Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: Iceborne

Fiddling while Rome burns

While the world is aflame around me, I’m still trying to find the One True Game. Since I self-isolate much of the time, anyway, my day-to-day life isn’t that different. Although, I had a bunch of errands to run yesterday, and I stopped by a different Cubs to see if they had any toilet products. They had a few small boxes of Kleenex, but that’s it. As I walked around, there was an older man who was glaring at me. It wasn’t like a quick look, look away situation. He was leaning on his cart and GLARING at me. I stared back because I was not having it. There was a tense moment where it seemed as if he might come at me, but then he deliberately looked away. I know it’s probably because I’m Asian, which is annoying as fuck.

On the funnier side, this happened:

I posted a similar status on FB, and I got much love for it. I was pretty proud of it, tbh.

Anyway. I tried AssCreed Origins. Or rather, I wanted to try it, but my computer said NO. The freeze/stutter was annoying as fuck, and I Googled the hell out of it. I tried several of the remedies. I lowered all the settings. It fixed much of the issues, but the stuttering still happened in the cities. And I realized that I wasn’t ready for another AssCreed game because I was so impatient with all the little shit. Like only being able to dive in a specific area of the ocean. And putting two missions right next to each other that were 2 and 5 respectively where the logical way to get to the 2 mission was through the 5 mission. That did not work out well. Oh, and not telling me what exactly Senu was supposed to do. I was nitpicking everything, and that’s when I realized that maybe I wasn’t ready for another AssCreed. I’ll give Odyssey a shot because it’s free this weekend, but I doubt I’ll actually play much of it.

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Video game randomness

Feeling scattered, so I thought I’d do a stream-of-consciousness post about what’s on my mind re: video games. How is this different than any other post you ask? First of all, rude. Secondly, it’s different because I’m announcing it ahead of time. Third point, normally I write about one general topic with many little side paths. In this post, they are all side paths. With that warning, let’s jump right in.

I spent all day yesterday thinking it was Tuesday? Why? I have no idea. Therefore, today is Wednesday in my world. That may explain why I forgot that Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?! was released in Early Access yesterday. Now, Steam is down, and I cannot cook, serve, and be delicious! By the way, I love the way the developer, David Galindo also known as chubigans because it’s his Twitter handle) numbered the sequels. The original is Cook, Serve, Delicious!. The first sequel is Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!. And this one is Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!. It’s a little thing, but I think it’s fun. Well. The store page loaded and then the search page loaded. Then, the game page did not load. Apparently, Steam is down in the US and the UK.

Oh. Dark Souls thought. I’ve been ruminating about all the hate for casters I have several thoughts, but one that just suddenly occurred to me. Apparently, magic really was OP in Demon’s Souls–the one game I haven’t played. Not coincidentally, it has a mana bar, much like Dark Souls III does. That does make it easier to make casting overpowering because you can basically have as many spells as you want as long as you spec for it. In addition, in Demon’s Souls, the magicks don’t have level stats. Let me give you an example. In Dark Souls, White Dragon is a sorcery that needs 50 points of Intelligence to use. Pyromancy doesn’t require spell levels in the original game, but it takes 340,500 Souls to fully upgrade the Pyromancy Flame. That’s 55 levels. That’s a shit-ton of levels.

So my theory is that someone who played as a caster in the first game or saw someone play as a caster in the first game formed an opinion of casting that didn’t change throughout the games even though the mechanics of magicks have changed drastically from game to game. Also, I think it’s laziness in which someone just repeats what they see/hear in the videos/forums without really thinking about it. It doesn’t make it right, but it makes it more understandable.

Back to CSD3. Which I still can’t play because Steam is still down. The original was one of my favorite games of all times, It’s one of the few games I’ve 100%ed. Well, until they added new content. The same thing happened with Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I got True Platinum God before they changed the requirements. Then I couldn’t be stuffed with either to do what needed to be done to achieve it again.

Steam is back up, and I am installing CSD3 as I type. I won’t be able to play it until later, but it’ll be a treat when I’m done with everything I need to do. I’m tempted to play it now, but I know once I start, I won’t be able to stop for hours. I have my Sabre Form lesson in an hour, and I am not going to want to stop by then.


