I’m focusing on 3 games right now, about which I have Thoughts.
I picked up Satisfactory mostly on a whim. I didn’t expect me to be my sort of thing, as I am neither especially organized, or very visually oriented, such that I would expect to be able to plan out productive layouts. I am slightly surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. It has a very nice on-ramp, working things up just fast enough that I feel challenged to learn the systems, while giving plenty of space to work, experiment, and start to set some of my own goals. Nice interface, too. Best space elevator in games, I should say, but all the tech has a great look to it, and the contrast with the beauty of the alien world you are ruthlessly exploiting is effective.
Risk of Rain 2 is my anti-stress game, since I can cheerfully lose any given amount of time to it, and it’s a solid podcast game. It’s a delight when you get into a groove with a character. I’m trying to beat the newly added final boss on the medium difficulty, and that is sadly not proving a delight.
It’s a funny thing- all of the game’s other boss fights involve fighting the boss while also managing endlessly spawning hordes of regular enemies. This is actually important, since many of the items and skills depend on that- enemies might explode and damage nearby ones, or increase health regen on death, that sort of thing. The Huntress has a glaive that bounces between multiple enemies. You want them around, in other words, and managing them becomes part of the fight.
The final boss is a big solo sack of hitpoints. There are phases of the fight with a small number of tough enemies, but effectively, a large number of the items that determine your characters power become useless. A game that has previously been about managing to thrive in the chaos of combat becomes just about trying to avoid some annoying hard to avoid attacks, which hit super hard if you mess up. Sucks for low mobility characters. I’ve come pretty close a couple of times, but haven’t been able to finish the fight yet. For extra discouragement, even a successful run to the final stage can take 30-45 minutes, and to get to the actual boss fight you have to run a bizarrely long way.
If i were smart I would turn to down to easy and get it out of the way, since I really do want that final character unlock.
Finally, I’ve been steadily plugging away at Final Fantasy IX, which I’ve been enjoying quite a bit. It’s been perfectly feasible to focus just on the main story stuff and ignore almost all the sidequests. I’ve been playing on a controller, which I really like, and works better than I would have thought. It’s really nice to sit back and play more comfortably. It’s a full PC style MMO, too- you have a million different skills you need to manage the use of, macros you can set up, fully customisable interface, all the gubbins, and to make that manageable with a controller is a nice feat.
It’s not super easy, mind- you work up to the complexity of the later game gradually, but you end up needing to do all sorts of fancy button combinations to work through your different attack chains while managing your cooldowns and instants. A criticism that can be leveled at many MMOs applies here- it’s hard to properly practice your full skill rotations outside of dungeons, where you need them the most, and are most distracted handling your role in the fight, with whatever mechanics this particular boss requires. I’ve been careful to look up dungeon boss mechanics before taking on each (story compulsory!) dungeon, and that’s been vital.
Sticking at it, though. I think I’m coming to the end of the original game content, and I hear the expansions are where the story hits its stride.