Welcome to Camp Sinderthorne

October is my absolute favorite month. Time to break out the cozy things, ramp up my rituals, make copious amounts of chili and enjoy the playfully spooky energy. When Animal Crossing Pocket Camp announced a Halloween themed event, I was beside myself with excitement (and determination to complete all the tasks for once).

Finally, my campsite feels worth sharing, loving, and spending all my time in. Join me on a tour of the spooky and mysterious Camp Sinderthorne!

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Halloween

At the center of a haunted wood, beyond gnarled trees and occasional bones of poor lost souls, lies a clearing known as Crow’s Hollow. Here, the smell of burnt earth intoxicates the senses, preventing nearly all growth, except for a garden of poisonous lollipoppies and mutant pumpkins. Ruins of an old shrine and mausoleum cast shadows over a small graveyard.

IMG_3182

A mischievous witch makes her home in a battered old Airstream trailer among the rubble. She keeps watch over the lost spirits and creatures who wander in and out of camp.

IMG_3224

For those brave enough to step into her trailer, she offers tarot readings and her spell-casting services. Positive results, not guaranteed.

She’s been known to raise the dead on full moon nights, lighting incense and casting a circle to welcome them back to Earth. Ghostly and sometimes skeletal spirits of campers lost may appear!

IMG_3284

Happy little ghosts often flit around the graveyard, sometimes taking her broomstick for a ride.

img_3315.png

She’s always sure to tend to her garden. Jack the Pumpkin King loves lollipoppies and is always pleased with the little witch’s extensive crop.

I SO hope the new core Animal Crossing game will find ways to connect our campsites. I’d love for all this decor to transfer over in some way. Since Pokemon Go connects with Let’s Go, Eevee/Pikachu, it must be possible. Like many fans, I’ve actually spent real-world currency on ACPC and I’d like to see the content lifespan lengthen.

What does your campsite look like?

Advertisements

Monster Hunter Etiquette

Monster Hunter has finally come to Nintendo Switch! Before you head out in pursuit of glory, consider the following:

Don’t attack the monster while a team member has mounted it. The mounted player can bring the beast down and allow the full team to RAGE on that bitch. So wait for the monster to fall to maximize your impact.

Eat before you hunt! Eating a hearty meal boosts your stats and adds some useful abilities for the hunt ahead. Sit down to a meal with your team before you rally for a quest.

Watch your health/sharpness and retreat to heal/sharpen as needed. Your whole team only gets three KOs before you fail the quest. Sometimes fatigue can sneak up on you so run to another area for a quick potion or sharpening session. You’ll be back in the battle in no time!

Don’t spam the chat. It’s distracting. Communicate with purpose (or use discord).

Take care of your palico buddies. Don’t forget to upgrade their armor and weapons too. Send them for training and the occasional catnap.

What are your best Monster Hunter tips?

Animal Crossing Switchlist

large

Inspired by Glux’s Animal Crossing Switch wishlist, I wanted to share my own thoughts and desires.

I first came to Animal Crossing in Wild World for Nintendo DS. I played constantly through grad school and beyond, becoming an active member of the Animal Crossing Community and hosting WiFi parties. After skipping the Wii, the promise of New Leaf ensured I preordered a first gen 3DS. I upgraded to the 3DS XL when the ACNL edition came out.

Now, Pocket Camp is keeping me mildly entertained on mobile, but I’m craving so much more. While I keep waiting and hoping for an Animal Crossing Switch announcement, I’m dreaming up things I’d love to see in a new game.

Let me have more friends over! Nintendo is clearly capable of allowing more than 4 players to connect at once. So why can’t I have up to 8 players in my town?

My Camper. Let me connect my mobile account and bring my camper into a full version of the game. It would be super cool if there was a multiplayer RV park where 8 or so friends could meet to explore each others’ campers, play minigames, and maybe even race RVs.

