Last Week’s Gaming

Deathu Desu meets in Evil Village of Istanbul Dice

Last week was another short week here in Queensland, but you wouldn’t have thought it if you saw me Thursday. And I thought board game wise I wouldn’t be doing much as Alpal is away again. Luckily Rabbit was feeling better, so an old favourite scratched that gaming itch!

But I was looking forward to the latest Resident Evil game, especially after giving the demo a try last Monday. What did I think of it? I pre-ordered on my PS5, and all was ready for me Friday night!

Oh, what did I think of the game? Well, read on!

Istanbul the Dice Game

Board Game Geek Link – Istanbul the Dice Game

Monday afternoon led to a games session with Rabbit. Something to play that is fun but not too taxing. So an old favourite made its way back to the table – Istanbul the Dice Game!

Rabbit totally destroyed me with three straight losses. I am pretty sure Rabbit had a fun time! She made some great choices, and my luck with the dice remained as dismal as ever.

How hard can it be to colelct 6 rubies?

But like all games, winning or losing wasn’t the thing that I will remember. It was the fun peace of sitting at the table and enjoying each others company. Sure, there was trash talk and the like. But that was the first time we sat like that in some time, just the two of us. Enzo tried to help, of course – what is it with cats and board games?

For my thoughts on Istanbul the Dice Game itself, check out my review to see what I think of it.

Archaeology: The New Expedition

Board Game Geek Link – Archaeology: The New Expedition

I have wanted to try this game for a couple of years now, and yesterday Rabbit was in the gaming mood, so I got my chance! Archaeology: The New Expedition is a new version of Archaeology the Card Game, so some players may feel deja vu.

The idea is simple – dig through a pile of cards and trade at the market to sell sets of items to the museum. More cards in a set equal more points for the end of the game.

Archaeology boils down to piles of cards - hard to show in an exciting manner

There are a half dozen expedition sites as well that can be explored. Each site has a slightly different set of rules, such as keeping your choice of cards or drawing one card at a time and trying not to bust.

There are also hazards such as stealing cards or sandstorms that lose you half your hand. These sound like they can make the game drag but are relatively soft punishments that barely affect game flow.

I can’t wait to play this again with a few more people. Archaeology was fun with Rabbit and me, but I feel like 3-4 players will be an even better experience.

Kawaii Deathu Desu

Played on – Nintendo Switch

Like I talked about last week, I have decided to Complete Kawaii Deathu Desu. Now I am just down to the grind, but inconsistency in Completion status has been discovered.

All of the characters max out at level 10. The achievement for maxing out the level of a character unlocks at 9. There also aren’t achievements for every character, which when I realised was a little disappointing.

Ruka is a new character, but the minotaur idol has no achievements

The disappointment is only due to the inconsistency – not having to beat more than 10,000 more characters with some characters is a boon for ‘shortcutting’ the Completion process.

I also don’t have to buy every costume for each character – I only had to buy 9. Again, not the end of the world, but if you want to Complete each character, I would consider this compulsory.

So now, I have to acquire about 300,000 souls to finish levelling up and buying everything. Each run, I earn around 2,000 souls, so that is about 150 more runs needed. At 2 minutes a run, now it’s just time.

Flaming down enemies with Mary is still a heap of fun

So at the moment, I am playing with Mary. At the moment, she is my favourite for mindlessly finishing a stage. She is quick and strong, so I can change hit direction very quickly. And watching her breath fire as her super move still makes me smile!

I am so close and yet so far to Completing Kawaii Deathu Desu, and my May Highlight has sucked me in. Completion might take me a couple of weeks longer than I thought.

Resident Evil Village

Played on – PlayStation 5

I have been looking forward to this, and so far, I am not disappointed. There are specific moments I would love to talk about, but I will save all that for another time. I don’t want to spoil anything for people looking forward to playing themselves.

