Last Week’s Gaming – November 5th, 2018

Diablo 3 Eternal Collection

The Destiny of the Eternal Party is found in Hanamikoji

Back with my feet on the ground, but another light week of gaming.  Work for half the week and travel did not lend themselves to gaming days, but with any luck as of tomorrow night, the normal games nights and days will kick back in!

I also have piles of games I am dying to try, so lots of new reports will be coming with everything!

Hanamikoji

After finishing the review in the great cabin we hired in the Hunter Valley, getting Rabbit to play a game or three was a lot of fun 🙂

Rabbit even did the very rare first-round win on the first game!  By securing the top three valued Geisha, the first game was truly hers.

A quick game that may come out a few more times now that we have played it, but honestly there are a lot of games I have been putting on hold for post-PAX that will probably push Hanamikoji down a bit again in the play list, which is unfortunate.

Hanamikoji Setup
The playing board is complete, but shows an amazing amount of information at a glance

Super Mario Party

Again while chilling at the Hunter Valley as well as Sunday night at home, Super Mario Party got a look in.

I have only played a 2 player game max, but I am hoping to change this one night at games or people over one weekend.

Talking to people at PAX Aus apparently the ‘proper’ Mario Party takes too long with four players though because of unskippable animations and the like.  Will have to keep this in mind and maybe even try one by myself to see what may be going on.  It’s still a heap of fun though, so this and Rabbit’s Just Dance 2019 could be party games of choice.

Super Mario Party 20181105
Playing against even one person was a heap of fun. And it was funny watching Rabbit and I making the same mistakes in the mini games!

Diablo 3 Eternal Collection

Sitting in the Hunter Valley, I got a normally wonderful text from my local EB Games.

‘Hi John! Come in tomorrow and pick up your copy of Diablo 3’.

Yep, even though I ran around doing the Diablo 3 scavenger hunt at PAX Aus run with Blizzard and the Red Cross, I completely forgot that it was coming out on November 2nd.

I didn’t play much – it was more out of interest and a quick look in handheld mode.  And it plays very nicely indeed.  Not sure about the 5GB language pack download though…

Either way, hoping next weekend Rabbit and I can start some multiplayer hijinks before Pokemon Let’s Go comes out on the 16th!

Diablo 3 Eternal Collection
It may not look like much here, but even in handheld mode the controls were intuitive and animations smooth.

Destiny 2

Yes, you are reading this correctly – I played Destiny 2 again.  Kind of.

You see, to celebrate a year of Destiny 2, Activision is giving away the base game on PC via battle.net.  So if you have a battle.net account already (which plenty of players do thanks to Hearthstone) you have until November 18th to claim a free game!  Watch out though – it’s an 81 GB and change download.

I was really interested in seeing the differences with a keyboard and mouse as well as graphically.  It looks prettier, plays quicker, and I would guess is more the experience that competitive PvP players would want – this is where these kinds of game shine after all.

But as pretty as it is, it’s not enough to pull me back in.  Especially as I would have to spend over $150 to get back to where I am on PS4, where with the grind I enjoy kicking back on the couch with my controller.  But if you are interested in having a look, the option is there!

Destiny 2 PC
The favoured version for many Destiny 2 streamers and video captures, I can now see why. But at the end of the day it's the same game as on PS4, and the couch just feels right for me.

Pokemon Go

So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I just never thought to add mobile games to this list.

And for two weeks, I have been making a concerted effort to play Pokemon Go.  Partly because I was on holidays and exploring new areas, so new Pokemon and locations were mine to collect.

But at the start of the trip a new special quest appeared – A Spooky Message.  And for the first time ever, I got to finish a quest!  It was a great feeling, and one I know many other players shared around the same time.

I really hope I get to keep up some Pokemon Go action with the new updates that don’t need it on and the Let’s Go integration.  Ah well, I will find out in a couple of weeks 🙂

Pokemon Go 20181105
So it may not be the most powerful Pokemon, but it's the first Special Quest I have managed to complete so yay!

Last Week’s Gaming October 8th 2018

Super Mario Party 20181008

Down the Castle to Istanbul for the Party

It looks a little light on gaming this week, and in a lot of ways, it was.  PAX Aus is less than three weeks away, and I start driving to Melbourne in less than two!

I got the chance to do a few different things which have been amazing, and I will talk about all that in detail as soon as I can.  On to what I got to play last week!

Istanbul the Dice Game

Istanbul the Dice Game is a rare treasure for me.  Normally when you have a ‘The Dice Game’ version, some artwork and terms are reused but the game just feels completely different.

Not so with Istanbul.  In the time it takes to teach and play the first game of Istanbul the Dice Game, you are starting to take a new player into the opening rounds of Istanbul the Board Game.

At the end of both games, each player is working out what they could have done differently to get that extra ruby ahead – even though the play mechanics are completely different!

I am always up for a round or two or Istanbul the Dice Game.

Istanbul the Dice Game 20181008
Simple to teach, great to play, and no two games are ever the same. I really enjoy Istanbul the Dice Game

Dragon Castle

I spoke about Dragon Castle in last week’s game list, and another couple of rounds were played.

With all of us getting into the swing of the game and some scoring strategies in play, the games are still just as fun as when we were still learning.

So far we have only played the maximum four players, but there will be some time set aside to play two and three players for a final review coming in the near future.

Dragon Castle 20181008
Dragon Castle is aa game I am very much warming up to.

Downforce

Ahhh Downforce.  The most versatile simple racing game I know.

Restoration Games has hit it out of the park so far, and there is no reason I have to never play Downforce.  It’s quick, easy to teach, and always fun.

I have heard a few people coming down on Downforce as being too simple or not strategic enough, and this is a valid viewpoint.  If you are looking for a deep experience like Formula D, Downforce isn’t your game.

But for me and my game group, Downforce is a safe fallback that will be on the games list for a long time, and new tracks mean it will have centre stage fairly regularly as well.

Downforce 20181008
Always a fun racing game! One day my car/s will be in that top spot 😀

Super Mario Party

I haven’t played Mario Party for ages, and even then it was only a couple of goes with one other player.

With the Switch though I am looking forward to a couple of party nights in the future.  I played it only on the Switch screen and found it a little hard to see, so I am thinking this is definitely a game you should play docked to a TV.

There have also been a few complaints about the controls only working away from the Switch.  I played a few mini-games that required quite a bit of motion and hitting the L and R buttons at the same time.  The twisting the whole Switch while the Joy Con is connected would lose you the screen and be very awkward to play!

Super Mario Party 20181008
It's the first Mario Party I have played since the DS, and it looks like it will be just as fun 😀

If anyone complains about having to use a Joy Con, I think they may be missing the point.  Yes, using the Joy Con as a mini controller is not entirely natural, but if my big hands can do it in the short bursts Super Mario Party asks of you, I don’t really see what the fuss is about.

Can’t wait to play this with two or three others, and this will definitely be on the PAX Aus play list!

What about you?  What have you been playing this week?  Let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD