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  1. I actually agree with you here and was just talking about this the other day with a friend of mine. I used to be huge into all fantasy sports, however every season but football is an absolute marathon and just ends up being a drag by the end and I stopped paying attention. Football is easy since you have to pay attention on Tuesday nights for waivers, and then just make sure your guys aren't hurt before games and then you can just enjoy. When DFS and sports betting came on the gambit, I also dabbled in that but I found it really sucked the joy out of watching sports for me. It became less about rooting for my team to win and more about covering the point spread or being pissed that my WR was injured and cost me a game. It was less about the competition and the athletes and more about the random numbers. I was frustrated if my team won, but not by enough...or I'd find myself hoping my team won but a guy on the team had a bad game so it wouldn't affect the outcome of my bet. I've also learned that whatever you think is going to happen, never happens and you just end up pissed off...I've decided to no longer bet on any game so that I can spend my time enjoying the contest instead of checking my phone for line updates and I don't care if my fantasy team has a rough week if my team wins. I've really enjoyed the first couple of weeks of the football season and I can't see me going back to betting at all. I don't watch sports as much as I used to since I'm the only one in my household that enjoys them. They bore my kids to tears and my wife couldn't care less lol I do get Sundays during the football season and generally can exile myself to the basement during the playoffs, but I haven't watched a full regular season baseball game in like six or seven years. It was tough for me at first since baseball was my first love and I used to watch 140+ games a year, but the game isn't the same anymore. I truly feel like an old man talking about 'back in my day' here...but I don't think anyone can look at baseball now and say it is the same game as 20 years ago. I used to love the drama of a game, but now I find it boring. It's the same formula...walk, k, walk, k, home run. I think it's moot what they're trying to do to 'fix' baseball by speeding up the game. I don't think it's the pace necessarily that turns people away, it's the product on the field. Everyone is an asset now and you've got to protect the asset. Complete games are a unicorn...players are actively encouraged not to run out ground balls so they don't pull muscles. What's wild is that players are more skilled now than ever in history, yet what they're being asked to do is just boring. I get that a good at bat can be a 9 pitch walk...but who wants to sit there for 5 minutes to see that? I feel like I'm getting a bit salty here, so I'll stop. It's a funny too because I've felt this existential crisis in sports/coverage seep a bit into my gaming habits. I had a system, that made me happy for many, many years and I've kind of lost sight of that a bit. I used to buy a game and play it to completion and then find a new game. Trophies made it fun and I still think it can be fun for me. The thing that has sapped my fun a bit lately is my Cal Ripken-like trophy streak. I've earned at least one trophy, every day, for 675 days. I've earned trophies on days I had major surgery, family vacations, late work days and most disappointingly...days I didn't really feel like playing. Trying to keep this streak alive has had me break a lot of the habits that I used to enjoy about gaming. I would start a new game before I was ready or wanted to, just so I could earn a trophy in it. I would stop playing a game I was enjoying in order to save the trophy that was about to pop for the next day. My gaming has become about the streak and not about the games and I've started to not have as much fun with it. I've decided that I want to try and keep my streak going until 11/15 when it will be exactly two years and then stop. I will then go back and finish all of these unfinished games on my list and I won't care if I don't get a trophy for weeks (looking at you SMB and Injustice)....but I want to get back to the things that made me happy gaming. I feel that relief watching sports and I want to get that back again with my gaming. Sorry for the hijack, but what you wrote about synced up quite a bit with some things I've been thinking about lately. Well done with Sonic! I totally agree with your assessment of it. I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would too!
  2. I feel a little dirty doing it, but I finished Jurassic World Evolution 2 the other day which is currently sitting at 5.23% rare. It was UR up until the beginning of last month when it pushed over and it needs about 140 new players without another platinum before it'll dip back down below. I know it qualifies still since it was UR when I put it on the list...but still feels dirty lol I've made ok progress in Shiren The Wanderer, but that seems like an outside chance at being completed before the end of the year. I've made slight progress in Injustice, and haven't touched the other ones yet. I need to get to Shiness sooner rather than later so that one will get done for sure. Still need to download Griftlands....I've been easily distracted this year and need to refocus here a bit. I've been super impressed with how successful many of you have been so far this year though and kudos to you guys! 1) Rayman Legends (Vita) (4.62%) 100% completed 2) Team Sonic Racing (4.26%) 100% completed 3) Jurassic World Evolution 2 (5.23% (3.52% at event start)) 100% completed 4) Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition (0.15%) 77% completed 5) Shiren The Wanderer (0.80%) 50% completed 6) Shiness The Lightning Kingdom (1.81%) 7% completed 7) DriveClub VR (2.41%) 65% completed 8) Super Meat Boy (0.25%) 79% completed 9) Griftlands (0.99%) 0% completed 10) Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (4.20%/0.47%) 100% completed
  3. Finished two more games that will add two more votes to my Platypus buddy! Stray and Jurassic World Evolution 2 are in the books!
  4. Got my first two DLC packs done in Jurassic World Evolution 2. Both were pretty quick and easy. The longest part of the DLC's was completing the new campaign mission in DLC pack 2, but that only took a couple hours. DLC pack 1 only took like 10 minutes to do. I'm currently working on the DLC's for Genshin Impact and Bioshock.
