Barigord Gaming Weekly – 06/21/23

Almost everyone who’s ever been involved in a Barigord Studios adventure has been passionate for gaming! We love board games, table games, video games, roleplaying games, and game shows! This post is best viewed on the home site.

Happy Summer Solstice! It’s rainy and overcast here in Vancouver, and while my garden loves it, it’s a perfect day to stay inside and write and play some games.

This is my first attempt at a short weekly post about any and all things gaming! Let’s go!

Top 5 Tears of the Kingdom Moments So Far

Like much of the world, I’ve been playing Tears of the Kingdom. It’s amazing and utterly engrossing.

I haven’t seen any other content, and have avoided spoilers, so I feel a little sheepish posting some of my own. But…

5. The Movement. Nintendo knows how to make controls that feel good, and characters that move beautifully. Just running around with Link is a super fun experience. The new powers add a whole other dimension to this, and I’m just scratching the surface. For a single ‘best’ moment, I’m gonna say that one really sweet hover-car.

4. The Backwards Tutorial. On the day I started the game, I somehow got turned around and ended up doing the Great Sky Island backwards. I went up the snowy mountain first, and went all the way around to the Temple of Time, thinking the game was simply more open-ended than the first. It actually was an incredible way to start that tested my wits like crazy.

3. The Depths! There’s a whole other world down below Hyrule. New enemies, mining, and terrifying adventuring in the dark have been some phenomenal gaming. There is nothing like falling into water unexpectedly in the dark.

2. Climbing Up The Blizzard. Helping out some of the people of Hyrule requires climbing up through the sky. In a blizzard. With not-big-enough platforms, some of which move and are also trampolines. In Breath of the Wild, one of the most harrowing climbs was to the top of a huge snowy mountain in the north. This sky climb starts at the top of that mountain. Thinking about it still stresses me out. One of the all-time video game experiences of my life.

1. Getting the Master Sword. (No location or logistical spoilers) This was a unique moment for me. Things lined up in a really weird way, almost like the game wanted me to get it at that moment. I wasn’t even thinking about the sword, and instead was trying for a different item in the area. Then something a friend mentioned clicked, and suddenly, there it was. I had just advanced enough in the game to be able to get it on the first try. It was like a quick-time cutscene, and I was just along for the ride.

Those of you who’ve already got it might understand. I hope everyone else has something of my experience. Having it really makes in-game life easier.

Lord of the Rings Magic the Gathering is Here

The Magic the Gathering ‘Lord of the Rings’ set dropped last week, and Andrew and I have been working through opening a prerelease kit each. We play some variety of pack-based game against each other, and we’re half way.

Overall I’m medium on the set. I love the LOTR books. I love the old Ralph Bakshi animated stuff, and the weird The Hobbit and Return of the King movies. I’m lukewarm on the Peter Jackson trilogy, and haven’t bothered with anything live-action since.

I feel like teenage me would have gone nuts over this set. Current me has seen the LOTR be milked pretty heavily over the course of my life, and I’m not very nostalgic.

Mechanically, my first impressions are that the power level of the set is low. ‘The Ring Tempts You’ mechanic is alright, but less effective even at full power than a lot of equipment pieces by themselves. Part of the reason is that it’s a hodgepodge of abilities that revolve around combat, but grant no additional resilience to the creature. In Commander it mostly pushes the player into Commander Damage-based Voltron strats, and there are better ways to do that than The Ring Tempts You.

I don’t play Modern, but it’s hard to imagine these cards stacking up to Modern Horizons cards. There are a lot of 5 Mana Cost Legends that don’t impact the board when they enter.

So far, I’ve opened Shelob, Child of Ungoliant, several Frodos, Aragorn, Company Leader and Saruman the White which is a blue card that makes a black army.

I will probably build a Shelob deck, though its going to be tough making it different from my Mari, the Killing Quill deck. Too much Viridian Longbow.

It makes sense to have several Sarumans and Gandalfs, to cover their colour transitions through the books, but having several Aragorns, Frodos, Eomers, etc. is too much for me. We have so many legendary creatures in every set now. We need focused design, not just high-volume hobbit production.

And if you’ve missed it, there’s a ton of hype over the 1 of 1 serialized The One Ring card that’s in some collector booster somewhere, waiting to be opened. There’s a $2 million offer for it, which has probably gone up by now. I do not plan to open any collector boosters. I find it hard to imagine WOTC released this card to the wild and risked it not being opened at all. I guess we’ll see.

Summer Games Done Quick

I’m going to end this post with some links… some of which are to Link!

If you love video games, you probably know Games Done Quick, the organization that puts together a bi-annual charity video game showcase. Some of the best players from all over the world come to show off their skills, and raise money for Doctors Without Borders.

Most of this comes out of what’s called ‘Speedrunning’ which is simply doing a game quickly. Sometimes that’s doing everything a game has to offer, sometimes that’s exploiting glitches, but it’s often a wild achievement that’s very watchable.

Want proof? These are some of the wildest runs this year.

The always classic Super Mario Maker 2 relay race with levels designed by some of the best designers out there

Grandpoobear slays Baron of Shell, a fan-made rom-hack of Super Mario World

Co-operative Super Metroid

The Blindfolded Breath of the Wild Run (yes that’s real)

And so many more!

Thanks for reading!

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