TSS#66 – Blaugust, Cats, and Drafts

Welcome to another Stray Sheep. Today I’ll talk about the upcoming Blaugust event, my participation in that, and other things. I hope you enjoy this post! 

Let’s get right into it: It’s nearly August and therefore it’s time for Blaugust. But since we already participated in Blapril just a few months ago, Bel thought of something else to switch things up and combat a few issues. 

Edit: Since this might be important to a lot of people, I added the “when and where” part here at the beginning so that people can easily find out about it.

The list of blogs currently participating, and the dates of their posts are:

As you can see, I’m right up there relatively late, on the 23rd of August with a post but, honestly, I’ll probably try to post about all prompts regardless as it’s more fun that way – and I’ll link to the “host” for the prompt as well as the next “host” in line. 🙂 Looking forward to it!

The main concern about Blaugust – as far as I understood it – that some people had was that the “competition”-style might actually not help people revitalize their or other blogs. Posting 31 daily posts can be quite stressful depending on your schedule and alas it can get quite annoying to fulfil the quota, prepare blog posts, edit them in time, find screenshots, and do all of that within one month to get some badge for your blog in the end. The badge may be the cause for this “stress” that people put themselves through… and obviously, it was debatable. I personally love the 31 posts on 31 days idea for the Challenge-part and obviously, I love showing off that badge-png on my blog… but I also was never in this “I need to post more than others!” mindset but rather was thinking in that “how far can I push certain limits?” pattern. 

During Blaugust19, I posted 31 posts in 31 days and saw that I could actually reduce the time to write reviews considerably while also having more success with it by writing shorter reviews (about 1k words instead of 3-4k) where I don’t explain the game (and possibly spoil it) to my readers but instead talk about what I like and don’t like and removing everything that doesn’t add value. During Blapril20, I ended up posting 45 posts. I sadly got busier at the end of it, so I couldn’t go for the originally planned 69 posts (that exact number because I’m still a child in my head).

And if the original Blaugust idea would have happened this month, I probably would have aimed for 31+ posts again… but something has changed. Bel is trying out something new which might be more fun and we’ll just see how it’s perceived and if it works out in the end in the way that it was intended to be. Mostly, since Blapril already happened this year, though, because of the concerns above and since some people might not be willing to do “another Blaugust-type event”. Alas, we’re trying out this.

Alas, I’m announcing my participation in the Blaugust Promtapalooza – a blog “tour” of sorts where someone posts a blog post, followed by a prompt for the next day, linking to the next blog in line. That blog then writes about the prompt that the previous blog announced and then announces the prompt for the next day, along with the link to the next blog, resulting in essentially a “blog crawl” where you can make your way through 31 blogs that wanted to participate this year. Of course, you don’t have to follow these blog prompts and of course, you don’t have to read them all or write daily… but regardless of that, I’m looking forward to it, again challenging certain limitations I have and hopefully making it through the end. 

On top of that, I was hoping to keep up with most of the blogs participating this year and reading through a bunch of them every day while shouting some of them out in a blog post at the end of the week. “This is what I’ve read this week, this is why I liked these so much. Check them out!” or something like that… I’ll still have to work on the draft-idea that I had in mind but I think that might be quite cool as some extra posts… 

And then there’s also going to be the normal posts that I would have posted anyways, regardless of Blaugust or whatever. For instance, I’ve been working on one huge post about my blog’s one-year-anniversary… for three or four days now, my blog has existed for a year… so that’s really cool… and I wanted to celebrate that with some stats and my favourite posts and that kind of stuff. I feel like that might be really cool but I also am still working on it and will hopefully get it out soon. 

There will be posts about games that have come out and that are still coming out. I have three or four interviews planned but didn’t get to write the questions just yet. It’s been a bit iffy time-wise over here, especially as my sleep schedule is quite messy at the moment (again), although I’ve managed to sleep this night for the second night in a row!

Jin and Tammy are cute as always! (Btw, my palico in MHW is named after Tammy over here!)

Apart from that, I’m taking care of cats right now. My best friend and her boyfriend are not in town right now so I need to take care of them from Tuesday until Saturday (Today is Thursday! Hello, future!), which mostly means feeding them and playing/cuddling with them since they’re very social – and I also need to watch over them so that they don’t do stupid things. It’s been quite cool so far and I really am enjoying my time with them… but as far as working on blog posts go, it’s a bit tough to do that when they want to get your attention by walking over your laptop and stuff… alas, I stopped that for the entirety of yesterday… and I’ve got to stop it today, too, I think, as they are way too cute to be ignored… maybe I’ll get productive again when they are napping later on… 

But once I get some more time to write as well as some new pictures of them, I’ll post some cute ones (got the permission from my best friend!) including some interesting ideas regarding stupid thoughts I came up with while playing with the cats. I think you might like that. 

And well, apart from that not much else has happened. I’m done with some of my exams. Ms Magi and I have been together for 13 months already. I’ve been really lucky to have met her. It’s a bit insane that my blog is only a month older than my current relationship. I just kind of feel like I’ve been blogging for ages now and that I’ve learned a bunch and got to know a lot of people. I guess all these thoughts could go into a separate blog post as well.

At last, there’s also the To The Moon Minisodes that I played actually… but I didn’t get to write a post about them just yet… and since I’ve been late already, I thought “why not wait a bit more and play games that I actually enjoy?”, so I did and alas, I’ll have to write a post about my recent Monster Hunter World endeavours, I’ve got some reviews and interviews in the drafts, I’ve been meaning to talk about Dark Souls 3 since I’ve been playing that on Stream, I’ve just finished Outer Wilds and wanted to review that… and then there is the Mystery Blogger Award that Megan tagged me in… and a ton more drafts sitting around!

As you can see there are a whole bunch of ideas in the work and I’ll try to get through those within the next few weeks! 

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’ve been up to a lot. Lately, I’ve been posting less but it’s mostly due to exams. Hopefully, that will change now!

Cheers!

This post is part of the Blaugust 2020 event. Wanna know more about it? Then check out my post on it or Bel’s post where he also linked everyone who’s participating! Be sure to check out the others as well!

Indietail – Fall Guys

As a kid, I used to watch “Takeshi’s Castle” whenever I came home from school and I loved it. Both the candidates and the commentary were hilarious. The game modes were extremely cool as well… and then there was the final round against Takeshi himself where everyone storms the castle and it was just great! Well, today’s game has a lot in common with Takeshi’s Castle, so I thought I’d talk about that first.