  5. I have three games to add for my first update. I completed Lara Croft GO while on vacation as my first entry into the contest. It's a puzzle game that is rendered exceptionally easy due to the addition of a 'hint' button. The hint button doesn't just give you a hint for your next move, but gives you the solution to the whole puzzle. I did most of the game without it, but did end up using it for a few levels that were pretty convoluted to get the solution. The second game is Jurassic World Evolution 2. They improved upon the first entry in almost every way with only a few small exceptions. This game was very fun and is worth playing if you like park building sims. The last game for this entry was last months flavor-of-the-month in Stray. i probably didn't like it as much as most people, but it was still a pretty fun game. Only one month left to finish up and with the Sumeru update in Genshin Impact, it's not likely I'll get to 10 games finished, but I'll give it a try! 0 - Jurassic World Evolution 2 1 - Stray 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - Lara Croft GO 7 - 8 - 9 -
  6. Platinum #177 Jurassic World Evolution 2 Jurassic World Evolution was not a game that I had on my radar a few years ago. I was scrolling through a sale and my son, who was a dinosaur nut, saw the logo and was like 'Daddy, can you buy that came to play with me?' I thought it would be a good opportunity to bond together a bit over a game he might enjoy so I did. My son loves building things. He's big into LEGO's and we have magnetiles and blocks all over the place, and I thought he'd have fun helping build a park with me. For the most part, we did have a great time. Most of the game was over his head (and over mine for that matter at first) but we enjoyed building paddocks together and he loved to tell me which dinosaurs should go together. We probably played together for six hours or so and the other hundred hours I did it myself. While it wasn't on my radar, I had a ton of fun with the game and really enjoyed my time with it. It was hard and addicting and a cool I don't have a lot of those 'Sim' style games on my profile, so it was somewhat unique for me. I had no idea that there was a second game being made and again, it was not on my radar, but when I saw it as a new release, I pounced on it because my son is a bit older now and I thought we could have fun again together. My son was super excited when I told him that I had bought this game for us to play and I loaded it up. I started the campaign and we beat the first level together. I let him tell me where I should put stuff and it was a lot of fun. It wasn't hard, but my son got bored pretty quickly. He has the patience of a gnat and just wanted to be able to build a huge park with all the cool dinosaurs, so I switched over to the 'Sandbox' mode. I took all of the difficulty settings off and just let him go to town making a park...however since we had just started the game, not much was unlocked yet to be used. He wanted an Indominous Rex and an Indo Raptor and all of the big name dinosaurs right away. The problem for us was that, it's not unlocked in the Sandbox mode until you unlock it in one of the game modes. We got about two hours of the game done before he lost interest because he didn't want to help with the campaigns. The game went on the backburner for a bit because I was hoping he'd want to play it again, but he's really into Minecraft and Don't Starve on his iPad and also Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on my Raspberry Pi. Because of this, the game sat untouched for several months. I wasn't sure at first if I had liked the changes that they had made to the game either, so I wasn't in a huge rush to get back to it. So now that I've given you the backstory into how it found its way into my active game about I talk about the game? So for those of you that don't know, it's a park simulator game. There are four different gaming modes, the campaign, chaos mode, challenge mode and sandbox mode. The campaign is the games attempt at creating a story. They are all quite easy and are pretty good tutorials on how the game will work going forward. Chaos mode thrusts you into a scenario (loosely based around the events that happen in the different movies) and gives you a series of challenges that you must complete in order to complete the level. Challenge mode is to simply create a five star park. There are five areas (in the base game for the platinum) that have varying wrenches thrown at you to make it a challenge. The higher the difficulty, the bigger the wrenches. The final mode is the sandbox mode which is exactly that, a sandbox for you to play around and fiddle with the game pretty much any way you want. It's fun to mess around in there and was helpful for unlocking a few of the trophies in a controlled environment. The game is very thorough on its demands of what you need to do in order to build a profitable park. You need to build 'Operations' buildings to make sure you have the staff to run a park. That includes a Response Team that has Ranger Jeeps and a Helicopter crew to maintain order with the animals. A Paleo-medical facility to make sure you can cure any diseased dinosaurs or heal their injuries. A staff center, which affects how many scientists you can hire for research, expeditions, hatching, etc. A dig team for finding fossils and extracting the DNA, and a science center for research. In addition to operations, you need to build hatcheries to create the dinosaurs and paddocks for them to roam around in when free. You have different types of Power outputs, whether it is a generator or power plant. There are guest attractions to build that bring in the guests and amenities to build to keep them happy and help make profit while they are there. There's a lot to learn, however a lot of this was carried over from the first installment so playing the first one helped a lot with understanding this one...however they added so much more to pay attention to, yet also made some things so much easier as well. I'll start with the things they added that are annoying. The biggest change to this installment is the addition of scientists. In the first one, you just did stuff and the scientists were implied as being a part of the process. In this game, you have to actually hire them...and they are not cheap. It might cost you $450k to hire one, and then they have an hourly wage that cuts into your profits continuously. If you hire too many scientists, you could go bankrupt if you aren't bringing in enough money...but you can't do anything without them. There are three categories of stats that they could have, Logistics, Genetics and Welfare. The cap for each is as high as 10 points (unless they have a bonus), however usually a scientist's cap is somewhere between 5-7 points in any category. In addition to having points in these different areas, they each have one specialty about them. They might speed up research time or decrease the cost of an expedition or be altruistic and have a cheaper salary. You can level them up (via research) that will give you more points to put into a category, but that costs money and also raises their hourly wage. Generally, you need logistics for all research and digs, genetics for some research, DNA extraction and egg synthesis and Welfare for some research healing dinosaurs and hatching eggs. Everything has a monetary cost and everything has a minimum number of points you need in order to research. For example, researching a small power plant costs $500k and you need at least 5 points in logistics to research. You can have up to three scientists involved in any one research (unless you pay for an upgrade that you also must first research). If you have a scientist with 5 points in logistics, it takes only that one to research the item. If you don't, you might need to use a scientist with 4 in logistics and another with 2. Any amount of points you have higher than the requirement will speed up the time it takes to complete. That's a basic explanation on it, but the higher/better the research item, the bigger the cost and requirements. If your scientists do not have enough points in the required area, you cannot research it until you either level up your scientists enough to where you can (which also requires its own research and money) or you fire your scientists and hire others that do. There's an extra wrinkle with these scientists as well. Every time you have them do a task, they get a bar of fatigue. Most of the scientist have like 7 bars of fatigue, meaning you can use them 7 times before they need to rest. You can't use them if their fatigue bar is maxed and they can't rest unless you have a staff center. If you forget to research a staff center and your scientists are fatigued, you better hope you have enough money to fire one and hire another new scientist or else you need to restart. Letting them rest costs $125k and