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Spoilers for the Hearts of Stone expansion…minimal spoilers for the main game near the end

Feminina:

I was wrong. The pig herding wasn’t the giant robot. I have met the giant robot. It is pretty much a fantasy-tinted copy of the Remember Me robot. STOP THIS, GAME!!!!

In both cases, you’re trapped in a limited space. You run around trying to avoid being hit with things the monster throws at you (boxes in the case of the actual robot, energy blasts in the case of the witcher version, called ‘The Caretaker’). You can’t do much to it, until it uses a super attack which, if it misses, causes it to get stuck to the ground for a few seconds (the robot gets its punching arm stuck, the Caretaker gets its giant axe stuck). Then you hit it as much as you can and then run off before it comes unstuck. And if you don’t hit it enough, it HEALS ITSELF (I don’t remember if the actual robot could do this, to be honest).

It’s an endless battle of attrition, running around, dodging, trying to pick off hit points while replenishing my own hit points. Practically the definition of slog. And these precise timing things, where you have to dodge just right to avoid the attack and then run back and hit while it’s stuck and then dodge away again…those are just not my strong point in games, so it’s really going to take freaking forever.

Oh, and once you do a certain amount of damage, it has NEW desperation attacks to contend with! And then it heals itself some more!

They’re just messing with me right now. Unlike the giant robot, this thing didn’t even kill me (it’s not that it’s extra deadly, it’s just really hard to damage significantly), I just got tired of making no progress in the fight after 20 minutes and quit out. Twice. So we’ll see if the third or 4th or 10th time is the charm here.

The good news is, before that I got to do a heist, which was kind of fun. Recruiting people to climb walls and pick locks, sneaking into a building to get something from a vault…of course everything went spectacularly wrong and a ton of people wound up dead (hazards of the trade), but I got what I came for, so I can’t complain too much.

I really like the stuff in this expansion that isn’t giant robots and pig-herding (although the second try, seriously, the pig herding was NOTHING–oh, and I won a swineherd trophy that grants me 15% bonus gold, which is great since I badly need money in order to…continue to have lots of money).

Butch:

I’m not sure if I should believe you about this horrible robot, or think that you’ve realized that I will never, ever, EVER have time to play the expansion and you’re trying to make me feel better.

I remember. It could heal itself. They obviously played Remember Me. I blame Europe. Remember Me was French. Maybe there’s something in the water.

And you didn’t kill it? That’s awful!

Funny, cuz, really, there are no really sloggy bits in the main game. I’m rather surprised. Unless this is to make me feel better.

A tip: I have fallen in love with Quen, especially during boss fights. The quen place of power right before Imilwhatever clued me in this could be a good thing. Make sure you have the skill where it blows up and damages people when it breaks. Max that out, and activate it. Then, whack whack whack and make sure you get whacked ONCE, then run, reactivate. You should be up to full by the time you’re done whacking. You take no damage when you get whacked, it does.

This. Is. Awesome.

I took out this annoying golem like that and took not a point of damage.

Cool about the heist, though. Not cool enough that I’m gonna herd pigs and kill fantasy robots instead of FO4, but cool.

This is one longassed expansion, isn’t it? It’s like a full game (well, a full normal game) for eight bucks or so? Nice.

You are obsessed with money. I’m really surprised there isn’t a PSN trophy for “collect X gold” cuz you’re really at a point where the only thing a “15% bonus gold” boost could possibly help you with is some arbitrary “get this to platinum the game” number.

As for me, I did get to play! Some. Finished finding the sunstone with Phillipa, which proved that a) there should have been more Phillipa in this game and b) no endgame is complete without aiming mirrors. I guess the lever guy was busy in that garden, so they had to book the mirror guy.

So I’m off to sneak onto the Emperor’s boat, hopefully tonight. I’m optimistic that the end is near, cuz, much to my surprise, finding the sunstone did not lead to eight more quests.

Feminina:

They must have been playing Remember Me right while they were looking for a tough monster, because I swear it feels like a copy. Of my worst nightmare. Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

I am not making any of it up to make you feel better. It is absolutely the Return of the Giant Robot. Which is probably not necessarily everyone’s game nemesis the way it is mine, because if you’re good at those timing things it’s probably not that big a deal. But it will be the death of me.

And believe me, I’ve been onboard the quen train for a long time. Exploding quen is awesome. LOVE IT. Doesn’t do much to this guy, though, although it does keep some hit points for me. He seems immune to pretty much everything except physical damage…grapeshot took off a few points, but fire, ice, axii, I even tried samum in case it slowed him down for a second, but…nothin’.