Developer: Mediatonic
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: August 4th
Genres: Multiplayer, Battle Royale, Casual, Platformer
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, PS4
Technical Beta key was received for free. 

In today’s Indietail, I’m taking a look at the Fall Guys: Technical Beta!

Fall Guys could be described as a “wholesome Battle Royale” game that takes a lot of inspiration from game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and that uses “mini games” to separate the winners from the not-winners!

I don’t usually like Battle Royale games since there is too much shooting going on and I am not too good at them. A lot of times you just get outplayed by FPS-players as a Non-FPS-player and alas, I didn’t really get into it too much. BR games that I do enjoy are ones that are different, just like Fall Guys. Instead of shooting others until only one person or only one squad is surviving, you try to manoeuvre your way through a bunch of mini-game rounds with a ton of other players around. I guess it’s not exactly a BR-game but due to the “Survive until there’s only one man standing” aspect of Fall Guys and BR games, I would call it that… but whatever.

Controls feel quite alright. You’d expect something similar to Human Fall Flat or Octodad with cute characters like that but they actually control relatively normal with AWSD and Space as your main button on top of the mouse controls to leap forward or push others. Overall quite intuitive!

The game modes get rotated through randomly with a bunch of them queued up one after another. There are a bunch of parkour-style mini-games requiring you to reach the end of the way and dodge all kinds of moving and rotating objects. It’s incredible fun to see someone in front of you getting yeeted (Yoted? Yoten? YEET!) off the platform and respawning behind you at the last checkpoint. There are also some mini-games where you just need to survive until enough people didn’t… and also a soccer-style minigame where the winning team gets to proceed.

And that’s cool! A bunch of variety and mostly about three rounds before you get to proceed. It’s hilarious to see you and other players wobble through the game… but it still gets quite competitive. I could see myself and friends play this together but I’m not exactly sure if they’d stay friends afterwards. After all, I’ve seen people push other people off the ledge or jump over there head, leaping into the goal. I’ve seen people win with the cheapest tricks… and it can also get frustrating.

There has been one round where other people constantly where jumping over my head and where I had some latency issues as well, making some jumps quite impossible. And then there were some other rounds where I didn’t have latency issues but people ganged up on me and pushed me off into some Slime… so that’s been a bit of a bummer. I also had one round where my team did little to nothing in the soccer minigame, resulting in us losing and me not qualifying for the next round… And that’s the spirit of Competitive Games – even when they’re cute, it can get frustrating or annoying. Overall though, I really enjoyed the game.

“YAY, I WON!” – this guy… not me… oof.

And most of my enjoyment came from the presentation probably. It’s still fun to get competitive. It’s incredibly fun to dwell in nostalgia, thinking back to TV shows like Takeshi’s Castle. And the presentation is just fun as well – I guess that’s the best way to describe it. “Fun”.

After completing rounds, you’re awarded Season Pass progress and you get to unlock new customs or spend your in-game currency for new cosmetics, emotes, etc.

It’s got vibrant colours and a very energetic and neat soundtrack that essentially provides the optimal tunes for the game. It’s fitting and enjoyable and different. And having a “different” soundtrack is important in this case as I’ve heard similar tunes in other games and as I got annoyed by them. That wasn’t the case in Fall Guys.

But despite all the fun I had with this game, there are some points that I didn’t like or that I’m worried about.

For one, it might get a bit too frustrating when you’re paired with people in team games that just don’t really want to play with you or that just don’t want to defend or whatever. It can be difficult and I hope that there’s going to be some sort of regulation as to how many team games there will be in the game… I’d rather like this to be more of a “Survival of the Fittest” situation than a “Get lucky with the team” situation. Of course, you could say that people probably are not intentionally losing those… but if a few of the players are having latency issues, it’s incredibly hard to win the round and alas, you get hindered by your team and lose the game based on something that isn’t your fault.

I guess you can talk about latency issues as well in this review-section but I didn’t have too many issues on that front apart from one or two rounds… and it’s in the Technical Beta phase… so of course there are bugs or issues. Duh.

On the other hand, spectating the game after you have fallen out of the competition is a pain in the butt. You don’t have to do it but I found it hilarious to watch the other participants until only one person is remaining. Betting points on participants could be quite interesting for a mechanic to make it “spicier”. Queuing up only to spectate could be a fun idea. Right now… it just needs a mechanic that shows you the leaderboard and where you can choose to spectate certain players without having to click through all of them. Might be quite nice for potential tournaments as well.

So in the end, I did enjoy this game. If you like Takeshi’s Castle and want to get competitive without having to “gid gud” at shooters, I’d recommend this game to you. It’s quite enjoyable and I think that a lot of the issues will get fixed in the actual release.

Cheers!

Indietail – Necrobarista

At last year’s GamesCom I interviewed Ngoc Vu, the lead artist from Route 59, who at the time worked on Necrobarista. Now that the game is out I got a key for review purposes and, well,…

TLDR: I love it. It’s a great game. Why? Find out here!

Developer: Route 59
Publisher: Route 59, Coconut Island Games
Genres: Supernatural, 3D, Story Rich, Visual Novel
Release Date: July 22nd, 2020
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC - but PS4 and Switch are planned soon as well!
Copy was provided by the Devs.

Necrobarista is about time. Time to move on – or time to stay. Somewhere in a backstreet of Melbourne, there’s a Café where both the alive and the healthy come to. When you pass away, you have 24 hours to stay in that Café, have a drink and then move on… and Necrobarista tells a story about the owners of that Café and the people that come there. It’s a story about the ethics of Necromancy, hipster coffee, and letting go.

Strap on for a haunting and innovative experience and a haunting, yet cosy, time!

Meet Maddy, Chay, Ashley, and Ned – as well as a bunch of other characters! Get to know them! Listen to them and have a cosy time. I really liked the characters as all of them had a certain depth to them (without spoiling too much here). There’re all kinds of characters in all kinds of shapes and colours, so there’s some degree of inclusiveness here with representation for all kinds of people, which is something that I really fancy.

Necrobarista has a certain cosy slice-of-life-ness to it that I really enjoyed while playing. On top of that, though, it also has some intense moments here and there as well as some rather emotional moments. Think about it: It’s your last day on earth. I’ll just leave that there and you can think about it all you want, get emotional or shrug it off. Whatever you feel like. The story leaves a lot of room for interpretation and analysis, which is something that I personally really enjoyed doing. At some plot points, it made me feel down a bit but other plot points felt really nice and wholesome in a way. And while overall cosy, it gets intense later on as well.