also takes like 3 minutes of time (researched upgrades can lower both of those figures). While I can appreciate what they were trying to do here, managing the scientists is just a major pain in the ass. Why it costs so much money for them not to do anything is beyond me. There is no logical explanation that can be provided to me why it costs $125k to let them take a break. The scientists is a big change, and to me, mostly negative. Almost all of the other changes though are an improvement. The biggest of these improvements is how they handled herbivore food. In the first game, you had to build feeders that needed to be refilled, which cost money and didn't make a ton of sense. In this game, herbivores eat what is in their environment. You plant fruits, leaf, nuts or fiber and so long as you have enough of their food growing in their paddock, you never have to worry about feeding them. This is a major improvement. It's really easy to do as well. You can click on a dinosaur and it'll tell you it's comfort level and what it needs to be more comfortable. Does it need more water? Put a man-made lake into the paddock. Do they prefer to live in the forest? Put a bunch of trees in there until they are happy. Is it missing fiber, add plants high in fiber for them to eat. I like this change a lot and was a huge quality of life improvement. Another big improvement was the addition of the 'Ranger Station'. You can build one of these in a paddock and if you click on it, it will show you how much area it covers. You can then assign a Jeep, Helicopter and Medical Truck to it and the assigned vehicles will monitor the dinosaurs within its range on their own. If a dinosaur is sick, the Medical Truck will automatically go out to diagnose. When dinosaurs need status checks, the Jeep automatically embarks and if that Jeep is under attack, the helicopter will automatically go out and tranquilize the offending dinosaur. It helped a ton take the focus of the game away from micromanaging the vehicles and into growing your park. This was another awesome quality of life change to the game. The biggest game breaking change was the addition of a pause button. Part of what made the first one so hard, is that the game kept moving...always moving. If a storm came and dinosaurs escaped, you'd spend 10 minutes tracking things down and putting them back and it was so hard to keep up with at times. In this game, if a storm comes, you can hit pause and time will stop. You can then open all the shelters, close all of your amenities (you lose a TON of money if you keep them open during a storm), and once you are ready, hit pause again to get time moving. In addition to pausing, you can also speed up the time by up to 3 times, which was also nice. I would generally pause the moment there was a storm, then get my park prepared, then have the storm move through at 3 times speed and pause again if there was any damage so I could get my ranger teams out to fix, then move time again and once the storm was over, pause the game and reopen all of the things I closed. It takes all of the stress out of these moments. I'd also pause a lot when I had learned new research or when I was checking the different 'birds eye' view of things. There's a menu where you can view your park and see where people are overcrowded or missing restrooms or shelter or amenities and it was extremely helpful in figuring out what needed to be build and where. The addition of this pause button made this game sooooooo much easier than the first and a much more relaxing experience. The only real downside I found to this game was how formulaic it tended to be and how expensive it made things, which in turn meant you didn't use a lot of the things. Basically, to maximize profits, you build a paddock and a hotel next to it with a viewing gallery. Then you build a restroom, a shelter and one of each of the amenities (food, drink, shopping). Add dinosaurs to the paddock to improve the appeal and get people there, then make a new paddock and rinse repeat. As you get further from the entrance of the park, add a monorail to improve transportation, if there's a crowded area, widen the path. There's not a ton of incentive to spice it up more than that. I never needed to research anything passed the basic fence. I never had to research any power options past a small power plant. It just wasn't necessary at all. The other problem is how outrageously expensive things are. It costs like $2M to research T Rex, and then it's like $2M more to send out a dig team, which you need to do several times before you get the genome to 100% (you can synthesize at 50% but the fail rate is high). Then you need to spend $1M to synthesize the egg and then like $2M per egg to fertilize. It costs like $15M to get a T Rex in your park. When doing the challenges on Jurassic difficulty, no way in hell are you going to make enough money to make that worthwhile. You pretty much use the same handful of dinosaurs every map. I didn't make one hybrid, T Rex or Spinosaurus in any of the challenge maps. I only made a Lagoon or Aviary for the novelty of it since the cost of setting one up was so expensive, most of the time your resources were better spent on other things. The only time I got to see them in this game was in the sandbox or during the campaign. It was kind of a bummer that they had over 100 different dinosaur species and you get stuck only able to afford about 20 of them in any one scenario. I didn't even make a Stegosaurus or Triceratops. I got to use the 'lesser' versions of those dinosaurs, but if you want to get a 5 star park, you really can't spend much time trying to get the cool dinosaurs. By the time you have enough money for one, your dinosaurs will die from old age....literally. The trophy list isn't too bad. The 100% database was the hardest trophy to get since it isn't clear how all of the diseases/injuries get unlocked and you have to actively try to get a couple. The hardest one I had to get was for 'ingrown claw'. In order to get this injury, you have to get a dinosaur that has a broken claw and not heal it. They get a broken claw by fighting or attacking a fence. Sometimes it will turn into an ingrown claw. Well I spent three hours trying to get this one before I realized I was sabotaging myself by having my medical truck assigned to the ranger posts because they were healing the broken claw. Then I must've gotten a broken claw ten times before one turned into an ingrown claw. I ended up forcing the issue by making a very small paddock with the strongest fence and loading it with Coelophysis (small carnivore). They were too small to break the wall and they were uncomfortable enough to keep trying. I had like 30 of them in this small zone and after about 15 minutes, I finally had a broken claw turn into an ingrown claw. All the rest of the diseases and injuries happened naturally for me. The trophies for beating the challenges on Jurassic Difficulty were also quite easy due to that pause button. I beat each map in six hours or less and the par time on Jurassic Difficulty was over ten hours for each. Once you get a hang of what is needed to get a five star park, it is super easy to do. I didn't mention some of the nuance involved with amenities and how there are different types of guests that come to your park and how attractions can lure different types. I didn't mention it since while it is a thing, it's not something I really paid much attention to other than making sure my amenities made happy the type of guest that was visiting it (you do that by offering different food/drink/shopping item targeted towards certain guests). If you have attractions that make 'adventure guests' happy, but only 'luxury guests' are visiting that amenity, well you'll probably lose money. Selling the right good or having the right attractions present means big money. I liked this game very much. While I found the scientists to be a pain in the ass, especially in the beginning, once you get the formula down for making a profitable park, even the scientists became pretty easy to manage. If you like park builder games, I would recommend this one since it brings something a little different to the table. It's not a perfect game, but once I got back into it, I had a hard time stopping each night. I kept on wanting to just finish this one last thing before bed, not wanting to lose my train of thought. It was addicting and fun and if you can get it for $20, you will have many hours of enjoyment. I finished another game today in Stray, but I'll write about that one another day.
  7. Almost forgot to add my three games before the event started... 1. Alien: Isolation 2. Bioshock 3. Dead Space Out of curiosity...I'm close to finishing Jurassic World Evolution 2, which is a park builder's not 'scary', even if the dinosaurs can eat the guests, but there are 6 movies that say it is horror. I'm fine either way, but figured I'd ask before I beat it.
