Crystal Dreams

May 5, 2017

AC: HHD – Getting more houses done!

So despite the lack of getting to play these last few days, I’m still going my best to hopefully get more HHD done at a more… regular schedule. Honestly, it’s just so hard sometimes because I adore the game, but the themes just end up feeling so repetitive down the road and I feel like if I at least got a chance to know what they wanted better (like showing me everything they bring over instead of just what items are new), maybe I could help make them more unique, but it’s just hard sometimes. And while I could just go full-tilt into what I want to give them versus whatever theme they give me, I don’t really want to play the game that way.

But yes, onto the houses!

Hugh – Eat, drink, sleep. Repeat.

Rating Address: 0799-5759-657

Vic – A pirate’s refuge.

Rating Address: 0992-5759-597

Lucha – A pro-wrestling arena.

Rating Address: 0792-5759-677

Fang – A chair showroom.

Rating Address: 0395-5759-637

Alfonso – A starry-sky cake dream.

Rating Address: 0791-5759-687

Pompom – A splashy, modern garden.

Rating Address: 0504-5759-697

Becky – A classical conservatory.

Rating Address: 0209-5759-697

May 1, 2017

Opinion Piece: Meta vs. Casual Play and PVP

This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately between things like competitive Pokemon, Fire Emblem Heroes Stat/IV Calculators, and a lot of debate on things as simple as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

I’ve always been a bit odd in the sense that I am constantly kind of at both sides of a place. I like to feel like I’m achieving something and for the most part, I’m a completionist, but I also prefer to be able to play the way I like as I work towards that and it’s something that I feel is becoming harder and harder to do in most games where that line is suddenly blurring and rather than the far-end reaching can be things for a general sense of achievement, a lot of actual things people may want to try for suddenly get tied to it.

Like Smash Brothers. Starting in Brawl, an achievement-based system was put in place and suddenly, you had all these extra things to do with characters that maybe you weren’t particularly good at. It’s one thing when sure, maybe you had to beat Master Hand with each for their final trophies, but at least you can do them on Easy and maybe work yourself up to hard. And I think that’s one of the big things for me because I’ve always loved the trophies and collecting them, but suddenly it feels like a lot of my enjoyment is forced to learning to get to know these characters for this one achievement that has a trophy locked behind it (and there were never enough hammers).

And it can be fun to work towards things and see how far you can go. There have been plenty of games where I pushed the limits or like Maple Story where I frequently managed to get to places that were much higher level just because I wanted to explore. And there’s a lot more fun in choosing that option over feeling like you don’t have that choice because you want to achieve all of a certain thing.

And that’s part of what’s slowly really killing Pokemon for me. When a large amount of the Post game is just an IV Arena for the “best” Pokemon, it ruins a lot of what Pokemon has always meant for me. And I find it harder to ignore every single game between attaching ribbons to it (and sometimes other things as well) and just general “Your party sucks” or “Why don’t you evolve *insertpokemonhere*?” comments that just tend to keep happening. I’m just expecting more and more of the game to end up slowly expanding that part until the Elite 4 literally requires it if not the gyms as well. Like fine, have some battle arenas just for that, but at least don’t tie exclusive items and things to it. Most of the people doing it don’t even care for those things. And the day I stop using my favorites for Pokemon with better stats is the day I just am no longer truly playing Pokemon.

It’s also one of the issues I run into a lot with Fire Emblem Heroes. I’d rather just use my favorites, but with the Arena (which is the main way to earn feathers), special quests for orbs which requires all four characters to live, and the chapters getting harder and harder (and who knows how many there will be–we’re definitely not near the end of the story though), there will eventually be a point where I won’t be able to somehow pull it off. I can barely do the everyone staying alive quests at this point, if any at all. And defeating in 6 turns while trying to not completely die in 10-5 on Lunatic was terrifying.

“But Jen,” you may say, “You don’t need to do it on every difficulty!” which is true, technically, but considering Orbs are the main way to get characters and I am unfortunately not in a position where I can just buy as many orbs as I want and not have to worry, I’d really like to earn as many as I can. I’m still sad I was never able to do all the full team 10th Sanctum quests last time.

