February in Review, March Anticipated

Pretty boring month, I’d say. At least for gaming, for me. Only two posts the entire month!

What did I even do?

  • Murkmire event in ESO. In anticipation, I got my newest character (a Nord nightblade) all the way through the faction story, up to the point where the faction stories merged. I’m not doing Coldharbor again. But did the event enough to get the slime pet. Murkmire is an interesting zone, but very small and short, with not a lot going for it. And the event itself is bloody boring. I actually haven’t logged on in a couple days, it’s that boring.
  • Started playing Fallout Shelter again. I mean, it’s not like there’s a lot to do there, so no real time commitment there. I played it when it first came out, and stuff has changed. I was inspired by MATN’s playthrough; I’d otherwise completely forgotten it exists.
  • Princess Connect had its anniversary event. Well, not so much “event” as “free stuff!”. Which is fine; I don’t even know Japanese, so all the events are pretty much the same for me. But I did get the units I was shooting for, so that’s nice I guess.
  • Granblue Fantasy also started its anniversary event. I know a lot of people were disappointed in it, but that’s mostly a failure of expectations: they were expecting something EPIC!, but we got just a normal event. Fine by me: every character (except maybe the main character) acted exactly as they always do, the setup is something that isn’t out of place, the events flow as they should, and it actually resolves one of the plotlines that should have been taken care of a long time ago.

In Star Trek news, Picard continues to be bad, perhaps even getting worse! I haven’t written any reviews (or even put mini-reviews on twitter) because I really don’t care anymore. It remains watchable to me, but that’s a rather low bar: I only drop a show like this if it actively makes me not want to watch, even if it’s otherwise a good show (and Picard isn’t). While the end of ep 5 did quite annoy me, it was just emblematic of nuTrek, so I couldn’t say I was surprised.

As for next month, I actually have a goal! I’m going to finish one game off my backlog. I don’t know if I’ll go full-in on #MabyeInMarch, since I haven’t been feeling like playing a game where I need to follow a guide to not miss a bunch of stuff, which is very possible in Radiata Stories; also, the gameplay is really clunky in that game. And, I can’t really play next to my computer, which is a turnoff. But I’ll try to clear some game out of my backlog, for sure! Mabye…

Mobage Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these. Things have happened. I said I would talk about past events, but haven’t. Story stuff has happened. Etc.

It’s hard for me to talk about Princess Connect updates and events. Because, despite the fact that I retweet (and occasionally post here) untranslated Japanese stuff, I don’t actually understand Japanese. Neither reading or writing. Sure, I’ve been learning. But on a scale of N5 to N1 (official Japanese language skill exam levels), I’m like a N7. Mabye N8. Not even at the “can get the rough gist of things without subs” (though good enough to tell when subs are way off). So yah. Slow going. And, as PriConn is pretty much a visual novel with a management game attached, events are hard for me to appreciate. I still participate, as much as I can, but I skip most of the dialog. Which helps, because I only have about 20-30 mins per day to play this particular game.

But there was a new event! Some character goes to school for two weeks, for reasons! Stuff happens when she is there! She makes some friends! A couple of them turned out to be really popular with the community. One of them got a new SSR character this banner, and PriConn Twitter exploded. From what I can tell, she’s not that good, but not useless either.

In Dragalia Lost…well, stuff’s been happening, I guess. It continues to have the problem of too-long banners and events. And since the last summer event, there has been nothing new. And very little hype leading up to the anniversary, which is next week (either Thursday or Friday). Even the most recent banner (or rather, the next one) is a rerun dragon banner, with none of the featured dragons being particularly good – and only one of them being good at all. The only hint that something big is happening this month is that “something big” was announced at the beginning of the month, and there have been free daily rolls for some time. But other games, even other Cygames games, have had much bigger lead-ups to their anniversary: extra crystals, free 10-rolls, extra loot drops in content, and the like. Maybe tonight’s news will have that, but I’m not confident.

At least we got/are getting some new content. Got a couple new Void raids, which are nice for casuals like me. Tomorrow I believe is the new High Zodiark raid, which is nice for esports guys not like me (I haven’t even touched the second High Dragon raid). And last week we got a new beating stick (Mercurial Gauntlet), for the whales and tryhards. And, for people that actually like story in their RPG’s, we got a new main story chapter too, to lead off into the next arc of the story.

Speaking of main story, it was a bit of a let-down. Even the boot-lickers at Reddit were upset. More of a lore/worldbuilding infodump chapter than an advancement of plot or character. Typical shounen/jrpg premature end-boss encounter, where you go into it thinking things are going to get better, but they only get worse. I’ll have more to say on this sort of phenomenon in another post, since this event made me think of it.

Granblue Fantasy also had an addition to the main story. This was better than the DL addition, though it did leave a bad taste in my mouth at the end. It ended the current story chapter, and gave a big lore dump – finally, the/an explanation for what Lyria is! And Vyrn too, I guess, though we knew most of it already. I’m not sure I trust this explanation, though – first, we never hear Mikaboshi’s explanation, just that very trustworthy devil-man’s. And a part of his lore dump contradicts the explanation of Bahamut given by Sky-Lucio in the anniversary event, and what isn’t contradictory is incomplete compared to what we’ve heard earlier. Of course, GBF’s lore has always been this way (and that’s another thing I’ll cover in that upcoming post), this kinda wishy-washy unclear mess that seems like it’s made up as they go (almost certain that this is exactly the case – not that it’s a bad thing, inherently).