Resident Evil Village runs amazingly well on PS5. The graphics are impressive, and load times are virtually non-existent. In terms of gameplay, Village builds on the best parts of RE’s 4 and 7.

I am taking my time running through the game on standard difficulty, and I am loving the pacing so far. My only death was due to my laughing so hard I couldn’t continue playing for a minute. I would love to explain this in detail, but it involves a situation you really should experience for yourself.

Last Weeks Gaming - Resident Evil Village - It's no Kaer Morhen
The views of Castle Dimitrescu are amazing, but it's no Kaer Morhen

There is a lot of noise at the moment that the adaptive trigger implementation is terrible. What I have heard is the triggers jam or misfire. I don’t think this is correct, but I can see how this conclusion can be reached.

What the triggers are doing is giving you feedback that you can’t use the weapon that quickly again. Take the knife – you can slash twice quickly, then you need a second before you can attack again.

When you attack, you feel the resistance on the R2 trigger. When you try for that third quick swipe, the lack of resistance instantly gets your heart going that first time, because you know you aren’t swinging that blade.

With adaptive triggers, hitting the trigger and feeling nothing happening means you know you are in a vulnerable window. In the heat of the moment, say a boss fight, this can have a considerable impact on your game. Without adaptive triggers, you are left yelling at the screen “I hit the button” and wondering why nothing happened.

In my opinion, the adaptive trigger implementation is subtle and very effective for immersion and conveying information. I am one of those players who appreciated the extra tension caused by early tank controls and later the inability to move and shoot at the same time. This haptic feedback is conveying a limitation that you can’t do something you want to instantly – in this case, quickly attack again.

Once you know the system, you know exactly what is happening. But when first playing, it was an effective way of conveying a limitation to the player and adding that survival tension feeling instantly. And I have felt that tension a few times already!

Warning - weapon jams when enemies approach is a bad time

Many are saying to simply disable the adaptive triggers option for an easier time, but I think it’s a placebo effect because people aren’t used to it. I have tried to describe why I think the adaptive triggers are well done and incredibly useful, but you may have a different take.

To me, the decision for adaptive triggers on or off is the same as what difficulty setting you choose to play on – pick what gives you the most enjoyment and works for you. Enjoy yourself your way – it’s your game.

Speaking of old school, loving the case and crafting system

One thing that caught me by surprise is some items you traditionally have until you don’t need them anymore are now single-use. I don’t remember the game warning me about this, so areas I thought would open up to me became a choice with little information to help me choose.

I won’t say what the items are, but this small change means that I am forced to play Resident Evil Village slightly differently than earlier games. Some people might be against this, but I am loving the change.

Not at the time, of course. At the moment, I was annoyed as I probably would have explored slightly differently. But it didn’t take long for me to start taking note of different situations and trying to find ways to help prioritise what to do going forward.

There is no "Welcome, Stranger" with the Duke - he knows exactly who you are

Also, my surprise stand-out character so far is the merchant. I loved Resident Evil 4’s merchant, but the Duke in Resident Evil Village is just so much more.

The simple act of selling items and buying crafting plans, weapon upgrades and the like you expect to be fairly mechanical. The development team has managed to make going shopping in RE a fun (and sometimes somehow ominous) experience again.

You know the design is working well when you are actually excited about going to the in-game store to see what is going to happen. This feeling is entirely due to the Duke and the amount of personality he conveys.

A lot of time will be spent exploring the titular Village

So am I enjoying Resident Evil Village? Absolutely! As mentioned, I am taking my time and enjoying the story, but I can’t wait to see where it goes. I have many questions which I can’t wait to see what (and if) the answers are.

Is it for everyone? Of course not. No game is. But if you are a Resident Evil fan, I think Village is for you. Resident Evil Village looks to be the game that finally knocks Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil Code: Veronica off my top RE game spot. I can’t see to wait how that turns out!

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know!  Shout out on Facebook or @JohnHQLD me on Twitter!

Until next time,

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