I’ll be working on this for a while.

But good for you getting closer and closer to the end! You can totally finish it this week. It’s within your grasp!

Butch:

That sucks, dude. I gotta say, I’m very glad that I’ve avoided Giant Robot moments. Reaper moments are bad enough.

At the very least, take heart in the fact that you are making me feel better.

Damn, though. When you’re chucking samum to see what sticks, you’re desperate. I only used samum once, and that was on the fiend thingy. Saw in the bestiary that it used his eye to hypnotize you, figured blinding it would be handy, and what do you know.

Don’t take too much time. Remember Fallout 4 is out now.

You’ve been saying that for a month, though, that I’m almost done. Really, you have.

Feminina:

I know, FO4. AND I have the end of Life is Strange. Kind of a crunch looming here…I may have to turn the difficulty down. Slog battles are what lower difficulty is for, though, really. They don’t advance the story, you just want to get through them.

And hey: I haven’t been saying “you could finish this week” for a month. I’ve been very leery of offering specific timing on it. “This week” is a positive development.

Butch:

Oh, dude, seriously. I give you permission to hit “Just the story.” That is EXACTLY what turning it down is for. Advancing, after you’ve tried. I mean, remember, it’s gotta be fun. Get through the not fun bit and move along.

Ok, maybe three weeks you’ve been saying that.

Though Mrs. McP doesn’t have class tomorrow! Shit. I told her I’m GOING to finish this game this week, whether she likes it or not. She doesn’t need dinner.

Feminina:

Order pizza. Every day this week if you have to. This is important.

Butch:

Dammit, it is! I had that evening planned! She only told me last night. I even bought lunch meat so I didn’t have to make MYSELF dinner.

Tonight I’m doing the emperor. PLEASE tell me this does not lead to 4 more quests. Or even one.

Feminina:

No, but you will have to swim.

But no, it shouldn’t take a lot of time if I’m recalling correctly. You may even get into the battling! Obviously, this is a multipart final battle, but I think you could get to the first part.

Butch:

Fuck fuck fuck I KNEW it was swimming. It it underwater swimming? Cuz that’s the worst. At night? Fuck.

See, I’m not going to start the multipart final battle unless I can FINISH the multipart final battle. We’ll have to see. Maybe it waits until Mrs. McP’s next class.

Momentum. Dramatic momentum.

Feminina:

Congratulations–it IS underwater swimming at night! They saved this up just for you!

But don’t worry, it proved to be much less challenging than I thought it might be. And it’s true that I don’t mind swimming, so my rating for ‘challenge’ in this case is perhaps different than yours, but even so, it shouldn’t be a problem. I got all prepared with my killer whale potion and everything, and then it was…not that big a deal. You’ll be fine. I promise.

Butch:

Well shit. Cuz guess which potion I still do not have? Yes, that would be killer whale.

Shit.

Feminina:

Yeah, I know, but you don’t really need it. Seriously, don’t worry about it. There is definitely no underwater breath-holding battle with a demonic octopus involved.

Although I don’t know why not, honestly.

Butch:

Dude, you are now officially being mean.

I am worried. I don’t want a damn reaper moment interfering here. NO TIME!

Feminina:

All right, sorry. Honestly, there’s nothing to fear. A little swimming, a little underwater, a little dark. But I think they totally get at this point (unlike all the other points) that people kind of want to move things along. This is not going to slow you down. You’ll be fine.

Butch:

Yeah. At the “meet Phillipa” bit, I noticed it was far and my heart sank, until they gave me a fast travel point even though I had no map. Like “ah fuck it. Just go there. We really just didn’t want you to find it early. Move along.”

Feminina:

I had found that point earlier, and it was just a sealed wall in the hill. I was like “this has GOT to be something, at some point,” but I couldn’t do anything with it, so I wandered off. I was glad to see it really was something, once I got to that point.

But yeah…”move along. You’ve got things to do, and we want you to take care of fifty-leven details before you get there, but we’re not going to make those details really hard to manage. Just show up.”

Butch:

Which I am totally ok with cuz if I had had to sail around killing sirens for an hour I would have been quite peeved.

By the way, how on earth did you finish so fast when you must’ve sailed like fifteen hours more than I did?

Feminina:

That was valuable XP! Speaking of which, the other day I got in a boat, took the helm, and opened the map, and STILL can’t see harbor markers. I know where they were…but they don’t show up. I think my game wants me to sail a lot. Sadly (not sadly), the expansion doesn’t really require much sea travel.

And remember, I wasn’t playing gwent. That’s like 30 hours right there.

Butch:

Good point.

I had more fun.

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