Changing Retro

Posted on Dec 28th 2017 at 08:00:00 AM by (wildbil52)
Posted under GOTY, 2017

I only played 3 video games this year...well, not really, but I only played three games for a substantial amount of time.  People who know me or who have heard me speak in the last two years can guess what one of them is.  The other two are both on the Nintendo Switch (with a third on deck).  Let's talk about why I keep going back to the same series and why I am finally at a point where I can spread my gaming wings a little bit.

I played Four Hundred and Forty Four hours of Destiny.  Let's take a minute to let that sink in.  Four.  Hundred.  And Forty.  Four.  Hours.  Since Destiny 2 was released in early September, I have played One Hundred and Four hours of Destiny 2.  Even though I put in a lot of time, I still consider myself to be a casual Destiny player.  Let me take a little time to explain my weekly Destiny 2 routine before I get into what I think of the game.

The main story campaign in Destiny 2 takes about 10-12 hours to complete.  The campaign is very good.  In a nutshell: the Cabal empire, led by a monstrous villain called Ghaul, attach the home of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Not those Guardians, other ones) and entrap The Traveler, the mysterious source of the Light, or Power, of the Guardians.  The campaign in vanilla Destiny was one of the weakest aspects of that game.  It seems like Bungie really wanted to make the campaign something more memorable.  At the end of the day, the campaign is just the precursor to where the majority of the average player's time will be spent: The Endgame.  In Destiny 2's endgame, there are several weekly activities that can be completed for "Powerful Gear."  There is the Flashpoint, The Nightfall Strike, The Raid, Call to Arms, and occasionally there is a special event.

This is my Titan and a view of the tower, currently decorated in the holiday spirit

The Flashpoint is one of the patrol areas that has higher than usual enemy activity. The Nightfall Strike is a very difficult version of a 15-20 minute mission that is played with two other players. The Raid (or Raid Layer) is a 1-4 Hour activity that can be played with up to six people.  Call to Arms is a PvP activity that can be completed in just 4-5 ten minute sessions.  Special events range from Sparrow Racing, Iron Banner, Holiday Events, or new PvP game modes.  You can also have up to three characters, so once you finish some of these activities with one character, you can switch to another with different abilities so that you can do them again.  If it sounds like there is a whole hell of a lot to do, there is.  The problem that the hardcore D2 community is having with Bungie right now is that there aren't enough rewarding activities to do.  A condensed list of their complaints are: There isn't enough gear to chase, the exotics aren't as powerful as in D1, we want another Raid, the Eververse (microtransaction vendor) is dumb, I don't have enough storage space for my gear, I want you to bring "X" feature back because it was better in D1, etc.  Even though I sympathize with these angry folks, as a player who puts in 1-3 hours on an average week, I am not playing NEARLY enough to do all that there is to do each week.  I have still not reached the power cap, I still have 10 guns to grind for in the Curse of Osiris expansion, I have Crucible ornaments to unlock, I have Raid Armor sets to acquire, I haven't even played Trials of the Nine yet, and there are tons of exotics that I don't have.

This is Tess, she is one of the most hated aspects of Destiny 2 right now.  She sells loot boxes

If you have never played Destiny, this likely sounds foreign to you.  Just know that it is a loot shooter where the shooting feels great, the PvE play is awesome, and there really is a ton to do despite what people in the Destiny Subreddit will tell you.   When I started playing Destiny regularly, it was deep into year two.  Over my roughly one year with the game, I had 3+ years of content to get through.  I barely played anything else because there was just SO much to do.  There is still a lot to do in D2, but the difference is that I'm not behind.  I'm caught up (relatively).  So what I'm finally able to do is to do my weekly milestones starting on Tuesday, the beginning of the Destiny week, and when I have done all I care to do for the week, I can play something else.  The first something else I played this year after Destiny 2 was what many people picked as their game of the year, but I wouldn't call it that exactly.