In general though, I think any game that kind of encourages the idea of playing with characters you like and then has big focuses on why you should use specific characters instead is just kind of… frustrating.

Overwatch kind of does okay with this because while there are gold weapons in competitive, everyone can earn them eventually just by playing that mode even if they’re not particularly good. I still don’t really care for the mode due to how toxic people can be, but at least there is an option. There is, however, an extra spray and icon for anyone in the top 500 which I have mixed feelings on. At least it’s mostly just an animated version of the one anyone who did the qualifying matches get, but wow do I really like the one for Season 4.

In general though, all of these things also add up to why I also just am not too fond of any kind of PVP thing. When it comes down to it at this point, I know I’m in the minority and when everyone I know is figuring out the best stats for their characters, the best kart pieces and character for their kart, and the best load-out/skill tree to use, it suddenly becomes a lot less fun. And heck, there are times I’ve still managed to pull out a win despite by all measurements being “weaker”, but I don’t really want to play against anyone who is constantly all about the numbers over what they actually like.

And that’s the thing–when it comes to any kind of multiplayer party-esque game, whether it be a fighting game, Mario Kart, Mario Party, or similar things, I actually really don’t like doing anything against people I know. If I’m playing Mario Party, I only steal coins and stars from the Computer because I’d feel guilty otherwise. And I’m like that in pretty much any multiplayer experience I do–I’m all about co-op, not versus play.

For now, I’m just going to do my best to keep playing games the way I enjoy them most, but it’s hard not to worry that eventually that way won’t actually be able to exist anymore.

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer – The Final Challenge

So, this May brings us the 20th and final Happy Home Challenge. I’m sad to see them end despite not really having much fun with them anymore. This probably means no more updates for HHD in general as well, but hopefully that does mean we can finally hear more about the mobile game soon. While I know others are eager for a Switch version of AC, I personally am okay waiting a bit longer, though, I know I will be playing it constantly. :P

But yes, onto the final Happy Home Designer challenge!

May 2017 – An underwater emergency. – See, and like… this is why I don’t really have fun with them anymore. I guess the submarine is supposed to be getting water flooded into it? And you want to block it with the Giant Resetti? But it’s so weird

Rating Address: 0190-5755-554

I did my best at least, but I kind of wish it was a better theme to end off with. :( Regardless, even though the challenges are over, we’ll be continuing with HHD until every Villager has had a house made. <3

April 29, 2017

AC: HHD – Despite downtime, House making continued!

So, if you don’t follow my Twitter or Facebook page, you might have been confused to see the site down recently! Short version is we needed to upgrade the server and thus, downtime while the site was transferred to a better server. The upgrades have finally been complete so I really hope you guys will be seeing the site having much better up-time and loading now.

Despite the site’s downtime though, I still wanted to play some more HHD and continue the “Houses for Everyone” goal. As always, you can see the videos over on my Youtube Channel–they’ve already been uploaded so you may have watched them already if you’re subscribed to my Youtube channel, but if you’ve been waiting for the written versions to go along with them, well, here we go!

Skye – An art studio.

Rating Address: 0707-5752-520

Jambette – A dressing room.

Rating Address: 0006-5752-510

Iggly – A winter-sports paradise.

Rating Address: 0506-5752-590

Opal – A serene spa.

Rating Address: 0206-5752-580

Tipper – A dairy farm.

Rating Address: 0806-5752-600

Soleil – A summery stronghold.

Rating Address: 0600-5751-587

Due to the amount, I’m going to go ahead and put the rest under a nice Read more tag :P So people can click to continue or just scroll as needed.

» Read the rest of this entry …

April 16, 2017

Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer – Housing Journey Continues

Two of the things I really have been wanting to work towards more is some kind of stream schedule and also play more Happy Home Designer. I’m more than halfway through getting all the houses done and it’s been a goal for me since the beginning. Whenever the next AC comes out, it’s something I genuinely would like to have done.

I don’t see myself streaming or recording myself touching up places, but I may do a final “tour” once I’ve unlocked everything.

That said, both have hit a rut for me which is why I’m hoping working towards both goals together could help. The problem with HHD is a lot of the themes are VERY similar. I can only do so many restaurants. There’s also multiple instances of things just… poorly translated which leads to you working hard on something that wasn’t asked for (I still don’t understand why a Coffee Shop was changed to a place for Tea). Sure, the Villagers don’t really care much, but part of the fun is making something you think they like. If I wanted to go wild with something, I’ll do that with the buildings that aren’t for villagers.

