Diablo 3 on Switch

A few months after I made my previous post talking about how Diablo 3 has aged well, Blizzard went ahead and announced Diablo 3 for the Nintendo Switch.
This is a welcome addition to Switch. After playing around with it for a while, I almost want to say it's the best form of Diablo 3. The inventory system is a bit better than the PC version too, in that instead of having to tetris inventory to make room for things, each item simply takes up one slot. And you can easily see what you have of each armor type, instead of everything just in a big wall.
So, it's nice to have Diablo 3 on Switch. It's nice that many developers are bringing over some of their older games to Switch too, especially games from the WiiU that may not have gotten the attention they deserved.
So yeah, Switch is absolutely rocking it with the game library. Can't wait to see what is in story for it in 2019.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 - Game View

Three years ago, I wrote about how much I enjoyed Xenoblade Chronicles X.
I still have not played the original XBC, although I have the 3DS version, which I intend to play one day.
But here, we have Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which I guess is meant to be more of a sequel to the original game.

Leading up to XBC2 coming out, I tried to go back to XBCX, since I knew I still had some story left to get through. The game has so many functions and systems, that I found it really intimidating trying to get back into. I gave up, and instead directed my attention to the release of XBC2.

So what did I think?

Yes. It's good. It reminds me why I loved XBCX so much. Huge world to explore, and fun goofy story, and able to play at my own pace.
I found myself losing hours to just exploring the open areas, gathering items, and planning for buying certain items, or building up the Development Level of different areas, and tracking down side quests.
I also got the expansion pass. It has been so cool when each new expansion pack gets released, and then opening up the game, and seeing what new items are given, or what new quests there are to handle.
It serves as a nice diversion to the main story.

The main story is fun. It just feels really long at some points. Which is why the side quests are delightful.

I'm still working my way through the game. I'm at Chapter 4. The game is broken up into 10 chapters. But I've already spent 51 hours playing, and I still enjoy it.
So, I suppose the game still has that intimidating factor to it, where it's going to take up a LOT of time to play through.
But again, I still enjoy it. I've been taking a break to play other games lately, such as Yakuza 6, but I keep thinking of my time with XBC2 and excited to get back to it.

Nintendo 3DS

I gotta say, that I’m very impressed with the Nintendo 3DS. Even without buying any of the launch games, I’ve found a lot of entertainment built right into the device.

First off, I wasn’t really impressed with any of the launch games, so that played a factor in not getting any of the games. I already have plenty of regular DS games to play on the new system. I’ve played enough super monkey ball. Street fighter isn’t my cup of tea and I have the iPhone version anyway. I’m not a cat person and already have Nintendogs. Etc etc. I’m disappointed there wasn’t a mega win launch game, but I’m fine with waiting for Mario or Zelda.

Most people (myself included) would first want to know how are the 3D cameras? Or how well does the system actually show 3D?

The cameras are fine for a game system. You won’t be taking any mind blowing pictures with the low-res cameras. And if there’s bad lighting in the room it’s really grainy. But under normal use, the quality is fine, and cool for showing people 3D pictures. seems to be cool for sharing the actual 3d files, because it process the files and splits it into the red/blue glasses type thing. But it’s not as cool as actually seeing the pictures without glasses. Haha

One thing that has occupied a lot of my time is the “AR games” which the system comes with cards and you point the camera at them and 3D models pop out of them. So there’s games like target practice and fishing. And another game doesn’t require the cards, instead it takes a picture of your face and then it pops out and there’s a game where you’re rotating the device to point the camera at the floating heads and shoot them. It’s trippy. Haha

3D video of Ok Go’s White Knuckles is available to watch on the device. Which is a sign of things to come, as more people film in 3D, and movies can be released in 3D, etc.

Which brings me to, how well does the 3D actually work?

Surprisingly very well. You can adjust the depth of the 3D with a slider, but the 3D is subtle enough to where the changes aren’t too huge. The 3D is subtle, but is still full of impact. I took a picture of the table, and holy cow, you really can tell that it has that realistic depth.

Sometimes, I admit, you have to readjust the device to make sure you’re looking at the screen at the right angle, or else you don’t see both the 3D right (things would then get blurry, or you’d see what The wrong eye sees) But I haven’t really found it to be a problem.

I’ve read a lot of “oh noes the 3D will give you a headache” and I did not notice that to be accurate. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the exact same kind of experience as if you saw Avatar in 3D at the theater. Except without the glasses.

The technology is pretty clever, and there’s a lot I hope Nintendo does with this device. Better than with the DSi which I don’t believe Nintendo really did anything significant with, since before it had been out that long, the news of the 3ds leaked out. Oops. Heh.

Being able to add people to a friend list and not have to worry about individual game codes is good. You can see when someone is connected to the Internet, and which games everyone is playing.

