Last Week’s Gaming – April 6th, 2020

Animal Crossing First Night

I thought I did a lot of gaming last week. Turns out not so much. I did catch some early warning signs though.

On the whole though, I haven’t played a lot. Not for lack of want or ability – I could have played more with Alpal and/or Rabbit. Reality kicked in with how easily I slipped back into bad work/life habits though.

I roll out of bed in the morning and start work. Maybe 10 minutes between getting out of bed and hitting work mode. This is normal, and happens about 5:30 am. But after essentials are relegated, prioritised or completed, I then used to get an hour’s drive to work to reset. Without the drive, I can sleep in until 6:30 🙂

The work day continues until tasks are done (with interruptions and new tasks added, as is always the way isn’t it?), about 5ish when I would normally get home (not normally end the day – normally get home), or until I mentally just can’t anymore.

It’s the last one that ends my day lately.

This has led to 3 weeks of pushing 12 hour+ days again. I don’t like what those days do to me.

Because I have been working from home, I lose things like the forced ‘downtime’ of my hour long commute each way. While people often complain about commuting, for me this time is essential to be able to walk in the door without worrying about work. If I come home and have to continue to work, it is truly important and the exception, not the norm.

Why am I going on about all this? I thought I got a lot of gaming in because I used a lot of a small amount of ‘me’ time playing games. This changed late Saturday, when I basically got to spend the rest of the weekend on the couch with Rabbit watching TV and just enjoying each others company.

While you are staying at home for this extended period, don’t forget to set your routines and stick to them! It is easier to burn yourself out at home where you can’t get away from work/stress/yourself/etc. I know the traps and signs, and I still let myself get trapped again!

I took a ‘me’ day a couple of weeks ago that I still worked for about 5 hours. Doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to make the day worthless for recovery purposes.

Take a ‘me’ day every week, but truly take one. Look after yourselves, and don’t burn yourselves out!

That’s enough of the deep and meaningful stuff – what did I get to play last week!

Potion Explosion – Android

Here is a perfect example of how you can lose track of time. I thought last week I set myself a challenge to pick different potions and professors. It was coming up to 3! It was two weeks ago today I set a challenge to change up my ‘normal’ play combinations.

I used to beat the AI fairly often, and fairly handily. Changing the potions and professors alters the game in deeper ways than people realise, and forces you to find new combinations.

Spoiler alert – I didn’t pick new potions. Or professors. I only got in two games. But they were the games I needed. Picking up Potion Explosion just felt right while sitting on the couch.

I don’t think I will ever feel tired of it. And I just realised I never formally reviewed it! That will need to be fixed soon.

Potion Explosion
I have played enough recently to get back into the swing. This is why I need to change up my potions!

Control – PS4

Control is an absolutely insane game. Not the longest game out there, replay value started to wane even in my short time with it.  The Foundation expansion came out just as I finished the main game, and kept asking me to play it when I was chasing the Platinum.

If you like Twin Peaks, Dune and weird story plots and turn of that nature, you will probably enjoy Control. Mass appeal wise, I think the problem is not many people do enjoy those paranormal/doubt your senses type stories, especially in what looks like a third person shooter.

My review of Control is coming, and is a lot better (and a lot different) than you probably think. If you see it on sale at the moment, you could do a lot worse than picking up Control.

Control Service Weapon
One of the less weird things about Control is that your gun changes shape. Itself.

Resident Evil 3 – PS4

Oh you knew this was coming. I played my first bit Friday night, replayed that section and a little more with Rabbit, and happily called it a night.

Then I just couldn’t get back into it come Saturday. This was actually one of my first wake up calls that I was pushing myself too hard – I just couldn’t pick up the controller.

After a proper day of rest, I played quite a bit more curled up next to Rabbit last night 🙂 This game is great. I am having fun exploring, and kicking myself for moving that little too far or rushing through a section without fully exploring. Rabbit is enjoying watching, and jumping alongside me when new (and not so new) enemies appear.