What’s interesting is that you don’t spectate the story from the lens of one character that looks at all the characters interacting with only them, like in a lot of other visual novels, but rather you get different perspectives and points of view. You get to see the characters from the POV of one character or from above or the camera moves around a bit, panning while you read the text. There are no text boxes on the bottom side of the screen. Instead, you see them floating near the characters. You always know who’s talking but they are always somewhere else, making the game feel more whole and organic. It’s lovely.

A lot of these feelings are conveyed through the colours and the soundtrack. Necrobarista’s soundtrack has been composed by Kevin Penkin who’s known for making the soundtrack of Under The Dog, Made in Abyss, and The Rising of the Shield Hero. I’d put Necrobarista’s soundtrack on the same level as Made in Abyss. I love it to bits. It’s cosy and joyful, endearing and amusing but it also can be intense and mystic, enigmatic and threatening. That – combined with the lo-fi style that uses not only gorgeous images and colours but also some slight animations here and there – makes this just a wonderful experience.

And while I would have loved this game to branch out into choices and a story with different kinds of stories that you can explore over time, it really is not that kind of game.

It’s linear but still quite rich. I love the story and the aesthetic. The characters are great. The soundtrack underlines the plot points and brings the best out of everything. Again, I can’t praise Kevin Penkin enough but after what he did in Made in Abyss, it’s no surprise that the soundtrack for this game turned out so great. It sticks to your head and you notice a “sound” that you ultimately recognize as “Necrobarista-like” – or at least that’s what I feel like when I hear those tunes somewhere else now.

The story is linear but doesn’t need the branches. Of course, there is still some degree regarding choices.

For instance, you get to pick words that you’ve heard from different people at the end of every chapter. These words get associated with different meanings and subjects or people depending on the context and the character that said them. When you pick them, you then gain memory fragments from different categories. You then can use these fragments in the Café while walking around before continuing the story. You use them to unlock side stories or “memories” (essentially extra lore) that you can read on to learn more about the characters.

You click on “Blood” and get a fragment for “Magic” as it was mentioned in that context. You click on “Weather” and get a fragment for “Melbourne” as they were talking about a storm brewing. You click on “Minor Demon” and get a fragment for “Lore” as it’s part of the world that those exist… and “bowl of peas” belongs to “Food” as Ned loves them. Use these different fragments up for some nice and short stories in between chapters and collect more to unlock more stories. At some point, you’ll get through the main story but you can always load previous chapters and load previous save states, so it shouldn’t be a problem to unlock all of them, especially as you can view what you need and what you have already in the “memories” section of the pause menu.

I liked this feature. It creates a bit of replayability which is quite nice overall.

And you also get to explore the space a bit to unlock more short stories. Visit the basement or the bar, the Café’s upper area or the outside area. Look at different objects.

Enjoy the view. Take some pretty screenshots! I did, too! A lot of them!

But seriously. It’s a great game. I guess this is not a game for you if you’re not into reading or if you don’t like Visual Novels or anime or stories revolving around life and death… or if you feel like there’s not enough action in this game… but that’s your loss then. I highly recommend this game. I didn’t find any issues with it. The story, presentation, the characters, the gameplay, and the score were just great if not even superb and I loved it.

Necrobarista just came out on Steam! Check it out or wishlist it! Highly recommend it!

I’m glad that I saw it at last year’s GamesCom. I’m glad that I did that interview. I’m glad that I started this blog. Next week, the blog turns a year old and if it wasn’t for the blog I wouldn’t have been able to write about all kinds of topics and about these kinds of games. I love it. I hope you’re enjoying the blog posts, too. Until then.

Cheers!

Looking forward to “Grounded”

If you’ve seen “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “The Ant Bully”, or “Antz”, you might like the following title. In Obsidian Entertainment’s “Grounded” you’re playing as one of four kids, shrunk to the size of insects and other small critters. You get to roam a lawn, exploring vast grass-steam forests while scavenging and foraging for resources to survive the dangers that come with not being normal-sized.

The world is beautiful if you look close enough – and well, with your size, you can get close to everything. Ants are as big as you while stink beetles and ladybugs are terrifyingly big! Of course, there are also small critters like mites that you can hunt down for food and… well… as the game tells you in the title screen, there are also spiders. But fear not, fellow arachnophobes, for there is an arachnophobia mode in this game that lets you turn those horrific and vile creatures into weird bobbly balls floating in the air. This also affects their creepy sounds, resulting in a pleasant experience even when you encounter them.

I constantly caught myself staring into the beautiful areas around you – I mean, when if not now do we get to see the world from this perspective?

Houses and benches are huge! We even get to explore “landmarks” such as some weird shrinking machine and soda cans. Resources seem to be rather lush and alas, we gather pebbles and sprigs, mushrooms and clover, so that we can get started with some simple tools for the beginning.

While you chop down trees in other games, you’ve got to chop down the grass, using an actual axe. Quite bizarre in a way but it does make sense. And well, despite stink beetles, spiders and mites wanting to kill you, there are also a bunch of friendly fellows around like ladybugs and ants.

I love ants. The ants in this game look incredibly cute, constantly scavenging for food, just like us, or carrying around sticks and pebbles. “In theory”, I thought… “In theory, I could attack them. I’ve got the spear and all of that already, after all!” – But I didn’t dare to attack such cute little fellows, mostly since I’m afraid that they might gang up on me after sending out their threat pheromones.

There seems to be a full-fledged story available to the game once it comes out but inside of the demo I was able to play for more than half an hour – and the story-part reached until we fixed the (presumably) shrink-reversal-machine that Spoilers blew up on us shortly after we “fixed” it.

Materials can be analyzed for recipes inside of the analyzer that is set near our research globe. Food can be cooked at a roasting spit and, in theory, we can even build a base of sorts with walls, doors and floors!

Honestly, I’m really excited about this game, especially since it does tickle that one itch that I have for base-building survival games! Especially as it also features unconventional aspects to survival. You’ve got to find water drops on grass stems to not dehydrate, for instance, which is a nice touch!

Multiplayer is also something that is going to be included in the full game, so this might get really cool really soon. Grounded gets released in Early Access on July 28th, 2020. It’s by Obsidian Entertainment, so it’s bound to be good, and well, the game so far has been looking great already, especially as this is only a demo!

The only thing that I’d wish for would be an option to turn the spiders into some cute beetles or something, as even the bobbly heads are a little bit triggering to me. I’d also love it if you could turn their sounds into something else that is less creepy. But maybe that’s just my arachnophobia speaking…

Cheers!