Better communication system. For the love of Nook don’t make me type out messages to visitors. How about putting that Nintendo Online Service/ app to use and letting me actually TALK to my visitors.

Goals. I love the goals mechanic in ACPC, and there’s tons of opportunity to apply that to a full Switch version. Show me on the map which villagers need something. Give me a daily fish/fruit/bug quota. Reward me to visiting friends/traveling. Help me earn more bells to pay off my inevitable loan(s).

New museum wing(s) for unique collections. I think there are typically new fossils/bugs/fish added to each game, but PLEASE let me hang my villager portraits in the museum! It will give me more incentive to work for those portraits if I have somewhere I can display them all! Also, a Fashion wing would be really cool. I like to collect certain outfits, but not necessarily wear them so space to showcase them would be great. Plus this would give me a reason to visit my friends’ museums to see what their unique collections are like!

Keep the market box. I’d love to be able to sell some of my items to other players, including furniture and clothes! This would be a great workaround to players agreeing to bring a bunch of bells to your town and swap for an item only to take the items and disconnect or leave without paying.

MORE events! I always look forward to holidays in Animal Crossing and I appreciate when they align to real life events, but I’d love original events and moments. We have SO many ridiculous “national ______ days” in the real world, there have to be more creative ways to party in the next Animal Crossing.

New shops. We have Brewster’s coffee shop, how about a full restaurant where we can go with friends or villagers? It would be great to meet some new NPC animals! While we’re at it, can we keep OK! Motors and the cutie penguin brothers?

What would you want to see in the next Animal Crossing game?

 

Which Octopath to Travel – Therion

If you haven’t gotten sucked into Octopath Traveler yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? With 8 characters to choose from, it can be overwhelming. After all, your main character is the only one you can’t switch out over the course of the journey. This week, I want to talk about the character I unexpectedly fell in love with:

Therion.jpg

I did not meet Therion in the demos and I’m really glad I didn’t because he has been such a wonderful surprise. Much like my irl “type,” Therion is brooding, aloof and inconvenienced by everyone around him. He’s as charming as he is sarcastic and always down for a drink. After all what better place to get gossip and leads than the local tavern?

Therion takes great pride in his thieving skills and reputation. But pride comes before the fall and our anti-hero is tricked into a grand job that ends with a Fool’s Bangle secured around his wrist, signaling to all in his trade’s community that he failed. In order to get the cuff removed, Therion must seek out and return three stolen dragonstones to House Ravus.

IMG_1832

His thief skills are insanely useful, mostly because his HP and SP steal abilities come with TWO dagger strikes. And typically he recovers at least as much SP as he spends on the skill. In towns, I rarely need to buy healing aids because I can steal them at a success rate of 80% or better. This makes quick work of dismantling enemy shields if they’re weak to daggers.

IMG_1833

Choose Therion if:
you’re a Scorpio.
manipulation is kind of your thing.
hanging out in dive bars sounds appealing.
you hate everyone.
paying for things irritates you.

Will you choose Therion?

The eShop is Excellent Right Now

You know who DIDN’T take a summer vacation? The Nintendo eShop. There are SO MANY great games in there right now. This week, I picked up a bunch of fantastic new stuff. Here are my recommendations:

necrodancer

Crypt of the Necrodancer – First of all, the pace of this rogue-like rhythm game keeps me on my toes at all times. You can’t miss a beat! Your character hops around to the beat of the music, attacking creatures and bosses in time with their patterns. It’s enchanting and challenging all at once. Plus the soundtrack is one of the best out there.

hollowknight

Hollow Knight – Do you like bugs? Tim Burton? Metroidvania games with hand-drawn artwork? I couldn’t resist this game. I love things that are dark and adorable so the opportunity to be a cutely creepy Hollow Knight and run around murdering bugs with a nail really appeals to me. And with new free DLC coming Aug 23rd, there’s no better time to pick this one up.

overcooked2

Overcooked 2 – One thing Nintendo Switch kind of lacks is a variety of local multiplayer games. Overcooked brought a fun, frustrating option to the Switch and now the sequel offers a whole new level of challenge AND online play. It’s perfect for some couch co-op (or a Nintendo Meet Up event). I have a love/hate relationship with this game because it makes me realize how competitive I am and also how much I suck at managing a fictional restaurant.

