Sunday, December 10, 2017

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Is Relaxing Fun

I don't really play a lot of games on my phone. I did play Pokemon Go for a while, but got a little burned out on it. The only other games I really play on my phone are Words With Friends, Crosswords With Friends, and Neko Atsume. That last one is a game with cats so of course it's on my phone since I am a cat lover.

When I heard Nintendo was working on Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp a game for mobile devices and that it would be free to play, I was excited. I love the Animal Crossing games because they are cheerful and fun with activities you could do such as fishing, redecorating your house in various themes, or interacting with the animal villagers in town.

With Pocket Camp there isn't a town. Instead, you have your own RV and your own campsite which you can decorate any way you wish. You can make friends with various animal characters and receive gifts and crafting materials for them when you trade them things they want such as certain types of seashells. They can also visit your campsite as well as your human friends via invitation or at random. There are different recreational areas you can visit on the world map such as a beach where you can fish or a little island where you can collect insects. There's even an area for mining, but you need the help of five people on your friends list or pay a certain amount of microtransaction currency known as leaf tickets. You can also visit a place called OK Motors where you can upgrade your RV, add an upstairs to it, or paint it in interesting patterns and colors.


Getting around on the map is easy. Click on a place and go.

Fishing is one of the recreational activities you can do. 

Crafting is another big thing in Pocket Camp. You can gather materials such as cotton and wood for crafting furniture by fulfilling requests for your animal friends like gifting them with types of fruit or seashells they want. This not only levels up your friendship with them, they will gift you with crafting materials and sometimes outfits. They will also hang out at your campsite when you invite them. The maximum amount of animals you can host at your campsite is ten. You can also send animals home via the user menu so that you can invite new animals to your campsite.

Host animals at your campsite, do favors, receive gifts.

If you're in the mood to do a little shopping, there is a marketplace you can travel to on the map. You can buy outfits and accessories from the Able sisters or you can buy furniture from Timmy and Tommy Nook, Tom Nook's twin sons. You can also sell furniture and outfits from your inventory to the Nook twins. 

Doing a little shopping at the marketplace.

Personally, I liked decorating my RV and adding a second floor. Crafting the furniture and items for my little traveling home was fun and I enjoyed decorating it the way I wanted. I liked decorating the campsite as well especially after I expanded it so I could add more items for visitors to enjoy. 


Decorating your RV is fun!

There are daily goals and stretch goals you can do that offer crafting materials, leaf tickets, or bells (the name of the money used in the game) as rewards. You can also visit your friends campsites to see how they decorate theirs and give them kudos when you visit. I thought it was very cool seeing how much variety there is in each of the campsites I visited and showed the uniqueness and style of each of my friends. 


Visit your friends campsites. It's fun!

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is relaxing fun. There's no pressure or time limits. You can just enjoy yourself doing what you wish whether it's fishing or hanging out with your animal and human friends at your campsite. It's cute and colorful with a variety of things to craft and outfits to collect. Some may think it's a bit repetitive, but I don't mind that part of it. It's nice to log in and get my daily bonus, do a few things I like, and see what changes my friends have made to their campsites.

With it being the holiday season, Nintendo did a Christmas update for the game. You can now craft Christmas items, a Santa Claus outfit, and Christmas gifts. It has been fun decorating my campsite for Christmas and seeing all the Christmas cheer at my friends' campsites. I'm looking forward to the next seasonal event items they do. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the Christmas items and the entire game itself. 


It's Christmas time!


Merry Christmas from Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. 



*Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is available to play on iOS and Android devices.












Monday, November 27, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn The Frozen Wilds, A Grand Adventure

The Frozen Wilds is the new DLC for the game Horizon Zero Dawn. I was excited to revisit that world and play as Aloy again. The content can be done after the main story is finished and it integrates very well with it. You get to explore a beautiful new area and learn even more about the nomadic tribe, the Banuk. I always liked the Banuk because their spirituality and structure were interesting. Frozen Wilds brings Aloy to a snowy mountain area known as The Cut and a Banuk tribe in order to investigate new machines that are incredibly strong and aggressive. It should be noted that the new area is challenging so players should be at least level 40 or higher before attempting it. 


Aloy arrives at The Cut. 

The combat is as great as it always was. There's also new skills that can be unlocked such as repairing machine mounts. There are new weapons as well that can be modified and upgraded via a quest. I had a lot of fun with these because they did some excellent damage and were just fun to play with. There is also new armor which is great for the new area because it adds protection from the elements and various attacks from the new machines. 