Let’s talk about Hyper Scape

Hyper Scape is apparently “the new shit”. Though developed by Ubisoft, it seems to become rather popular as it introduces interesting mechanics to the BR-game genre. Here are my thoughts on it so far.

It’s a fast-take and less RNG-dependant take on the BR-genre and while I personally am not a fan of Ubisoft or battle royal games… I must say that they did a pretty good job with this title.

Drop down from the sky and plunder the city!

What’s different in Hyper Scape?

Well, first up, you’ve got a double jump and get to climb and jump around buildings which is very “Quake 3”-like. Some buildings and areas are blocked off by destructible barriers and provide you with loot – but there are no rarity levels per sé. Instead, you’re provided with a variety of weapons that you upgrade by fusing them with the same weapon, improving their damage, magazine size and other properties of them.

On top of battling enemies with shotguns, grenade launchers, your baton, snipers and other guns, you also have two abilities that you find in buildings, crates or on the ground. Essentially there is a vast variety of offensive, defensive and utility spells that allow you to outwit your opponents. By fusing them with abilities of the same type, you also enhance their cooldowns or other capabilities.

Did I hear something?

Overall, I really like this feature. In the few rounds I had so far, I didn’t really feel as if the game was dependant on luck. You’ll have to think about it in other ways: If you can’t find any upgrades for your wall-ability, you may as well try to make use of the other abilities you can find and try to upgrade those as much as possible. Even defensive abilities like the

Wall can be used offensively, as you block off escape routes for your enemies and shower them with your grenade launcher shells and mines, or you use it to boost yourself up and get some distance between yourself and the opponent.

Fashion > Damage – get some skins and stuff!

The way you use your abilities and weapons, the way you jump around the map and try to get your kit together faster than your enemies while destroying foes, is really cool and I did enjoy myself quite a bit. I also love that the rounds aren’t taking too long. You either go in Solo or with a Squad of three – and you essentially butt heads with other people until nobody’s left – or until “the crown” spawns which you have to pick up and hold for 45 seconds to win. By holding the crown, however, you also are revealed to your enemies.

Of course, the map also gets narrowed down bit by bit as the different Sectors of the Map are falling apart and turning into blue dust… i don’t know. It fits the game. Instead of just having a circle of death coming in closer, you get these different city parts that get destroyed, so you essentially know where enemies might come from and can position yourself accordingly to catch them off-guard and rain down on them.

And speaking of the Map: The city of Neo Arcadia is wonderful. It’s bright and colourful and really fits the more cartoon-y feel of the game while providing you with some nice verticality as you climb among the roofs, walk along the mono rail or hop into the theatre or other land marks. Being up on the roof gives you the advantage of being swift and mobile, though it also presents you to snipers rather easily. Meanwhile on the ground you have to be careful since the escape routes can be quite difficult.

And well, just like in Darwin Project, there is Twitch Integration. Streamers are able to invite their viewers to play the game and they are able to decide on which sectors to get destroyed or which event to start next, which can be quite interesting for viewers but I can see some issues with streamers telling their viewers to vote in their favour… although viewers don’t usually equal slaves, so I guess there won’t be any issues with it and usually events like the “infinite ammo event” or the “zero gravity event” usually tend to harm and benefit everyone equally.

My first ever kill – it must be the scottish accent that’s giving me the skill and swiftness needed for that. Also, I survived and got spot 15! Pog!

The only thing I don’t like about the game so far is the lacklustre gunplay. The first thing I liked about Destiny 2, for instance, is that the guns actually feel like they’ve got OOMPH behind them! They actually pack a punch and it feels great to shoot with them. Meanwhile, you’ve got the guns in Hyper Scape that quite often don’t really feel as destructive as they may be. The sniper feels alright but all the others don’t really convey the feeling that they’re actual guns. And don’t get me wrong: I’m completely against guns iRL… but when it comes to games… made for your personal enjoyment… shouldn’t the gunplay feel a bit better? The noises and all of that included?

And apart from that, while the games themselves can be really fast-paced and quickly done… the time it takes before getting into the next round is just way too long in my opinion. It takes a few seconds to minutes to find a new game and you have to click yourself through the battle pass progress and the missions and who killed you and where you placed and all of that before heading into a lobby… only to find a game… and then it starts… and I’d love it if you could see the battle pass stats later or opt-out of the notifications as they get a tad annoying eventually when you have to click yourself through all of them one after one – only to start the game. I mean, you can look up what you unlocked in the Hyper Scape Hub anyways. It’s not exactly needed after every game… but maybe that’s just like yelling at clouds? I don’t know… it’s not the worst thing in the world and it doesn’t bother me the most, y’know? It’s just a wee bit annoying.

Enter the Hyper Scape?

I am really enjoying this game. I guess it’s still in its open beta, so we’ll have to see how the game gets balanced and how it’s going to be received overall. I feel like there’re way too many Battle Royale titles out right now, so it’s all the more important that games like this one try to take a different approach regarding loot and combat. I might not be the best at the game yet since I’m not an FPS player but I feel like I’m doing a lot better already even after only having played a few games of it, so the learning curve might not be too steep. I just have to get better at reacting quickly!

Either way, that’s it for today’s post. I’ve been playing this now for a bit and have really been enjoying it… you can sneak in “just a quick round” in between study breaks, which is quite nice compared to other games… you don’t usually go for “just a quick round of League” or “just a quick hunt in MHW”, so this has been quite nice every now and then. It’s probably going to be one of those on-and-off games of mine, although that might change if more of my friends get into it.

Cheers!

The “To The Moon” Play-Along – Act 3

To The Moon! We’ve kind of forgotten about that, haven’t we? Well, I haven’t. I was just really busy… and didn’t really feel like playing the game. Act 2 was dragging on for so long and Act 3 wasn’t too surprising either and also felt quite boring so I stopped streaming the game (as it wasn’t entertaining to watch at all) and I planned on playing it… later… I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be a whole month late but whatever. The post is here! Hope you enjoy it! I’m glad that I’m done with this one. I didn’t particularly enjoy To The Moon due to Act 2 and Act 3 being somewhat slow and boring, I guess? I didn’t personally enjoy it as it felt really long and I just didn’t want to play it despite actually wanting to answer the question. Heck, I didn’t even read the posts by the other people over here yet as I didn’t want to spoil myself, just in case, it got better? Idk.


We’re sperms… because of science!

1 – Johnny… Joey… Twins. It seems after the accident Johnny lost his identity to his mother and became a replacement-Joey. Does it change how you feel about Johnny as compared to your Act 1 impressions?

