Something I really appreciate about Persona 5

I want to write about this game, I really do. I’m about 55 hours in and really enjoying it. My weekends consist of playing this game, wishing I was a Phantom Thief. It’s amazing.

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I want to write about it, but I want to wait until I’m finished it first. One thing I want to write about now is the battle system and that in the year 2017, Persona 5 is not afraid to present players a turn based RPG.

Final Fantasy X, one of my favourite games ever, featured perhaps the best turn-based battle system of any RPG. Persona 5 gives it a good run for its money, with players free to plan their turns and look ahead (although only as far as the next character/enemy) to make their decisions.

It’s fun and rewarding. You can exploit weakness to gain extra turns and pass those turns to other party members. Careful passing of your turn to other members can result in a near instant victory. On the other hand, it can be punishing as enemies also gain extra turns for exploiting your weaknesses.

The game demands you use your skills and abilities and does not look to compensate you by providing opportunities to heal party members all that easily.

It’s awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I totally dig Final Fantasy XV’s battle system, but it’s just not the same.

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Twitch streaming and enjoying it

Hello friends, did you miss me? I didn’t write an article during the week last week as I felt it would be a good time to churn out an article for ‘Australian Tabletop Gaming Network’ on my favourite cards in the newest Pokémon set – ‘Guardians Rising’. However I still want to keep up the pace on posts so here I am winding down from my weekend at my PC.

I wanted to share some thoughts from a Twitch stream I did last week. It wasn’t necessarily out of the ordinary – I streamed a few hours of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – but I will say that I definitely enjoyed it. I felt like it was a good fit for me in that I enjoy the game, it can be played in short bursts and it isn’t taxing on myself or the viewer.

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Letsa’ Gooooo~

When I stream, it has usually been the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online. While I do enjoy the game and have relative success in streaming it, I have found the task of maintaining an online account for the game to be taxing at times. It is a digital version of the TCG and as such requires you to work to obtain the cards for it.

I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing though. It is easy to forget the user base PTCGO is designed for. Not necessarily ‘hyper competitive’ players, but more casual consumers of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

I’ll leave criticisms of PTCGO to these two opinion pieces by Jay Hornung:

https://sixprizes.com/2014/12/17/mind-if-i-roll-need/
https://sixprizes.com/2016/06/01/further-inspection/

On the other hand, I can just load up Mario Kart and off I go! The game is ‘complete’ out of the box and it has only taken a few hours of play to unlock the parts I need to play the game as I wish to play. A feature of the game I appreciate is that the game has a sense of progression delivered via the points rating system which can increase or decrease depending on how you place in a race online. PTCGO has this as well, but chooses to publish this outside of the boundaries of the game.

Nothing about the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a chore. It’s wild and it’s colourful. It draws on Nintendo’s pantheon of IPs in its greatest iteration of the game. I plan to stream it more and see where it takes me.

I leave you with this:
https://clips.twitch.tv/SingleRudePlumDoritosChip

League of Legends and losing in video games

League of Legends and losing in video games

Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss.

That’s six losses tonight playing games of League of Legends. Fortunately only one of them was in ranked solo. Losing in video games, especially when they’re competitive, can be frustrating. LoL can be brutal, especially when others are pointing at you as the reason for why the team is losing.

The one game which really tilted me in that six was the one I decided to play Kindred in. Kindred is one of my favourite characters in this game, but this character isn’t exactly robust – something I was reacquainted with when attempting to gank a half-health Syndra, only to simply pushed back and killed in the process.

That particular interaction really got to me. I don’t mind losing. Really. Having that attempted gank go so far south just because of a bunch of numbers I don’t really understand (try as I might) really highlighted the one true grievance I have with the game. I don’t really get numbers like LoL gives them to you. I don’t have time to estimate and interpret how or why my character is weak or strong relative to other players, or at the very least I’m not very good at it. This might be why I gravitate towards playing tank characters – there’s margin for error.

You learn to make estimations based on a character’s KDA – don’t try to duel the 10/2/6 Vayne if you’re not equally as fed for example. But when those estimations betray you because you didn’t understand the numbers enough, that’s what really annoys me about League.

When I play Pokémon Cards, I never feel betrayed by the numbers. It’s simple maths! When I look at my inventory in League of Legends, I’m met with numbers and percentages relating to Health, Attack Damage, Attack Speed, Armour, Magic Resist and Movement Speed – which then go on to interact with the other nine players on the map.

When I don’t have to worry about those numbers and am left to ‘feel’ it out, I’m ok. But I’m simply not that good with the squishier characters in the game as a result. My best game of the night was the one ranked solo game I played – 5/3/16 on Amumu and although we still lost, I felt useful and I felt like I knew what I was doing when I did it. I was satisfied.

Part of the issue seems to stem from not playing to improve all the time. It is possible to play thousands of games within the lowest divisions and not make any progress because you aren’t actively trying to learn the game or think about your mistakes. When I say playing to improve, I mean constantly thinking about what you’re doing and what to do next, thinking about mistakes, what you can do better to improve, etc.

Reflecting on the Kindred game, I realised that fighting was always going to be difficult early on due to the lack of resistances in my rune page set up and so I know for next time that I need to be very careful when ganking early.

I go through this grievance with the game at times, but always end up getting over it because it’s fun to play with a good group of friends like I do. At the very least, enjoying the esports scene removes the need to understand the hard numbers, freeing you to focus on the spectacle.