Another cool thing I’ve found is the activity log. Keeps track of how long you play a game, how many times you’ve played, and average play time.

The 3DS can also count how many “steps” you take when the system is in sleep mode and you walk around with it (sleep mode is also good for trading quick-data with people. Good for trading games or racing games for ghost data. Lots of possibilities) Every 100 steps you get a playcoin. Which can be used to unlock extra things in different games, or in the “AR games” app. Clever. And I really hope Nintendo expands the unlock options with firmware updates.

So it’s kinda cool to see how long you played games, how many steps youve taken, and all that misc data that activity log tracks.

Disappointed that the Internet browser isn’t available yet, but doubt I’d actually use it anyway, since the iPhone browser is better. Duh. Also: the Nintendo “eShop” isn’t there yet. Kinda disappointing. Looking forward to it. And a future system update (month or two) will allow 3D video recording. That just blows my mind. I sure hope that Nintendo partners with YouTube to allow uploading to there, since YouTube has 3D conversion options.

3DS also came with a little “dock” that you can place the device in to charge, and allows for quick pick up without having to worry about cord plugged in (still can plug directly in though) Kinda neat, but nothing earth shattering.

So overall, I’m impressed with the 3DS. It’s a nice system with a ton of awesome games coming out throughout the year for it. A lot of potential for bonus updates that Nintendo can release for it. New unlockables for the Augmented Reality games and whatever else.

And same as the DSi, you can use an sd card to put music onto the device and manipulate it in a variety of ways. Fun.

So if you were on the fence about getting a 3DS, you really ought to get one. Packs a lot of power, while plays regular DS games without any issue. I really look forward to enjoying this thing for the foreseeable future.

Pokemon X - Game View... so far

Alright, so… some people *cough cough, Gianna, cough* may have already completed the game, but I have not yet made it to the 2nd gym yet. (I know, I know. I’m slow. I blame too many gaaames. And work. Gotta work to get money for gaaaames… and life :P )

But I already have a pretty good impression of the game.

It takes Pokemon to a new direction, while still maintaining the formula which has remained successful to this date.
The more free-form camera is a welcome change, and the world looks gorgeous, fun, and interesting. However, it is a major disappointment that they only use the 3DS’ 3D option for limited things (such as battles, namely). A huge missed opportunity, and kind of jarring going back-and-forth between 3D and just “2D 3D models”. But supposedly it has to do with performance issues, which I find to be a poor excuse. I’m sure you could have taken more time to fine tune things better without losing any quality, and still giving the 3D effect consistently in the game. (But what do I know, I’m not a developer.)

Having over 700 pokemon in the game, it can be overwhelming. So it’s pretty ingenious that they’ve now split the pokedex into different sections, based on where in the game you are. Central, coastal, and likely another one I haven’t reached yet. It gives you the opportunity to better see different pokemon, in the ever-growing list of ‘mon, and better motivation to see and catch-'em-all.

Internet connectivity and interaction is better than ever. Being able to trade and battle from anywhere without needing to meet at a pokemon center is FREAKING AWESOME. Also “O-powers” let you send powerup gifts to people to have a passing interaction with them and a sense of meaning to the online stuff.

I find it odd that only Pikachu has the “cartoon voice”, while all other pokemon use the old bit-rez screeches. Either pick one or the other, but not just use one for one and none for the other. Very weak choice.

So… despite some very confusing choices made in parts of the game, this is definitely the definitive pokemon game for me so far. I’ve been avoiding spoilers, so we’ll see what’s to come. But I’m pretty happy with this game so far!

Xenoblade Chronicles X - Game View

This game is huge.
It's probably the largest single-player game I've ever seen. And it's on the WiiU.

This game is sort of like an MMORPG without the other people.
There's sorta an online aspect to it, where you'll basically be joining an online division, where your actions contribute toward a server-wide goal, where you can earn extra rewards. But you're not interacting directly with other people. You may run into a representation of another person's character in the world, where you can recruit them to fight with you. But again, it's more of an automatic thing, rather than an actual person playing with you.

That being said, Xenoblade seems to keep getting larger the more I play it.
You start out on one "continent", and as you explore and unlock more of the map, soon you start reaching out onto 5 different continents.

I've played for way more hours than I can keep track of, and I've only reached 3 of the 5 continents. And I only just now unlocked the big mech that lets me explore further and higher than I was able to before. So this game is dense.
So much to do.

It can end up feeling a lot like normal MMO games where you "go here and collect this, kill that".
But the characters, and story, and graphics, and everything is so finely tuned, that it doesn't get old.
And the story is fantastic, and there's been some pretty major twists that I am now so invested in, and want to see through to the end.

I wasn't expecting to enjoy this game as much as I ended up enjoying it. But I really am glad that I gave it a chance.