Not exactly. I felt as if “erasing River” was a bad thing to do in Act 1, so I doubt it justifies it. Seeing that he wanted to “collect her” is still weird to me. I guess traumas can do all kinds of things to people and you don’t know what exactly could happen with these… I guess Johnny could have potentially turned out a lot worse, killing people and stealing their identities/faces, so at least he’s just some weird guy who wants to possess humans, right? 

If I went as far as to excuse someone based on trauma, however, I’d end up also justifying all kinds of other sick people who do horrible things to other people based on some trauma they had in the past. And without naming any politicians, radicals, serial killers or whatever, I’ll just leave it at that. 

“She was young and needed the money”

2 – Eva and Neil have a verbal sparring match on their differing views of contract vs. what they now know (or think they know) about what would make Johnny happier. The outcome of Eva’s actions notwithstanding; do you sympathise with one view over the other here?

I feel like it’s wrong to change the memories/brainwash others. While it may make them “happy”, it won’t satisfy them. I don’t think “erasing” River was the right choice. Erasing their sad moments was a bad thing to do even if Johnny wanted it. Alas, I guess I’d side with Neil there.

Space! duh!

3 – Throughout that same exchange, Eva asks Neil to trust her. He clearly didn’t. Did you?

Nope, I wouldn’t have and I didn’t trust her at all since she seemed to turn into a maniac doing all the out of line stuff with the drastic changes and all of that. Idk.

I would have expected it to go horribly wrong and Neil to fix it. Neil would do it just the right way with some Deus Ex Machina bullshit (because I’m a horrible writer) and his idiocy paired with some game-maker magic would end up saving the day while Johnny is flying off on the lighthouse to the Moon where all the rabbits await.. and then he dies…

Nah, even I wouldn’t write that bullshit. I guess if it was me, I would have written it to go horribly wrong and Neil would revert everything back to normal before Johnny dies, thanking the two for not altering his memories. I feel like that would have been a nice touch. 

…you’re crazy, Eva!

4 – “He can always find another ‘River’… But he’ll only have one brother.” Again, pretending for the moment you don’t know the outcome of Eva’s actions and what she (suspected) would happen… Do you agree? What about in this context of overwritten memories as opposed to life as it was?

I guess you can always fall in love with someone else but I wouldn’t agree that someone else means necessarily the same to you as the same person. Despite us all being “humans”, we’re all “individuals”, after all. Each with our own personalities, flaws and traits – each with our own ways of thinking, communicating and all of that. Saying that you can always find someone else to love or whatever would be somewhat true as there are many other humans out there… but personally, I’d say that it’s not the same as having a true soulmate that you’re destined to meet and that you love and honour in good and in bad times. You know? 

Same thing with brothers: While it may be true that you only have so many blood-relatives, I would not agree that you can’t find people in your life that are equally important or that could replace those gaps. Joey still is with Johnny in his heart (that sounds cheesy) but he also has friends, I’d reckon, apart from Nicholas, so I’d reckon that you can still find new people that are equally as precious. 

…and that thing selled? Alrighty!

Some people in the world are not blessed with “normal” or “good” family members and alas have to suffer through a lot. Some people get abused – mentally and physically – throughout their whole life while nobody is listening to them and while it all gets shrugged off. Some people get treated badly all their life and have to go through harassment, insults and violence, always fearing that they might get hurt once again. Some people don’t have the luxury of having family members that they love or that love them. In those cases, you can cut ties with them. In those cases, you can still find new people to replace those family members. You can still find new family members or people that are equally important to you. 

So, while you always can find someone else to like, I wouldn’t agree that family members are that much more valuable on a social level compared to someone you’re destined to meet with. You can find new family. You can find new friends. You can find new love. But it depends on your relationship with your old family, your old friends and your old love. You can’t just say that no family is replaceable and that every love is. It all depends on you and others. 

“The best part about it is the bottom and the top part.” – “What a shame it would be if anyone wasn’t able to see it!” – “Yeah, it will probably not like anything like this after maintenance!”

5 – Anything you wish I’d asked you about that I haven’t, for this act or any of the others? Answer that question for this one. 😉

Uh, the answer to that question would be “Take 42 – Electric Boogaloo”. (You see the error to that phrasing? “Answer that question for this one” doesn’t necessarily imply that I need to mention the question as well, right? All jokes aside, I don’t really think that there are any question that I could have potentially answered for this one. I feel like the Play-Along was a lot of fun overall (mostly due to me being able to read other posts related to my own posts or rather due to me being able to see the answers that other people had compared to my own ones, I guess?). Uh, I didn’t like To The Moon… I mean, I kinda liked Act 1 and Act 2 felt super slow despite being shorter… and Act 3 dragged on as well… so whatever. Good job, Naithin. You made me play this game. 😛
Again, jokes aside, the planning was cool. Hope you do something like that again in the future. 🙂

The end!… or?

Well, that’s it for the post. Hope you enjoyed it. It’s super late but again, I didn’t really enjoy To The Moon all that much past Act 1 and I’m really happy that I only have to go through the Mini-Sodes now. 

Cheers!

Unlocking Lillia’s Haiku – a quick guide

Lillia is going to be next skirmisher-type jungler in the Rift. Today’s post is a small guide on how to get Lillia’s Haiku, an item that saves you 7800 BE and unlocks the champion for you on the next patch.

But who is Lillia? Well,… I don’t really know too much about her. She’s a magical fawn that is shy, clumsy and self-conscious who is currently exploring the outside world after only ever seeing it through the dreams of others. She develops over time, steadily improving and eventually becoming one of the bravest champions that Riot ever made. Essentially, she’s got a lot of personality to her. Her spells revolve around her ability to see other people’s dreams.

Using her damaging spells, she’s able to apply Dream Dust to her enemies, damaging them for a percentage of their maximum health over time. Her spells essentially deal a lot of damage, provide her with a small movement speed bonus or they slow the enemy, with her ultimate putting everyone who’s affected by Dream Dust to sleep after a short while, enhancing the damage of the next damaging ability they get targeted with.

There are parts of her kit that I’m worried about but for the sake of owning every champion AND saving Blue Essence for the Blue Essence Emporium, I ventured into Bot Games to unlock Lillia’s Haiku.

What exactly do we have to do?

Well, first up: As a Jungler you need 350 Kills in matchmade games. As easy as that.

