Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Pokémon Violet Completed!

Uber wife surprised me with the gift of  Pokémon a week ago when she came home with a copy of Pokémon Violet to play. Woot!

Rated E for EVERY Pokémon

I was pretty forthcoming in saying that I kind of wanted to play this one, and she took that to heart knowing that I'd sit and waffle on that decision and probably end up not buying it. Why am I like that? Anyway, social media certainly has been trashing this game a lot because of "the glitches" but I have to say that for the most part I didn't encounter much of the weird stuff other people saw.

What I did notice was: 

  • I was able to see through ground geometry at the end of battle when the camera would focus in on the butt end of my  Pokémon and I was on an incline.  
  • There was a bit of graininess to the screen once in a while. 
  • Characters out in farther draw distance would hitch their walk animations.
  • Environment art in general was of a lower quality than character art. 

It might just be that I have a more forgiving eye or perhaps it was because I didn't do group online play, but for me the gameplay was as solid as any other Pokémon game. If you were to listen to the grumpy lady at my local Gamestop, this was the worst Pokémon game ever and the glitches were so bad it was unplayable. Um, no. 

This was not unplayable . . . in fact, I beat it yesterday!


I had a great time playing Pokémon Violet! At first gameplay felt very childish, and it took me a while to warm up to my character, but I finished strong by roleplaying him as the youngest member of Daft Punk.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

I gave every Pokémon I caught a unique name . . . kinda. I mean I had to name every one of them some variant of "boi" at the end of their name. My yellow Oricorio became known as "cheerboi." My starter Feucoco was named "dumboi." My Iron Treads was "wheelieboi."  It was a theme, save for special occasions like when I caught a Salandit and instead named it "Slayqueen" instead knowing it would evolve into Salazalle, aka the "hot looking lizard" Pokémon. (Props to my oldest for tipping me off to that.) The suffix "queen" then became a revered term amongst my Pokémon boxes.


This game basically has three main story paths you take. The first is the traditional Gym Championship path. The second is to take down Team Star. The third is more complex, and what I'd call the real story of Pokémon Violet.  In Pokémon Violet you begin the game by coming to the aid of a legendary Pokémon named Miraidon who is badly injured. As the story progresses, you take down Titan Pokémon and obtain their Herba Mystica to heal not only Miraidon, but your friend's Pokémon, who is badly injured. Eventually list story leads you down to Area Zero where you uncover the plot of the game. (I'm trying not to give away too many spoilers here)

It is done . . .

As for gameplay, this was pretty much what I'd expect from a Pokémon Open World game. The Team Star "slay 30" quests seemed odd, I will admit. Why did they give me 10 minutes to complete a course that took 2 minutes to complete? Outside of that, great! I don't have a lot of gameplay complaints. Difficulty did in fact scale up toward the end, and I even failed a battle with Headmaster Clavell there at the end and had a couple nail biter battles.

My favorite character in the game tbh

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the new Terastallizing feature in this game. Basically what this is, is a one-shot buff to your Pokémon per visit to the Pokémon Center (or you can use a ground spawn crystal to recharge as well). Every Pokémon in Pokémon Violet has this ability, and it can be a pretty cool way to swap your battle type . . . but mostly I used it to boost a move’s power. If you're interested, you can check out the deets here.

Terastallizing has got to be the weirdest name ever

After the credits rolled last night, I was presented with a new challenge which seemed to be a request to go face off against harder versions of the gym battles and continue to explore the open world environment of Pokémon Violet as I try to catch them all and get all the Pokémon registered in my Pokédex app.

Ultimately this has been a great game and really fun to play. If you've been playing, feel free to drop me a note and let me know what you thought of the game.

Happy Dueling!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Falling with Style - The Guild Wars 2 Griffon

Hey! Well, it's been a fun couple of days in Guild Wars 2 over the weekend! I spent a bunch of time today finishing up world map completion and also earning the infamous Griffon mount. That's right, I earned one of the HARD ones. *flex*

Time to Fall . . . with style!

For the most part, the somewhat arduous quest chain to get the Griffon is a solo effort, but there are a handful of group events that absolutely cannot be soloed. That said, I think I was lucky yesterday. There seemed to be plenty of people out and about doing the group events. And when there wasn't, the clouds would part, the universe aligned, and suddenly a stranger would pass by and help me with a more difficult boss as if pre-destined to happen . . . aka, the luck o' the necromancer.

So, yeah, I actually had a really fun time hunting down all the bits and pieces needed to learn how to tame and ride a griffon, and that final battle to obtain your griffon was epic!

I'm helping preserve the species . . . not just get myself a cool mount

To boil it all down, in each of the five zones of Path of Fire, you need to buy two 25gp items from faction vendors, collect 3 to 5 eggs from griffon perches, and complete 2-3 events.  Once you do this, you travel to the Dark Library, defeat 11 elites to gather 11 keys, and open 11 hidden chests for books. THEN, you do an amazing battle with the Champion Mordant Crescent Hierarch (whomever that is) and badda bing badda boom, you got yourself a griffon.

Death to all Champion mordant Crescent Hierarchs who oppose me!

Just have to say . . . it is a little weird that you have to pay 250 gold along with completing the quest steps to get your griffon. I mean, isn't just buying the expansion and doing all the quests enough?  It's fine though, I'll jump through your hoops ArenaNet. It's fine.

And it's all worth it for the ability to swoop underneath bridges with my cool new mount!

You better believe I'm flying under ALL the bridges in GW2!

Because I had done so much exploring while getting the griffon mount, it wasn't too bad just finishing everything up with map exploration and getting that achievement for expansion completion as well. Done and done.

So, it appears that my next objectives will be finishing up Living World Season 4 content so that I can get the other difficult to get mounts.  LET'S DO THIS!

Happy Dueling!

Friday, November 11, 2022

Earning Mounts-a-Plenty in Guild Wars 2

I've been going back through the zones of Path of Fire and earning as much Mastery Experience as I can. That and unlocking Mastery Points are pretty essential for acquiring and leveling the myriad of mounts that are available to you in this expansion. 

What?!?! I own the PVP mount?!?! That's so unlike me.

Can we just marvel for a second at how impressive the mounts are in Guild Wars 2? Each mount type has its own function, mastery track, movement style, and more skins than you can shake your wallet at. 

Skimming around with my old buddy Clever Clara

To explain it briefly, most mounts are unlocked from a vendor by completing a faction quest. Once you can purchase your mount, you buy its base model for in game gold.  This unlocks 5 levels of mastery that improve the mount with each level of mastery.  If you obtain the last level of mastery, a trait of the mount is applied to all your mounts.  It's kind of genius.

Thank you Jackal Mount for this hidden mastery point in the sky

So now I own the raptor, the skimmer, the springer, the jackal, and the pvp mount known as the warclaw. I still need to earn the griffon, the roller beetle, the skyscale, and the siege turtle. In other words, I have the easy ones.

That all said, I'm having the most fun with this jackal mount!  I love all the custom puzzles they've built in the game for this mount and magically blinking around on it is an absolute blast.

This view brought you courtesy of the jackal mount . . .

Don't you worry, reader . . . the challenge of the more difficult mounts means only one thing for The Friendly Necromancer . . . BRING IT ON!  I love a good challenge.

Happy Dueling!