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!

Which Octopath to Travel – H’aanit

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, your hunt for your perfect Octopath companion ends with:

Haanit.jpg

If this were Game of Thrones H’aanit would be a Wildling. This battleworn babe sports a tough exterior, but she’s got a sentimental side. She’s an apprentice who becomes worried when her master doesn’t return from a hunt, but his familiar does. H’aanit’s journey involves tracking her master and hopefully finding him alive.

IMG_1826

She’s one of the strongest characters and definitely has the most variety in her fighting style. While she mains both a bow and axe, she can also use magic and employ a bunch of amazing hunter skills. She can capture foes like Pokemon and use them in battle later. She can also summon her faithful snow leopard Linde without using SP. Linde employs one of two attacks – Sweep deals sword damage to all enemies and Pounce randomly strikes one foe with polearm damage.

IMG_1825

Her dialogue is painful though. It hurts to hear and it hurts to read on the screen. I can’t imagine maining her, but she has been present in my party since I started. She’s certainly a beast and her provoke skill helps gain access to houses blocked by NPCs… if you can defeat them.

IMG_1827

Journey with H’aanit if:
you’re one with nature.
Pokemon Go is docked on your iPhone.
Chaucer’s original texts in middle English are your jam.
You’re a cat person.

 

Which Octopath to Travel – Primrose

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, let’s explore the the character I chose to start my path:

Primrose.jpg

I fell in love with Primrose in the first game demo. She reminds me a little of Shantae: Half Genie Hero. You know I love a sexy, strong female lead. Primrose is a sassy stripper with a heart of coal. She’s on a mission to avenge her late father, who was murdered by three men bearing the mark of the crow.

crow

Despite her noble blood, she’s chosen to keep her identity a secret until she can hunt down the killers. So she dances for the criminal and the corrupt in the seedy desert city of Sunshade until the day her first lead walks into her bar.

Stranger-Mark-of-the-Crow-Octopath-640x360

Surprisingly, Primrose is one of the strongest characters. She fights with a combination of daggers and dances. Her dances cast powerful Darkness spells on enemies OR empower her party with new strength. She doesn’t get rattled in battle. She’s always ready to start shit AND end it.

love

You’ll love Primrose if:
Badass bitches are your thing
You have your own signature victory dance
Winning in important, but you appreciate a challenge
You’re into sexy pixels

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?

Shantae Half Genie Hero – 100%

I rarely finish games I start. It’s my biggest blocker when I want to buy a new game – do I want to spend money on something I’m probably not going to finish? I don’t buy books I don’t intend to read cover to cover so why do I do it with games? Well NOT ANYMORE! I 100% completed Shantae Half Genie Hero!

This year, I’ve finished every game I’ve started. I started Shantae: Half-Genie Hero last year, but then got distracted by other games. Coming back to it after so much time felt weird so I just started a new save and went back to the beginning. The very first stage (before the main plot starts) plays a super fun, poppy theme song as you run through the town defeating tinkerbats.

While many might see Shantae’s character design as sexist with her impossible proportions and skimpy genie outfit, I think she’s one of the best female protagonists in gaming. Yes, she’s sexy… and a total badass who is loyal to her friends and works hard at her job as Guardian Genie of Scuttle Town. She’s sarcastic, witty and doesn’t take any shit from her enemies. Her femininity is part of her power – those hip-shaking genie dances transform her into creatures that allow her to solve puzzles and save the day!

Her strong cast of supporting characters add to the story too. So much so, that the developers created new game modes to feature them. The Friends til the End expansion allows players to play as Shantae’s friends -Sky, Bolo and Rotty Tops- to save Shantae’s corrupted mind. Pirate Queen’s Quest features Shantae’s nemesis – Risky Boots – on a mission to create the final boss of Shantae’s storyline.