“Matchmade Games” are games that have other players in there that are not custom games. I guess that you could play the game with friends against the Beginner A.I. but I found that the best possible way is to just instantly lock in Master Yi while all alone in the Beginner Bot Games and to then farm up some early kills and jungle camps until you later can kill everyone in the enemy base.

Important note: To count as a Jungler you need the Smite Summoner Spell! As far as I know, you don’t need to jungle, but I feel like it’s easier to do if there is only one Jungler per Game – and that’s the case in Bot Games… After all, it’s just the Beginner Bots, right?

My Loadout for this game consists of the following runes:

Primary Tree:

Dark Harvest:
Essentially is easily stackable and provides you with one shot ability once you got 20+ kills. Late Game you’ll only need three auto-attacks to get rid of the enemy and also add another +5 damage to the ability – that paired with the fact that you have a 1.5-second cooldown on it after every kill… that’s essentially why I take it.

Sudden Impact:
It gets triggered every time you use your Q ability and essentially adds a little bit of damage. It’s not much but personally, I’d say that the other choices are just not worth it.

Eyeball Collection:
You will kill a lot of people. If possible 350 enemies in one game. Alas, you’re going to stack this quite rapidly. The other options would work, too, but since you’re not going to ward in a Bot Game (especially against the Beginner Bots), you’re not going to make use of these all that well. You gain a total of 18 AD after ten kills, so naturally, this is the best choice here.

Relentless Hunter:
My recommendation would be Relentless Hunter to move around the map faster and get to the different kills faster early on and to different camps faster when you’re still not equipped with enough items. You won’t need the other runes’ benefits.

Secondary Tree:

You can either go for Celerity and Water Walking (Sorcery Tree) to move around quicker… or you go for Triumph and Legend: Alacrity. Triumph awards you with a bit more healing after every takedown as well as more gold (20 per Kill – at 50 Kills that’s 1000 extra gold for free). Alacrity works well with your attack speed and the items that you build. Otherwise, you could also go for Coup de Grace to deal 8% more damage to champions that have less than 40% health. This works wonderfully well with your Dark Harvest as it’s going to just burst enemies away below 40% heath while harvesting more stacks.

As far as items go:

You build as much attack speed as possible and eventually can outheal and outdamage anyone while resetting tower-aggro in the enemy base and just bursting through the Enemies one after one. Everything with on-hit effects is great on Master Yi. Bloodrazor is a great and cheap first item that grants you bonus damage and lots of attack speed. Wit’s End also adds more on-hit damage, attack speed, some not-needed resistances as well as (quite important) Healing when you’re low. Essence Reaver grants you AD, CDR and Crit Chance (that works with your Q) but also grants you mana-recovery on your auto attacks, resulting in essentially infinite sustain. Just go into the enemy base with these three items and try to not fall asleep while right-clicking enemies.

I grinded up these games here and also got 79 from previous games where I tried out other champions but Yi is the most braindead champion, so naturally he’s the way to go for the grind.

Why would you play Master Yi over any other jungle champion?
Well, you can play Master Yi with one hand and one hand only while reading Manga on your phone and you still perform quite well. This is not meant as some form of BM or whatever but Master Yi isn’t the hardest champion. You can dodge spells, CC and even tower shots with your Q while resetting tower-aggro. Your W grants you damage reduction and healing while your E just adds bonus true damage on your auto attacks for free. Your ultimate is just another stat boost and grants you more movement speed and attack speed… the more attacks you get out, the faster you can Q again.

And you’re also a late-game hyper carry who doesn’t get punished early on because it’s literally Beginner Bots that you’re fighting against. Just farm your jungle, some enemy champions, and the enemy jungle and you get your three first items. Then you kill the enemies in their base and reset their gold value by occasionally giving kills to them. That way you also are able to go to your own base in the fastest way possible and buy more items.

And after you get a total of 350 Kills this way, you’ll be awarded Lillia’s Haiku which grants you access to Lillia on the 22nd of July (in 11 days) when Patch 10.15 drops. Games don’t usually tend to take too long if you do it like this. Since there are no enemy champions pushing the lanes, your team is coming to the enemy base quite fast and at some point, they’ll also try to farm kills. Since we’re min-maxing here, we usually end the game after 20 minutes unless we’re able to grind a lot more kills like in this 24-minute game where I got 90 kills in total.

After 10.15, you won’t be able to get Lillia’s Haiku and you’ll have to buy the champion using RP or BE, though she’s going to be picked or banned anyway based on her kit that is rather strong from what it looks like.

TSS#65 – My Shaky Moral High Ground

In the past, I’ve talked about my core beliefs and ideals already. It has lead to the decision to not review Heartbeat, for instance, because I wouldn’t want to review and promote a game that is made by people actively harming others…

But as time went on, I noticed that my thinking may be flawed. It’s causing me a headache again because that’s a moral standard or an opinion rather that I can’t really hold that easily. If I don’t support this Indie Studio because there is one dev that is a terf, that’s one thing… but why do I stop there? 

I still regularly play League of Legends because I love the game and the champions in there… but I know that Riot Games (and Tencent) are full of a lot of issues like sexual harassment, discrimination, toxic masculinity, and a lot of other things. There are a lot of things going wrong at Riot Games and there are more and more stories coming out about the behind the scenes stuff right there. One of the higher-ups saying that “no doesn’t always mean no” (linking one of the many articles I found but if you want to dig into the topic, sure, go ahead and you’ll find plenty more dirt without digging too deep) is not at all in line with what I believe in… and yet, I’m not boycotting Riot Games. I’m not spending any money on League of Legends, TFT, Legends of Runeterra, Valorant, or anything else… but I’m still playing these games and even writing about it here and there… and that’s a contradiction, isn’t it? 

The gaming industry is full of cases like that. There are plenty of shitbags in the Industry and plenty of companies and dev studios and publishers that are full of shit – but I love video games and alas, am still playing games and writing about it… and my moral high ground of not wanting to support the TERF and her girlfriend who worked on Heartbeat or not wanting to support the homophobic Brazilian Muslim that reached out for a video game review but ended up trying to convince me that I’m sinning for being bi and coming out like that… well, that moral high ground is shaky. I can’t stand on it. I can’t just go ahead and ignore review requests from studios that I know are bad… and go ahead and play games by people that are equally full of shit. 

I love the games published by Chucklefish Ltd. – But even they have mud on their shirt with them not paying some devs or whatever (haven’t really dug too much into that). 

And well, there’s also Blizzard, Activision, Ubisoft, Valve, and a lot of other bigger companies that are equally full of shit than the ones I mentioned before. But I still play their games, which is shitty and hypocritical in a way. In the long run, I won’t be able to hold up that moral high ground of mine where I don’t talk about some games but still support other games that I personally like but who are made by equally bad people. 

