Time to Loot Journal: March 2024

March had some heavy hitter titles come out toward the end of month. Dragon’s Dogma 2 and Horizon Forbidden West (PC) came out on the same day even.

And yet…

I had quite the month of sampling a wide range of games again. Almost rose to the point of warranting its own post; as I got on something of a ‘Tactics’ kick, picking up both Triangle Strategy and Ogre Tactics: Reborn during the Steam sale, in addition to some (very) loosely adjacent titles like Octapath Traveler 2.

Triangle Strategy is, I think, my favourite of the bunch so far, and the one I’m most likely to return to. Ogre Tactics: Reborn certainly wears its age a bit more heavily, despite being ‘remade’ for this generation. Not to say I’d write it off, I didn’t give it enough time to really form a solid conclusion on it. But right now? If I was forced to pick? Triangle Strategy for sure.

Cities Skylines 2 had its mod capability launch (finally) though. And that warranted another look… But then… No Man’s Sky put out an update featuring customisable ships and revamped stations! Which I highlight only really to say that I still don’t have any idea what might feature highly over the month of April for me. xD

Gaming Goals

March Gaming Goals

  • Last Epoch — Reach Empowered Monoliths on my Sorcerer
    I have one, maybe two more Monolith eras to go before unlocking the Empowered versions, if I understand things correctly. My Sorcerer is level 83 at the moment and has been blitzing the level 90 Monoliths since his 70s with absolutely no problems. But I hear the corruption boosting in the empowered versions can spike the difficulty, so pretty curious to see how that goes!

I did it! I got to Empowered Monoliths, completed the first few, and then ultimately decided I’d achieved everything I wanted to for the first cycle of Last Epoch.

My thoughts on Last Epoch are somewhat mixed at the moment. Mixed because one of the reasons I dropped off was the lack of ‘chase content’, things to specifically go after that makes the continual powering up of your character meaningful.

But! Progression, in terms of new item bases and affixes continue revealing themselves well late into the game. Combined with how the forging system works, you can continue making meaningful character progression for a long time.

It is all for its own sake though, currently. So I hope in future cycles we’ll see that further flesh out — and indications say that is the plan. I’m excited to jump back just as soon as the devs can give me a reason!

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake — Get back to where I was in the PS4 version on PC.
    Yep, ‘Remake’ still — not ‘Rebirth’. I didn’t finish Remake the first time around. I sadly fell out of love with it hard enough not to complete, I think largely due to the combat style of the game despite how much I was otherwise enjoying the additions to the story. I probably won’t pick up Rebirth until it comes out on PC (hopefully this year, given the exclusivity period ends in May!), but I’d at least like to give this another go and see if I can finish it this time.

I did it! Again! I haven’t checked, but I feel like it might’ve been a while before I completed both monthly goals.

Over shot this goal actually, and completed the game. I haven’t finished (or even barely started) Integrade, Yuffie’s DLC — but after completing the base game I definitely needed a break. Given I don’t plan on playing Rebirth until its PC release though, I figure I still have time.

April Gaming Goals

I wondered how I might tackle goals for April at first. Like I said in the intro, my gaming has kinda been all over the place. I thought about another Blogger City project. Anddul in Cities: Skylines 1 was a lot of fun, but… Well; I’m not 100% sure Cities: Skylines 2 is in a good enough spot just yet, even with mods. So! Instead:

  • Cities: Skylines 2 — Update my Impressions of the Game.
    It has been almost 6 months since Cities: Skylines 2 came out in its, frankly, atrocious state. There has been a lot of work done, that is undeniable. But… Is it enough? Is it ‘better’ than Cities 1 yet? Time to find out, I guess, and update my impressions here in the process.
  • Dragons Dogma 2 or Horizon Forbidden West — Play another 10+ hours.
    I don’t think I’ve ever given myself an ‘or’ goal before, but here we go! The freedom to choose either one, and play it for another 10-hours or more. The idea being here to ensure I’m getting some value from at least one of these titles given I jumped into both at full price. A further 10-hours in DD2 means a total playtime of >=21 hours, and for Horizon Forbidden West, 12.6 hours.

And speaking of hours…

Games Played in March 2024

RankGameHours% Gaming Time
1Final Fantasy VII: Remake (PC)27.819.2%
2Helldivers 226.618.4%
3Islands of Insight25.017.3%
4Last Epoch21.314.7%
5Dragon’s Dogma 210.37.1%
6No Man’s Sky6.44.4%
7Ready or Not4.12.8%
8Triangle Strategy3.32.3%
9Dwarven Realms2.92.0%
10Horizon Forbidden West (PC)2.51.7%
11Sniper Elite 52.01.4%
12Siralim Ultimate1.81.2%
13Tactics Ogre: Reborn1.61.1%
14Cities: Skylines 21.61.1%
15Nier: Automata1.51.0%
16Secrets of Grindea1.41.0%
17Octopath Traveler 21.30.9%
18Dave the Diver1.10.8%
19Dredge1.10.8%
20Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader1.00.7%
Links are to posts about the game in question which were made this month — where multiple posts were made this month about a game; may link to the category or tag instead.

Honestly… There were more than this. But I cut my off at 20, which in this case incidentally also dropped things with less than an hour spent on them. Some examples though… Xenonauts 2, A Plague Tale: Requiem (finally!), and Starship Simulator after reading about it from Tipa.

From the top 20 games though… 144.6 hours played.

Other Stuff

Gaming isn’t the only thing over March though. I finished ‘Master of Furies’ (Firemane Saga #3), then started and finished ‘Defiant’ (Skyward #4).

I enjoyed them both. Enough so that I considered reviving my long-dormant Book Reviews category, although as you may have seen… I haven’t. Yet.

But in brief, each of those two books were the end of their respective series. Each took quite a different route, however. Sanderson brought a rather satisfying end to the Skyward tetralogy. The door is not closed on further works in this universe — in fact, quite the opposite, another series has been confirmed…

But should you choose to close the door on this world with the end of ‘Defiant’, I think you could do so and feel good about your choice.

Feist, with wrapping up The Firemane Saga trilogy, really doesn’t want to let you go. While I wouldn’t quite take the step of saying the end was unsatisfying in any way, it’s beyond clear that this trilogy is just a smaller part of the broader story to be told. There is a certain commercialism which has been, unfortunately in my view, very evident in Feist’s approach to writing for quite some time now.

I was introduced to Feist and his work with ‘Magician’, many years ago now, and the feel between this work and its immediate trilogy and much of what followed is night and day.

Still… It clearly isn’t enough to put me off, and sometimes that lighter, more pulpy action feel is just what the doctor ordered!

As for my new read, ‘The Black Coast’ (The God-King Chronicles #1), it’s too early to tell. Mike Brooks is a new author to me, and I’ve just barely started. I will admit though… The initial chapters haven’t sold me on it yet. It has some work to do. But it takes a fair bit to make me ‘DNF’ a book, so I’ll give it some more time and see how it goes.

Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

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