But that’s okay.