  8. Sign me up! Don't have a ton of outstanding DLC to do, but I'll work on what I got!
  9. Platinum #176 Lara Croft GO This was a spur of the moment choice that I decided to play a couple of weeks ago. My wife and I had been planning and saving to take our kids to Disney World for almost a year. My kids are 8 and 5 and we felt like this was a good age for the 'magical' trip. They are at an age where things like that are just special. We will probably go one more time when they're like 15 and 12 or something and it's more about the rides...but this trip they were into the characters and the princesses and pretty much everything they have to offer. We were going for ten days and I have a current trophy streak of 644 days. I have no hopes or delusions of ever making headway on the leaderboard, but this is an achievement that I can try to keep myself that is a nice little challenge to keep me interested. Anyways, on the trip, I was going to bring my Vita (since my kids are small and would be in bed by 10:00 most nights) to be able to play for an hour or so at night before bed to try and keep the streak going. I was originally looking for an isometric style, TBS game, however I didn't find anything that wasn't going to require a large time investment. I'm already playing Shiren The Wanderer, however none of those trophies are quick. When I was scanning through the list of Vita games, I paused on this entry since I have already done Hitman GO and enjoyed that game for what it was. If this was anything like it, I knew I'd be able to keep my streak alive while playing a game I might enjoy. Turns out I was right on both fronts. I was wondering why the completion rate is as high as it is, since it didn't seem like the usual 'EZPZ' game that litters the front of PSNP on a daily basis. I found out pretty quickly why. In Hitman GO, there was a 'hint' option...but if I remember right, it only gave you a hint on your next move (maybe it didn't since there's a trophy for not using a hint so I never tried really). This game has no such trophy and the 'hint' option doesn't give you a hint so much as it just gives you the solution. Not only does it give you the solution, it doesn't let you walk off of the path of the solution. Outside of the collectibles, you never really have to pay attention to the game at all to get through it. It was nice to know that was in my back pocket if I wanted it...I mean I was in Florida to go to Disney, not play games, so having the option to speed things along if needed was nice to have. Having said that, I did try to do each puzzle on my own. Some of them were very straightforward and not too bad to do, but some of them were very convoluted and I resorted to hints. The game has a chapter select option to be able to easily go back and do the collectibles. Most of the collectibles were pretty easy to spot, but some of the later ones in particular were very well hidden. I tried to find each of the collectibles as I went so that I wouldn't have to do much back tracking. The boards are isometric in view and you move one block at a time. There are spiders, lizards and snakes that try to eat you as you go as well as trap boulders and darts from walls. Lara has to try to either avoid these traps or move so that the enemies are in-between her and the trap when they go off. There are movable columns and pitfalls to avoid and there's a decently good variety to the puzzle solutions. Nothing groundbreaking here, just a decent puzzle game with an easy button. There are only a handful of mechanics and the game does act very similar to the Hitman version. The only real downside to the game was that the loading times were pretty long. Not XCOM 2 long, but long enough. At the end of the day though, it served its purpose and did provide a little bit of fun in the process so I can't really ask for much more considering what I was looking for. It's not a game anyone needs to run out and buy...but if you find yourself in a similar position to me, it's a good choice to casually play something on vacation.
  10. I finished four more games, yet somehow did not get any more BINGO's. The good news is that I'm virtually guaranteed BINGO's going forward. Happy to say I'm on pace to fill out my card For this update, for spot B2, I completed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 which was recommended by the person I completed MW3 with. After we beat MW3, he suggested we do MW2 together and since I enjoyed MW3, I jumped right in. I have also bought COD: World at War to play pretty soon since I've discovered I kind of like these games (when it's not MP heavy). In my I2 spot, I finished up Genshin Impact. I've put over 480 hours into this game and have really, really enjoyed my time with it. It will be one of the few games that I play beyond the platinum and in this case probably well beyond the platinum. In my I4 position slides in Doki Doki Literature Club Plus. The experience is much better the less you know going in. Just know that it is a game 'That Gives you the Feels'. The final entry of this update landed in N5 with Lara Croft GO. It's a very easy puzzle game that I decided to play because my family and I went on vacation for 10 days and I didn't have any access to my PS3/4/5. I have a pretty good trophy streak going and I wanted something I could play for a little while before bed and keep my streak alive. The game is fun as a puzzle game, however there's a cheat button included with the game that takes away any possible challenge. I did a lot of the puzzles on my own, but there were some where I didn't have the patience to work through and just used the hint. It's a good game to fill up some time.
  11. Thanks, it took me a few weeks to actually think about what I might want to say. There is soooo much going on and while I did go quite a bit into the technical side of the game, I hope I explained it well enough that it wasn't that confusing I remember reading that post at the time and since I hadn't really heard of the game yet, I didn't really think much of it. But once it became a larger topic of conversation in my discord chat, I kind of just dove into it without looking at all. I've been doing that a lot lately lol I know what you're saying with regards to the game 'dictating when I play', however it's not quite that bad in Genshin. I've played MMO's before where the game is literally playing while you are not there and you feel this compulsion to log in and take part of things all the time. There was a time when I was playing FFXI where I was setting my alarm at 4am to get up every 30 minutes for the window pop time of HNM's (High Notorious Monsters) and I would do this every day. These were monsters that dropped the best gear in the game and only appeared once per 21-24 hours and every four days and higher, there was a chance an HQ version of the monster would appear and drop some of the best and rarest gear. The drop rates were trash, but the fights were so rare, you felt you had to be there every night just for that chance. I would give up shifts at work to make it to events and I used to either skip family gatherings or plan them around longer events that were taking place so I could go. I made a lot of great friends while I was playing, but I was neglecting my life around me. Genshin isn't like that at all really. It's a single player game with online components. When you log off, the game isn't continuing without you. When you log back in, you start exactly where you left off. The events are all pretty lame to be honest and only serve as a means to earn some Primogems to make wishes. I log in to do the dailies since it's a quick twenty minutes to earn 60 Primo's, but I don't really feel like I've 'missed something' if I don't log in. Most days I do log in though since it's wasteful not to use your resin and it's easy Primo's, but it's a very different feel from other MMO's I've played in the past where the game is constantly on your mind. You can comfortably log off of this game and not have that same feeling. I'm sure that is a big reason, but I still feel they'd be more successful letting people binge. Idle hands are the Devil's workshop and if you run out of things to do, people don't just stop playing games and they might find something else they like better. Nothing's changing so it's not like it matters lol I can only speak for myself, but I know I would play this game more if they lifted the limits. Not at all! You know your limits and what's best for your gaming habits and psyche. You are smart enough to know what you should I avoid, just like I am now after my experience with FFXI. I think it's unfortunate that you have to avoid a game that would bring you so much potential joy, but I understand You smug bitch.... I have a Lara Croft GO review that I need to write up in the next few days. I just got back the other day from a 10 day trip that we took our kids to Disney World and that was the Vita game I played to keep my trophy streak alive (643 days in a row!). I'll also give my thoughts on Disney World during that review.