With streaming, I tend to have a very random life and ignoring just not always being able to know how I’m feeling, I’m often needed in my family to suddenly do things without warning. Things that should take 2 minutes can suddenly take 40 and then the stream is essentially ruined. It makes recording otherwise a bit easier because I can just cut things out, but when it comes down to it, I enjoy streaming for long points of time and if I can’t do that, it just feels kind of a waste.

At the moment, my goal is either a couple of hours each stream and/or about 10 houses. I don’t know how it will go just yet, but fingers crossed that it helps get me into a routine as there’s a lot I want to stream in the future too.


Bianca – A snowman’s life.

Rating Address: 0004-5729-612


Yeeees <3 Meanwhile, this then happened and like, this is exactly part of my issues with HHD at this point:

Truffles – A constant quiz show.

Rating Address: 0304-5729-652

Nana – A serene park to lunch in.

Rating Address: 0504-5729-562

Flip – An ancient Bathhouse.

Rating Address: 0109-5729-622

Sydney – An office with a phone.

Rating Address: 0009-5729-632

Kody – A blue training space.

Rating Address: 0209-5729-672

Eugene – A space for self-reflection. (He wanted a talk show to talk about himself. As an FYI. XP Another example of just not a great translation for what they wanted)

Rating Address: 0902-5729-522

Erik – A cozy mountain cottage.

Rating Address: 0202-5729-682

Winnie – A stable for horses.

Rating Address: 0802-5729-602

Knox – A battle enthusiast’s abode.

Rating Address: 0305-5729-642

April 12, 2017

Nintendo Direct Thoughts!

So, today was the latest Nintendo Direct :D No matter what, Nintendo Directs never fail to get me excited to see what’s coming soon. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check it out below!:

Assuming you have seen it already though, I’ll be doing my usual thing and talking about what interested me the most among various other tidbits. Thus, I won’t talk about everything, but I hope you enjoy my thoughts regardless!

Nintendo started up with Pikmin which is always a weird case for me. I adore Pikmin and the characters, but I don’t enjoy the actual games at all. I had been excited to try the first one, but ended up getting too stressed out by the end of it and… more than a little upset when I saw all my Pikmin get eaten. It came out when I was 12 so maybe it wasn’t too much of an overreaction, but it’s something that permanently ruined the series for me. Despite those issues, as mentioned, I really love the Pikmin and so I was really excited to see this Amiibo that will be launching on the game July 28th:

Ever Oasis was brought up next and I am still so excited for that game. It genuinely looks really fun. The game looks so pretty too and I just love the art style so much.

It’s just really beautiful. But most importantly, this plushie needs to be available to buy because I love it and need it:

Monster Hunter Stories is probably the first Monster Hunter game that I’ve had any kind of real interest for.

Depending on how essential the battling is and how the Egg hatching works, I might actually pick it up. I may even be able to deal with the battling as long as everything else looks great. I just don’t want a situation of “there’s this one rarer species but all the eggs look the same so have fun hatching 500 bazillion of the same egg to try and get the rare one!!” because that just… isn’t fun. At the very least, I’m probably going to keep an eye out for new information regarding it.

Around this time, Lady Layton starting playing on the Japanese Nintendo Direct AND I WANT IT SO BADLY.

There was no news for it here in the US just yet, but I really hope we’ll hear something soon… It comes out 2 days after my birthday in Japan T~T <3 Going back to the US Nintendo Direct, MIITOPIA! I'M SO HAPPY IT'S COMING OVER! I can't wait to play it.
At the moment, we just know it’s coming this year, but that’s more than enough for me.

Next up was Kirby and standing out to me the most from the selection was the Team Kirby Clash Deluxe. It’s already available to get now, but I’m not sure if I will try it just yet.

I kind of wish the colors weren’t locked into what skill Kirby has though. I am intrigued by the new multiplayer action game for the holidays as well, but until we have more information, I don’t have much else to say about it. Except that I want the Crystal Shards cast back :(

Bye Bye Boxboy! Was the next game, but I was very surprised about one thing–they didn’t mention the Amiibo that came out in February. I was really hoping it’d come over so I was surprised with all the information for it, that they didn’t actually mention the Amiibo.

