What I'm Playing
Still hitting up Final Fantasy XIV regularly. This game is a sight to behold, honestly. Being able to turn off the UI so quickly is great for quick screenshots. To wit: Spent some time in the desert...
Since there weren't many players in the area, it felt especially lonely when I ventured out for a few story quests. A bit of a reminder that I'm behind everyone else when it comes to this game.
After that, I headed back to the beach, where I was able to get a great shot of the sunset.
I needed to level up before I could get to the next Story Quest, so I jumped into a Duty Leveler with a few other people and hit level 32 in no time. Was able to get a shot in the middle of battle because we were in the Tam-Tara Deepcroft, the first dungeon in the game. Pretty low-effort, especially as a healer.
After that, I was finally whisked off to the next area I needed to go to. It was a dungeon, however, so I left it for tomorrow, stopping off at a nearby town for my log out bonus.
After that, I played a bit of Atelier Sophie, which has been addictive as ever. The cutscenes are brisk and entertaining, so it's easy to keep wanting to get to the next one. Alchemic options are also getting unlocked one after another, so I've been working my way through finding lots of new recipes. Unlike other games in the series where you had to buy books, Atelier Sophie has you learn new recipes by exploring the world, interacting with the environment, and speaking with NPCs. This works better from a gameplay experience than previous entries - the aspects of exploration and alchemy come tied together, making each aspect more interesting as you bounce between the two.
Also, can we just talk about how beautiful the artwork in this game is? Because it is.
Great stuff. So that's progressing well. On the handheld front, I've been pushing through Tales of the Abyss. The story is finally starting to pick up a bit, once you get back to Luke's mansion. I've heard good things about the game, so I'm going to keep moving through it before I give up anyways. One thing I do feel is that I hate the puzzles in these games. I'd rather have Zesteria's style of empty hallways with combat than the puzzle-heavy stuff in Symphonia and Abyss. I realize that's more than likely a product of the PS2 era, but they're just...such a pain to get through. Luckily the combat isn't random-encounter based so I can do some clean dodging to get past enemies and finish a puzzle without interruption. Plus, even if I do get caught in battle, the combat system is fantastic, as is always expected of Tales games - and rightly so.
In any case, as long as Jade keeps crapping on the group, I'm gonna keep playing.