  12. Yeah, I get pretty excited when I find something that I'd like to immortalize on my wall. Z4DW has a ton of great trophy names! I'll have to file that away in the back of my head just in case.... Platinum #175 Genshin Impact I'm quite delayed on this review and I've played this game for over 475 hours so there is a lot that I could say. This is going to be a weird review because I obviously really have enjoyed this game and there is a ton to like....but this review will probably have a lot of the things that I despise highlighted. I'll start by saying that I don't watch anime and that I never really heard the lingo since it's not a hobby/genre that I've ever paid attention to. Words like 'waifu' were lost on me. This is not a game that I probably would have picked up on my own if left to my own devices...however, I'm in a Discord chat with a few friends from on PSNP and they were talking about Genshin. It had seemed like most people were at least familiar with the game except for me. I was in the midst of living out one of my worst nightmares I had as a young adult...sitting around at a bar/dinner party/camp fire (pick your setting), with a group of people who all knew about some cultural phenomenon, and me on the outside looking in. It's the whole reason I read the Harry Potter series originally... It was about a month before the last book in the series was set to be released. I was working as a server/bartender at a restaurant and a bunch of the staff (all in our early to mid twenties at the time) were sitting around eating before we opened, talking about how excited they were that the book was only a month away. They were talking about getting the book at midnight and doing a sleep over reading or something. I had always thought it was a 'kids' series so never gave it the time of day. I was sitting there listening and proclaimed, 'You guys are all nerds....I can't believe you all are talking about 'reading parties' for Harry Potter....' They all looked at me like I was the crazy one. All of a sudden, I had that feeling that I was in fact the crazy one. How could all of these people love it and it be that bad? How could I confidently say what it was without giving it a chance? Nervous I'd be the only one not knowing what was going on, I stopped by Barnes and Noble on the way home and bought the first book. I surprisingly liked it. I decided to get the next book and before I knew it, I had read the entire series in time to be able to get the last book right when it came out! I got the book and had it read in just a couple days....I learned two things there....firstly, don't assume what something is or isn't without giving it a try because I might just miss out on something I'd like....and two, I had successfully avoided being the only person who didn't know what happened at Hogwarts. Anyways, I started getting that similar feeling here with Genshin. There is a ton of technical jargon that goes into playing this game and reading it on the Discord chat was making my head swim. In all fairness, my head continued to swim for several weeks after I started. I decided to take the plunge with some of the other members of the chat group and I had several first impressions. A) I thought the colors in the game were absolutely splendid and the level of detail in the world was top notch. I was super impressed at how well made this F2P game was looking. 2) I was going to hate Paimon with all of my soul throughout the game and was very concerned that the story was going to annoy me and D) I really wished the default running speed would move faster...period. The thousand foot view of the story is that you and your sibling get separated in this Abyss area (whether it's the brother or sister depends on the gender you choose. I chose the brother). You come to on this beautiful beach with this annoying Pixie named Paimon, who doesn't have an inside voice, and only refers to herself in the third person. She gets to be your travel companion throughout the entire game. If it wasn't for Paimon, I may have actually paid attention to the story in this game, but I have never spammed X so fast in my entire life. The cutscenes are absolutely brilliant and I cannot stress enough how beautiful the world looks, however I find most of the dialogue to be absolutely brutal to sit through. This game has a very steep learning curve. As a 'Free to Play' game, it has a lot of weird dynamics that slow down your ability to progress. Some of the items renew over time and it takes a while to learn how to properly manage it. Having said that, the game does a great job of scaling the learning curve. When you start the game, you feel extremely powerful and that is because your 'World Level' starts at 1 so you are fighting all of the enemies at their weakest. As you progress through the game, your 'World Level' will go up as well as the strength of the enemies. It gives you a lot of time to learn the basics. In the world of Genshin, the majority of people are just normal people, however there are some that gain the ability of a 'Vision' that allows them to use a certain elemental type and makes them unique in their world. What makes The Traveler (main character) unique, is the ability to change the element type they are attuned to. All other characters have an element and that is their element forever. I wish I could tell you more about Visions and how people attain them, but as I said, I've spammed through most of the story so I really don't know. Aside from the amazing graphics and world, what sets this game apart from some other open world games I've played is how fluid and fun the combat can be. Your party can consist of up to four members at a time, however only one is on the field at a time. What is great is how seamlessly you can swap between them. You assign each of the four party members to a direction on the D-Pad and when you want to switch to someone else, just push that direction. Some of the characters work best as a DPS, while others as a support or healer. What is really cool is how your 'off field' party members can contribute to the current active character. Every character has a regular attack, a charged attack, an Elemental Skill and an Elemental Burst. There are bow users, sword users, great sword users, polearm users and catalyst users (these are people that use magic books or hand to hand). The fun is in creating a party that complements one another. Some people have weapons that will increase the attack percentage of the next character you switch to on the field. Some will increase in element type's strength. Most of the synergy comes in creating parties that create reactions for additional damage. For example, having one character that uses the fire element burn the enemy and then switching to a water element type character to use a skill/burst will create the Evaporate reaction and causes extra damage. Sometimes having multiple of the same element types can be beneficial where having multiple of the same type will strengthen the element. Most parties consist of a DPS, sub DPS, Support and Healer. Some characters are just so strong though that it doesn't matter too much how they are in the party, they will just destroy. Ganyu and Zhongli are two such characters that I have that are a bit of an easy button. I'm going to spend several paragraphs now talking about the things that I find super frustrating in this game. I've talked about the amazing graphics, world and combat but how you get your characters is one of the most annoying things about this game. Characters have a star rating and can be either four or five stars. I'm not sure exactly what qualifies some to be five star over four star since there are some four star characters that are better than five star characters, but it basically comes down to the rarity. Most of the characters you get in this game you get from the 'wish' system. This is where it gets a bit complex as well. There are 'standard' characters and 'event' characters. There are always three different 'banners' (sometimes four) that are run at the same time. One will be the event banner that has a unique five star character and three four star characters where the likelihood of getting one is boosted. There is an event weapon banner that usually features the best weapon for the 5 star character on the current event banner. The standard banner is always there and none of the featured event five star characters can be drawn from that banner. There are two different types of wishes you can earn that allow you to make a wish on either of the event banners or the standard banner. You make wishes on a banner by using a 'fate'. An 'Intertwined Fate' can be used on the event banners and the 'Acquaint Faint' can be used on the standard banner. You can achieve wishes in several different ways, however the main way is by converting 160 'Primogems' into a wish. Primogems are a