I guess I’ll have to look into importing :(

While the Qbby Amiibo went unmentioned, we did hear about a large amount of other new Amiibo coming soon besides the Pikmin Amiibo. For one, three new Legend of Zelda Amiibo featuring Link from Majora’s Mask, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword respectively.

I’m hoping they may do a reprint of the original Zelda Amiibo as well with these as Breath of the Wild has made them hard to find. And I am continuing to kick myself for not getting a Sheik Amiibo :(

The new Smash Amiibo were also finally announced. Everyone knew they were coming–they promised afterall, but everyone was wondering when and apparently the answer was this July.

We’ll probably get both Cloud, female Corrin, and maybe a Bayonetta Amiibo. I’m personally leaning towards the one in the front.

New Splatoon Amiibo were announced as well to go with Splatoon 2:

We’ll get all three, but I’ll talk about them more when we get to Splatoon 2 :)

After the Amiibo showcase, next up was ARMS. ARMS is such a weird case for me because it kind of looks fun and I enjoyed playing it when I got to try it out at the Switch Preview Event, but I feel like its a game I would just end up not having much fun with after. I’m not a huge fighting game person and it’s really the story and background things that get me interested or it’s more of a party fighter. The team fighting thing sounds neat, but I’m still not sure if it’s enough to get me into it. That said, the fighter designs are all really cool and Minmin looks great:

I adore her design and while she doesn’t beat out Ribbon Girl for me, it makes me excited to hopefully see more fighters in the game.

Just briefly on Sonic Forces: I want to get into this game, but it’s still not pulling me in yet. Crossing my fingers for Chao Gardens and a lot of extra stuff because I still don’t have as much fun with 2D Sonic and have mixed feelings with on rail segments, though, the day stages in Unleashed WERE pretty fun and it looks like that is where the inspiration came from so fingers crossed.

One other brief interlude is Monopoly for the Switch. One of my all-time favorite versions of Monopoly was an old PC version where when you landed on a space, it would show you this gorgeous animated Picture-esque version of it. Seeing how animated it looks in the Switch version is kind of making me hope for that.

I don’t know if I’d get it, but I feel intrigued regardless.

Speaking of brief interludes, Rayman Legends Definitive Edition :P This is a game we got to try out during the Wii U launch, but due to it being pushed back for whatever reasons, we ended up not getting it as there were higher priorities at the time. Maybe we can finally get this version this year. As long as something else doesn’t come up.

Finally, we’re onto Splatoon 2! I’ll be honest, I’m a LITTLE suspicious of Grizzco Industries, but at the same time, I’m just SO excited for some kind of PVE Feature. Salmon Run looks so much fun and despite the ugly outfits, I’m just really looking forward to playing it.

I kind of hope you might actually get to switch outfits to some extent. I also hope you can play together locally. Like 2 people can go online together with a Split Screen. I’d love that for the normal modes too. I’m just not a huge PVP person and I would have a lot more fun if my husband and I could actually play the main game together this time without needing a second system.

Regardless, there’s a lot I’m looking forward to along with the whole revive thing with the lifesaver. After showing off this move, we were shown the new Amiibo (as I mentioned above) and how they work. One of the things I really like is you’ll be able to save outfits and hang out with the Amiibo. Since the old ones will be compatible as well, I wonder if you can hang out with them too?

That said, I do have some concerns as it looks like stats are still tied to clothing (I hope we can change EVERYTHING this time and there’s a better re-rolling/skill switch system) and there’s only four hairstyles:

I’m really hoping we’ll be able to unlock more. I’ll probably use the original style or the 4th style. On the bright side, I’m very happy about skirts!

At the very least, despite my worries, this has definitely made me excited for Splatoon 2 and I am looking forward to it when it comes out a few days after my birthday!

April 1, 2017

Happy Home Designer – April Challenge and Disney Magical World 2 – Spring begins!

Well, it’s the first of the month and that means it’s time for a new challenge in Happy Home Designer! The Video version is over here.