Extra points if you can name the Christmas movie in the background

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is a really cool game with a steep learning curve compared to other Zelda games.  Once you understand some of the basic mechanics and mechanisms of the game, you fall into a routine where you explore an area, maybe find a shrine, clear it, visit a town, pick up a side quest or two, eventually take down a divine beast, and then keep going.  I don't mean to over simplify it, but that's all the game ever really seemed like to me.  Yeah, the world is big, and I enjoyed climbing towers and unlocking the map Far Cry style.  It was interesting having to switch back and forth between different armor sets to take advantage of different perks, and learning how to fight different enemies was cool, but honestly, I reached a point where I felt like it was just a lot of dots on a map.  There are a large number of things to do, but not very many of them feel meaningful.  Some of the shrines were okay, but many were super simple.  None of them gave me that Portal 2 feeling of accomplishment when I figured out the solution.  Right now I have one and a half rows of hearts, the entire map unlocked, 3/4 divine beasts defeated, and I have no itch to get back to it.  I will get back to it just to finish it, but I don't have that uncontrollable urge to get back to the game as soon as I get the chance.

The final game that I played this year is a game that I played for the first time in 2011 and when push comes to shove is the game that I still call my favorite game of all time.  SKYRIM!

This is a screen cap of Skyrim that I took on the Xbox One last year.  Nintendo won't let me transfer a screen cap without removing the microSD card.  Ain't nobody got time for that

I don't know what to say about this game that hasn't already been said by myself or someone else.  Winner of over 200 Game of the Year awards back in 2011, not like that matters.  The only GOTY award that matters is your own.  This is a game that completely stands the test of time.  I played it on 360, a year later on PC, last year I bought the special edition on the Xbox One, and now I have it on Swtich.  And it keeps getting better every single time I play it.  What I will say specifically about the Switch version is that the visuals range from "Every bit as good as the 360" to "Good Enough".  Not sure how many hours I have into it but I'm somewhere around level 20, so a good bit.  I don't plan on stopping anytime soon but I will take a little break to play one of my Christmas presents, Super Mario Odyssey.

That's it guys! I played three games and plan to play tons more hours of two of them,  Next year I plan on playing at least five games: Destiny 2, Skyrim, Far Cry 5, Crackdown 3, and Kingdom Hearts 3 (unless it gets delayed, which it will).

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Glad to have you back on the site! I really liked the 20 or so hours I spent with Destiny 2. I haven't played BOTW yet as I need a Switch or WIIU in order to play it. I'm with you on Skyrim. I've played countless hours of this game and every time a new version is released I start over. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Far Cry 5.
it's Batman Return right?
also, yeah, I knew you\'d say Destiny 2 since anytime I see you on XBLA you\'re playing that. Smiley
Thanks, Addicted!  One of my resolutions is to make more time for blogging, or maybe vlogging...FORESHADOWING!

YES, Noise!  Batman Returns!

With all the discounts on D2 in the last month or so, I'm hoping that anyone who wants a primer on D2 will hit me up.
400+ hours?? Good lord man. I don't think I've ever spent that much time with one game. And that's considering I bought both Burnout Paradise and the new Doom on every platform they were released on, and am still playing Diablo III occassionally to this day. That said, if you're still getting fun out of it then more power to you!
I remember back in the BD (before Destiny). Good times, good times. Wink

I haven't played a large number of games this year either, and you can guess as to how many hours I have into Dark Souls 3. Hopefully we'll meet up soon in Wildlands and Far Cry 5.

Also, your Titan looks like a Daft Punk reject in that pic. Luv ya.
We will certainly meet up in both of those games.  My Titan is wearing the Insurmountable Skull Fort, Iron Banner Arms, and Raid Chest.  Quite a Daft Punky setup.
the week before Christmas we did a double feature of Batman Returns and Iron Man 3 for superhero Chirstmas movies. Smiley
@zophar53: I played through Breath of the Wild twice last year, and totaled around 380 hours.  I plan to play through it again this year, with all the new DLC and story stuff they've added.  But in the years I've been playing games, I've probably clocked well over 1000 hours on Diablo 2.

Sorry to hear BotW didn't grab you, Bil, but to each their own.  For me, it was a big deal, and one that I got a ton of enjoyment from.

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Like many of the people who visit this site, I am a lifelong gamer who loves and appreciates classic gaming as well as the current generation. When I started collecting games, I realized that some of the stories of my collecting might be interesting, educational, or just plain funny. The stories that I share here are meant to entertain as well as inform and they are all 100% true, which is why I include pictures.

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