Hey long time no see! Sorry I haven’t been posting — I lost and got a new job all within 7 days, and the new job pays really well, which I’m thankful for. So well, in fact, that I’ve shut down my Patreon! That, the fact that I haven’t been super enthralled by anything I’m playing, and the fact that I spend a lot of my creative time making music now, means that my posting cadence has and probably will continue to be a lot slower, but I’m still aiming for at least one post a month.

Also if you're looking for an easy way to keep track of my posts, I made an official Newsletter! It's an easy way to keep track of what I'm writing, especially because I won't be using Patreon as a way to alert people anymore. It's gonna be free of course, so subscribe if you care about all the nonsense I have to say!

That said! Here’s what I’ve been playing lately. Or rather, what I’ve been playing that I actually have things to say about, heh.

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends

I don't know what came over me as to why I wanted to redownload Ghost of Tsushima - probably the fact that it got a PS5 upgrade and I didn't have much else I was in the mood to play. But I did, and I convinced the homie Sparkkfox to redownload it and get into the multiplayer with me. I think we've both been burned out by getting sweaty in Apex Legends, and we're still waiting for other multiplayer affairs like Halo Infinite (more on that later).

And boy am I glad we jumped into Legends! Neither of us touched it much after 40-50 hours of Tsushima, but going back to it feels like an incredible breath of fresh air. It's a blast to chill out and chat while we do cool-looking Samurai things, while also having just enough difficulty in harder levels to keep us engaged. Interestingly, stripping away the one-man army that is Jin and replacing him with specialized classes leads to Legends being the most mechanically engaging version of Tsushima by a long shot. Playing a White Mage-like Ronin contrasts against the DPS focus of Flynn's Hunter, letting us work together to fight against the myriad of enemies in the game's different modes. On that note, because the game mode isn't tied down by """historical accuracy,""" there are lot of interesting new enemy types, from barely visible ghosts to the ridiculously annoying tengu.

I wasn't expecting much from Legends, but damn is it deep. There's a whole gear system, multiple game modes, and even a Raid that we haven't gotten around to playing because we're not leveled enough. I dunno how long we'll stick with it, but the fact all of this was added to the base game at no extra cost means that if nothing else, I've certainly gotten my money's worth from Sucker Punch's Weeb Fantasy Simulator.

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood is good and fun. I said it, I don't care. The fact that people wanted this to just be Left 4 Dead again make me question why they don't just go back and play either of those games.

B4B is a game that is releasing in 2021. That means it's a game with 2021 mechanics. Characters with unique skills. Cards to create builds. Progression systems have to exist to retain attention in a market with 200 multiplayer games coming out every year. That's just how it is! Now I'm the kind of nerd that loves to min-max builds and whatnot, so it's up my alley, but that's the state of things and you sorta gotta accept it.

In my opinion, B4B is one of the better examples of this sort of system. The cards add a lot of complexity and variety to how you play characters, and give you something to chase as you play the game. I got lucky because I love cute characters and being support, and B4B has given me Doc and the ability to be the doctor my mom always wanted me to be. There are tons of cards that focus on healing and first aid, letting me keep my team alive as we face off against the [Insert Stupid Replacement Word for Zombies Here].

The guns feel good to pew pew with and the levels are bite-sized enough for me to get a run or two in and feel like I've made progress in only an hour or so. All that said, I don't know if I'm getting older or gaming audiences are getting worse, but playing B4B with randos has been a nightmare for me. Try and grab some friends for it if you can. It's the most fun way to play!

Halo Infinite: Beta

I love Apex. You know this. But I'm tired of it too. The sweat, the bugs, the lack of a Loba Swimsuit Skin (this is a joke). I've been pining for something that still feels as good to play as Apex but is a little less pro-gamer.

Halo Infinite looks like it might scratch that itch. The Beta was an absolute blast. I haven't played a Halo in forever but I was right back in it after a few matches. An Arena-based shooter is a huge breath of fresh air after years of Battle Royale gameplay, and everything about Infinite hits the mark. The guns feel good, the movement is the perfect balance of feeling new while still being Halo, and the power-ups...mwah. At a certain point, me and my friends were hanging out in my room, passing the controller in multiplayer every death, and it felt like we were kids again. That feeling alone is enough for me to be incredibly excited for Infinite's full release in December.

What have you been playing? Let me know @mintmakesthings! You can also subscribe to the Mint's Café Newsletter to stay up to date with my stuff!