Every stage is incredibly detailed and beautiful. While the story requires you to revisit all the worlds several times throughout the game, Shantae’s ever-growing list of transformation dances make you see each world in a new way, sometimes from an entirely different angle. So it feels new every time. In fact, where stage repetition gets tedious and frustrating in other games, I’ve grown to love each of the stages in HGH. There’s always something to discover, which probably motivated me to reach 100% completion.

The Mermaid Factory is one of the most creative and fucked up stories I’ve ever played and it LOVE it.

The Shantae series is one of my favorite stories for sure. The costume DLC packs bring 3 new game modes into play that seem perfectly designed for speedrunning. That’s my next goal! My hope is that we will see her in the new Smash Bros for Switch (and maybe an amiibo of that cute curvy figure too!).

What games have you completed this year?

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Game Update.jpg

Admittedly, I’m not the most loyal South Park fan. But we’re in a bit of a doldrums for Switch releases until July, so I picked up South Park: The Fractured But Whole with some birthday money. I had no expectations going in. I might have been a little afraid I wouldn’t like it because I didn’t know what I was getting into and I’ve been out of touch with the show for so long.

My character is the gassy new kid in South Park and eager to make friends. All the kids are playing superheroes and Cartman reluctantly invites me to create a character and join his group – Coon and Friends. We all have character sheets DnD style that you complete by talking to various adult characters about gender and sexuality and religion.

IMG_9438

I’ve totally fallen in love with it. All the kids have their own unique superhero personas with the most creative costumes and phrases. Mosquito is my favorite! The way he plays off the actions of others in battle always makes me laugh. When Cartman/Coon attacks, Mosquito will say something like “Coon makes ’em bleed so it’s time to feed!” All of his blood puns and digs are brilliant. I keep him in my party all the time, both for the jokes and his powerful life-draining attack.

Completing challenges for townspeople allows you to take a selfie with them and gain followers. Building your following helps you level up and unlock new objectives. Here I am with Morgan Freeman at his taco stand.

IMG_9493

My “superpower” comes from my time-bending farts. Collecting certain mission items allows me craft special Mexican dishes and unleash powerful farts that turn back time to negate an enemy’s turn or stop time so I can get around dangerous situations and get some free shots on a 6th grader. I can combine my farts with other kids’ super abilities to solve puzzles and reach new areas of the map. There’s also a hilarious toilet mini-game in every bathroom in South Park. Some toilets are harder to master than others.

IMG_9492

The battle component is super entertaining. Aside from the witty superhero banter, the battles can take on various forms with nontraditional objectives. In a battle with Towelie, the goal isn’t to defeat Towelie; it’s to burn four piles of weed scattered around the room to get him high. There are roving hordes of 6th graders around town that will give chase until you defeat them. Once you talk to the PC Principal, there’s a new battle mechanic that gives you a free punch when your enemy says a microaggression.

IMG_9494

Of course, being South Park, the content is rarely clean. There are naked breasts. Hilariously offensive themes, language and items to pick up (I laughed for a good 10 minutes when I acquired a jar of “boogers and cum” and the jingle played. I had to battle two Catholic priests to avoid molestation and beat up Raisins Girls. I’m not even that far into the game, I don’t think and I’d had to give a drunk man a lap dance… AS A FOURTH GRADER. In a rockin’ shark costume.

IMG_9497

There are definitely some uncomfortable moments that are a little harder to laugh at. And most shocking is that it’s now on Nintendo Switch. I wrote to Nintendo every month for a year asking for Binding of Isaac on 3DS and that’s MUCH tamer comparatively!

What I love most about this game is that it takes place in the imagination of a child. I’m reminded how I played games as a kid. My imagination made so many worlds and abilities real for me. There’s no greater period of creativity than childhood and South Park: The Fractured But Whole lets me return to that time, while simultaneously being shocked at the incredibly adult level of inappropriateness.

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?