The machines in The Cut are definitely dangerous. They're stronger, challenging, and the sense of danger is quite high. The battles are intense making you think about strategies in order to take down enemies. Adding to this is the introduction of Control Towers, machines that look like spindly flowers and emit a pulse which heal the machines in the area. The new weapons are incorporated into this and they make the fights a lot of fun. 


Aloy battles a new machine in the Frozen Wilds.

Aloy is still as endearing as ever while being a wonderful strong female character. The new people she meets are also strong and terrific adding more depth to the story. The story for the Frozen Wilds is complex and interesting while adding more insights into the main story. It also answers some questions about some familiar characters in the main story. 

The world of Frozen Wilds is a snowy tundra that is challenging yet beautiful and a lot of fun to explore. There are plenty of side quests to do along with the side quest. These offer more insights into the Banuk tribe as well and explores where their faith and spirituality belong in a world that is harsh and unforgiving. Just stopping in to take the view while playing was worth it. There are so many spectacular scenes in the game and I relished every minute of it. 


A great view. 

Frozen Wilds is amazing. It's 15 hours of fantastic gameplay and story.  I enjoyed all of it and the completionist in me unlocked everything. It adds a lot of great elements to the main story and the entire game overall. It's a grand adventure and I was happy that I visited Aloy's world again. 



Celebrating a grand adventure!


*Horizon Zero Dawn The Frozen Wilds is playable on the following platforms: Playstation 4










Sunday, November 12, 2017

Assassin's Creed Origins An Amazing Adventure

I have been excited about Assassin's Creed Origins since I first heard about it so when I got my copy I began playing right away. The opening for the game is intense and introduces you to Bayek of Siwa, a Medjay (essentially a protector for the people of Egypt sanctioned by the Pharoh) and a bit later his wife Aya. The story starts with a sad event, but it clearly explains in that moment why and how the Brotherhood of Assassins were created. Playing as Bayek, there is an initial tutorial for what the game controls are and they're pretty great. The controls seem more streamlined to the point where my biggest complaint of getting stuck on things during parkour runs and jumps did not happen at all. It was a very welcome change.

Bayek of Siwa.


 I did get the season pass and this is truly worth it because you get access to some great weapons, gear, and mounts. Having the season pass will also give you access to the two DLC chapters, The Hidden Ones and The Curse Of The Pharohs on their release dates. If you're part of the Ubisoft Club, you also get some cool rewards ranging from crafting materials to legendary weapons. This also includes the Altair and Ezio outfits. You can also earn a lot of the weapons and gear from doing side quests and daily quests.


Some of the rewards you get with Ubisoft Club.

Ancient Egypt is huge. This is truly an open world game and it is definitely in your interests to explore everything because there are a lot of interesting things to see and do. I took a long time getting to the main story because I was having fun just exploring and doing all the side quests. There are a ton of side quests which give you the needed experience points and give rewards ranging from weapons to mounts. It is a grind to a soft level cap of 40, but because the game is fun to play I never really noticed and I got to level 40 fairly quickly. 


One of many great views in the game. 

One of my favorite things in the game was the symbiotic relationship Bayek had with his eagle, Senu. When doing missions where you needed to locate a target you could call Senu and with the ability of eagle vision have Senu search the area and seeing the world from her perspective until you find the target. This was a very useful thing to have especially when scouting enemy forts so I could see how many people there actually were. 


Senu scouting an area.

The skill tree for Bayek is easy to navigate and there are three sections to unlock skills; Hunter, Warrior, and Seer. Even after you hit the level cap you can still build up these skills as the experience points then go into the meter and when maxed each time, it rewards you with ability points which can be used to unlock skills. Bow Bearer is incredibly useful for the Hunter because it allows you to carry a bow for stealth and one for melee battles. Chain assassination is also useful because it can get you out of a sticky situation. 


The skill map is easy to navigate.

You do get to play as Aya for some missions and it is fun to play as her because there are some ship battles with her as well. The ship battles controls are well done and I wish there had been a few more of them because they were exciting and I enjoyed them. I also wish there were more missions with Aya because she was a smart and brave woman and she was just as interesting a character as Bayek. There is normal sailing also and this helps with getting to other areas or finding a spot where treasure is hidden. You can dive into the water and find those treasures as well as other secrets like tunnels leading into hidden temples.  

Sailing in the game is great fun. 

The main story is excellent. I really liked Bayek and Aya because they were such interesting characters. I felt sad for their pain and a sense of vindication for them when they accomplished their goal. There are of course real historical people in the game like Cleopatra and they are involved in the story. I did feel the main story was a bit short, but I still enjoyed it a great deal.  It answered a lot of the big questions such as how the Brotherhood was started and also gave hints about some of the assassins that followed after Bayek and Aya. 