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Feeling icy about Iceborne

It’s not Fashion Borne, but it’ll have to do.

Ian and I have been  chatting about Iceborne. He’s loving it, and I’m….um….playing it. A little. Reluctantly. Back when I was playing the base game, he gave up on it much sooner than I did. Then at some point, he jumped back in and finished the storyline. We have very different ways of approaching games, and I think it was to his benefit in this case. He tends to play several games at once, even before he was in the industry, whereas I might dabble a bit, but I usually focused on one game at a time. This works well for me in FromSoft games, and even then, I find myself approaching burnout near the end of each game. For whatever reason, that goes away, and I play the games over and over. Well, to be more precise, the Souls games. I’m currently stalled on my most recent Sekiro playthrough because it takes so much out of me, and I have to be at my best to play it. I’m rarely at my best.

So, Ian is loving Iceborne whereas I’m trying to love it. He’s put about half to a third as much time into the base game as I have, and he recently completed the Banbaro set. He’s maining the Insect Glaive, which is one of my two backup weapons. Charge Blade is the other. One of my issues, I insisted on clinging to my gear from the base game, even though I had read that you should immediately make new gear in MR. I mean, it makes sense. I had to do it back when I made the jump from LR to HR. It was one of the things most discussed–don’t bother grinding out all the gear in LR because it’ll be useless in HR.

The thing, is, though, HR is many hours more than LR. By the time I was done with HR, I had fourteen Switch Axes all fully upgraded and dozens of loadouts. One for each monster. It’s not an economy  issue because I have over 2,000,000z and over a hundred and twenty-five thousand research points. I have mats for days, although my using the elder melder to make some of the rarer resources on the regular seriously cut into my Great Jagras mats. The point is that I can’t get over feeling as if I wasted my time in HR. I finally gave in and made MR armor and the basic bone swaxe. They already do more damage/have more defense than my fully-upgraded HR gear. Intellectually, I understand why this is the case, but emotionally, it’s a hit.

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Time to play Bloodb–er, Iceborne!

LOOK HOW CUTE I AM!

Back when I was engrossed in Monster Hunter World, I was obsessed with it even when I wasn’t playing. It’s my personality in general that I consume one game at a time (or one anything). I put in so many hours into that game, and much of it was me happily grinding or doing side quests rather than finish the main storyline. I prefer to be over-prepared than under-prepared, and since I play most of the game solo, it’s all on me. And Shadow. My loyal Palico. Palico armor is one of my favorite parts of the game, by the way. I always made sure to outfit him first before making my own armor. Right now, Shadow is running around in the Bandaro armor no matter what monster I am tackling because it is by far the cutest armor in the game so far.

When the DLC/expansion was announced, I was hyped. But then time went on, and my hype faded. If I’m to be honest, I soured on MHW at the end of my time with it. I had reached the Tempered Elder Dragon part of the game, and it wasn’t fun at all. Doing it solo was really hard, but doing it with a random team was hellish. You have to work together with something that difficult, and, yeah, it was frustrating to play with randos. In addition, I was specced to deal with the Elder Dragons by having a High Elderseal on my weapon, which meant they didn’t do their ultimate much if at all. As Tempered Elder Dragons, they seemed to ignore my High Elderseal, which meant I was unprepared for the ulti. In addition, I am specced with an insane amount of defense and vitality (definitely the former and lesser so the latter). I was able to be one-hit by the ult, and that’s not fun for me. I felt as if I were being punished for playing the game my way, and I quit after a nightmare of a time with Tempered Vaal Hazak. I think part of the problem was that I didn’t have much trouble with the regular one–he was not the hardest Elder Dragon by far–so I was not prepared by the Tempered Elder Dragon version.

I did not want to relearn the Elder Dragons, so I quit. When the Geralt mission came to the PC, I had a curious reaction to it. I wanted to play it because Geralt is my video game bae and the OG monster hunter, but I…I did not want to play more Monster Hunter World. I was burned out, and what’s more, I did not want to relearn the game. I had been playing Sekiro when it came out (I think. It might have been Dark Souls III), and it was really difficult to go from a FromSoft game to MHW. There was a time when I was trying to play both MHW and DS III, and that was not a good time. I did not enjoy the Geralt mission, though I did complete it, and I only did it once. Originally, I was going to do it more so I could get the armor and the weapon, but I just couldn’t be bothered.