Theme: An energy boost. The fact that the preview is the Sun doesn’t bode well on how much I’ll have to work with here. And the other item is the giant egg. So I went with like… a super sporty kind of place? I have no idea. Sort of gym-ish? With crazy buffets?

Rating Address: 0900-5701-211

I’m really curious how the translations compare to the Japanese challenges considering how much some of the normal Villager ones vary.

But yes, moving onto Disney Magical World 2, today started the Easter/Spring Event stuff. Items will now start showing up in Scrooge’s Shop and the Fortune Teller’s Place will have all the recipes available for sale. You’ll also get Spring Medals for inviting over visitors from online. If you’re still playing Disney Magical World 1, the event also starts today, though, items are a bit more annoying to find and mmost are through favors. That said, there are some items gotten through favors in Disney Magical World 2 as well–two each from Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy respectively. Unfortunately, it’s random and you could even get the same multiple times so fingers crossed… While I already uploaded a video showing everything, here are some pictures who prefer the blog part of the site more:

I always love seeing all the decorations laid out. I think my favorites for the Spring/Easter decorations are the Bunny Ears on the mailboxes of the various houses and the pink Magic Castle Gate. The Basket Centerpieces would be a close second though. I also really like the ones on the trees:

After buying out Scrooge’s, I headed to the Fortune Teller to buy all the new recipes and then hopped off to the Cafe to make them:

They definitely focus much more on spring. I would say the more expensive dessert is my favorite of the six.

Finally, I threw a small party–I’m still missing several things so I couldn’t do a FULL party, but Minnie and Daisy still stopped by:

I really wish the Holiday events had their own songs, but at least this song is one of my favorites.

March 30, 2017

In which I talk about Club Penguin Island (and a bit on Browser/Mobile games in general)

So, if you’re new here, you may be wondering why I’d be talking about something like Club Penguin Island. The short answer is I played Club Penguin, so why wouldn’t I try the new version of the game? The long version is that, no matter how many years have passed, I’ve always had a soft-spot for Multiplayer Online games. What separates Browser games like these and MMORPGs, which tend to be what jumps into mind first if you mention an MMO, is that Browser MMOs tend to be more relaxing. There are definitely some that are very similar to the MMORPGs, but most of the time, the key things you do in Browser MMOs are Explore, Collect, and/or Dress-up and those are the three things that I tend to enjoy most in games.

Even though I didn’t play Club Penguin much anymore, I did at least try and poke in for events and other things. I had a lot of items I really loved and an Igloo I enjoyed and while there were also many items I missed that I would have liked, I still enjoyed checking out the new parties and new items so I was upset to see they were closing the original to make way for a new mobile-based game. In general, while I don’t necessarily mind mobile games, I kind of hate touch screens and find them uncomfortable to play along with many being common games with super pay to win aspects and/or forced waiting/stamina bars.

The biggest difference between the Mobile game and the original Club Penguin is a huge graphic upgrade and full voice acting. And I’ll be honest, I could care less about either of those. As Club Penguin Island stands right now, it’s kind of disappointing for one specific reason only: There’s not much to do. I mean, my Penguin is pretty cute, but I’ve still essentially run out of things to do:

When there is stuff to do, ignoring the awful controls, it’s actually pretty fun. Unfortunately, Adventures and some of the Daily Missions are exclusive to Members and while there is a free trial for a week, it gives very little for non-members to do. And the trial would seem more rewarding if you literally didn’t get stuck waiting until the next day to do things again.

I really adore the Adventure feature, but despite doing all my daily missions, I did not get my “Pirate Status” up enough for Rockhopper’s next mission and Aunt Arctic’s next mission will not be available until tomorrow. This is an example of what I mean by forced waiting. It wouldn’t be so bad if there were other things to do, but the adventures are currently the funnest part of the game.

More or less, the things you can do in the game are:
1. Explore one of 3 Maps (the Boardwalk, Cove, and Cave–you can also dive underwater which can bring you to a few tiny areas, but not much you can do in those places)
2. Collect coins and various items to trade in for coins.
3. Adventure
4. Buy and/or Make Clothes (Creating clothes is exclusive to members though)

The only Clothes you can buy right now are Disney Collaborative stuff. Otherwise, you can spend your coins on “Party Supplies” which are cheap holdable items that you can interact with/use. You can also interact with certain things in the environment, but in general, the game feels much more geared to social aspects and if you’re not chatting/hanging out with people, the only thing to really do otherwise after finishing your Adventures and Dailies is to earn coins.