Octo Expansion Anticipation

Nintendo’s recent announcement of the Octo Expansion has me hyperventilating at the thought of it. Lately I’ve been replaying Splatoon 2’s story mode as Agent 4 to collect all the scrolls and sardinium as well as unlock some of the Hero weapons. I’d forgotten the fun of single player mode and it’s only adding to my anticipation! Agent 8, the mystery octoling(?) with no memory, is aesthetically my new favorite. I’m elated to play through 80+(!!!) different missions to uncover her story and unlock playable Octolings in multiplayer. For $20 I feel like the amount of content I’m getting is huge. It will likely have good replay value as there are surely collectible thingies to find in each mission.

IMG_7441img_7459

I’m a sucker (get it? Octojokes) so I took the bait (did it again!) and pre-ordered the expansion immediately to get the Octo-themed clothing. Presents!

IMG_7401
It could have been better themed – a crate or vault like those in single player mode or wrapped nicely – but I’ll take it! I think it’s nice of Nintendo to give us a taste of the new gear coming our way. 100 new items?!? My military/motorcycle style could see some new options! Tattoo sleeves with Ink Resistance abilities? Wishful thinking, but Nintendo could be listening!

IMG_7416

They clearly designed a new stages for me, after all! The stages. coming over from Splatoon 1 are great, but obviously Wahoo World is going to be an instant favorite of mine. I’m going to explore every square tentacle.

X Rank I’m still working my way up to S+, but now my goal has changed to hit X rank. I don’t need to be in the power rankings each month, but I do want to hit max rank and play competitively. I’m good enough, but am I competitive enough?

img_7458

The revelation that Octo Expansion takes place in the subway to the right of the lobby in Inkopolis Square has me wondering about other areas of possible expansion.

IMG_7397

The subway entrance in the middle is happening. Now I’m noticing that grated doorway on the left and the obvious closed storefront on the right. Will these open to sell some of the expanded gear? What about that door behind the boxes with the signage above?

IMG_7398

And could there be something beyond this barricade? Could we eventually enter that building on the left and find out where that ramp goes?

What do you think of the new expansion? Do you think any of these other places could open up? What else would you want to see come to Splatoon 2?

Splatoon 2 Updates: March Splatfest Recap

IMG_7279

Splatfest Results: Team Chicken 🥇 vs Team Egg 🚫

Another Splatfest, another loss for my team. In the nine Splatfests that have occurred since the game came out in July, I have won exactly ONE event. However, this month’s was one of the most fun/least frustrating I’ve played.

I chose Team Egg because 1) science, and 2) I love the aesthetic of a fried egg. My Splatfest team choices are always based on personal preference – not what my favorite host chooses, not what most of my friends pick, not ink color or anything beyond what I love. And the things I love are losers. 😂

IMG_7294

Things looked good at the start. The vast majority of my friends list had also chosen Team Egg and almost every one of my matches looked like the two omelets here. Somehow, playing solo with randoms makes for a more successful match than playing with a team. My friends are not very good at this, apparently.

img_7420img_7422

Typically, my battle gear includes my official Splatest T, Special Forces Beret with a mix of abilities to round me out a little and scrubbed moto boots. Farming chunks is always a priority. Weapon-wise I’ve come to rely on the N-Zap 89 in turf wars because the special and sub suit my particular style of strategic play. I know it’s sort of frowned upon to try new weapons during Splatfest, but I was really enjoying the feel of the new Dark Tetra Dualies in the days leading up to the event. I fared really well with them in the end. I spent about 1/3 of the event wielding the Neo Sploosh-o-matic, which was a beast for coverage, but didn’t allow me the power or speed I’m used to.

IMG_7293

Team Chicken MVPs. I played several rounds against these teams and I giggled at their names every time. The creativity on both sides of this Fest ensured I kept playing matches and running around Inkopolis Square to see the fresh artwork. IMG_7404.JPG
img_7423

Team Egg MVPs I wasn’t part of this team nor did I have the luck to encounter any of them. Someone shared this in my Splatoon 2 group and I loved it so, so much.
IMG_7522.jpg

I think for next Splatfest, I’ll put together a strong team. Between my friends list (some of them are better than me) and my clan, there should be a win in my future!

Which team did you pick?