That’s actually how I knew I was over the game. When I was into it, I would check in for every fest and do all the daily challenges and get the special armors and whatnot. When the latest fests came around, I just couldn’t be stuffed to do them. It seemed more of a chore than a want, and I said, nah.

So, yes, I was hyped when the Iceborne expansion was announced, but I had a niggling worry in the back of my mind. Why? I’ll tell you. One, it was G rank. Actually, it’s called Master Rank. I had already hit my ceiling with Tempered Elder Dragons, so what the fuck was I going to do with Master Rank? Two, the end of MHW exhausted me. I wasn’t having any fun, and it was tedious. In addition, the expansion initially released only for consoles. That was back in August, I think. Late August? Nope. September 6th, so I was close. I didn’t watch too much of the coverage because I don’t like to be spoiled, and my excitement faded. More than faded. It completely disappeared.

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Rambling thoughts about the state of my game

So, I’m have good news and bad news concerning my health. The good news is that all my flu symptoms are gone. The bad news is that my cough has settled in my chest. All things considered, I’ll take the trade off. It still means I’m exhausted, however, which means I stick to BoI:R and Dark Souls III these days. As I mentioned, I started another Sekiro playthrough, but I cannot play it when I’m not in top form. Whenever I watch someone else play it, I’m filled with passion to play it again. When I actually think about doing it, however, I just don’t have the will or the energy.

I can’t quit BoI:R. I’ve reached the point where I can do a run quite comfortably as long as I get some damage upgrades fairly quickly. By the way, let me ruminate on some of the most annoying things about the game. I was going to make a whole post of it, but that seems like too much of a bother. One of the worst runs in this game is one where I have a ton of health (say as Maggie), but no damage. I remember a run where I was on the Mom floor, and I had no damage upgrades, but a shit-ton of health and health regen. There was no way I was going to die, but it was taking me two or three tears to kill very basic enemies. If I don’t have at least four ticks of damage by this floor, it’s a bad run. I’ve actually ended runs prematurely because I couldn’t stand the thought of going to the Chest with no damage.

Speaking of the Chest, that’s another issue with the game. The ‘heavenly’ route (Cathedral and Chest) is way better than the ‘hell’ route (Sheol and Dark Room). I never go the latter except when it’s dictated by the Daily Run. Part of the reason is that you can get four new items on the Chest. What do you get on the Dark Room? Spiders and troll bombs, mostly. Speaking of troll bombs, I really hate them. I don’t mind that they exist. Ok, I do, but I accept it. What I hate is when I literally cannot outrun them because I’m too slow or the room is too small (and, yeah, I’ll get to that in a minute), it feels cheap.

That’s the thing about RNG–there’s a very thin line between fair and foul. I’ve said this in the past. I know that’s part of RNG, but I do think sometimes it’s the coding at fault. Yes, I know that’s my go-to when I’m displeased with something in a game, but at least I acknowledged it, right?


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Still searching for the One True Game

just a girl and her sword
Cass, The Warrior Nun stands proud.

Still looking for a video game that I can pour hundreds of hours into, and I’m starting to think it doesn’t exist. I mentioned in last week’s post that I installed Killsquad, developed by Novarama. It’s a MMORPG, I guess, it’s definitely meant to be played multi. You can play it solo, which is what I do, but it’s structured to be played with others. Massive, endless hordes that swarm you, and I don’t know if there is a timed respawn if you go back to old areas or if I just went to a slightly different area, but there were more hordes. There was one time yesterday where the mobs kept coming, and it was at least five minutes of the same goddamn enemy.