Once you're done with the main game, there are still things you can do. There are mini game events like chariot races at the Hippodrome or gladiator fights at the Cyrene Arena. Both are fun to do and give you a break from the main story and side quests in the game. The chariot controls do have a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of them it's a breeze. The gladiator fights have three rounds and then you unlock an elite mode which is just one challenging boss fight with the champion of each of those rounds. You can also compete with your friends for the best score. 


Racing at the Hippodrome.

There are daily quests as well which you get from an NPC named Reda. The quests range from rescuing people to recovering stolen merchandise. When these are done, you get a reward from Reda usually a rare or legendary weapon. Sometimes you get a rare mount which comes in handy.  You can take photos and share them with the photo share feature. This is a cool thing where you can use the controls to take a photo and share it with other players in the game. You can also avenge other players. If you find a fellow assassin that has been killed, it gives you a quest to find the perpetrators and you can exact revenge on them.  

There is also the event Trial Of The Gods. Currently you can fight Anubis, the god of the dead. You should be level 40 for this fight because it's difficult otherwise. This is a great battle and once you defeat Anubis you get rewarded with a spiffy item. If you missed it, don't worry. There will be another chance to fight him and you will be able to fight other gods later on. 
 

Battling the god Anubis.

Assassin's Creed Origins is an amazing adventure. The story is excellent, the side quests are fun, and there are so many beautiful things to see in this game. There is so much wonderful variety in the people, the voice acting, and the music. It is a joy to play and even after you're finished, there's still a lot of things you can do. I loved the game and and I can't wait to play more. 


Leap of faith to the next adventure!


*Assassin's Creed Origins is playable on the following platforms: PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One









Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Adventures Of Pirotess: All Saints' Wake Halloween Celebration

Halloween is my favorite day of the year so naturally I was excited to check out the Halloween event in Final Fantasy XIV. The event called All Saints' Wake is a lot of fun for everyone and celebrates everything Halloween. All the towns in Eorzea and the Free Company neighborhoods are colorfully decorated for the event and it's great just to walk around town and see all the fantastic Halloween decorations.


The town of Gridania decorated for Halloween.

To start the event quest you need to be at least level 15 and must have completed the main story quest It's Probably Pirates. When you meet those requirements, you can travel to the town of Gridania and talk to the NPC quest giver, the Adventurer Guild Investigator at the coordinates X:10.4 Y: 8.4 and start your fun Halloween adventure. The quest is called, An Orthadian Wolfman In Gridania. You then talk to an NPC named Soga. After that, you then talk to an NPC named Impresario. Speak with Impresario a second time and this leads you to the quest The Adventurer Who Cried Wolfman. Then you go into your inventory and use the werewolf item. This gives you all the pieces for the werewolf costume which you need to equip and yes, you get to keep it forever. 


Grr! Pirotess in werewolf costume.

After you have your werewolf costume equipped, you speak with Impresario again and then speak with Soga to get the fun started. 


Talking to Impresario.

You now get to run around town and say, "GRRR!" in say chat to three specified people. Once this is done, you speak to Soga and then speak to Impresario to complete this quest. After that, you talk to the Adventurer Guild Investigator again to start the quest Mind Their Manor. When you speak to the Uncanny Illusionist and the Harlequin Guide, this starts the seasonal dungeon instance. You will get matched with others doing the event so you have a full party of four people. 


Pirotess is ready for the seasonal dungeon. 

The dungeon itself will feel familiar because it's pretty similar to the Haukke Manor dungeon except for the event it's called the Haunted Manor. Its atmosphere is spooky fun with the area being decorated for Halloween. In the upper right of your status bar you will see a sanity meter. This is where the teamwork begins. You must be careful and sneak around the monsters in the manor and not be seen. When your sanity meter drops to zero you fail the mission, so show off your stealth skills. 


Entering the Haunted Manor.

If one of the monsters sees you, your sanity meter drops and you get turned into a pumpkin for a couple of seconds. The objectives are randomized and you must complete four of them within the time limit. For example, there is one objective where you need to run around and search every room for a clue as to what numbers unlock a pumpkin safe. It's important to work together with your team so in the case with the safe, you have to call out the number you find: The first number is... in party chat in order to reach the goal and complete the tasks successfully together. 


Unlocking the pumpkin safe with the right numbers is one task.

