Unpacking and looking for Stray Chronicles

Still taking it easy with the fractured foot. Overall things are looking promising, but taking it extra easy to make sure healing goes quickly. PAX is coming up quickly after all!

Still on a bit of a board game hiatus, but sitting up at a table is getting easier. So I am going to try Welcome to the Moon next week. One way or another, board games will happen!

Let’s get on to what I did play this week though. It was a good week for trophies, but I am getting worried about clearing any of my backlog!

Stray

I am finally in a position with my foot where I feel comfortable playing games for longer stints. It’s not that I am not enjoying Xenoblade Chronicles, but I am aware that games are also being passed by. So this week, I sat down and tried the speedrun trophy for Stray. This was all I needed for the Platinum and was a game that I could stop playing if I overestimated endurance.

So settled on the couch, I had my new headphones on and Stray fired up. I was ready to play it through, and hoping I remembered enough I could finish the whole game in under 2 hours. Worst case, I was a little off time-wise but relearned what I needed to do to power through Stray’s story.

It was at this point Enzo decided I needed ’emotional support’. What better way to play the cat game than with your cat?

20220822 - Stray - Co op partner enganged
My favourite type of co-op gameplay

I played Stray over a couple of sessions. The first session was pretty good – I made it to the second last chapter in 1:23. 37 minutes including cutscenes and forced scripted sections. Tight, but I was pretty sure I could do it. After dinner and a break, I then sat down to finish my run. Would this be the night I got the Stray Platinum?

Dashing through the game without exploring showed me how much of Stray is scripted. This isn’t a slight, but when you are racing the clock it can slowly build tension. I wasn’t expecting that. Passing through the final door, I kept waiting for the ‘I am Speed’ trophy to pop.

It doesn’t appear when you pass through the final door. I looked when Stray takes control away from you for the last scripted section – nothing. I began wondering if I had taken longer than I thought to finish the last two chapters. Had I messed up the run when I was so close to finishing the last Stray trophy?

20220822 - Stray - Platinum Unlocked
I was starting to get stressed waiting for this to appear

Nope. It was the developers messing with me. I have played horror games with less tension than the last couple of minutes of waiting for this trophy!

Now that I have the Platinum, I still don’t think I am finished with Stray. I may do one more playthrough, or at least show a friend a couple of chapters. I can’t picture any DLC or anything appearing for Stray. The story is done, at least in its current form.

A follow-up game in the same universe is a possibility. Take control of one of the robotic Outsiders making their way in the new world? Or you could play as the same cat meeting up with the now free robots. Stray has a lot of sequel possibilities, but nothing quick to drop in that I can see.

20220822 - Stray - New adventures await
There are many possibilities for new adventures in the future

It will be interesting to see what BlueTwelve Studio comes up with next, even if it’s not related to Stray. But if you haven’t played it, I do encourage you to try it out. Watching someone else play Stray on Twitch or YouTube will let you enjoy the story. Actually playing though is a different experience. If you get the chance to play Stray, I highly recommended it.

Unpacking

I don’t know how I overlooked Unpacking for the last couple of weeks. A chill game that you can pick up and put down. Unpacking is literally pulling things out of boxes and putting them away. Why didn’t I finish it sooner?

So set up on the couch and still not moving around, I decided to finish Unpacking. Do a year, then switch to Xenoblade Chronicles for a little bit, then switch back.

20220822 - Unpacking - I miss board games
Sorting out the items has been fun, but I miss board games

It was a great way to progress through the game. Unpacking is relaxing, and watching the story unfold is interesting. Going through someone’s items tells you more about them than you may think.

There was also an unexpected bonus. Because I was clicking on everything and having a grand old time, I scored my second Platinum for the week!

20220822 - Unpacking - Sorting plan failed
Pull it all out and sort it later – sounds good in theory!

Sitting and relaxing with Unpacking a great way to finish the week. But it also told me something important. Flicking between games was nice, but I am getting to the point I need a game with a bit more action to it.

So now the question is, what game is next that I can also play Xenoblade at the same time?

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

My journey through Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is progressing well. My save is telling me I am at the 47-hour mark. Not too bad a timeframe to hit Chapter 5!

I have met the Golden Consul and the Keves ‘Queen’. This is important only in my theory on the Queens was off – it’s not what I thought was happening exactly.

That said, I wasn’t off by much from the looks of it. I missed by one rank! So Xenoblade Chronicles still has some surprises for me.

20220822 - Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - The power behind the power
The power behind the throne – always one to be wary of

Chapter 5 sees you at the Swordmarch. This introduces you properly to the third faction in the story. Here you have the history of Ouroborus explained to your party.

This feels like the start of the ‘final attack’ preparation phase. A new huge city base, with plenty of opportunities for side quests and level grinding.

20220822 - Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - The great sword hold many secrets
Swordmarch holds many secrets

Every time I talk about Xenoblade Chronicles 3, it is hard to know how to write. I am enjoying it immensely – but it’s a game that many might not.

In some ways, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has the same ‘problem’ as The Quarry. It’s a story you almost know before you start, told over many more hours than it needs to be.

That doesn’t make Xenoblade Chronicles 3 bad. It does mean people that enjoy a brisker pace or more interaction will likely overlook it.

20220822 - Xenoblade Chronicles 3 - Lots of heroes and combat styles to unlock
Unlocking new heroes, combat style classes, and other things begins now

I can’t imagine anyone wanting to watch it streamed either – that’s a huge time investment. But I think many more people would enjoy Xenoblade Chronicles 3 than people think.

That said, it’s not exactly an overlooked classic – it was the best-selling game in July and went on sale right at the end of the month!

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