Arceus Legends Burnout Elden Ring for The Crew

I had an interesting week last week. Nothing bad, but it was a long week with things happening everywhere. Sunday morning, I was hoping to sleep in and try and pay back some sleep debt, but Enzo Purrari had different ideas. So after getting up and taking care of the boys in the morning, Enzo decided he was going to be playful. At 6 am. Thanks, bud.

But he did that thing that he does, where he annoys you into getting his way then turns super cute. While playing with his toy gator, I got face smushes as he ran back after fetching the toy. I was throwing his gator laying on the floor. He quickly lost interest in the toy and curled up against me purring loudly.

And then he got up and assumed his normal morning sunspot. Cats!

If you haven’t seen Enzo, Fitz or Harry you can see them on my Instagram with a few random game pics. Speaking of games…

The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine

Rabbit requested we give The Crew another go last week, so this week we jumped back into the campaign. Board Game Arena lets you pick which mission you want to start on, so I started on Mission 4. Sure we had already played a couple more in, but I couldn’t remember where we got to last time.

While setting up The Crew, there is a feature that is confusing me though. You can select the Mission Length, which I assumed was how many missions you want to play. It seems that while you play, you can ignore this stat though and blast through. I need to pay more attention next time we play.

Speaking of attention, mine wandered a fair bit this gaming session. I had a long week, and some basics such as confirming what I was trying to communicate for some reason eluded me. I would pick a card to communicate, then spend a couple of minutes wondering why no one was playing!

20220328 - The Crew - I need to confirm communicating
For some reason, confirming my communications eluded me

Making our way through the campaign missions, the tasks slowly became more complex. We had seen cards won in a particular order already, but I rolled my eyes at winning a trick with a 1 that isn’t a trump. How do you win a hand with the lowest value card in the game?

Like most problems, what sounds difficult can be dealt with without too much fuss. If you are the only player with that suit and your teammates don’t trump you, it’s not hard to win with that 1.

But then came a limitation that you couldn’t win any tricks with a 9. The Crew threw more of a curveball here, as we had spent the previous hour using 9’s for easy hand wins!

20220328 - The Crew - Cannot win with the 9s in a trick taking game
Don’t win a hand with the card that basically guarantees you win the hand

Again, it’s only a matter of thinking for a little bit. Play 9’s on suits you can’t play, and use trumps to let others dispose of the dangerous 9’s. Not too difficult, players just need to pay attention.

Yeah, I failed here a couple of times. A couple more missions in, you not only had to not with a trick with 9’s, but players had to win specific cards again. I fell back into the “I need this card, so I play the 9 and people can give it to me” trap.

The Crew has managed to balance subtle changes in the challenges so far. Nothing enough to throw players into a loop, but add enough differences to trap the unwary.

Well, that’s what I had been thinking. Then the game asks who thinks they can achieve two goals without telling you what they are!

20220328 - The Crew - New job interview edition
Can you do any task we throw at you? Well this time, yes I can

I lucked out here on Mission 20. With all the 9’s, I was in a good position to win most cards. But that was a lucky deal – I don’t know if that will happen again later! Only being able to answer ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and not convey what’s in my hand can make missions more difficult in the future.

I am interested in making our way through the rest of the campaign in The Crew, but not in a rush. Next week, play something else and then come back to The Crew sounds like a good pattern. See how we go over the next few weeks!

Burnout Legends

It’s been a while since I played Burnout Legends, and I needed something to play out and about. So I put my Odin in my pocket and did some dangerous driving in a waiting room.

I played a couple of single races, then jumped into the Super class in the World Tour Mode. About a half-hour later, I earned all the gold medals I was missing, completing the Super class. I thought all I had to do was then work on the Crash mode, and Burnout Legends would be complete!

Well, I managed to skip a class. Curse you Coupe class! I only have the road rages to complete, but wow are they eluding me!

20220328 - Burnout Legends - Casual races are still a thing
Drive around and hit cars – why am I having such trouble with it?

I have unlocked all the Crash events, but there were a lot of Bronze medals in the mix. The second day I was out and about, I managed to convert the three Bronze medals into Gold ones. Progress is progress after all.

Burnout Legends is bite-sized enough that stopping play on short notice is easy. It was a fun return that I had been putting off for a while, and I might be putting off for a while longer.

There is a lot on the Odin that I have set up and working well, and some that aren’t working the way I was hoping it would. I tried playing another PSP game and discovered saves aren’t working even though Burnout Legends saves fine.

20220328 - Burnout Legends - A few more events to complete
I need to finish the Coupe section to finish all the events

I need to sit down and spend some more time configuring the Odin it seems. I also want to spend some time experimenting with the dock for game recording. One day I will have all the time! In the meantime, I need to remember to preserve my Burnout Legends save file, or do it all again!

Elden Ring

So I took the plunge, and earlier this week I jumped into the world of Elden Ring. The first big patch had dropped, so I figured the timing would be right.

The world of Elden Ring is gorgeous, and I am playing on PC. At only an hour in, everything is running well. I do wish there was ultrawide resolution support, but that’s not an uncommon gripe.