And Coins just… don’t have enough use right now. I mean, I guess saving up is good, but most stuff respawns and there isn’t really a huge rush. Maybe if you’re not a Member as the things that give the most coins are locked out (Adventures and Fishing–only limited to 10 a day as a Member as it is), but I don’t even know if you’ll be spending as much without using the Clothes making feature. I will admit that feature is pretty cool. You get several options and multiple ways to add colors. My only real issue with it is some areas seem to be very limited on how many decals you can add. For example, I wanted to add a kind of belt design to the bottom of a top I had to make and it would not let me add more than one decal to it which made it impossible to do.

Similarly, I don’t really care for the daily missions that require you to wear a certain outfit to finish as it’s often caused me to have to make an outfit I’ll never wear again.

Regardless, it’s like… it could be fun? But there’s just so little to do and the forced time limit on the Adventures makes that stand out even more. I had fun swimming around in the Cave once and exploring all the different areas and finding the throne room, but I’m not going to bother much. And the amount of coins you get for trading items in is so small compared to what you get from Adventures and Missions it just doesn’t feel worth it. I spent a long time collecting everything in each map–Flowers, Coconuts, Seashells, Pearls, Crystals, Crystal Clusters, and more and only got 40-50 each time upon trading everything in. It just didn’t feel worth it to do and after constantly running into multiple technical issues (Free Trial glitch where it didn’t activate and yet said I had it already, constant crashes, some disconnects, etc. I played the opening segment so many times due to things just not working), I stopped playing for the day after maybe only 30 minutes to an hour of actual play time. Which was after 2 hours of issues.

In general, just being able to play or do other things.. Like I hoped maybe I could place the items I found somewhere or like, with the fish I caught, maybe I could hold a fish bowl with them or eventually get them in a igloo-like feature or something, but instead they are automatically turned into coins.

And some of the fish are really nice.

I get that it just came out, but when you just close a game that was opened for years for something that has less areas than the original started, it stands out as an issue. And graphics and voice acting pretty it up, but that doesn’t fix the fact that it’s just… not that fun right now. I’d easily take the old flat graphics and lack of voice acting (heck, I usually played Club Penguin with the sound off) just to have more things to do right now.

There’s no minigames and there’s not much to explore and there’s nothing really to buy. I’ll keep checking in and trying to play and do the Adventures, but I don’t know if I’ll keep up with it once my membership ends.

I will say though that the Controls are my least favorite part though. You’re essentially supposed to play it with two hands–your left thumb being used in a box to move your Penguin around and your right thumb for all interactions and jumping. I had so many issues getting my Penguin to move properly and this made some of the platforming super frustrating and nervewracking to do. This kind of movement should be on a computer or with a controller–not a touch screen.

Poptropica is also going to the route of switching to a new game system due to it being such a big upgrade, but the difference there is that they are keeping the original version up and also letting the new version be available and connected through both mobile and the web which is… great. I probably would be less frustrated with Club Penguin Island if I could play it on the computer like I will be able to with Poptropica Worlds. I’m still apprehensive on that too and also sad a lot of stuff will, once again, not carry over, but I’m looking forward to seeing what new things will be there.

If there is one thing though that has stood out for me from all this though, it’s more on what Animal Crossing Mobile could be too. I’ve mentioned before that I’m fairly worried/apprehensive about it despite my excitement, but this kind of made me think of what I’d like to do. Being able to explore around a town and interact with the World and Collect and not so much building a town so much as taking the simpler parts of Animal Crossing and making it into a fun collectible dress-up game where you can do quests and explore. I don’t want a full Animal Crossing game in mobile format, but considering how Fire Emblem Heroes is a simplified form, I can kind of see Animal Crossing being done in a similar way to do this. I just hope they will still have a good amount of things to do so waiting doesn’t feel as forced. Part of why you can wait a day or hours in Animal Crossing is you can do things with your fish and plant things and flowers, visit friends, work on making your town something, but when all you have to do is “earn money” with nothing really in sight to spend on, it just feels boring and empty.

