Last Week’s Gaming

Taking the GreedFall on Village Nidavellir in a Retro 2077

Last Week’s Gaming is basically Last Weekend’s Gaming this week. The work crunch is in full effect, but I still found time to explore some gaming!

While there were no long epic gaming sessions, I did get to play quite a few different things and see how they went. Did Cyberpunk 2077’s 1.22 patch make any difference? What is GreedFall like? Well, this week, I have some answers!

One more huge week, then a couple of weeks cleaning up. This means that my stashed side projects are starting to get my attention. The next couple of weeks will be hard, then things will get interesting!

Nidavellir

Board Game Geek Link – Nidavellir

Things get by you, and it’s times like this that I really appreciate Alpal. Her talent for picking games that I instantly fall for is fantastic! Nidavellir is one such game.

Don’t ask me how to pronounce Nidavellir – I have no idea. But the basic premise is you must assemble the best group of dwarves to fight a dragon. Honestly, the theme isn’t that important here.

When you play, you focus on set collection – collect groups of blacksmiths, hunters, warriors, explorers, and miners. Collect a row containing one of each type, and you can hire a hero.

Where do you find dwarves? At the tavern of course!

How do you hire dwarves? You go on a tavern crawl! The taverns are filled from a deck each round, and players bid a coin to get the first pick. Players start with 5 coins valued between 0 and 5 (no 1!), but an upgrade mechanic brings you higher value coins.

When you bid, you place the coin value you want to bid on your board. This leaves you with two coins left at the bottom of the board. If you bid the 0 coin, you will pick last for that tavern, but you change the highest value coin to the sum of the coins at the bottom.

It is initially a little confusing, but below I had a 5 and a 2 not being used for taverns. This means my 5 is swapped for a 7 coin, giving me a slight bidding edge.

It sounds confusing, but do it once and it all clicks.

Each type of dwarf also has its own scoring system. Hunters and Blacksmiths are purely points for as many row symbols you have collected. Miners are the sum of the values of the cards multiplied by the number of rows. Explorers are the sum of the values of the cards. Warriors are the same, but if you have the most warrior rows at the end of the game, you add the value of your highest coin to your score.

It sounds confusing, and it will take you a game to get used to how Nidavellir scores, but only the one. What sounds confusing and convoluted instantly clicks as you play, and you will have a good idea of how to maximise your score halfway through the first game.

You acquire an impressive army each game. But is it impressive enough?

I am giving serious thought to nabbing Nidavellir for my collection and the expansion Thingvellir. I will see how Rabbit goes with a game or two, and if it clicks, I will make the purchase.

Resident Evil Village

Played on – PlayStation 5

This one is super quick this week. I got SS rank in the second Mercenaries map, which I am happy about. That session was all I really played on Resident Evil Village this week.

Mercenaries mode requires not only learning maps and enemy positions, but spawning triggers as well. This is important to keep your kill combo going, giving you those huge scores.

But learning while paying attention to shooting takes mental power, something I am running low on at the moment. It will get there – just maybe in a little bit.

Corpse Combustor is amazing. Some enemies become mines!

Cyberpunk 2077

Played on – PlayStation 5

Speaking of short and sweet play sessions, I finally gave the 1.22 patch a try on the PS5. I started a new game and chose Corpo lifepath. All good so far.

I enjoyed playing Cyberpunk 2077 on my PC on release. Still, I want to do the completion run comfortably in my console. Yes, I can pump up the graphics more on my PC, but graphics aren’t the be-all and end-all of the gaming experience.

And I still maintain that the PlayStation 4 graphics settings still look fantastic!

No pre-rendered cut scenes or the like, Cyberpunk looks amazing!

I completed the lifestyle introduction and the first rescue mission with Jackie, and all ran nicely.

But.

In the back of my head, I had a growing sense of anxiety. Is this going to be the run that crashes on me? Will I pick up the ‘wrong’ item causing inventory to glitch?

One bug that still annoys me is not being able to pick up every item marked as something for you to collect.

This put a significant damper on my play session. Did I enjoy the game? Yes. I was going over familiar ground, and I could just sit back and relax. However, that relaxation was being constantly eroded by worry about the game crashing out on me.