kind of currency the game uses to 'buy' items. It can't be used in the actual game to buy items from a shop, that kind of currency is called Mora, but can be used in the game's menu shop to purchase wishes. The game allows real money to be used to buy 'Genesis Crystals' in the game which can be converted into Primogems (at a 1:1 ratio) and/or other things like character outfits. It is an absolute ripoff of epic proportions. $99.99 will buy you 6,480 Genesis Crystals (with a 'bonus' of 1,600), which if used solely on Primogems can get you 50 wishes. Just to illustrate how bad this ratio is, this game uses a 'pity' system to guarantee that you will get a five star wish eventually and don't have a string of bad luck where you never get one. You are guaranteed to get a five star character (or weapon) every 90 wishes. You are guaranteed to get a four star character (or weapon) every ten wishes. All of the other wishes are 3 star weapons. You can get a four or five star before those Pity check points, but if you pull 89 wishes and get no five star, you are guaranteed one on your next pull. So, for $100 you can get just over halfway to a guaranteed five star pull. That is absolutely bananas. What makes it even more bananas is that you are not even guaranteed to get the event five star character once you finally pull one. You have a 50/50 chance to pull one of the five star characters from the Standard Banner instead of the Event character. However, if you pull a standard five star character the first time, you are guaranteed the event five star the second time. That means to guarantee you get the event banner five star character you may have to make 180 wishes. If you do that with real money, it could cost you almost $400 to do me that is absolutely criminal. I won't lie, I did it one time and regretted it immediately. I had originally started the game in September last year and took a bit of a break from it to finish up some events and some other games, but came back to it in late December. I had gotten a $100 Visa gift card for Christmas and ended up buying the $99.99 Genesis Crystal package. I got more than 50 wishes since I think the bonus was double the amount instead of the 1,600. I think I got 100 wishes, which guaranteed me at least one five star. I'm going to pause here for a moment to say that I have been extremely lucky with my pulls. I have thirteen five star characters and with three of them, I have pulled multiples of the same character five other times. I also have three five star weapons. So all in all, I have pulled 21 five star characters/weapons. I have played this game virtually every day since the end of December, have 21 five star pulls and consider myself lucky. I've had six of those five star pulls with a pity of 25 or less while the most amount of wishes I've had to pull before a five star was 82. Despite my 'good luck', the system is still extremely predatory and broken. You may have seen me mention that I have pulled multiple of the same characters and you may have asked yourself, what happens when you get the same character? Well, one of the stat fields for each character is their 'Constellation'. Everyone has a zodiac sign with six stars that make up the constellation. Each time you get a pull that results in a character you already have, you get a constellation star. Each star you unlock will strengthen your character by adding damage/healing/energy recharge/etc or enhancing a skill or burst. It is usually a really good bump to the usefulness of the character and is a good thing to get. What happens if you get all six constellation stars for a character? Well, it would be really cool if they removed that character from your wish pool since you can no longer upgrade your character via constellations, however that is not what the wish system does. Instead, you get something called 'Starglitter'. Each time you get a four star or greater character or weapon, you get a little 'Stardust' and 'Starglitter'. 'Starglitter' is more valuable than 'Stardust' however both are another form of non-ingame currency that you can use to get more wishes or other farmable items. This is where the wish system is even more criminal. For five 'Starglitter' you can buy one wish. If you end up getting six constellations for your character (C6) and you pull an 8th wish of that character, all you get back is some Starglitter. For a four star character you get five Starglitter. For a five star character you get 25 Starglitter. As I mentioned above, you are guaranteed a four star character/weapon every 10th a reward for getting an 8th duplicate or more, you get one wish back or 1/10th the value of a unique four star. You get a five star every 90 pulls and you get only five wishes back on an 8th duplicate or more or 1/18th the value of a five star. THAT IS RIDICULOUS!!!! Could you imagine if you spent money on wishes only to get a duplicate and maybe five wishes back if it's a five star? I wouldn't care as much if they didn't charge you but that is absolutely insane. There is no reason why they can't remove characters whose constellations have been maxed out from the pool. I have had this happen to me with Yanfei. I have gotten probably 11 pulls of Yanfei and every time I see her now I get pissed off. The frustrating part about this is it could be easy to fix, more fair and much more likely more people might spend some money to get extra wishes. I'm sure there are plenty of whales that spend thousands of dollars on these wishes to max out their characters....but they should lower the five star pity number to 50 and remove duplicates from your pool once they've reached C6. These two small changes would make this system seem much less predatory. It's too bad that I really like this product because I really want to not play this game since I think this business model sucks. That is the most egregious issue I have with the game, but there are a couple of other items that I find super frustrating. As I mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs, the game has a time block mechanic which stops you from being able to farm some items in the game. Genshin uses a 'Resin' system to limit how much you can do certain activities that usually result in materials needed to either gain Mora (money), experience books, artifacts or weapon/talent leveling items. There is a cap of 160 resin and it regenerates at one resin every eight minutes. The minimum amount of resin needed to do any kind of instanced farming event is 20 and can go as high as 60. Basic Mora/XP farming happens at something called 'Ley Lines' that are strewn about the map. Orange ones yield Mora and blue ones yield XP books. You get very small amounts of XP and Mora from normal fighting, but it's not nearly enough to do anything with so you'll need to farm at these Ley Lines eventually. To level up your character talents (Basic Attack, Elemental Skill and/or Burst), you need to farm a type of book that is relatively unique to your character, along with a couple of other items. The strange thing is that the different books are only available on specific days of the week. Each book can be farmed on three different days. Did you want to farm materials for Ganyu today? Well you better hope it's a Tuesday, Friday or Sunday or you just can't since that domain won't drop that item. Once you have farmed enough items, you can level up any one of those three talents to level 10 before they are capped (unless a constellation adds more skill points up to a hard cap of 15). Most will only ever get to level 9 since in order to get to level 10 you need a 'Crown' item that is only sparingly rewarded from some one time events. I think I've only earned about 14 Crowns since I started playing, so you need to pick and choose who you are going to 'Crown'. Anyway, those talent books are found in instanced domains that also cost 20 resin to do. To level up your character, there are similarly 'unique' items that you must collect from boss type characters. Those boss type battles are free to fight, but if you want to open the treasure box after winning, it'll cost you 40 resin. The 60 resin battles are from true instanced boss fights. They are re-battles of boss fights from quests throughout the game. I think there are five of these instanced domains and one that is just out in the open that acts more like the 40 resin cost battles, but is a 60 resin fight. These last instanced fights drop items you need to level your talents past level seven. None of them are particularly hard, but as you can see, with only 160 resin you can store in a day and with an eight minute delay in the recharge, you can burn through your resin very quickly and be left with nothing to do. There are four types of resin in the game...the normal resin that regens on it's own that I discussed above, and then there is 'condensed resin', 'fragile resin' and 'transient