SnS

Salt and Sanctuary – I started playing this action-platformer last night and immediately became addicted. Here’s another game that is beautifully dark and hard as hell. You can customize your character and select a creed to establish your sanctuary. Collecting salt allows you to level up and bring healers and merchants to your sanctuary. However, if you’re killed, that enemy confiscates your salt and you only have one chance to go back and defeat it or lose your collected salt forever. It’s really tough. I can’t wait to try our the local co-op and find out if my friends are worth their salt?

Tell me what’s on your eShop wishlist!

E3 Recap

E3 2018

E3 2018

I’m back from California, sun-kissed and head spinning with all the amazing things I took in. I’ll have a couple posts coming up about my trip, and as E3 was my main reason for heading to the West Coast, what better place to start?

First of all, I work in tech so I was able to nab a complimentary industry pass. I don’t recommend attending as a gamer. Glux had a rougher go of things with a gamer pass. Not only was the “gamer” community stereotypically smelly, rude and pushy-shovey, but once they were admitted they clogged up the lines and made everyone miserable. It was a much more enjoyable experience with Industry early access.

That said, E3 was like nothing I’ve experienced before. The booths, the swag, the calibur of other professionals buzzing around the show floor… It was so inspirational. I can’t even go into all of it, so here are my highlights.

Best of: Booths
Bethesda stole the show with an immersive Vault 76 walkthrough experience, complete with actors in each of the rooms to make it feel real. IGN got some amazing shots of the vault.

Vault boy at E3 2018

Well hello there, Vault Boy!

When entering the main hall of the convention center, Square Enix’s Mayan ruins-themed booth filled the immediate area. To celebrate Shadow of the Tomb Raider, they took us into Lara’s world, complete with a professional Lara Croft cosplayer stalking the grounds.

Of course, I spent a lot of time around the Jurassic World Evolution compound. Outside, there was a broken fence, presumably torn down by the velociraptor inside, as well as Denis Nedry’s Jeep. Through the looming gates, monitors showed the latest dinosaur creations and their specific DNA make up.

Finally, the Largest Booth Award goes to Fortnite for being the single game with the biggest E3 presence. The back third of South Hall was essentially an ode to Fortnite. The Battle Bus was there with props for a photo opp. Staff in forts handed out branded cups. There was even a mechanical llama pinata! Rows and rows of demos filled the rest of the area.

Demo time!
The first game I played was Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. In the 15 minute demo, 4 of us teamed up to take on one of three quests. Overall, it seemed the same as MHG on 3DS… just on Switch this time. Online play will be cool and there are some new monsters – my team of four was decimated by the new Elder Dragon Valstrax – but it doesn’t feel different enough to buy again.

Inside the Jurassic World Evolution booth, we sat down in a small theater where an Ingen executive gave a presentation about our mission as new park employees (and the risks involved). She told us we could choose to release and transport one of 3 dinosaurs into their designated pens… and then create a spectacle for park guests by provoking a dinosaur fight! Then we were ushered into the Jurassic Park compound where the demo stations were set up on three platforms. I played the Playstation version and enjoyed it. The dinos are so realistic and well animated. I’m not usually a fan of sims, but this is one I’m going to pick up when the physical release drops on July 3rd.

