Sunday, January 21, 2018

Game Diary - Well This Can't Last II : Too Successful.

I have, once again, checked out a game that's not Overwatch.  Pankapu has been on my radar since its Kickstarter,  It checks a lot of boxes, for me - lovely hand-drawn art, 2D platformer where you swing a sword, and though it uses the stretchy Flash-style of animation, its animation is still really good. Its backgrounds are gorgeous, and after what feels like two or three hours with the game, I've yet to unlock any new forms that drastically alter my abilities (as shown off in like, all the game's promo art).

So it seems there's a lot more game to discover, here, but Pankapu falls in line with most other indies I've checked out on Switch.  That is to say...

...s'okay.  S'alright.  The combat is more about methodically, slowly putting yourself within swing range of a foe and mashing, sometimes blocking depending on the enemy.  It's not kinetic.  It's not fast-paced or expressive, it just looks kinda' nice.  Jumping is slow, and floaty, and the only things you can (currently?) do in mid-air are sword slashes and a drop attack.  And there are projectile foes that shoot crap at you, but only once you get close enough, and sometimes they're positioned just by a ledge you're jumping to so it seems there's absolutely no way to make the jump without eating a projectile to the face - you can't block in mid-air!  It's weird and it feels like... untested design.

It's a very simple, pretty-darned-easy action-platformer, so far, but that's not unpleasant!  And maybe if I stick with it, more mechanics will open up and it will remain pleasant, but - like almost every game, it seems - it doesn't grab me and demand I stick with it.   I'm playing it, and wishing Vanillaware's catalog was on the Switch.

It's no Overwatch.


The Tracer-only competitive experiment continues apace.

I'm enjoying a long weekend, again - I had Friday off - and quickplay has been... a trial.  Every night I logged on, I ended up facing a ton of diamonds and getting my ass kicked, or having a bunch of diamonds on my team, getting carried and not really getting to practice my Tracer or dial it in, in a meaningful way.

My brother was (strangely) able to play with me on Friday night, and we stuck to quickplay to make sure we felt ready for comp.  It went about the same.  We won some, but again, it was a lot of diamonds, a lot of getting our asses kicked, and a lot of feeling like were playing a game that was above our skill level, and experience.

It was so demoralizing, we didn't try competitive.


Last night, as we adhered to our ritual of quickplay warmups, it was much the same.  I ended up getting one good carry round in, just prior to another stomp, and morale was not very high.  We took a short break, and when we got back on, I asked Chris is he actually wanted to play competitive.  I wanted him to say no - I was not feelin' The Tracer Mojo at all - but I didn't want to let him down and suggest it.

"I guess so," he said.  I could hear the shrug in his voice, but that's also just how my brother talks.  He'll sell it like he doesn't really give a shit, but he gives a shit.  I've bailed on countless competitive sessions with my brother, usually for similar reasons - "I'm not performing in quickplay," "Bastion just got a ridiculous buff," "Mercy's SR gain is broken right now" - but I figured what the hell, I'll roll the dice.

This can't last.

Had some amazeball games.  Got a nice three-kill PotG on Gibraltar, pulse bombing Bastion and Junkrat, and one-clipping the Mercy when she comes in to rez.  The one loss was an absolute stomp where I could get nothing done, I felt like I was lagging all game and we called that our last comp game of the night.  The rest were either good, or incredible.  In a hard-fought win on Eichenwald (not my best Tracer map by a long shot), we almost made it to the goal on our attack push, and the reds had it to within like 5 meters and I popped off.

Pulse Bomb stuck to Rein, it's a double, I get a triple-kill when our Moira finishes off Mercy, I turn around and put one good clip into Pharah and one good clip into Babby D.Va, and that's game - it was spectacular.  I ended up going 57 and 2 on one incredible Junkertown game (but I didn't save the footage between rounds, so I lost the almost the entire first leg of our attack round).  It was ridiculous.  I was a lean, mean, Mercy-pickin' machine.

So this is still only 17 games of competitive, this season, counting my placements - I'm at 4 losses, 13 wins - that's a 76.5% win rate!


Oh, and Chris got a ridonkulous quintuple-kill D.Va ult PotG.  It was gorgeous.


Elsewhere in Overwatch news, Blizzard continues revealing the new cosmetics that will arrive with Blizzworld on the 23rd.  Today it's new Epic-tier skins for Zen, McCree, Junk, Reaper and Symmetra.  Reaper's and Zen's aren't bad.

I really need to put a vid together with the stuff I've pulled off, lately.  I haven't felt this dialed in on Tracer since the Believer clip show (nearly a year, now!). 


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