Who thought Bloodborne could bring Sparks of Hope?

Coming back from two weeks off and a conference next week meant I had a ton of work to catch up on. That put a rather large crimp on my gaming this week! I don’t think Bloodborne will be finished for Halloween this year.

In other news, I did buy some new board games this week. They are making their way to me and I will be away again for the conference, so it will be a while before you see them here. But I think they will be a bunch of fun to play!

2022 is flying by at a ridiculous pace now. It’s almost time to start planning for 2023! How about you? I hope everything is coming together for you!

Bloodborne

I only managed one solid session of Bloodborne this week. But it was a really fun one, especially as I realised I knew the area of the game I was up to. I was at the part of Bloodborne where Rob Pearson from PlayStation Access stopped playing! Machine gun man was a pain, but I had some prior knowledge on how to beat him.

This area was a lot of fun to play in. There were a bunch of ambushes from werewolves. Well, I call them werewolves. They apparently have their own name, Scourge Beasts. But if you haven’t delved into Bloodborne’s lore it’s a bit hard to explain. Running from werewolves everyone can understand.

For many, being ambushed by werewolves doesn’t sound like fun. But while exploring this area, the jumpscares kept me on my toes and allowed exploring new areas. It was tense without being frustrating and gave me a sense of going the ‘right’ way without waypoints. Yes, I jumped out of my chair a few times. But exploring the new areas and finding shortcuts and secrets was so satisfying.

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New area, hunter of hunters and machine guy sniping guy – that was fun!

I also discovered something that I didn’t know Bloodborne did – I can summon AI help. An NPC I met earlier helped me with the beast. And I ended up needing it! Giving a boss two targets allows you to make mistakes you can recover from. It gives you that little bit of breathing space to learn the boss’s tells.

People say you should beat bosses like this “on your own or you aren’t doing it properly”. Well, to those people I say you had to learn somewhere too. I recognise the skill required to solo these games, but that doesn’t mean everyone has to do it that way. It doesn’t make Bloodborne any easier. Help like this helps the learning curve, that’s all.

After a few tries, I finally defeated the Blood-starved Beast. Another boss down!

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Tackling the Blood-starved beast

Unfortunately, I definitely won’t be finishing Bloodborne by Halloween proper. Travel and a heavy week mean I have about 15 play hours to finish the game on my first attempt. I am at about 6 hours and barely made a dent into the trophy list! But I am fully intending to finish Bloodborne finally.

It may not be a Platinum run, but I am missing into getting back into more of it this week. Rabbit doesn’t understand why anyone would play these games, and I will say they aren’t for everyone. But when you get into them, you tend to fall for all of them.

Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Mario + Rabbids threw me when it was first announced. Mario XCom with Rabbids shenanigans? It can’t work. Can it? Well, when Kingdom Battle first came out, I waited about a week and then jumped in with both feet. Mario + Rabbids are like peanut butter and chocolate. They shouldn’t work together. And yet…

So this week when the sequel Sparks of Hope was released, I was ready to jump in without waiting. Considering I was having a pretty hard week, the timing was great. Too tired for Bloodborne, the turn-based nature of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope lets me still play.

And Sparks of Hope is almost everything I thought it would be.

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Just another day in the Mushroom Kingdom

That almost might put some people off, but let me explain. It’s a small niggle, not a huge problem. Gameplay-wise, Sparks of Hope is great. You start with most of the abilities you earned in Kingdom Battle. So things like moving boxes you can do from the start of the game.

There are new abilities to unlock to help on the overworld though, so exploration is still a key element. And the story explanation of how you earn new abilities makes sense, as the ‘Sparks’ are what you work with.

The niggle is the story itself, or at least the start of it. These new creatures, the Sparks, appear and are being chased by the big bad. Being Mario, you set off to help save the day. That’s it. That’s the setup. And I have almost zero investment in it so far. This is the only part of Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope that I felt has let me down.

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Battle areas are still fun

But there are plenty of games I have powered through giving the story barely a glance. Mario + Rabbids seems to be the latest in this trend. Actually playing the game and enjoying the battles is exactly what I hoped for.

I will be taking my Switch to the work conference this week, and I am guessing will finish a fair chunk of the story. Only time will tell. For now, all I can say is if you enjoyed Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Sparks of Hope is well worth your time.

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Rabbid shenanigans are still throughout the galaxy

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