Callisto Protocol is Peglin for some Pokemon Violet

My job takes up way too much of my time. It’s nothing unique to me – we all have busy periods. The last couple of weeks though has been particularly trying. Why am I venting about work? Because I think it may have coloured some of my gaming experiences lately. I just can’t get into Pokemon Violet. I only realised this week I am playing Pokemon Violet, not Scarlet like I have been saying! And Callisto Protocol has its own unique challenges.

I am worried that I am sounding overly negative about both games, but they are fine games in their own way. I enjoyed Callisto Protocol enough to play it twice for the Platinum!

Two more weeks until the Christmas/New Years holiday break That is going to be nice. More about that later though, for now – on to the games!

The Callisto Protocol

The Callisto Protocol has had a bit of a bashing since its release. PC and Xbox issues from day one definitely didn’t help. Apparently, this was a simple case of the wrong patch being applied just before the release. This is why you shouldn’t rush if you can avoid it. Especially when you are banking on your first game becoming a killer franchise!

I was correct last week, and I was not far from the end of The Callisto Protocol. In general, the story is fairly generic and I picked most of the story beats. This by itself isn’t the worst thing, but it wasn’t how Callisto Protocol was being marketed either.

20221212 - The Callisto Protocol - I was expecting survival horror
I was expecting survival horror. What I got was an interactive action movie with space zombies.

So after finishing my playthrough of Callisto Protocol, I started looking for others’ opinions. Here my being busy with work and trying to avoid spoilers worked in the game’s favour. I didn’t realise that there weren’t any reviews up prior to release – normally a big red flag for me. Well, a red flag for a game with the marketing budget thrown at Callisto Protocol at any rate.

Given the outcry on The Callisto Protocol’s release, the conspiracy theory part of my brain goes straight to “Ah Hah!”. As I said last week, Callisto Protocol is more Dark Pictures Anthology than Dead Space/Resident Evil. Again, not a bad thing in itself. I ended up enjoying my time with Callisto Protocol.

20221212 - The Callisto Protocol - Graphically the game is very impressive
It’s not hard to pick who is on what side – even if it’s only their own side

But Striking Distance and Krafton could see what fans and the hype were building to. And here is where the conspiracy theory part of my brain kicks in. The lack of review copies was because the reviews would say “This isn’t what we were promised”. and there are big plans for the franchise. That much is obvious.

And there is promise in the series. Now the tone is set and expectations adjusted, I am keen to see what the future holds for The Callisto Protocol. How much did I enjoy it? Enough to play it a second time after all and get the Platinum trophy!

20221212 - The Callisto Protocol - It wil be interesting to see where it goes next
There is a stong foundation to expand from here, but nothing unexpected either

If you go through with a guide (and thanks to a particular exploitable bug), you can have The Callisto Protocol Platinum in about 8-9 hours. I don’t suggest this strategy though unless you want a relatively easy Platinum. I did use a collectable guide for my second playthrough, and that is how I would recommend playing the game.

In the end, The Callisto Protocol has only made me more excited for the Dead Space Remake next year. Not the impression you want to start a new franchise on, but it is how it has left me feeling. If you are curious about Callisto Protocol yourself, right now I would suggest buying after the DLC is released. Right now, the asking price is too high for the amount of ‘game’ on offer.


Peglin was a source of relaxation and frustration this week. Everything I have said about Peglin still holds. The simple Pachinko play helped me zone out before bed for a few nights this week. I even managed to level 7 of Cruciball!

My favourite part of this was I beat a new level 3 boss. I am pretty sure the boss has been in Peglin for a while, but I keep getting the four cubes.

20221212 - Peglin - Finally beat the Super Sweeper
I don’t remember ever fighting this boss, but that is one battle over!

So you don’t have to read back, Cruciball in Peglin is like New Game+ in other games. While in New Game Plus generally has stronger or more enemies, Peglin is a little different. Each level a new rule is added. It can be stronger enemies, but it can also be boss battles in the random zones.

And then there is level 8 where I am now. In level 8 Cruciball, you don’t start with any gold and less coin is in each level. Progress has been rather slow, as I can’t seem to stay alive and upgrade orbs! To say I have been getting my butt handed to me since seeing this screen is an understatement!

20221212 - Peglin - Been a while since I have seen this screen
It’s great seeing the new level screen, but it might be a while before I see level 9

So Saturday night, all I wanted was a bit of mindless fun to relax with. So I went a little overboard on Peglin’s custom game. Here, you can pick what orbs and power-ups you start with. It’s completely overpowered, but Cruciball progress and achievements are disabled to compensate.

So I had health, multi-orbs, stat boosters, everything just going nuts. Did it make finishing the three levels of Peglin a breeze? Yep. But this round is Peglin’s version of god mode in Doom – sit back and enjoy the stupid fun!

20221212 - Peglin - I may have gone a little crazy on powerups
I may have gone a little crazy on powerups

I hit this same wall on Cruciball level 3 (pretty sure – might have been 4) a little while ago. Progressing was just a case of sitting down and looking at what tools Peglin offered. I might have to wait until the break before having a good think about Peglin. It’s all about optimising my path choices now, but I will get there.

Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

I am trying to enjoy Pokemon Violet. This doesn’t bode well overall. I did make a night where I had a reasonable session, and I have unlocked the ‘main game’ portion of Pokemon Violet.

Well, that’s what Pokemon is telling me. My school assignment is to travel the country and do what I want. I don’t see why the emphasis on the school in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet at this point. The standard ‘I am off to be the greatest trainer’ would have fit with less mucking around to start the game!

20221212 - Pokemon Violet - The classic Victory Road points are all spelt out once the game proper begins
If this chat was when I first met everyone, a couple of hours could have been saved!

I did fall into the open-world trap very early on. You can go anywhere to start the game, except apparently the gate I left the school by. Pokemon Violet makes it very clear that taking the West gate is for Victory Road, and the East key is for another questline. I got a little turned around, and went I think Northwest?

Travelling up a hill, I caught a couple of new Pokemon to fill out the Pokedex, and met a bouncer NPC of sorts. Trigger typical Pokemon battle, all things I was expecting.

I was not expecting the level 50+ battle at the start of the game!

20221212 - Pokemon Violet - Biting off more than I can chew
Biting off more than I can chew

As I said that was an open-world trap, not a complaint against Pokemon Violet. I moved to the ‘correct’ West gate, confirmed by some NPC conversations. No harm, no foul.

It was here I saved Pokemon Violet again, and I haven’t had the urge to pick up the Switch again for the rest of the week. I am typing up the journal entries before doing any gaming today, so I might pick up the Switch this afternoon. But it’s a maybe.

20221212 - Pokemon Violet - There are some nice quality of life improvements
Overall, Pokemon is solid with some nice quality of life improvements – it just hasn’t hooked me yet

End of the year, calendar or financial, tends to kick my butt. Pokemon has been that semi-mindless enjoyable RPG that I could fall back onto to relax with. Pokemon Violet though has been a conscious decision to play, and I wish I could put my finger on why.

Is Pokemon Violet different enough that my brain is rebelling against learning something new when wanting a break? The only thing I can say it isn’t is the ‘terrible graphics’ or ‘poor framerates’ I see complaints about. Yes, I would like Pokemon to run smoother overall, but I am at the start of the game – performance isn’t putting me off.

Something else for me to think about after having a day of rest I think!

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

Until next time,