I was laughing at myself when I first started though, to the point I almost wished I streamed my initial foray. See, I have been playing Sifu recently, with square as the primary attack and R2 as a dodge.

So picture this as a game opening. I walk up to the first enemy of the game, I try to guzzle health potions, then stood my ground winding up a heavy attack! Not quite the epic opening battle I was hoping for! My muscle memory is set to the wrong game, becoming my first true enemy in Elden Ring.

20220328 - Elden Ring - You cant beat this boss but still
The first boss is designed for you to lose, but I could have handled myself better

I played for about an hour, with about 40 minutes of what I would call actual ‘gameplay’. The game’s systems have confused me for the moment, but I am pretty sure I will get there. The biggest issue is that I haven’t been reading anything that has come up on the screen.

For a class (if you can call it that in Elden Ring), I went with the Bandit. I thought the quick rogue with some ranged weapons would help. Once I have a handle on the controls, the Jack of All Trades approach is my plan.

Exploring the world, the Tree Sentinel tried to use me as a golf ball, but I knew that was coming. I took off more to the left and got splatted by a huge tree looking enemy. I wasn’t holding up so well!

So I snuck around the coastline and found a dark cave and found a mini gang of bosses. Surely Elden Ring will give me a path soon?

20220328 - Elden Ring - Summoning Old Knight Istvan definitely helped here
Yes I lost again, but summoning Old Knight Istvan definitely helped me not die immediately

I am happy to say I held my own but didn’t quite win the fight. The fault was all mine, and I still wrestled with muscle memory. But I overcame it enough to make some serious dents in the pair!

That’s the draw of FromSoftware games. Yes, the difficulty curve can be described as a wall rather than a curve. But once you scale that wall, the feeling of accomplishment is amazing. And while scaling that wall, you can feel the progress and see what you did ‘wrong’ to earn the You Died screen again.

I am going to give Elden Ring a break for a few days, and when rested I will give it a go again. And again. I need a few palette cleanser rounds to get my eye and muscle memory back in, then I can take it on properly. I will still get thumped, but at least that will be because of enemies rather than my bad inputs!

20220328 - Elden Ring - I can do this
OK world, I will be back

My only hesitation with this plan is I want to jump into Ghostwire: Tokyo a try at the end of the week. I am hoping the more FPS style controls won’t mess with my Elden Ring control training.

Only one way to find out!

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

I decided to sit down this week and make a concerted effort to jump back into Pokemon Legends Arceus. I had bumped playing Arceus for Animal Crossing enough over the last few weeks, so I felt it was time.

The gameplay of Pokemon Legends Arceus is different and updated as mentioned before. But not at its core. It’s still the same basic RPG style game that I played years ago on my Game Boy.

This isn’t a negative. In fact, I see this as a positive for the series in a lot of ways. There are other franchises with huge hundred-hour gameplay that I don’t have time to play. Pokemon can remain more casual as far as I am concerned.

20220328 - Pokemon Legends Arceus - Exploring the map
I would pick a Lost Satchel and use that to explore areas

Kicking with the Switch at the end of the day, I would concentrate on catching some Pokemon and some side quests. I might look at the main quest mission, but I try to avoid triggering it until I am ready. This flexibility in Pokemon Legends Arceus is appreciated, and what makes it good to end my day with.

Near the end of the week, I had a mental flip. It wasn’t because I don’t enjoy casually exploring and catching Pokemon. I decided to power through as I had small windows of opportunity to play during the day on Friday as I waited on work.

Well, an hour later over a couple of sessions, I made my way to the final showdown.

20220328 - Pokemon Legends Arceus - The final showdown
This reminded me of Ghostbusters – you have to choose your destroyer

After a huge exposition dump and another 15 minutes, I watched the credits roll. So I finished Pokemon Legends Arceus. Another game under my belt!

What I don’t have is the Pokemon of the title. To have a crack at catching Arceus, it looks like I need to complete the Pokedex.

Here is the thing – I don’t want to. I have only completed a single Pokedex in all the Pokemon games I have played. And all I had to do was catch the Pokemon, not grind out specific tasks to complete the entry!

20220328 - Pokemon Legends Arceus - I have a lot of Pokemon to go
I have a lot of Pokemon left to catch

Now I don’t have to do any of this. That’s what I appreciate about the Pokemon formula – if you want more to do, it’s there. But you don’t have to interact with the ‘busy’ tasks. Pokemon Legends Arceus has enough new things to explore, but because I don’t feel like doing it I don’t have to.

I already feel like I got my money’s worth from the game, so happy chap there. Now Rabbit can borrow my cartridge and give the new Pokemon game style a try before Scarlet and Violet come out.

For now, my Pokemon journey has come to an end. Until the new games come out.

20220328 - Pokemon Legends Arceus - Final thank you screen
Main quest complete, and a nice thank you screen. I might leave it here.

What about you?  I hope you got some great games in.  Or are you looking forward to a new one?  Let me know! 

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Until next time,

JohnHQLD