I really hope Nintendo will bring up Animal Crossing mobile soon. It keeps getting pushed back. I’d like to think we’ll see it before E3, but if not, maybe it’ll come out with an announcement of a future Animal Crossing game.

March 24, 2017

Ramblings about Breath of the Wild

So after 180+ hours, my husband and I finally bothered to beat Ganon and finish the main story of Breath of the Wild. I have been wanting to talk about my various likes and dislikes for a while, but I wanted to at least wait until this point. We still have plans to keep playing (need to get all those Koroks and also working on a World Boss-related thing), but at the very least, most of our goals are done.

This WILL contain spoilers so if you do not want spoilers, you may not want to read this just yet. This also will not be a proper review–if you’re looking for that, reviews will be up on my husband’s website.

That said, this is going to be a bit different than most of my other ramblings as I’m going to be talking from a standpoint of watching more than playing and thus, will focus more on the characters and story and music and things versus controls and gameplay. Zelda is a game I grew up always watching and so each one is like its own movie for me and thus, it’s something that I’ve always gotten more out of watching than playing (though, I still play sometimes). I will say, just to give an idea on what to expect, Ocarina of Time is my favorite Zelda followed by Skyward Sword. I also don’t think it’s possible to really rank Breath of the Wild due to just how different it is, but let’s get to it.

» Read the rest of this entry …

March 10, 2017

In which we talk about Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns

For the most part, I’m not going to bring up things regarding translations or the different companies or anything. I will just say that I’m sad that when we finally got region-locked multiplayer and a bigger character limit, that it seems that has gone away and we’re back to being limited to just 6 again and same region multiplayer and it eems unlikely that will ever end up changing. Also that we could only start with the default hairstyle and can’t even remove our hat until the first house upgrade a month in.

Going into the game itself, I will say its a huge improvement over the first Story of Seasons/the last Harvest Moon/Bokujō Monogatari which… honestly, isn’t saying much. It’s very rare I end up just not wanting to play something anymore and I don’t think I even made it through the first year, or even to going out with anyone.

Unfortunately, while the game does not have as much of a hoard everything need, it still has a fairly slow start and does a heavy push towards forced waiting. Personally, I’ve always liked this series as a more relaxing kind of game and I feel like its slowly tried to just… not really be that anymore. In Harvest Moon 64, my save file, which I still played for years and years, has 20+ years on it. The gameplay doesn’t change. There’s no new thing, but I just enjoy it and talking to everyone.

When Animals started having lifespans again in all the main series, it caused me to not really play as much anymore and also feel rushed. I didn’t want new animals to replace them and so I would only play for about 3-4 years to make sure I didn’t lose any of them. With that kind of forced time limit I have set for myself, it makes a lot of the forced waiting even more frustrating than normal and it can be really disappointing.

I had been hoping to write this after I had gotten the house I wanted and married in the game, but well, here’s those force waitings I’m stuck with. One of the requirements to even see the last heart event had me to actually know every single Villager and while I mostly knew a lot of people, I wasn’t sure if I actually knew everyone. On top of that, to get to S rank I needed to have 5 hearts with every single villager. While I do try to befriend some villagers, it is rare I befriend everyone. In general, you don’t try to be best friends with every single person in your town/on your block/in your apartment, you know? It’s a weird thing and yet, it’s something the game expects you to do. And because of this, I also knew I’d probably have to be friends with everyone else in the game as well. So, here I am going around and giving gifts to every single person to get my friendship up.

Ignoring just how tiring this is, the most frustrating part was something I ended up finding out: You can only activate one cutscene a day (Starting cutscenes at least seem to be exempt from this at least–like ones taking you to a Town Link Event or telling you about a contest or etc.). This has made getting the Heart Events quite frustrating. I’ve had to start riding my horse places in hopes I wouldn’t activate anything. I did finally get to see the Pink Heart Event though which means I’m now just hoping for the Reverse Proposal. I wish we could see the AP that we had so I’d know if I’m close or not :/ Though, honestly, I wish it was possible to trigger it without extra things needing to be done. I do find the requirements in this game much more laidback though.

