Welcome to King Inscryption Bloodborne from Monkey Island

PAX Aus was amazing! I had a heap of fun as usual. It did feel a bit different this year, but overall it was a great time and I can’t wait for next year!

I did leave a couple of games off this week’s journal. Progress was made in Burnout 3 and Pixeljunk Monsters. The Win 3 on the flights to Melbourne gave me a bit of time to make progress. I was also trying to work out what to play for Halloween, and I may tweak my video game backlog list with my choice!

I hope you like last week’s Roll Player First Impression as well! Sorry, the video didn’t work 100% right during the day. I got it fixed pretty quickly once we got home that afternoon, but I wasn’t too happy it wasn’t ready to go. Still, that was last week, let’s talk about some gaming!

King of Tokyo

One of the great things about PAX Aus 2022 was the larger tabletop area. There was a lot more space for people to grab and play tabletop games, which was amazing. It wasn’t just more room for tables. There were dedicated areas for tournaments, making things much clearer. Of course, I had to play a couple of games, and this year King of Tokyo got a huge run!

I have talked about King of Tokyo before, playing with Rabbit and Alpal on Board Game Arena. No digital interaction here! It was the original base King of Tokyo, around a table throwing dice and shade at each other. What better way to spend a Sunday morning?

20221017 - King of Tokyo - Cyber Kitty
Cyber Kitty for the win! Well, a couple of times at least!

We met up with a friend of Rabbit and had a couple of three-player games. This was fun, and three is the smallest player count I would play King of Tokyo with. Then the beauty of a gaming convention kicked in – randoms. We met a couple of nice people, and they also jumped in to play. This opened up Tokyo Bay, leading to even more mayhem and shenanigans!

There was an experienced player and a new player in the people that joined us. There were also fans of King of Tokyo that just enjoyed seeing it played, and wanted to have a look. Everyone that came by had a ball, and it was great to get in a few games of an old favourite.

20221017 - King of Tokyo - Multiplayer Mayhem
Hitting everyone, powering up from the market, and hoping you get to roll some dice!

King of Tokyo is a great convention game. Simple to teach and learn, random mayhem equalising the skill curve, and fast to play. This makes it great for game nights of almost any form. You may notice if you look for King of Tokyo, there are two different titles in the series. King of Tokyo Dark Edition is a limited run with deluxe pieces and one small rule change. Don’t stress about hunting down King of Tokyo Dark Edition for a gameplay difference.

King of New York though – that’s a slightly different story. There are a lot more rules and processes around gameplay. King of New York is a fun game but isn’t the general recommendation like King of Tokyo.

And there is always that great fallback of try King of Tokyo on Board Game Arena to see for yourself!

20221017 - King of Tokyo - Old Favourite
There can be only one. And this one was Rabbit!

Welcome to the Moon

I finally got to swing my attention back to Welcome to the Moon last week. I still want to sit and do the entire campaign, but I am learning the individual adventures first. Sure, the rulebook suggests you jump straight into the campaign. Almost every adventure has confused me rules-wise in some way. So my approach to Welcome to the Moon is working for me – your mileage may vary.

Adventure 7 has the highest risk and reward mechanic yet in Welcome to the Moon. Slight story spoiler (this is why the game suggests you play the campaign first). You have to board escape ships orbiting your Moon base. The gameplay tweak means you need to form routes in the ships before you can place people.

20221017 - Welcome to the Moon - Adventure 7
Welcome to Adventure 7

This sounds fairly simple. You can’t place values in a module until you have traced a path to that module. This puts a higher emphasis on robot actions this round, as robots are how you complete paths. Welcome to the Moon generally has a higher emphasis on one action in each adventure. For me though, in this game robots were a two edge sword.

You see, the robot action gave the AI player (ASTRA) the least points. But I needed to keep and use robots to have somewhere to put numbers in to complete my ships. So what was once an easy throwaway became vital for me to complete my goal. It also gave ASTRA more points as I threw them higher-value cards.

20221017 - Welcome to the Moon - Just lost the Objective Race
I was hoping to do this objective first. Curse you card draw!

The thing that took me a while to work out is when modules were connected and what constituted a ‘path’. After much looking around, I believe I have it correct. I played a path as if you connect each end of a ship and then one path connects to the middle, you can use the centre module.

This is where the rules of Welcome to the Moon work against the game. I can see the designers and publishers not wanting to lay out pages of rules for each adventure. But written rules that make immediate sense after you know the rules easily confuse new players. It’s as if new players weren’t used for proofreading the rules.

This isn’t a huge complaint. Welcome to the Moon is an ambitious design that offers multiple games in one box. There are even some translation issues in play from the designer’s native French. You need to be aware that there are some learning hurdles to overcome before you can jump straight in.

20221017 - Welcome to the Moon - Close Call
When you have a super close game with the medium AI, you can be fairly safe you have rules down pat

But I have enjoyed Adventure 7, but honestly gave up this week on learning Adventure 8. I also need to get my camera setup working properly again in my office. That way, we can play along and you can see what I mean!

Bloodborne

I was hoping to play The Devil in Me this Halloween. Instead, it’s been moved to November. I am going to be very pressed for new game time come mid-November! So sitting back with a couple of days’ holiday left, I wondered what I should play. I haven’t touched my video game backlog. This has been annoying me. The Witcher is kind of Halloween-like, but so long to play. Then I remembered Bloodborne.