First the positives. It’s a great-looking game. I like the graphics and the characters. I’ve tried all of them (four) several times each, and they are distinct in their abilities. Weirdly, the two ranged characters, Zero and Troy, did not gel with me. Normally, I’m all about the range, but they felt underwhelming in this game. The other two, Cass and Kosmo, are the melee characters. Cass was my go-to before I even started the game because she’s a woman and The Warrior Nun. Unfortunately, she’s also a glass cannon in that her damage is high (supposedly), but her health is low. Kosmo is a surprise candidate for my favorite character. I didn’t like him much when I first started. He’s a tank with a big, fuck-off hammer which I found unwieldy at first. But, he has a shit-ton of health and a regenerating shield. Plus, he levels up much faster than Cass, which I found odd. For whatever reason, I get more enemies when I  play as Kosmos–which I don’t understand at all. With Cass, sometimes I don’t even get to Level 6 (which is when you get your ult), but I regularly make it to Level 10 with Kosmos. Vector 20/25 for reference. We’ll talk about Vectors later.

Actually, let’s talk about Vectors now. I started at Vector 5, and I assumed it was equivalent to levels. During the game, I leveled up, and then afterwards, I was still Vector 5. What? Huh? I played a few more games, and I had to repeat the leveling up in the game and my Vector remained the same. I finally looked it up, and Vectors have nothing to do with leveling, at least not the level of your character. Vectors are based on the level of your equipment, which is not explained anywhere in game. You can buy weapons and gear from a robot called…ROBBIE STE3L. Anyway, it gives you unidentified items that are higher than whatever Vector you are, and you can buy character-specific weapons or general gear. Your characters can share the gear, but not the weapons. More than one character can wear the same armor at the same time, for example.

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MHW: playing the OG monster hunter, Geralt

*BONUS POST*

Ed. Note: I can’t post on my fiction blog at the moment, so I thought I’d write a bonus post for this blog instead. Shockers of all shockers, it won’t be about Sekiro, though I probably will mention it. This post will be about my return to Monster Hunter: World because of the Geralt expansion. I have many thoughts and feelings about it. 

hey boo hey!
HELLS TO THE YES!

When it was announced that Geralt of Rivia was coming to Monster Hunter: World, I was stoked. I was still playing MHW on the regular, and Geralt is one of my video game baes. Playing as him in a MHW expansion? Hell to the yes!! A funny thing happened as I was waiting for the PC port, however, I started playing Sekiro. Well, even before that, I had fallen off the MHW track. Once I hit the Tempered Elder Dragons, I was out. It felt as if everything I’d learned up to that point was useless, and I didn’t have the patience nor the desire to relearn how to play the game. In addition, Tempered Elder Dragons should be multied, and while I had a fun time with multi in MHW, it all fell apart once I hit Tempered Elder Dragons. It’s really hard to multi with a random party on monsters of that high level. In addition, I specced my character to negate Elder Dragons’ ults, which doesn’t seem to matter when they’re in Tempered form. I also used my one and only augmentation for health regen, which is fine, but when an ult can one-shot you, it doesn’t really matter. The jump between Tempered Monsters and Tempered Dragons is so high, and maybe it’s because this is the first Monster Hunter I’ve played, but I wasn’t willing to put in that effort. I already had over 300 hours at that point, and I felt I got enough out of the game.

When the Geralt expansion (yes, yes, it’s The Witcher 3 expansion, but it’s Geralt! He’s the witcher! Plus, he’s faaaaaahn) came out, I was curiously reluctant to play it. Or rather, I had no desire to play it. It sat in my Steam library, calling out to me, but I kept playing Sekiro instead. It’s not even that I can’t quit Sekiro, which I can’t, but that I didn’t want to go back to MHW. I was done with the game, and even seeing my bae, Geralt, wasn’t enough to pull me back in. In addition, because I hadn’t played in a few months, I knew that I would be shit at it when I picked it up again. The controls were never comfortable, even when I was playing on a daily basis. Being away from it for a few months and only playing FromSoft games in that time meant that I would be pressing the wrong buttons all the time. I had that issue when I tried to go back and forth between the games, and since Dark Souls was the first game I played on controller, that is the button scheme that is firmly embedded in my mind. Bloodborne fucked with the formula a little by having a dedicated heal button, and Sekiro fucked with it even more by having a jump button and a dedicated heal button that was different than the one in BB. But, the main one was the same. RB for attack. In Souls games, it’s a light attack. In Sekiro, it’s the only attack button. RT is for Prosthetic Tools, and LT is for grappling hook. LB is block and deflect (same), and B is for step dodge, which is the same in BB.

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