Burnout Crossing Wonders for Sifu

I thought that Pokemon Legends: Arceus would be a nice go-to chill-out game for some time to come. Animal Crossing is relaxing, but the lack of a ‘goal’ means I prefer it in small chunks.

Well, Sifu has very much taken this role over last week. Even when I thought I was too tired to play, I found myself spending an hour or twice this week. But more on that later.

What was nice this week was setting some time aside to learn a new board game. It’s been way too long since I have been able to do that!

7 Wonders: Architects

A while ago I heard about 7 Wonders: Architects. While I enjoy 7 Wonders, as I only knew the title I thought it was only an expansion. Well, Alpal knew that this wasn’t the case, and asked me to look into how to play it.

So today we got to play 7 Wonders: Architects. And play it we did! Playing on Board Game Arena means no setup or physical manipulation of the board. This means quicker gameplay and fewer rules arguments. A good implementation won’t let you break the rules.

Well on Saturday, we played 9 games in two hours. That includes a five-minute rules explanation in the initial learning game!

20220221 - 7 Wonders Architects - A new game begins
You start with the structures ready to be built, and everything laid before you

7 Wonders is an engine-building game at its core. Sure, you are trying to ‘build’ a wonder, research science, build armies and the like. But you do it by collecting resources and building an unstoppable engine for the end game.

7 Wonders: Architects still has you constructing a building. Instead of saving resources to use later, you spend them to complete the sections of your Wonder.

You can still build armies, research science, and optimise resource collection. The game still has you interacting with those on your left and right. But the engine building and complicated scoring paths have been replaced.

20220221 - 7 Wonders Architects - Science gives you various bonuses
Science will help you but isn’t a single path to victory

Acquiring cards is simple. Pick the top card from a pile on your left or right or the face-down ‘central’ pile that anyone can pick from. You don’t have to save up, or get specific items to build up to something else.

Resources for each section of your Wonder requires a number of resources. The only catch is that they must all match, or are all different. Gold coins are wild, and no buying from those around you.

Science has also been simplified. Get two the same or three different, and get a Science Bonus Token. Armies work almost the same. If you have more armies than those on your left or right, collect 3 VP for each side you ‘beat’.

Because there are no rounds, some army tokens have horns on them. Once three horns have been collected, war is declared and combat resolved. Simple and straightforward, but still has an element of strategy.

20220221 - 7 Wonders Architects - War what is it good for
Everyone fights at once, but you only compare on your left and right

If you ever had any interest in 7 Wonders but are put off by the complicated learning curve, play Architects. If like me you prefer to play 7 Wonders only at the max player count, 7 Wonders: Architects could be a great middle-ground.

Yes, the rules and scoring are simplified compared to the original game. But you can play quickly with lower player counts with rules that are far more balanced. We played 7 Wonders: Architects for two hours straight at three players. I can’t play 7 Wonders at three players once and truly enjoy it!

20220221 - 7 Wonders Architects - Round Scoring
You can see elements of score during the game, but you don’t know the final score until the end

I enjoyed 7 Wonders: Architects so much, I ordered a physical copy while we were playing on Board Game Arena. It might be a while before I can play the physical version, but I can see 7 Wonders: Architects being in my go-to game pile.

Games like Quacks of Quedlinburg and Downforce have some company in the pile!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

My plans for tidying up my island of Game Room took a bit of a turn last week. Sifu ended up taking a lot more of my time than I thought it would!

I have been pottering away at Animal Crossing New Horizons a little bit each morning still. Not too much has changed. Some dice to roll in the games area, there was a meteor shower, and Stitches is now living on Game Room.

Stitches has me in two minds. On the one hand, a joyful talking stuffed animal is cute to see around. On the other, it’s a sentient toy animal – the stuff of horror movies!

20220221 - Animal Crossing New Horizons - Stitches
Stitches is cute – I just don’t trust him!

Animal Crossing New Horizons isn’t a game where an islander turns evil and goes on a crime spree. But with islanders appearing at your house, the idea is there for shenanigans!

There was also a bug off last week, but I put very minimal effort into it. End of the week, I was super tired and Saturdays are games day with Alpal again.

20220221 - Animal Crossing New Horizons - One seasonal Bug Off to go
One seasonal Bug-Off event to go!

It’s gotten to the point again where I don’t know what is going to happen in the game. I enjoy the morning potter, but I am reaching for other games to chill with at night.

I still want to explore the Happy Home Paradise DLC, but it’s been weeks and I haven’t started. There is no inclination to stop playing, but neither is there an incentive to play more.

Interesting times in Game Room indeed!

Burnout Legends

I backed the Odin Pro for a portable retro gaming console. I have been tweaking things little by little, but I have been getting distracted. That distraction has been Burnout Legends.

There has been enough racing to unlock all the vehicle classes, and I have gotten all gold in the first two classes. I have also been making some progress in the Crash mini-games.

20220221 - Burnout Legends - Wall Takedown
Lots of reckless driving carnage. If only people didn’t drive like this in real life!

According to my save file, I have played for about 6 hours. If you asked me without looking at the stats, I would have said 2 hours tops.

As a series, Burnout has always managed to draw me in. I don’t remember Burnout Legends pulling me in like this though. In general, I have enjoyed driving around and taking out opponents.

I have been making progress in Signature Takedowns and other criteria for advanced rewards. I haven’t been putting any real effort in for this, it has happened naturally during play.

20220221 - Burnout Legends - Tram Slam Signature Takedown
It should go without saying – Don’t Try This At Home!

I may be borderline completing Burnout Legends before moving on to other games. That wasn’t what I thought would be happening, but it is how it has turned out.

Kicking back on the couch, doing a race or two a few times to earn Gold might be the way to go. Because races are so quick, the pick up and put down Burnout Legends gameplay, might only take a couple of weeks!

20220221 - Burnout Legends - Muscle Events Complete
Completed every event in the second class – now on to the next lot!

Sifu

So a sneaky lunchtime round of Sifu turned into a couple of nights grinding. I thought running through and hitting the same groups of people would quickly get boring. I was wrong.

I installed Sifu on the PS5 downstairs, and I installed the PS5 version. This means I have 2 distinct versions running – one on PS4, and one on PS5.

And on my very first PS5 run, I cleared level 1 (The Squats) without dying at all. A feat I have been unable to duplicate on PS4! (Yet).

20220221 - Sifu - The art style uses light in amazing ways
The use of light and dark looks amazing, but stay in the light!

What started as an attempt at a casual cathartic session turned into a relaxing ritual. Sifu asks you to learn your enemies, making once insurmountable obstacles an inconvenience. And unlocking new moves allows new strategies to clear areas.

I have also been making progress in opening shortcuts within the world. It took me five tries to get the point in level 3 (The Museum) where I can skip 80% of the level.

I haven’t used the shortcuts yet – I have been focusing on unlocking abilities, so more fights equal more XP. But when I want to concentrate on learning the bosses at the end, this is a huge boost.

Not only can I bypass a heap of fights that causes me to age, making life harder for me, but I can attempt the boss in less time. I am looking forward to getting to this stage of play!

20220221 - Sifu - Shortcut unlocked literally
Shortcut unlocked – literally!

Bottom line I was looking forward to Sifu, and I am enjoying taking my time progressing through the game. Every run gets me a little further along the path, keeping the grind feeling purposeful.

Not all games get this mix right.

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! And don't forget you can get random gaming and pet pics on Instagram. 🙂

Until next time,

JohnHQLD