This will probably be ready for me to properly review soon. Resident Evil games tend to be on the shorter side, but you play through them multiple times. Until then, an hour a night isn’t too much, and I can calm down with the next game 😉

Resident Evil 3
You can see my video of Resident Evil 3 and my first impressions. The Nemesis doesn't muck around!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Switch

After hearing about everyone going on about Animal Crossing for years, I finally took the plunge.

In my great wisdom, I took the plunge at about 11:15 pm, Sunday night. This may have been a mistake, as I was playing to close to 1 am! So yes, technically, I was playing Animal Crossing this week instead of last week, but I am sure it counts :p

I have only just started, so I can’t really say too much about it. It was relaxing weeding what sections of the island I could get to. I have started fishing and catching bugs. Blathers is on his way, or at least I set up his tent.

If you don’t know Animal Crossing, most of what I just said makes no sense why it would be fun. But somehow, it is. It just works, and in the best possible way.

I have decided this week, Animal Crossing New Horizons is going to be my lunchtime downtime break, so expect to hear a lot more about this one. 🙂

Animal Crossing First Task Complete
Yes, people are days ahead of me. But that's not really the point of Animal Crossing.

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 tomorrow,

JohnHQLD

Resident Evil 3 First Impressions and Thoughts

Resident Evil 3 Raccoon City Demo Capture 2

Everyone’s First Impressions on Resident Evil 3? STAAAARRRRS!

Resident Evil 3 is finally here, and I have captured my first impressions! Don’t worry if you don’t get all the STARS references that will be flying around – it’s an injoke from the game, that you will get quickly if you play 😀

There is only one game I have been waiting for with more anticipation, and it is teasing me on my shelf.

Final Fnatasy VII Deluxe
It teases me :p

I am waiting for April 10th to look at this one. Not just because of the request for no spoilers from Square Enix, but day one patches and the like aren’t available. So, my plan is to do my first impressions as per normal – even though the start should be the demo that was recently released.

But enough of that teaser, on to todays game – RESIDENT EVIL 3! Resident Evil 2 blew me away last year, and the only reason I haven’t Platinumed it is because I haven’t had the time to dedicate powering through the later skill and time based challenges.

As much as I have been trying to stay away from reviews, headlines have flashed before me. Apparently the game is a ‘mixed’ experience. So what do I think after a half hour of gameplay?

Only one way to find out!

Is Resident Evil 3 a game you have been looking forward to? I can tell you from the demo, it plays equally well on PC, PS4 Pro and Xbox One S so you should have a great time playing it if you do!

Not sure if Resident Evil 3 is for you? Play the Racoon City demo – it is very representative of what Resident Evil 3 is like.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Last Week’s Gaming – March 23rd, 2020

Ticket To Ride

So my first week of working from home is complete. Gearing up for week 2.

Hi everyone.

Rabbit and I have been pretty sick this week, so we both worked from home while resting up and getting better. All up we are both fine, but with the current issues, it’s better to be safe and isolate ourselves.

There are prices to pay. Mainly I didn’t get to play board games with Alpal again this week like I was looking forward to doing. At least I know she got some Steam game inspiration from last week’s article. 😀

On the plus side, I have had time to sit and start tinkering with my recording/streaming setup! This has me excited for sharing my reactions to video games and stepping up the Talking Tech articles as well. I will share some more thoughts about all this below. 😀

Potion Explosion – Android/Steam

Writing my digital board game article, I realised I hadn’t played Potion Explosion for a while. So I took the opportunity to fix that. 🙂

I still only play against AI opponents, because I don’t have to wait on people on the internet. I can get many games in with the AI compared to a single game online. If that is your biggest complaint about a game, you know something is going right with the gameplay. 🙂

Next week if I play again, I have set myself a challenge to start playing with the potion/Professor combinations more. I have one single combo (basically the default settings) that I tend to play with. I feel like I am limiting myself with the possibilities by doing this.

I will let you know how that little experiment goes next week. 🙂

Potion Explosion
I need to give to give other potions a good run. I have played the same combo for a couple of years now!

Ticket to Ride – Xbox/Steam

While I have played the digital version of Ticket to Ride recently, I realised I had to play it again to grab some screenshots.