Jurassic World Evolution Jeep at E3 2018

… I think this was Nedry’s yellow rain slicker…

Luckily, Glux and I secured the very first time slots to play Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The standby line was… deterring to say the least. We got three matches so to make the most of it, we picked the two new stages first – the Sheikah Tower from Breath of the Wild and Moray Towers from Splaton 2. We let our random match up pick the final stage – he chose Donkey Kong’s Rumble Falls, which looked spectacular on the Switch! As for characters, I went with Bayonetta first and then loved the Inkling’s moves so much i played her twice. She’ll very likely be a new main for me. Glux tested the Inkling, then new addition Ridley from Metroid, and ended with Bowser. It’s worth the hype. I can’t wait to play again. As a bonus, we got Smash pins for being among the first to play!

Spotlight on Swag
Bethesda gave away the most swag. You couldn’t walk a booth-length without seeing 50 vault boy masks. Mine is hanging eerily in my office, successfully creeping out all who pass. They also had one of those souvenir penny presser machines set up with four different Fallout 76 designs. For 76¢ (appropriately) I selected the tricentennial design and then immediately preordered the tricentennial edition. In celebration of “Reclamation Day” party hats and cups were doled out to potential Dwellers. All that was missing, was Rad-free cake!

Twitch gave out some of my favorite swag of E3. You can attribute it to my high affinity for the brand, but they gave out purple sunglasses that I’ll actually wear. The tote bags they gave out are compact and quality with the cute Glitch logo. I also really liked their simple, branded nametag stickers that said “My Twitch ID is” with a big blank for your handle. I grabbed a couple to stick on my laptop and bujo.

What Nintendo lacked in swag, it made up for in content and quality. The Smash Bros logo pin is simple and nice. I’ll treasure it. They presented a lot of great photo opps with classic relics from Nintendo games too. DK’s tie, the Master Sword, Pit’s bow, Cappy… Sandbag was my favorite forgotten hero. Glad to see him get some much deserved appreciation!

Overall, I had a great experience. The only real downside was the gamer-clogged lines and the location – LA was the dirtiest city I’ve ever seen and I didn’t feel safe there even in daylight. We Ubered exclusively after 7pm every day, not that LA was particularly walkable anyway. I’m hoping my company will have a presence next year so I can go back to the Expo, all expenses paid.

What were your favorite moments from E3 this year?

Splat Fashion 3.0.0

Splat Fashion

With the release of 3.0.0 last week came over 100 new pieces of gear. I’ve always been a fan of throwing on a bit of military flare so mixing the new gear with some of my favorite pieces and weapons has me losing hours creating new looks and planning my ability builds.

IMG_9076

This is my standard gear look for ranked. Special Forces Beret with a mix of power chunks that suit my particularly strategic, versatile and insightful play-style, black inky rider stocked with sub up and speed up, and blue Moto boots with pure ink resistance.

Splatoon Deco Brush InklingSplatoon inkling hero shot replica

For these two, my coat changes sometimes based on what role my team needs me to play. My custom painted F-3 gives me an offensive advantage with pure special ups. When I need a defensive edge, I suit up in my Forge Inkling Parka with ninja squid and swim speed ups so I can make quick sprints or getaways to regroup.

IMG_9234

I’m still building out a lot of the newer gear – my White leather F-3, gas mask, pilot goggles (not new, but look hot af with the F-3s) and shark moccasins – but they’ve all been upgraded for max slots. I love the way they can change up my look while sticking to the theme I like.

Of course the military look couldn’t be complete with head to toe camouflage, right down to the weapon. The Moist Ghillie Suit paired with the Bamboozler creates an all-natural look well suited for an ambush! Also this set up cracks me up.

The options are becoming a bit overwhelming. Aside from saving certain gear to different amiibo, I wish there was a better way to organize my inventory. I don’t like any of the org options currently available. Honestly, I’d rather organize my own “closet” according to my priorities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While I’m a little confused about the TMNT theme of the upcoming Splatfest, I AM relishing the fact that I’ll essentially have three weeks to farm my Splatfest T to build out all this new gear.

What are your favorite pieces? Do you adhere to a certain type of aesthetic?