In 2015, the PlayStation 4 exclusive that everyone was talking about was Bloodborne. Not only was it FromSoftware’s latest, but it was a big change of pace for the company. In place of Dark Soul’s measured combat, Bloodborne changed things to a frantic pace. I got a copy a few months after it came out, got to the Cleric Beast and walked away.

Not because I wasn’t enjoying the game, but because I didn’t have time to sit and get into it. This is the usual lie every gamer tells themselves – I will come back to it later. Well, 7 years later and needing a Halloween game, I sat down to Bloodborne again!

20221017 - Bloodborne - Happy Halloween
Why would I think Bloodborne would make a good Halloween game?

Fresh off my Elden Ring Platinum, playing Bloodborne again has been in the back of my mind for a while. The Lovecraftian type horror mixed with FromSoftware’s magnificent world-building felt like a great mix. And with some time to myself, I could get into the swing of playing before I went back to work.

Luckily for me, I have already beaten my last attempt. I have defeated the Cleric Beast, and Father Gascoigne, the first bosses of the game. It did take me a couple of false starts to get into the swing of things, but I think I have a handle on the world. Well, I thought I did. Then I got lifted by an invisible force and almost crushed to death. Welcome to Bloodborne?

20221017 - Bloodborne - What grabbed me
It’s been 7 years – I think I know what grabbed me, but this made me jump!

Either way, I am having fun making small excursions around Yharnam. I don’t know if I will make a Platinum run on Bloodborne, but I am feeling semi-confident in finishing it at long last. One feature of Elden Ring that I appreciated was the ability to summon AI companions in battle. In Bloodborne, there is a cooperative feature but it’s largely humans only.

I will deal with that when I get there. Until then, at night when I can appreciate the darkness of the game without glare, I will keep belting away. With any luck, I can beat the final boss on Halloween night!

20221017 - Bloodborne - Father Gascoigne
I didn’t realise the first playthrough Father Gascoigne was the first boss. I lost to the Cleric Beast and walked away!

Inscryption

Coming home from PAX, I sat down and thought that some more Inscryption would be fun. I hadn’t had a chance to play as I don’t take my PlayStation with me on holidays, and I new I was nearing the end.

What I didn’t realise is how close to the end I was! I only needed to activate two more portals, and then I triggered the endgame!

20221017 - Inscryption - The plan revealed
The plan revealed, but does it succeed?

So right now I am going to be intentionally vague. The events in Inscryption both in-game and augmented reality deserve to be experienced. With no advance warning, it’s fair to say you won’t see the end coming.

Now that I have finished the main game, I am happy to put Inscryption on my ‘Finished’ games list. That doesn’t mean I am finished with it though. Because now I can play Kaycee’s Mod, and experience Inscryption in new ways. Or so I am told.

20221017 - Inscryption - Kaycees Mod
There are plenty of challenges included in Kaycee’s Mod, so I will chip away now and then

I will likely plug away at Inscryption like how I am with Burnout 3 and Pixeljunk Monsters. Little by little, I will make my way through the DLC and see how it goes. Now the only real question is do I want to try and tackle the Platinum?

Return to Monkey Island

In the lead-up to PAX Aus, I enjoyed resting up. This is where Return to Monkey Island on the Switch came into its own. Napping and playing on the Switch meant I could rest and enjoy a long-awaited game at the same time. Of course, I had to finish Return to Monkey Island.

And finish it I did. Without going into spoilers, I feel the fourth-act puzzles were easier to solve though. It is possible I was ‘in the groove’ and had the logic down by this time though. Either way, I was enjoying Return to Monkey Island’s pacing and puzzles.

20221017 - Return to Monkey Island - Beneath the Monkey Head
What secrets will the Monkey Head reveal this time?

The pirate LeChuck and the new Pirate Leaders had me running in circles. Being the ‘bad guys’ though, they messed with each other just as much. This also gave me the chance to reacquaint myself with locales from previous games.

Return to Monkey Island is a terrific play on words in so many ways. I would love to go into more detail, but doing so will take some of the shine and surprise off any first playthrough. And I do think many will enjoy Return to Monkey Island, and the Monkey Island series as a whole.

20221017 - Return to Monkey Island - Double Triple Cross
Bad guys double and triple crossing each other – who would have guessed?

I must say the finicky control scheme in handheld mode annoyed me more than in docked mode. It wasn’t because the highlights didn’t appear more in handheld mode. Playing on the smaller screen I found myself bringing the screen up to my eyes more to see if there was a highlight. This could be my eyes though – I am getting older.

If you are playing in handheld mode only, take a little more time to look at the screen. You need to make sure that you can investigate everything to get the most out of Return to Monkey Island.

20221017 - Return to Monkey Island - Behold My Stuff
In the words of Skurge – “Behold! My Stuff!”

There is a solid chance I will pick up Return to Monkey Island on PlayStation. There are achievements in-game, and they are not complicated. Especially as I know what I missed! A solid afternoon enjoying Monkey Island and earning a Platinum seems like a fun weekend in the future.

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

Until next time,

JohnHQLD