Uh, lots of (not exactly) Ivory Towers and uh, a High Ground… I guess?

And as previously mentioned, stuff like that gives me headaches. I’m in a conflict with my own beliefs of what’s right and wrong. I get migraines at the worst possible time and I end up questioning whether or not I should maybe write a review of Heartbeat. 

I mean, even TERFs quite often have a reason for being the way they are. If you’ve been traumatized by men in the past, you probably don’t feel that safe around anyone who’s been a male before or who still is a male – especially in “safe spaces”. At the same time, I still disagree with them and I do feel like there are better ways of handling things. Insulting and discriminating against trans-women isn’t at all what I want to defend here… but at the same time, I can’t say that I know their stories. I don’t know whether or not, I can just shit on terfs without ever really knowing what they’ve been through – and I doubt that I can get in that mindset either since I’m just a male myself. 

It’s a tricky subject and while I will not support that dev who tried to “make me hetero” because he personally harmed me, I may consider actually writing a post about Heartbeat… as a game… made by people that cared about the game. People that actually are inclusive. People that spread love and make games for the sake of bringing joy to people of all kinds. People that created something that taught me a lot about self-love and loving others despite our differences. In the core, Heartbeat is a great game that I really recommend. My stance on that one dev doesn’t change necessarily. That one dev isn’t part of the studio anymore. Everyone in the studio distanced themselves from that one dev or left the studio. 

A lot of the things that that one dev did to harm others are unforgivable. The way they handled things shouldn’t be able to get excused purely by trauma. I don’t think violence solves violence – physical or verbal doesn’t matter in that regard. I don’t think it’s fair for me to judge someone from this ivory tower that I’m sitting in. I mean, if someone actively harmed me or my friends or anyone in my community, I wouldn’t want to support them. 

The Gaming Industry might as well be as rotten as the Curse-rotted Greatwood! idk, it’s just a picture, move on.

My ideals don’t change. My ideals are the same as before. Transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Trans rights are human rights. For every bad person, there are ten good people in the world. Love and let love, live and let live. I’m still trying to be my best possible self and I want to grow as a person and I feel like taking a look at these stances that I took in the past and that I’ve been thinking about for the past couple of months already is only natural and actually quite important. You can’t always stick to one opinion unless you’re really stubborn. 

So what I’m trying to say is that I still don’t know if I can hold that moral high ground up. I doubt it. I’m still against people that cause other people harm and I still want to improve and become a better human being. My ideals and principles haven’t changed at all… but I can’t act as if that one small Indie Studio is the worst part of the Gaming Industry when it’s really just one dev there… and I can’t just ignore all the other parts of the Gaming Industry. Instead, I feel like it’s a lot easier to put up a disclaimer of sorts in a review. “The members of the studio distanced themselves from the lead dev (aka the terf) and I personally don’t like what the terf did but a lot of other people put their heart, sweat and blood into this game, so I’m still writing a review on this game. I hope you can understand” or something like that. 

I’m still torn about this. I still don’t know what to do about this. I’d love to hear a lot more opinions on the matter. If you’ve got one about it, please let me know. I’d be more than pleased to know. 

Indietail – Stories: The Path of Destinies

Not too long ago, we’ve taken a look at Omensight, a game made by Spearhead. Omensight combined a beautiful world and a lot of different characters with some cool mystery-solving mechanics and some insanely fun combat! This time around, we’re taking a look at its spiritual predecessor, Stories: The Path of Destinies! Strap on for another Indietail!

Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Release Date: April 12th, 2016
Genres: Adventure, Action, RPG, Indie, Mystery
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Copy was purchased.

What is Stories: The Path of Destinies about?

In a world with anthropomorphic animal characters and floating islands, we’re taking control of the fox Reynardo, who retired from his brave adventures when his mother took her last breath. One day, the Empire is attacking our hometown in search of a book in our possession. We, the sole survivor of the royal assault, are escaping on our airship, we join the Rebellion and try to take on Isengrim III, the vicious toad emperor who is trying to use forgotten magic, ancient artefacts, and the elder gods who once destroyed the world to rise to power! And, well, it’s our duty to stop that from happening!

In its core, Stories is an isometric action-RPG with mystery elements. We have to solve different loose ends of the game’s story to find out how to stop Isengrim’s plan, who to trust and what exactly is going on. Just like Omensightm, Stories is based on replayability. As Reynardo reads the magical book, he finds out that it allows him to travel back to the same day upon death. With newly attained knowledge, we get to chose different options and make other choices to influence the outcome of the story.

But not always do different choices lead to different outcomes. Often, we need to find out information beforehand to actually influence the outcome of a different route, and alas we have a total of 24 different endings to discover, a whole bunch of levelling and fighting to do, and a whole bunch of characters to investigate.

Do we save our old friend Lapino, a goofy and sly rabbit who is currently being held hostage by the Empire, or do we ditch him in order to find the old artefacts that are capable of potentially sealing away the banished evil gods and defeat the emperor? The choice is yours!

A lot of the times, the story branches into different paths, resulting in a bunch of new areas to discover, information on lore as well as new dialogue options!

And not everything is as it seems. Who can we trust? Who is a traitor? Are the leaders of the Rebellion as trustworthy as we think they are? What about our old love, Zenobia, the Emperor’s daughter? Is there a way to reach out to her? And is Lapino really who we think he is? The story allows us to form our own fate and managed to surprise me over and over again with complex characters that actually change their minds or show their true colours when we go the right way.

There are about four choices in each path to make, all featuring two or three options that split the path into different branches. The branches usually end with either the world getting destroyed or you getting captured or killed, which then results in the book bringing you back in time where you can start all over again. There are four branches that reveal four truths, required to reach the final ending and the end of the game. These four truths are linked to Isengrim, Zenobia, Lapino and the ancient evil gods. When travelling back in time, your book leaves you with guidance, telling you how the choices are reflecting themselves in your future… though no future is set in stone yet as you get to play them yourselves and make a different choice at any point.

As far as combat goes, it is best describes as a simpler version of Omensight’s combat. You get to slash enemies with your sword, using a vast variety of swings and attacks, as well as abilities that you unlock through skills, counters and blocks. Using different materials, you get to upgrade your sword, adding bonus effects to it like fire damage or more attack speed. On top of that, you get to customize your character with different gems that grant you resistances or other passive effects. Overall, I felt like the combat is rather solid and a lot of fun to play. Spearhead Games learned a lot from Stories: The Path of Destinies and implemented it into Omensight which turned out to be a bit more difficult but also a lot more fun. So, I was quite satisfied with both games’ combat systems.