When you are successful you receive three pumpkin cookies from a jack o' lantern chest at the end which can be traded for items from the NPC event vendor, the Alluring Peddler. 


Victory comes in pumpkin cookies!

There are six Saints' Wake items you can trade pumpkin cookies for to the vendor. Those items are: Magicked prism, ghost candlestand, pumpkin tower, pumpkin pie set, pumpkin pudding set, and All Saints' advertisement. 


All the items you can get from the vendor. 

I had so much fun doing this event because it has everything Halloween which I love and I had a blast doing it with my friends. That's one of the terrific things about the events in Final Fantasy XIV. It celebrates the importance of friendship and enjoying time with your friends. All Saints' Wake is a good time celebrating Halloween and a nice break from adventuring. Check it out with your friends and enjoy all the fun to be had. See you at the next adventure everyone!


Happy Halloween!



*Final Fantasy XIV is playable on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4













Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Patch 4.1 Brings Some New Things


Final Fantasy XIV patch 4.1 The Legend Returns arrived with some new things in the game. There is of course more main story content quests which adds a new dungeon, the Drowned City of Skalla. With challenging bosses and interesting areas to explore it's a fun run to do with friends.


Facing a boss  in the Drowned City of Skalla. 

There is also a solo duty that you can do that is part of the main story. It's an interesting development to the story. I do wish the main story content had been a little bit longer, but for what was there it was a lot of fun and I did like seeing more about some characters who were my favorites. 


Solo duty fight in The Legend Returns.

There is also a new raid to do, The Lost City Of Rabanastre which requires 24 people to run it. Honestly, this raid is quite a challenge on your first run because you're learning the mechanics for the different bosses. I did feel a bit frustrated with how much we wiped because there are so many wide area attacks to the point that you have to be constantly moving with no time for a break. It is just a game however, and games are meant to be fun. We kept going and we did successfully complete it. It was definitely an interesting run. 


Getting ready to battle a boss in Rabanastre.

There are new beastmen quests to do also with the Blue Kojin. This is a good way to gain experience points on job classes you're leveling as well as earning extra gil and items. These are fun to do and you can build up your reputation with the beastmen the more you help them. These are daily repeatable quests which comes in handy for level grinding.  


Pirotess helps out the Blue Kojin. 

There was a short Hildebrand quest which to me was disappointing because I love the Hildebrand quests. They're fun as well as funny. While I do understand it's basically setting things up for more Hildebrand quests, I do wish there had been a little more. It was fun however and it was cool to see a few familiar characters from the Hildebrand quests. 


The Hildebrand quest is rather short. 

There are some changes to the game also. With your squadrons in your Grand Company the level cap has been raised to 60 for them. Command missions have been added which means you can run dungeons with your squadron and earn experience points while doing it. There is also a new primal fight with Shinryu Extreme for those looking for a challenge. People are also able to buy plots in Shirogane now. Naturally the first day plots became available, it was quite the free for all. They have since stated that they will be adding more plots so people have a chance to buy a house in the new area. 

One of the things they changed which I'm really liking is the fact that you can now have your chocobo and your minion out at the same time. There is also a timer showing how much time your chocobo has to be out with you. This is definitely a nice change. With all these new things, there's a lot to see and do. It's a lot of fun, but even more so with friends. See you at the next adventure everyone!


Pirotess with her chocobo and a minion. 


*Final Fantasy XIV is available to play on the following platforms: PC and Playstation 4












Monday, October 9, 2017

The Adventures Of Pirotess: Botanist Helps With Many Crafting Jobs

As many remember in the last Adventures of Pirotess post, I tried out crafting with culinarian and found that I liked it. One of the big things for crafting of course is having the necessary materials to craft. This is where the gathering job of botanist comes in handy. Botanists can harvest a variety of resources from plants and trees. Since I use fire and water shards for culinarian, I do a lot of gathering for those in the various areas where they can be found. I also find a lot of ingredients I need in the different places such as sun lemons from trees or button mushrooms from fern plants.

The Botanist's Guild can be found in Gridania and you can join it by talking to the receptionist in the guild when you're level 10 or higher on another job class. You get a primary tool which is a hatchet for logging and a secondary tool which is a scythe for harvesting from vegetation. You have a harvesting and logging journal that gives you a list of things for you to harvest so that you get credit and experience points for them. 
Botanist also comes with some abilities that help you know where to search for things. For example, the ability triangulate activates automatically on botanist and allows you to survey the land so that you can find mature trees and lush vegetation. Stealth is a handy ability that allows you to conceal yourself from enemies. It reduces your movement speed, but it's a trade off to not be a tasty snack for nearby enemies.