Oh no, what an awful position to find myself in!

Also talked about in last week’s digital board game article, all of my thoughts on Ticket to Ride hold true. Want a game you can sit back and enjoy? Ticket to Ride should be on most people’s short lists.

Eventually, pattern recognition will kick in and people will be battling for routes at a cutthroat pace. This is where the expansions come in – for very little money, you can almost get a new game!

Ticket To Ride
I came so close! This is fairly typical of my 5 player scoring though 🙂

One Deck Dungeon – Steam

Like I wasn’t going to give this little dungeon run another go. 🙂

I am getting to the point I am thinking of buying the expansion to play on PC. I have the stand-alone expansion Forest of Shadows physically. Still, as I have said, I love the quick play digitally.

There is a new poison mechanic introduced in Forest of Shadows, as well as new potions, rooms and monsters. There are also new heroes to play with. As I said, you can play Forest of Shadows stand alone, but you can also bring across your powered up original heroes as well.

That’s another one we will have to wait and see what I do next week. 🙂

One Deck Dungeon
Now you know why the Yeti hides from me :p

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore – Switch

I didn’t get too into Tokyo Mirage this week. That said, my Switch is sitting next to the bed for a quick round or two anytime.

The combat so far is relatively repetitive, and the pacing is throwing me off quite a bit. Exploration feels awkward in Tokyo, as you have many small areas to explore but fixed camera angles. That, coupled with the Japanese Pop Idol subplot, has me skipping text more than I thought I would.

That said, the bite-sized nature of the adventure makes for a great break between the more action-heavy games I am playing. I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing days later with the objective and Topic system.

Hopefully, I will get more into it again when I have finished the extra stuff I am doing at the moment.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore
Flashy moves are great, but like Summons in Final Fantasy get a bit boring

Control – PS4 Pro

I played this a lot early in the week, but hope to pick it back up Sunday. The uneasy feeling that the start of the game me has passed, and I am pretty sure that’s because I haven’t been subjected to more Threshold Kids videos! 😀

Power-wise I am doing pretty well. I have now unlocked levitating and started claiming more Objects of Power. The game is excellent, and now I want to spend a couple of hours backtracking and tackling side missions.

Now that I have gotten into the game, I am 99% certain that this will be my next Platinum Trophy run. The same locations in the Oldest House are a bit repetitive, but combat has been nicely ramping up. Now I am getting into the exploration and collectable aspects as well.

I just need to make time to finish Control before the full release of the next game. 🙂

Control
Having a chill time turning enemies into friends 🙂

Resident Evil 3: Racoon City Demo – Xbox One S, PC

Resident Evil 2 last year was a game I basically inhaled. I didn’t Platinum it, and I probably never will. Not because I don’t enjoy it, but because some of the requirements just seem a little out of reach for my skill level.

I can dedicate time and get better at the game, but I have so many other games I want to play it will feel like work.

In a couple of weeks, the remake of Resident Evil 3 comes out, and I can’t wait to play it! So it was with glee on Friday I downloaded the demo on every platform I can play it on. 🙂

But this takes me into a side project I have been playing with the last couple of days…

Resident Evil 3 Racoon City Demo
No scary screens here. But even on the Xbox One X, I love the reflections the devs managed to get working in this engine!

Coming Soon – DOOM Eternal!

I preordered and even preloaded Doom Eternal in preparation for last Friday’s release.

Usually, I don’t play first-person shooters. Destiny and Doom are two notable exceptions to this, and I have given away Destiny 2. But Doom 2016 bought back great memories of the original games, and I am looking forward to playing this reboot/remake going forward.

And then I thought about it. What if I recorded my initial reactions for a game I have been looking forward to? So I have been tweaking my setup using the Resident Evil 3 Demo as my test setup!

This means I can start also planning videos for my Talking Tech articles, hopefully making them a bit easier for you. It also means I can finally get into the video projects I have been sitting on, like taking you through old games I loved back in the day. 🙂

Streaming Test
Getting the setup sorted. It's close!

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 tomorrow,

JohnHQLD