resin'. Condensed resin is made from normal resin. You can take 40 normal resin and make one condensed. It basically doubles your drops from one of the different 20 cost instanced raids I mentioned above. This is good because it halves your farming time and doubles the drops. It also is a quick way to use your resin in a day if you do not have the time to do a full farm. Fragile resin is a reward item that you can get from certain quests or from the 'Battle Pass' (a pass that allows you to get extra items every 45 days or so that costs real money). Using a fragile resin will give you 60 regular resin. You can go over the 160 cap by using fragile resin, but they run out quick and you don't get a ton of them as rewards so it is not a consistently reliable source of resin. Transient resin is something you can buy with 1,200 'Realm Currency' once per week that you acquire from your teapot....your teapot is something you get around Adventure Rank 30 that lets you create your own home. The teapot was broken half the time I played, where you couldn't rearrange your house, but with that currency you can buy the transient resin, which has a shelf life of 9 days. If you do not use that resin within 9 days, it will disappear. If you've never played the game or only played a little, I bet your head is swimming right now. Don't worry because mine was swimming for months after I started playing. It was probably three months before I felt a good rhythm with what needs to happen each day. When you first start the game, you really don't realize that there is a cap on what you can do each day because there is so much to do and explore that it never comes up. But once you finish the storyline and get all caught up, you'll find you can only play for about twenty minutes in a day before you run out of shit to do and then log off. This seems like a stupid concept to me. Why make it so that people have to stop playing your game? I end up playing other things and move on from this game except for that twenty minutes a day. The whole resin system seems unnecessary to me. You can't buy more of it with real money to speed up the game and it just prevents the gamers from farming to strengthen up their characters. I'm sure that people would spend hours and hours replaying the domains to get all the materials needed and then even more hours artifact farming to further enhance. They have enough events that they add and updates to keep people coming back so I truly do not understand what resin is there for other than to drive people to play something different once they run out each day. I mentioned two things in the last couple of paragraphs that I haven't touched on yet. The first was 'Adventure Rank' (AR). Anytime you complete a quest or domain, you'll earn some AR XP. This experience is separate from the XP books you earn to level up your characters. This AR XP is how you level up your world to make the enemies tougher and the rarer drops more abundant. Some of the content is blocked by your AR level. This is there to prevent players from doing end game things before they are ready. You get some rewards from leveling your AR, including wishes and fragile resin. This system is actually pretty good because it allows players to slowly learn what they are doing and wait to level up until you are ready. You have to manually talk to an NPC to level up so it won't do it automatically for you. The benefit of leveling up the AR is not just to level up your world, but to level up your characters. The max level they can currently attain is level 90, however you cannot get that high until you unlock their Ascensions. You start at Ascension 1 and your character level cap is 20. Once you have a high enough AR rank, you can do a quest that will level up your world and then unlock Ascension level 2 for your characters. They can then level up to 40 before they are capped. The next level ascensions only unlock 10 character levels at a time and you cannot cap your character level until Ascension 6. More talents are unlocked (passive talents) the higher your ascension level so there is a lot of incentive to level up as soon as you can. The cool thing though, is that if you are struggling once your world levels up, the game allows you to lower the world level back down a level. This lets you farm and strengthen your characters until you feel comfortable that you can survive. You can change your world level once per day (I have never done this so I don't know exactly how it works). The biggest grind in the game is Artifact farming. Each character can wear up to five artifacts. An artifact will boost your character stats and are vital to making your characters as strong as possible. The five different artifacts represent five different areas where you can only wear one of each. There is a Flower, Plume, Sands, Goblet and Circlet. You can only wear one of each, so if you have two killer goblets for one of your characters, you have to choose which one you want to wear. You can't have two goblets and no flower or something like that. Once you get an artifact, you can level it up to level 20 (if it's 5 star), which will further enhance their abilities. Artifacts also have a ranking similar to characters and weapons, but they go all the way down to one star. To level up your artifacts, you use other artifacts to enhance them. There are also items that you can use to enhance an artifact level, but those aren't too common until you can buy them from your teapot shop. Artifacts can boost, HP, HP%, ATK, ATK%, Crit Rate, Crit Damage, DEF, DEF%, Energy Recharge%, Elemental Mastery, Healing Bonus, Physical Damage Bonus or one of the Elemental Bonuses. An artifact can boost up to five different categories on one piece. If you have a five star artifact, you'll get one stat that gets a major boost and then four additional sub stats that can get varying boosts. The main stat that gets the major boost will get an increase each level you raise the artifact while one random sub stat will get a boost every 4th level. This is one of the biggest reasons artifact farming is a beast. There are a few of challenges with artifact farming. The first being that you have a 1/10 chance in a run to get the piece you are looking for. The majority of artifact farming involves doing an instanced raid that will contain two different kinds of artifacts and with the are five slots for artifacts, nothing is guaranteed. While there are five artifact slots, there are dozens of different types of artifacts. If you have multiple of the same type of artifact in different slots, you get a bonus that is in addition to the stat bonuses from leveling. You'll get that bonus at two and then four similar artifacts equipped. For example, one artifact type is called 'Emblem of Severed Fate'. If you have one of those artifacts in your Flower spot, you get no bonus except for the random stats that are on the piece. If you add an Emblem artifact to the Plume spot, you get an Energy Recharge boost of +20%. If you then add two more emblem pieces to make it four total, it increases your Elemental Burst Damage by 25% of your Energy Recharge stat for a maximum of a 75% boost. Since there is no boost at five of a same type, you can use that fifth slot to just put the strongest artifact you can. As you can see, this can be a significant boost to your character. Once you have chosen the type of artifact you want to equip on your character, you find which instanced raid you must do. This raid will have two different artifact types that can be rewarded for clearing the raid. The good news, is most of the raids can be completed in just a couple of minutes or less...the bad news is the artifact that is dropped is completely random. If you are using regular resin, you can get up to two artifacts per run, however the vast majority of the time you will get one artifact. If you use condensed resin, you can get between two and four artifacts. That one artifact on a regular resin run could be the other artifact that you aren't targeting making that run a waste. It could be for a slot that you do not need, it could have stats that are not beneficial to your character, or it could actually be useful. I find that last scenario to be very rare. I tend to use condensed resin on artifact farming runs to increase the likelihood I get something useful but that is still rare. With how quickly you can burn through resin, it can take a long time to get good pieces. There are not many characters that benefit from a boost to DEF or DEF%. That seems to be a stat that appears often on artifacts and pretty much will render most artifacts that contain that boost useless. Unfortunately, you have to be somewhat selective with the artifacts you choose to level up because leveling materials run out quickly and it can get very expensive to level up artifacts, causing you to farm more Mora. As far as the trophy list goes, it's