There are two types of nodes you can gather from and they're shown on your map as two different colored feathers. We'll start with blue feathers first. Blue feathers on your mini map represent lush vegetation and for this you need your secondary tool. 


Mini map in the top right corner showing the blue feather icons for lush vegetation.

When you start harvesting, a list of items that you can gather from the node will appear and you can choose which one you wish to harvest. You can use the ability Field Mastery to increase the success rate of obtaining items. As you level, you get higher leveled Field Mastery abilities as well as a better luck rate.

List of items that can be gathered from the vegetation node.

For logging, the icons on the mini map are a different color. These are yellow feathers representing mature trees that you can harvest resources from. Just as with the vegetation, when you start harvesting an item list will pop up showing you what can be harvested from the tree and you can choose which item you wish to gather. 


Top right mini map showing yellow feather icons for mature trees.

I like botanist because it is incredibly useful. While it's not the most exciting job, it helps with many crafting jobs. For my culinarian it's been great to be able to gather the shards and ingredients I need because that is less money that I'm spending on the market boards for items. This is also true for a couple of other crafting jobs I started doing. Culinarian also helps my botanist job because I can craft meals that increase not only my experience points, but also my gathering and luck rate. That's quite handy to have when I need to replenish crafting items. 

It's also helped our resident Free Company gardener, Sekilini. I often find a lot of elemental light seeds such as firelight or waterlight which become fire and water shards something we need because of all the crafters in our Free Company. As I said before, botanist is quite useful. Usually, I pick a quiet night to do it and just chat with my friends in the game or watch a movie while I'm gathering. It makes the time go by a lot faster and before I know it, I have resupplied all the things I need for crafting successfully. That's a pretty good deal all around. See you at the next adventure everyone!


No doubt about it, botanist helps a lot. 


*Final Fantasy XIV is playable on the following platforms: PC and Playstation4






Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mother Gamer Plays Warframe

A friend of mine suggested that I check out the game Warframe. They thought I would like it since I like games like Phantasy Star Online and Mass Effect. Warframe is a free to play co-operative third person shooter game. It's a science fiction futuristic role playing game. You can play Warframe on the PC, Xbox One, or the Playstation 4. Unfortunately there is no cross platform play with this, but at least you have a choice about which one you want to play on.

You play as a member of the Tenno, a race of ancient warriors who have awoken from cryosleep and find themselves at war with a race known as the Grineer who appear to be human clones with metal mods and the Corpus a corporation with robots and laser technology. I found that concept pretty intriguing and decided to check it out on my computer.

There are three starter warframes to choose from; Mag, Volt, and Excalibur. I decided to go with Mag and started my adventure in Warframe and named her Pirotess Dragontamer like my Final Fantasy XIV character. The introductory tutorial is quite helpful which gave me a chance to get used to the battle controls. I also liked that you can change the colors of your warframe and customize it to your tastes.


My Mag warframe is pretty cool. 

There are so many missions you can do on each planet ranging from rescue missions to spy missions. You can do these missions solo, but it's definitely easier to do them with friends. The max number of people on a team is four and it does make a mission go a lot faster when you have a full team. Finding a team is fairly easy as you can make your match settings public and the game will match you with people who are doing the same mission.


Pirotess doing a mission with her friends.

I'm glad I tried Warframe out because I love it. It's a lot of fun to play and the story is very interesting. The graphics for the game look great and the voice acting and music is really good as well. It's hard to believe it's a free to play online game because there is so much content and so many great areas to explore. 

You can also do crafting in the game and it isn't boring. In many of the missions you get blueprints for weapons and different warframes which you can build in your ship. Level grinding is not boring at all because of the variety of the missions. You also have solo missions for ranking up your warframe. The max level for a warframe is 30 and you can level up your weapons and pets as well. 


Pirotess on her Frost warframe.

My husband Ron plays Warframe with me as well and he's really enjoying it also. It's a lot of fun playing the game together and with our friends. Having a good clan helps too because they can help you get missions done as well as helping with getting blueprints and items you need for crafting and modding equipment.

I'm also looking forward to the new expansion for the game, Plains of Eidolon because it looks fantastic and there's going to be even more things added including a new warframe. Warframe is so much fun and I love just exploring and doing all the events and missions with everyone. It's fast paced and fits in my wheel house for sci-fi space games. Now, I'm off to explore more of the galaxy!


Hanging out in our clan dojo. 


*Warframe is available to play on the following platforms: PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4