And then there is the world and the soundtrack: It’s beautiful… but that’s no surprise as Spearhead Games have proven themselves as a lovely studio that is very talented in world-building and game-making. The narration really adds more to the game, too! You could say that I’m a huge fan of Spearhead Games, especially as I just adore Omensight’s world and soundtrack. So it should be no surprise that I enjoyed Stories, though I’ve got to say that there is a weak point to Stories as well…

And that’s its cast of enemies:

Over time, as you go back and re-visit old areas, you’re presented with the same enemies over and over again. Of course, you find new enemy types over the course of the game and you get to fight stronger versions when you get stronger, but I never truly felt as if the game was challenging me a lot… as time went on, I struggled a bit more, but it usually was rather doable and never truly hard, so that was a bit of a downer. The combat is a lot of fun but I would have loved to see more variety in the cast of enemies that you’re facing.

But other than that, I couldn’t really find any issues with the game. It runs smoothly, the game’s plot, characters and the soundtrack are awesome, the combat is fun (though it could have been more challenging) and the exploration is quite neat as well. I highly recommend this game to any fan of well-made action-RPG games and for players who are interested in solving a mystery that involves the end of the world!

I hope you enjoyed this review! It’s been a while and I thought I’d publish it today, especially as this game is really good on top of being different from the other titles that I’ve reviewed so far.

I hope you’re having a wonderful day over there!

Cheers!

What is Mortal Shell?

Mortal Shell is a deep action-RPG that tests your sanity and resilience in a shattered world. Your adversaries spare no mercy, with survival demanding superior awareness, precision, and instincts. Possess lost warriors, track down hidden sanctums of the devout, and face formidable foes. 

And well,… the Beta/Demo of it arrived not too long ago and it’s still live until the 10th of July! You can grab it over here. It is an Epic Game temporary exlusive BUT the developer, Cold Symmetry, was at a critical stage of the development of the game and needed the financial support that Epic Games provided to them, so it should be understandable. Worst case, you’ll wait for the steam release and wishlist it over here. I have been excited about it ever since I saw the Trailer on April 1st this year… and yeah, I thought it was a joke as well… and luckily, I got a chance to play it!

Mortal Shell plays quite interestingly, in my opinion. The only souls-like I’ve played so far has been Dark Souls 3 and I don’t really have too much experience with the genre, especially as I just arrived at the Cathedral of the Deep… but Mortal Shell feels really different, in my opinion. Not only does it have some interesting mechanics like the Hardening-Mechanic that allows you to resist incoming blows by hardening your body, negating the damage of one hit or the Shell-Mechanic that essentially allows you to possess fallen warriors (aka Shells) and inherit their abilities. I also liked some other points so far but I first wanted to talk about the demo’s contents.

The demo features the tutorial as well as portions of two areas: The Fallgrim Outskirts, which is a rather open area with a few camps, smaller fry enemies and some stronger enemies, and the Abandoned Chamber, which is a bit of a narrow and maybe even claustrophobic area that features the first boss of the game! On top of that, you get to try out two different shells with a few abilities each (well, 10 in total but some are locked in the demo), as well as a few different enemies to fight and die to. Fun!

Shells are essentially fallen warriors who you possess and who each feature unique abilities. Your character is essentially the Foundling who is rather weak and can only harden its body. Hardening prevents the next attack from damaging you, though it leaves you in a frozen state and it goes on cooldown afterwards. I found it quite interesting that you can play around with this mechanic in a lot of ways like hardening in the mid of a devastating swing only to block an attack followed by your own slash! Your first Shell is Harros who feels incredibly sluggish and is more of a chunky knight. Your second one is Tiel who is really nimble and fast but features less health. Tiel feels like the right character for me to play, though I haven’t gotten to unlock him just yet. His abilities are centred around mobility and poison damage/resistances. When your shell dies, you slip out as the Foundling and can either fight on (though as a one-hit target) or slip into the Shell again for just another life. After that one, you get reset to your last checkpoint. 

And that gets us to something that I didn’t like: 

You don’t have those RPG-mechanics like levelling your character. Instead, you get these “characters” to play as aka Shells to possess and you get to customize your build/loadout instead. I ended up playing with Harros for quite a bit before eventually realising that he’s way too clunky and slow for me personally. It’s not based on your dexterity or whatever. It’s based on you being that specific character, right now.

The other thing is that I often felt as if I was too slow or too bad at the game. Dark Souls 3 is rather hard for me personally but it’s doable. Hollow Knight is really difficult, too, but I never feel like it’s too difficult or that it’s too hard for me. I always wanted to continue playing Dark Souls 3 or Hollow Knight (and yeah, I know, HK is not exactly a souls-like) but I never felt as if it was unfair. Mortal Shell doesn’t give me that feeling just yet, mainly since the swings of Harros are super slow and since I feel like the game expects me to learn how to parry… I personally just didn’t like it, as a Newbie to the Genre. And well, this is a Demo after all… I doubt anyone would really play much Harros after unlocking Tiel anyways. Maybe the game needs a bit of balancing in that regard or maybe I’ll just have to “gid gud”. 

But yeah, overall, I liked the game. Hardening and the Shells are interesting. You also can destroy the enemies’ morale by killing one of their allies, resulting in them seemingly cowering in fear and crawling away. I loved that about the game! And you also unlock more information and properties to some of the items the more you used them. Using an instrument a bunch of time improves your skill with it a bunch, resulting in you actually playing actual music! And when you get those parries and empowered attacks off, you also get to kill enemies in a really cool way with slow-motion and all of that goodness, which can be quite satisfying. 

I really feel like a lot of the game is great and I feel like I should like it more… but the sluggish Harros is just not my cup of tea. I’ll give him a shot again tomorrow night… Maybe I’ll have some better luck next time – and worst case: I’ll just wait for the full-release and watch other streamers play it so that I can enjoy it without feeling limited by our character’s Mortal Shell. 

And well, jokes aside (spot the joke): This game feels like more of a “hard-boiled Dark Fantasy Action Game with Souls-mechanics” to me and less like an RPG… which is a bit sad. I like collecting stuff in Dark Souls 3. I just unlocked a cool mage hat and I’m gonna wing it no matter what! And well, I hope stuff like that gets added to Mortal Shell, too. And if it doesn’t, then that’s fine. I just probably won’t play it.