Blog: Nice problems to have

I have a problem……I’ve found myself in a strange place recently, but a great one. I’m jumping between two different games, that are actually both wonderful and near perfect in terms of execution and the fun I’m having with them.

Sure, I’m dipping into PUBG which has gone from strength to strength over the past few months, and gives one of the best multiplayer competitive experiences around at the moment. And yeah, I’ve been giving Destiny 2 more of my time. But the real stars and competitors for my time are Metal Gear Solid 5 and Monster Hunter World.

The problem is that I’m genuinely torn each time I turn on the console.  Which excellent game, which world do I want to dive into? It isn’t a question of “ugh, I’d rather play this”, it’s a question or “crap, how do I choose?”.  I’ve tried alternating, but if I get deep into a quest or mission in one, I want to follow it through and move forwards until a natural break, so that doesn’t work.  There isn’t a favourite, and neither are reliant on friends being online, so nobody else can help sway my decision.

Two large, immersive worlds, with excellent emergent gameplay, whereby minute is littered with possibility and I never truly know how things are going to go down.  What a great problem to have, eh?

PUBG

As the moment, PUBG is my middle-ground, my go-to when others are online and a chance to pull myself out of these engrossing worlds.  It’s always fun, in fact the experience is a pleasure most of the time.  With fewer and fewer issues for me personally, I’m seeing smooth games with no crashing and having a blast, regardless of the playdough houses on occasion.

With the addition of Miramar, it feels like a new game.  I don’t solo very often, but even on the worst round of my life, this is a continuous source of fun with friends. 

Those close calls, that dodgy driving, that chicken dinner.  It all adds up to a rough-around-the-edges experience with a real solid core gameplay experience.  Sure, Battle Royale is becoming loathed by the masses, and yeah, PUBG has seen some pretty negative backlash in wake of all the issues it launched with (particularly on Xbox).  But damn, it’s just so much fun!!

Metal Gear Solid V – The Phantom Pain

I started playing this in 2016, shortly after release.  I loved it, but upon closer inspection, played very little and for whatever reason I stopped playing.

The Phantom Pain has been a game I know is good, and I’ve loved the idea of getting stuck into, but never actually got stuck-into.  Now, suddenly I’m engrossed.  My D-Horse is nearly ready to poo on command, I’ve got a puppy D-Dog, I literally just captured the infamous “Quiet” and I’m chasing my old pal Otacon.

Just playing through each minute is a joy.  Picking my approach, tackling an outpost, saving a hostage, blowing up tanks.  I’d say that I’ve learned a pretty important lesson this week.  Playing stealth at all times is not ideal.  My approach of “don’t ever been seen and only knock people out” has gone out of the window.  When faced with a mission that meant using a lot of explosives, I had no choice but to go-loud, and it occurred to me that it’s not that big a problem to make a scene. Hell, it’s half the fun.

That epiphany has changed the way I play the game, and honestly, it’s changed my experience for the better.  A little less pressure on myself, and a lot more fun.

I bloody love this game right now.  Base and staff management, weapon and gadget building.  It’s all there, and the benefits of doing a bit of micro-management from time to time are well worth it.  I need to get my fulton leveled up a bit more so I can just capture full cars.

It’s detailed, it’s fun, it’s engrossing and I want to be a part of it for a long time yet.

Monster Hunter World

A game where I feel like every minute spent in it, is a lesson and an experience that helps me get better.  I’ve had tense battles with some wonderful looking monsters, I’ve crafted gear from the bones and scales of my victims.

Aided by my little palico pal Beau, I’m always preparing to take on something bigger and tougher, and I’m always excited at the prospect.

Discovering new areas, which are basically completely new biomes, hosting new plants and materials.  With new monsters to tackle, too, it’s a non-stop adventure at the minuted.

I really want to get to the tougher versions of the monsters, and dive-in with a full group of 4 hunters, but for now I’m getting by just fine.  In fact, I had a random join me by chance once, and sharing the workload was really nice.  Being able to keep the damage up, whilst being able to dash away and heal at the same time was really cool.  Something more co-ordinated, and with friends, is something I can’t wait to try!

Beyond that, I can now send out a crew of Palicoes to go and earn rewards for me, by completing missions.  So, yet again, a little micro-management for some nice benefits.

This game really has it all.  A giant chef-cat, HUGE monsters, loads of weapons to learn, a friendly and fun vibe, and the potential to go on adventures with others. 

Better still, there’s a 50 minute time limit imposed on all hunts, which I thought was a terrible idea, until I realised how neatly it ties-in to smaller 1 hour gaming sessions.  The more you learn to hunt and track a monster, the easier it is to find them, so 50 minutes becomes more than enough time to achieve a quest, and it’s so damn satisfying!

Again, the minute to minute action keeps you hanging on.  You never know when you’re going to miss that swing and get bowled over, or if you’re going to nail that landing on the back of the monster you’re fighting.  I’m getting better, but I’m far from good.

Nice problems to have

So, yeah.  Apart from not branching out enough to have new games to write about, I’m immensely satisfied with what I have to hand, to play.  Ruined only by the fact that everything is so good and I struggle to choose which to play.  What a major problem to have in this world of Brexit, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un.

Tough life, eh?

I’d suggest to anyone that hasn’t played these games, to dive right in.  So much fun to be had, it’s frankly ridiculous.  Get some decent coffee then get stuck-in and enjoy!!

May my problem become your problem.

 

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