not too bad. The only really shitty trophy is the DLC trophy for getting all of the 'Toki Alley Tales' book. That involves fishing for 10 pages of a book and fishing is kind of brutal in this game. It took me about 990 fish before I found the 10 pages, which I've read isn't actually that bad. Some people need a couple thousand fish before finding all ten pages. It takes a while because unless you can fish in another person's world in co-op, you have to wait 48 hours after clearing a fishing spot for the fish to respawn. Almost all of the collectibles you find from exploring are like that though. If you pick a flower, it'll be two days before it reappears. The most grindy trophies are the ones for getting reputation in a country. You only get three quests and three bounty hunts per week across all of the countries. You only can get like 420 reputation points per week and you need several thousand points to max that one takes a while but isn't hard. The hardest trophy to get is the one for clearing floor 12 of the Spiral Abyss. This is the hardest dungeon in the game and each floor consists of six battles...three on one side and three on the other. In order to defeat the abyss, you need to make two parties of four. What makes this hard is getting eight characters strong enough to be able to survive. Once you start a floor, you cannot change gear, party members or heal (except skills during battle, no items/food) until you either quit out or complete the floor. Each round has a maximum of three stars that can be earned, usually for defeating the floor under a certain time, however floor 11-1 seems to always involve protecting an obelisk from getting destroyed. So long as it stays higher that 60% health, you'll get all 3 stars. Once you get passed floor 8, you need a certain number of stars to be able to unlock the next floor. The Abyss can be unforgiving and challenging, however you can retry as many times as you want so there's nothing lost except time in trying. Once you beat that last enemy on the 12th floor, you'll have achieved the most challenging trophy. My first five star character was Keqing and while she is considered one of the weaker five star characters, I love playing with her and made sure she was in my party. Party A for me consisted of Raiden, Keqing, Xiangling and Barbara and Party B consisted of Ganyu, Zhongli, Mona and Venti. Most of the other trophies you'll do naturally as you play and you will see some gorgeous landscapes on your adventures. My favorite area was probably the Dragonspine. It's a giant mountain in the middle of Mondstadt (one of the countries in Genshin). It has a frost mechanic where if you are away from a heating source for too long, you'll start to take damage...but it was a cool mechanic and it was pretty up on the mountain. You'll have to do tons of exploring to get enough treasure chests for some trophies and there are some fun puzzles along the way. One of the positives of the game are the fun characters. There are only a couple that are intolerable with Xinyan being the most annoying by far. Qiqi is up there as well, but for the most part, I enjoy all of the characters. I wish they would add some more dialogue considering how much time you spend in this'll hear Ganyu grunt a ton or Keqing telling you to stop procrastinating a million times if you pause for more than 10 seconds. They say the same things every time you open a treasure box or when it starts and stops raining. While the dialogue is limiting, the characters are cool. My list of characters are: Five Star: The Traveler, Venti, Zhongli, Ganyu, Keqing, Raiden Shogun, Yelan, Mona, Shenhe, Itto, Yao Miko, Jean, Qiqi and Diluc Four Star: Barbara, Sucrose, Diona, Xingqiu, Benny, Xiangling, Ningguang, Fischl, Yun Jin, Kaeya, Gorou, Noelle, Amber, Heizou, Sayu, Rosaria, Chongyun, Kuki, Kujou Sara, Beidou, Razor, Lisa, Thoma, Yanfei and Xinyan It's funny because Barbara and Keqing are considered two of the weakest characters, yet I love playing with them and both were a part of my Abyss team. Keqing is great to use when exploring because she can teleport with her lightning skill and get to hard to reach areas. With Babs in my party, I feel like it's impossible to die. I have her HP over 35k and her healing has been a nice security blanket when doing stuff. While I've been lucky with pulls and character's like Ganyu and Zhongli make the game have an 'easy button', you can have a ton of fun with any of the characters. I think it depends on who you get first will end up being who you're going to like best. Babs was my first four star pull and Keqing my first five star. They've been with me the longest and are my favorite to play. I've used Keqing less on the open world map since getting Ganyu since she makes everything a breeze, but the fun thing is to mix and match and see what works and what doesn't for you. In addition to the dialogue being repetitive, the daily commission tasks are extremely repetitive. There are like twenty of them in each of the three main countries and you can do four per day. I don't know about other players, but I seem to get the same handful all of the time. I've been playing for months and months and still have not gotten the daily commission 'An Art to be Honed' four times to unlock a mission. I do the Inazuma commissions every day, and I think I've done that one twice so far. It's the last mission I need to complete them all in the game. If you can't tell, I'm pretty passionate about the game and will play this one long past the platinum. If they fixed the issues I have mentioned above, this might be my most favorite game of all time. I've written too much as it is and I've not even touched upon a lot of the different aspects of the game, but I think I've touched on most of them. The biggest takeaways are that the combat is extremely smooth and fun. There are tons and tons of different party comps that you can try and tons of ways to challenge yourself in battles. While the game has a co-op function, it isn't very good for stuff other than for farming domains with someone. You are blocked from doing quests together and are blocked from doing the Abyss (the most challenging dungeon in the game) co-op. However, I've had a lot of fun with @Cassylvaniaand @Mesopithecus in the game and chatting about it. I'm sure it hasn't been quite as fun for the members in the discord chat that aren't playing the game, but Genshin is a lot of fun when you get into it and is a lot of fun to talk about since it is constantly updating and adding new things. The good news is that while I spent most of this review bitching about certain aspects of the game, the game itself is a near masterpiece and I'll spend many more hours in it to come. There's a huge update coming and I'm curious to see if more trophies are added. It's been a while since they have added anything, but I'll be ready to go! I highly recommend this game to anyone and everyone...just be smart with your pocketbook and you get hundreds of hours of enjoyment from it.
  13. I'd like to join! I'll add my games after I have a chance to check out my backlog. Thanks for hosting!
  14. I was really hoping to finish more games that had animals this month, but I was not able to finish Jurassic World Evo 2 or Stray in time. The only one I got that would count is Nickelodeon's All-Star Brawl. My vote is going for the Playpus!
  15. I'm on my first attempt at the challenges and I'm starting at Jurassic difficulty. I don't know why I didn't think of it in JWE1 (probably since there's no pause and it's much harder) or at all in any of the Campaign or Chaos maps....but I used to lose a ton of money during storms and if it happened early enough in the attempt, it would be a restart to an earlier save or bankruptcy....but I have been making money during the storms once I switched to this method. Once you get the storm warning, pause immediately and then open all shelters. I had been doing that part the whole time, but this next part is what has helped tremendously to avoid going bankrupt. Deactivate all of your amenities. When your guests are in the shelters, they aren't at the shops and you end up losing a ton of money while the storm is raging due to the losses the shops take. By turning them off, you no longer take the loss and there seems to be a slight delay on the income slowing down because I have been making money almost throughout the entire duration of the storms. I'll run the storms at 3x speed to get through them and then pausing to have my rangers repair stuff if needed. The moment the storm goes away, pause again and re-open everything at the same time you open your shelters. They go right back to making money and you've avoided the huge loss you'd normally take. It seems like common sense now that I'm doing it, but it wasn't something I thought of or tried until I started doing challenges and it's been helpful.