Currently Playing — December 2017 Edition

Here’s what I’ve been playing for the last six months of 2017.

Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
I actually went out to purchase a controller for this game. I’ve been meaning to play the Atelier series since high school but never had an opportunity to get around to it. 85% of the fun is collecting resources and constructing new items. Once you get a hang of the formulas and how traits carry over it can get pretty addictive. Atelier Firis will likely be my next big purchase once I wrap this one up.

Slime Rancher
I purchased Slime Rancher back in February 2016 shortly after it came to Steam and played it for a while. Slime Rancher left early access in August 2017 and so I knew I had to revisit it, I’m glad so much new stuff had been added since.

Honestly I did get a bit emotional after reading Hobson’s last message in the glass desert. Only to get really emotional after reading the ‘Re: Life is different now’ message from Casey… Isn’t it weird how attached you can get to some two-dimensional charters that only exist in messages?

I still have two more treasure vaults to find, a few more 7Zee Rewards to buy, and a bunch of new stuff in Ogden’s Wild Update to check out before I’m willing to call this game completed.

Life is Strange: Before the Storm
I was a huge fan of the first Life is Strange game. When Before the Storm was announced on Steam I went ahead and ordered the complete season. Although I did have some concerns about this game being done by a different studio I think Deck Nine did a great job matching the tempo and feel of the first game. At this point I’ve played through episodes one and two, the third episode was released last week and I will be playing through that very soon along with its bonus episode.

Overwatch
I’ve had Overwatch for about a year now and it’s my current weekend time-waister. I’m really glad to see Mei’s Snowball Defense return to the arcade.

Quake Champions
As much as I want to love this game I just can’t seem to get into it. The crate system also drives me up a wall. Quake Champions is a bit of disappointment considering how much the previous Quake games (2, 3, 4, Enemy Territory, Live) kept me occupied throughout middle, high school, and my early university years. I will likely revisit this one again once it is out of early access.

A Hat In Time
This game is simply adorable, if a bit frustrating at times. Roughly 50% completed but unfortunately I had to put it on hold due to some recent burnout.

NieR:Automata Playthrough and Endings

A long-time IRC friend of mine gifted me NieR:Automata on Steam shortly after its release. I’ve been a bit slow getting around to playing it but I’ve always managed to get a good 3+ hours in on Saturdays. As of right now I have just finished endings A B C K O P T W. I will be finishing endings D and E soon as apparently E is the ‘true’ ending.

Counter Strike: Global Offensive

Counter Strike will always have a special place in my heart. I remember the Counter Strike community being split due to the introduction of Steam back in 2003. Counter Strike 1.6, Condition Zero, and Source however took up most of my free time as a teenager. Back in mid 2012 I purchased Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I’m not the most skilled and I’ve never taken the competitive aspects too seriously, but I enjoyed the game as a casual player as the years have passed.

It was around late 2012 where I met two random people while playing. I vividly remember like it was yesterday and yet looking back it seemed like such a nonsiginicant first incounter. The game mode was Demolition, the map was Sugarcane, and the only reason I had received a friend request was because I had briefly used my mic during the match to instruct one of our teammates that it was clear to defuse. These two players would go on to help fill an empty void I didn’t know I even had.

A few others joined our group as time went on and we met and merged with a separate group of friends whom we had a run in against in one of our competitive matches (they kicked our asses for the record). The seven or so of us would go on to play almost every night for the next two years. Our voice chat of choice started out as just in-game, then Skype, then Teamspeak.

I probably would have stopped playing Global Offensive after 50 hours if it wasn’t for the various friends I’ve made since its release. Solo queuing has always been hit or miss (mostly miss) for me. I have 397 competitive match wins and 998 hours logged into the game.

So what happened? Was there a big fallout that split us up? No, we just kind of… moved on with life and stopped playing I guess is the best way to put it. There never was a planned ‘last game’ at all. It’s as if no one saw it coming. One of us moved onto Battlefield 4 however I was unable to follow due to low performance on my computer at the time, another was playing Overwatch last I heard but that was about a year ago when it first came out. I played with another briefly during Rainbow Six Siege’s early days but that just didn’t last long. Meanwhile I graduated university and have since started my carrier and I absolutely couldn’t imagine playing a video game for 2-3 hours every weekday night.

I started up Counter Strike: Global Offensive for the first time in almost three years recently and it feels completely foreign to me now.

Just Got A Nintendo New 3DS XL

So I broke down and purchased a Nintendo New 3DS XL recently. Along with it I also purchased Pokemon Sun, Animal Crossing New Leaf, and Mario Cart 7. Oh, and Bravely Second: End Layer is on its way via Amazon.

While I haven’t owned a DS since the original back in 2006 I haven’t actually played a new Pokemon game since Pokemon Gold & Silver came out in 2000 (Well I did play Pokemon Go for a grand total of 40 minutes… not a fan.)

Currently about 3 hours into Pokemon Sun and I’ve made my way through Route 1 speaking to every person that I have managed to encounter. I really like the character customization in this game, changes to the battle mechanics (attacks such as growl and leer are effective for once and can have an actual effect on the outcome of the battle), and Exp Share was a welcome addition to my item bag.

What I really don’t like about Pokemon Sun is that the Pokemon Refresh feature feels a bit gimmicky. While I’m sure it was a great excuse to take advantage of the touch screen I feel it may be almost too engrained in the battle mechanics. Then there’s the constant handholding were you have almost no freedom to explore on your own for the first hour of the game. After that your friends and rivals are always just slightly ahead of you which always feels a bit gimmicky when you eventually run into them.

Still, I’m finding Pokemon Sun very enjoyable. I just have to remind myself occasionally not to compare it to something like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

I have Mario Cart 7 purely for nostalgia reasons as this was the game that all of my friends played during lunch way back when I was attending High School. Animal Crossing New Leaf is currently on my backlog although I will admit I did power it up for a short while just to test it out. I plan on wiping the map and starting over soon however.