Will I go back and play Cyberpunk 2077? Absolutely! If I have to do another run-through, it might be on my PC until the PS5 version is released. Glitches and quirks are common in games and can be worked around. But I don’t want to worry about a crash bringing down my gaming session, which I felt on Saturday. This run is definitely a few months away.

GreedFall

Played on – PlayStation 5

With GreedFall Gold releasing later this month and GreedFall being a game I want to play this year, I fired up a session to see what it is like.

Going in, I had heard Jane talk about it on Outside Xbox and have the general idea of open-world RPG. You can choose a character that initially specialises in hand-to-hand weapons, firearms or magic. I also know the controls have quirks going in. Other than that, I really don’t know anything about the game.

Released in 2019, the plague affecting your home is strangely prophetic.

While tired, I thought I would start a new game and see how it would fit into my weeknight play schedules. Right now – I don’t think it will. The controls seem different enough from ‘standard’ controls that I will need to learn them. It’s nothing major, but when I can’t rely on muscle memory for actions, I need to be aware, so frustration doesn’t kick in.

Character creation was to be commended. The relative norm is “here are a bunch of numbers, knock yourself out”. GreedFall doesn’t hold your hand but gives you an idea of what numbers you want to focus on for what you want to do. It was a refreshing change!

You don't need reams of text, but the subtle 'you want this' helps new players make sense of the system.

I am still very much in the tutorial section for this run, and I feel like I am missing some critical instructions. Nothing frustrating or game-breaking. I just feel like steps are missing. This could be me playing tired and not taking in everything – time will tell.

Some are just UI quirks. For example, there is a side mission that has multiple objectives – nothing new. The steps don’t show you there are multiple ways to complete the objective. You get everything in a single list. Now I know, I can follow goals that feel more natural to what I want to do. Before this, I thought I had to do everything to complete the mission.

The steps look like an ordered to do list. It isn't.

What has become evident is that there are many layers to this game. For example, I need to get something done in an area of the city that will impact my standing with the faction. I can just go in combat mad, sneak around avoiding detection, or get an enemy uniform and walk around effectively invisible.

This is the sort of player choice I love in games and what put GreedFall on my radar. I feel like I will really enjoy playing this, but I think I need to start again. Not because of ‘bad choices’ or the like, but I want to redo the tutorials and make sure I haven’t missed anything.

I can use this to craft. How do I craft though?

GreedFall Gold is similar to the Game of the Year edition, coming with the base game and expansion content. I haven’t looked closely at the possible changes, but I don’t think I will buy it for my playthrough, and I will stick with my original version.

That said, if a review of GreedFall Gold states control improvements, I may weigh up the cost.

Some more Retro Gaming Fun

Last week I talked about finally getting to play my retro handheld. Saturday, I spent most of the morning copying files and imaging SD cards as I installed the latest 351Elec operating system. The path to making the console truly mine has begun!

With almost perfect timing, Rabbit came downstairs just as I was ready to start testing the unit. And as I know how much she loved the original Game Boy Tetris, I handed the console over. It worked well because not even a shedding super cute Fitz could distract her!

Fitz tried being super cute to distract Rabbit. It didn't work.

Rabbit is someone that plays mobile “Tap – Wait” games a lot. Part of the attraction is that the game doesn’t demand all of your attention. Sit back on the couch with the TV, and enjoy making progress without constant attention to the game. I know this feeling well.

So to watch Rabbit settle in on the end of the couch and clear those lines was worth it. Not because it was the first game played in years and went for 30 minutes (impressive in itself), but for that smile. You could see the return to younger days that smile.

I may lose my handheld from time to time now Rabbit knows Tetris is available!

I have found some quirks with this release I need to find an answer for. It’s not 351Elec issues. I need to understand how some options work. The one thing that has annoyed me is auto game save states.

Quit out of a game, play a couple of others, and load a game you already played again. I expect to go back to the title screen, but instead, I load into a seemingly random part of my previous session. I turned this off quickly enough, but now Tetris has no high score save feature!

So I need to work out how to get that working. Rabbit will have a saving high score table!

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,

JohnHQLD
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