However, I have one issue with the proposals and that’s the different items. The Blue Feather is only for Lulukoko Residents and I just find it… really disheartening to see it not be the same for every town and having to use different items.

Going into other mechanics, one of the things I’ve found really frustrating is having to focus a lot on crops this game. I generally will maybe grow one or two things while focusing on animals, but due to all the various Town Lin Requirements, that just isn’t as feasible. In fact, right now I have to harvest 50 Flowers and 50 Tree Crops for Lulukoko to get them to A Rank. I am in Fall and can’t even harvest any until Summer. I am beyond frustrated about it. And that’s really what I mean by forced waiting. While I enjoy the plots and stories, I don’t really enjoy feeling punished for wanting to go a more Dairy Farm route or not being in the right season at the right time. Or seeing it choosing to count some things I’ve done, but not others. Or feeling like I’ve finished with something and then have to do it all over again.

As mentioned, I really enjoy focusing on animals and, with the latest games, decorating my farm and both have been extremely hard to do with this game due to several reasons:
1. The way the farm layouts work in this game. Everything is graphed out and, to be blunt, it really kills a lot of the creativity. There are many neat items in this game, but it’s near impossible to work with. I could maybe throw something together, but it’d never be anything I’d be particularly proud of which makes it really disappointing.
2. Each Large barn only holds 4. Small barns only hold 1. This is the same for Coops. And it sucks. I like to have one of each animal in each color it’s available in and thus, I have 3 Large Barns and 1 Small Barn along with 1 Large Coop. I have no idea why Bunnies go in barns instead of coops, but it’s very annoying and slow and I hate having my barns all over the place. I want to say these are also the smallest “large” barns thus far and as we get more types of animals, it seems disheartening that they are being made smaller.
3. Lack of time. Between the barns being split and just how slow feeding is in this game (You can stock up to 7 per feeder, but because you need to interact with the storage and pick what you want to pull out and then go to each feeder as well and it’s just… a lot of selecting and I don’t know why it feels so slow in this game), I usually finish with my farm chores by the afternoon. Trying to get into each of the towns as well for shopping and gifts before they close is a nightmare and it’s just… not fun. If there was one thing I wish this series could take from Stardew Valley, it’d be the Autofeeders. Those were a blessing.

I really felt A New Beginning was the height of the handheld games and just a few tweaks (and just getting rid of the town placement system, honestly) would’ve made future games perfect and it just feels like they completely discarded a lot of the customization it brought. Literally the only thing I disliked about the customization system for ANB was the stupid point system which made it so even though I had space, it wouldn’t let me place more things and many of the points to items made zero sense.

I miss being able to customize my interiors entirely myself. I’m glad this game does give the options of different interiors and exteriors, but it still kind of sucks when there isn’t a particularly one I like or I like one room in one and a different room in others.

There’s also lots of pets in this game, but you can only have 4 Pet houses per farm area and as previously mentioned, everything feels so slow that I haven’t really had the heart to try and have the 12 pets I wanted and have just stuck to my one:

I just… guess I wish the game was more simple? I preferred it when it just felt a lot more relaxing and sure there was the whole “make a great farm before *insertthinghere* or solving silly puzzles or whatever, but it just was still more enjoyable to me. I miss when upgrading your house and building things was limited to just stone and lumber. I miss the photo album of Harvest Moon 64. I miss not having to worry about my animals passing away.

There’s still fun things with this game–I think a lot of the festivals are fun, the heart events are great, and even fixing the town up is pretty neat.

But at the same time, it almost feels like too much. Too many people/villages, too many things needed to be done (town rank locks suck and they would be so much better if they were just limited to the villager request jobs versus the ship/harvest stuff… And your dad in this game is a jerkface and his tasks also suck, though, only the third set has been really frustrating to me), and I just wish it was more laidback in a way I guess. It’s just not a fun feeling when you see the end of a tunnel and then find out that you have to go back to the start to get something to continue along your way.

I wish I was still having fun with it. I’m playing to finish, but it’s just not very fun anymore.

Regardless, I’m still taking lots of screenshots and will have at least one or two more videos:

I think I’ll at least get married, but I may stop before I finished all the goals I had hoped to do (getting the house exterior and interior I wanted plus a child),

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