There wasn’t too much gaming this week. It almost felt like a week of prep work! I will talk about some in Welcome to the Moon, but the rest was for other things.
I have been talking about getting my retro games streamed before. It’s been an exciting journey getting everything mostly right. That’s right – after months and months, I am still not blown away by some things.
So prepare for some articles on my retro emulation journey, and maybe a video summary. Those games still don’t make it into these journals, as they are prep work more than anything else. But it’s getting close!
And with all that in mind, it’s on to what I did play this week. 🙂
I have been enjoying Welcome to the Moon adventures so far. Adventures 1 to 5 were all different and a little quirky. Then I hit Adventure 6.
On the surface, it looked like it would be a heap of fun. It looked like Welcome to the Moon had mixed in Pandemic Outbreak rules. This made adventure 6 the most complicated so far.
I had questions about mechanics before I started playing. Not the end of the world – it’s why I am playing all of the adventures before jumping into the campaign. Yes, I know, this is the opposite of what they suggest. But I have had enough experience with translated rules that I am wary. I would rather spoil the mechanics than sour the campaign with ‘learns the rules’ attempts.
It was here I found my first obstacle. The adventure board is so busy it was hard for me to see what was happening. The board is by no means unplayable, but while trying to identify the layout I lifted it up close more than I am used to.
Then there is a bit of a ‘me’ problem. The rules tell you to activate a coloured virus at specific points. This is fine, but I am red/green colourblind. I would have appreciated the icon for the virus to activate instead of the words ‘red virus’ in the rulebook.
This is a small quibble though. Welcome to as a series has been amazing at supporting colourblind players. Welcome to the Moon takes this even further on the whole. This small oversight stands out only because of how out of place it is compared to the care everywhere else.
I had Friday off again, my second long weekend until later this year. I thought I would finish off playing Welcome to the Moon this week. Instead, I spent most of Friday afternoon wrestling with rules.
It took three goes playing Adventure 6 until I was mostly sure I have it right, and even now I am not 100% confident. Not the best position to be in.
I even tried watching videos of Welcome to the Moon adventure 6. The only thing it confirmed to me is there are players that have misunderstood basic rules to start with.
There is no point naming and shaming these videos. They were enjoying the game, and each one said they weren’t sure about the rules.
It was frustrating watching people play, hoping for clarification. Then you find yourself yelling rule corrections at the screen instead of learning.
Blue Cocker has video rules for Welcome to the Moon on YouTube. I wish they would do a video with their propagation rules from the FAQ this way though.
The thing is, I think adventure 6 has the potential to be my favourite mission. Welcome to the Moon has shown many different play styles for many players, and on paper, this one clicks with me the most so far.
If there was a first-time experience that soured the overall experience though, adventure 6 has been it.
Thanks to a slow start to the week, I got to put a lot of hours into Xenoblade Chronicles 3 this week. So much so that I managed to finish the story!
I haven’t completed the game by any stretch. There are still some classes to unlock and skills to master, and optional boss fights to discover. That said, it’s probably safe to say my journey with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is over.
The story is pretty much what I expected it to be. Predictable and formulaic isn’t always a bad thing, especially in a game with as much scope as Xenoblade. It’s the side missions that I know I have blown past that I am sure will take up another 90 hours of my game time. You play Xenoblade Chronicles for these side missions, kind of like Monster Hunter. But for now, I am content.
During the week, I had a rough night sleeping and started work at ridiculous o’clock – even for me. So by the time my normal start time came around, I thought I was safe to take an hour off and tackle the final boss fight. Ooops.
Two hours later and so many final boss stages that I lost count, I made it to the end. Well, technically closer to 90 minutes – the first time tackling the boss I did lose. A quick respec, and I was back into the fray.
This is one thing I love about the portable nature of Xenoblade Chronicles. Lose an important fight? Restart the fight after a chance to modify your party. No taking you back to a checkpoint to let you travel and modify your party, and travel again to the boss location!
I have gushed about Xenoblade Chronicles over the last few weeks. It’s a series I enjoy, but I have said many times it isn’t for everyone. 90 hours in, do I feel my gaming time was well spent?
Absolutely. There are games I want to play, like Horizon Zero Dawn, that I have happily left in the ‘to be played’ pile. I could have finished Horizon twice in the time I finished Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and I would do it again.
If you are interested in the series at all, try Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition or jump straight into Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Try the Definitive Edition if you are new to RPGs in general. This is because there are some grinding shortcuts inbuilt that reduce the initial onslaught of information. Otherwise, jump straight into 3.
Either way, I think you will be surprised by how deep yet accessible these ‘simple portable’ RPGs are.
What about you? I hope you got some great games in. Or are you looking forward to a new one? Let me know!