Playing & Rambling #5: Some Halo Rings and Xenoblades

I’m back at it again with this column. Again, this is dependent on me actually spending time with enough video games so it’ll be every other Sunday.

Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU)

I haven’t played this in months, nor do I really need to since I got the 100% Survey of planet Mira this year. I’ve more or less completed the game in some way. Still, I like coming back to this to farm for Reward Tickets which let you get rare materials when you redeem them and there’s still some builds I’m tinkering around with. There’s also some achievements I can still get though I have to get all 749 of them. A couple of them require the online multiplayer component and this community, while still kicking, has dwindled immensely over the years.

Personally, I would love for Nintendo to port this game to Switch. Why not since they’ve ported most of their major WiiU titles at this point. Admittedly, I’d have to spend hundreds of hours again trying to 100% it a second time…but the insane part of me wouldn’t mind it anyway.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)

I’m still not that big of a fan with this game but part of me wants to one day 100% all the Xenoblade titles so this title needs to get off the bucket list.

Right now, I’m farming for Core Crystals to summon the Rare Blades which is such a tedious grind. It boggles the mind that someone in Monolith Soft thought it was a good idea to implement mobile game malarkey into this game. You kill monsters over and over again to maybe get good crystals that’ll maybe give you a Rare Blade. It’s a mechanic inherently designed to waste your fucking time and I hate it so much. And quite honestly, that is just one of the many gameplay issues I have with this stinking game.

Halo Reach (Xbox 360)

I recently heard that Reach still has a pretty decently sized community and Microsoft just had a $2 for one month of Xbox Live Gold deal so I renewed my subscription for the first time in years to check it out.

And sure enough, there’s sometimes a couple thousand people playing the game. I’m stunned since Reach is almost a decade old at this point. Still, that does make me happy since I have a lot of fond memories playing this game. I wouldn’t go as far as call it my favorite Halo title. My personal favorite installment is Halo 3 followed by ODST. Plus, there’s some mechanics that I was never too fond of in Reach like some of the Armor Abilities (fucking Armor Lock) and reticle bloom making shooting the guns less fun at times. Still, the multiplayer is still pre-343 Halo goodness and I’m having fun coming back to this game after so many years.

Halo: Combat Evolve Anniversary (Xbox 360)

Finally got all 44 achievements in this game! It pleases me to have a Halo game completed for my Gamerscore though it also amuses me that this is my first achievement 100% in two years. College puts everything on hold…

Finishing the campaign on Legendary with a friend was also lot of fun. Playing Halo on Legendary is always a worthwhile endeavor for me. The increased difficulty really forces you to consider all sorts of approaches to get through a battle and that in turn makes you appreciate (or criticize) the level design more. This is especially the case in Halo: CE. It’s missing some conveniences and has like weapon swapping with allies and hijacking vehicles but the sandbox was the most open-ended in this game.

For some reason, we struggled a lot with the famous Warthog Run at the end of the game. It was mainly because my friend was helping me the achievement to finish it 1 minute or more and we just kept getting bad times for some reason. Oddly enough, our successful run involved me kicked out of the Warthog and my friend leaving me behind to get a good time. It’s definitely not canon but it was hilarious.

Other Games:

  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Switch) – Played some more co-op; still find hopping on your partner’s back amusing. Actually, the level design in the second world is pretty incredible. I love the festive, folklorish look to it.
  • Fire Emblem Heroes (Mobile) – As always, I play this casually and if I got enough free orbs, I dabble in summoning more Heroes. I universally dislike this whole lottery aspect but damn it do rare JPEGs get me excited. I got Festive Elincia and Brave Celica and they do both look great. I especially love that they got FE Echoes‘ character designer, Hidari, to come back and do a take on Celica’s old Gaiden outfit.

Thanks for Reading!

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