But man, that ending. Way dark for this game, especially for the main story, which has been generic good-boy shounen to this point (heck, even Naruto or One Piece aren’t afraid to have people die). I guess an organization that calls itself The Society might not be entirely on the up-and-up. But can this mean that we will finally get some acknowledgement of the various side stories in the main story?

Mobage Stuff

Stuff has been happening in the mobile games I’ve been playing, too. Granblue Fantasy has gotten its big collaboration event with the OG Love Live crew (which is linked to the 2nd gen Love Live crew event from last year). Dragalia Lost got a sequel to the previous summer event. Princess Connect has a rerun event from last summer going, but also is celebrating its half-anniversary with free 10-rolls, so that’s something too.

I have to say, for both GBF and DL I like the direction of the events compared to the previous. Both the older events (though DL’s was only a month ago) were pretty straightforward, “thing is threatening the place, so we gotta fight it”. Which was weird for the LL event, because the LL girls were entirely useless pretty much the whole time. I mean, you’d expect newbs to be useless, but they were really useless. At least the events in both games gave some character development to the main cast, but they were otherwise pretty normal, “everyone gets along to face the trial” stuff.

These new events though were a change of pace. For DL, I really liked the exploration of self-doubt and social fear on Cleo’s part, and how Siren helped her learn to cut loose and have fun, despite her own challenges (which is odd, since Cleo was all about “tanoshii pahty” back at Dragon Christmas, but whatever, I guess dancing around in a bikini on stage is different from hosting a party in a skimpy santa dress). Of course the event had a happy end, but it was nice that the “threat” was “people might not come to a concert because they are afraid of the singer for good reason,” (her name is Siren, after all) rather than some monster or another.

The LL collab in GBF was a bit more traditional in structure (there are monsters and such), but I think it utilized the LL girls a lot better this time around. Of course, it also helps that the OG LL girls are much more fully realized characters than their sequel counterparts. I’m only tangentially interested in LL, and I have to say the characters her caught me better than in last year’s collab, where it seems everyone just revolved around the main girl Chika. I gotta say, though, that Nico or Maki seem like better main character material than Honoka, but that’s probably just a LL thing more than a GBF thing. The fact that there is some conflict between the LL girls in this rather stressful situation – not much, but just a little banter and chops-busting – adds a bit of spice to what could have been a very saccharine outing.

I appreciated how the LL girls are clearly out of their depth here, but aren’t useless either. Some of them even take the time to learn some good magic stuff. And they actually utilize their skills to help the people of the town, in a way that makes sense, and is self-sustaining (or it would be, if we didn’t know what was coming). I also like that there’s an actual reason the LL girls come to the GBF world, and it wasn’t just some random thing like all the other idol collabs. There’s just a lot of good worldbuilding in this event that I like.

Gacha Summer Updates

It’s that time again: summer means swimsuits, which means alts in skin-showing bathing gear (there’s a difference between bathing suits and swimsuits; it’s very important). Dragalia Lost revealed its (first?) summer banner, and Granblue Fantasy and Princess Connect have released their new banners as well.

First, Dragalia Lost. Big news: this summer banner is not limited! All these girls are going into the permanent summon pool. Meaning I don’t have to spend my crystals for them now, which means I can roll for the actually-limited Gala Cleo. Which I got, after using all my tickets, but only one ten-roll of crystals. Very nice, and I still have 200 rolls saved up.

I know that feeling.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I like alts, at least in games like this, because I’m already attached to the characters, so getting more story for them is great. New characters always waste time introducing themselves, while alts are already known. In this case, Cleo’s story gives us some lore in addition to a story about her.

Anyways, the current summer characters here are Julietta, Celeria, and Ranzal, and Siren the dragon. If Celeria were limited, I’d roll everything for her. But she’s not, so I’ll probably get her next dream ticket. I imagine Reddit is pretty salty about this, since the gold rarity (I’m just going to call it SSR, because that’s basically what it is) are all girls, and Reddit is gay, and Ranzal already has an alt.

Granblue Fantasy’s summer characters are limited, as usual. We get Jessica (yukata version, which I honestly much prefer to the bikini alts), Europa, and Lancelot+Vane, with Satyr as the summon. We knew all of these since the weekend, as they were revealed at the grabble convention, but we didn’t know art or rarity or whatever. Reddit was really butthurt about these, too since a) Jessica already has a summer alt; b) this is Jessica’s first SSR, and it’s a seasonal limited; c) Europa basically just came out, and she already gets an alt; and d) Vane and Lancelot get yet another combo unit, and SR at that. I don’t agree with any of these complaints, but I do understand them. As for me, I won’t be rolling this banner; there hasn’t been a broken, must-have summer unit yet (though most of them have been quite good), and the most desirable has generally been the last to be revealed (also, S. Ilsa isn’t sparkable this time, and I want her).

As for Princess Connect, we get S. Makoto this time. Looks like she’s specifically made for Clan Battle and event bosses, since she gets stronger the fewer enemies there are. Useless for Arena, of course. Don’t know what Reddit thinks of this one, because that sub is dead.

Princess Connect, English Version: Earlier Than Anticipated?

Very interesting statement from the official Princess Connect: ReDive twitter last night:

Why formalize the naming conventions in English, if there is no English translation planned? A couple weeks ago at Anime Expo, Kimura Yuito, producer of both Grandblue Fantasy and Princess Connect, was interviewed by several different folks, some of whom asked about an English translation for Princess Connect. The answer was always, “we’ll see, if there’s interest.” In one interview, he even said that any publishers or localizers that are interested should get in touch.

Maybe someone did?