J came out to play games and try local brews. It's been a long time since we'd done couch co-op.
We'd probably score a 3/10 on a plot quiz. As such, we both stumbled into the burn ending. In retrospect burning down the pretty gold tree doesn't really seem like a bro move
, but the glowing ashes are lovely.
Around the horn:
- We had the confidence to fight a couple of early dragons. The battles are really cool though it seems like a better strategy for the dragons would be to stay airborne. Maybe ranged attacks compelling dragons to the ground (temporarily) would have been a good game design choice. It certainly would mean my crossbow wouldn't have as much dust on it.
- Hide and seek with ghost animals to get a spell was kinda meh.
- The fire giant was tough, so was Mohg.
- Gothic architecture looks amazing in gold tones. The Haligtree is as pretty as it is punishing.
- Mountaintop of Giants: trolls, birds, and hands. No thank you, I will hurry though to the Haligtree's lakes of scarlet rot.
- Crumbling Farum Azula was like a 3d metroidvania with dragons and tornados.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands
We switched it up with some Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. Wonderlands is Gearbox's Borderlands
3.5 and spiritual follow-on to its epic Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep
so we had pretty high expectations.
If there's any doubt, Wonderlands is a reskin of Borderlands
. Guns with bowstrings and pullies, spells (grenades), and fantasy-themed special abilities - it's the same (successful) format with DnD flavor.
Mr. Torgue was largely MIA in Borderlands 3. After his critical role in TTAoDK ("TINA! PUT ME IN THE GAME!"), it was nice to see him back. While the writers didn't get very creative with his character*, one of TTAoDK's Torgueisms served as a brilliant central plot point in this story.
- In TTAoDK we learn that Torgue was often excluded from fantasy and sci-fi activities because of his physical fitness.
- In the BL2 Thanksgiving DLC we meet Grandma Flexington.
- In his AMA we learned that he "[DOESN'T] MAKE SNIPER RIFLES BECAUSE YOU CAN'T PROPERLY APPRECIATE THE EXPLOSION FROM FAR AWAY. IF YOU'RE NOT PICKING GIBLETS OUT OF YOUR TEETH IT WASN'T A REAL KILL".
Yes, Gearbox does like to take minute details
or dialogues and blow them up, so to speak.
The core of the Borderlands franchise is strong shooter mechanics employing a vast ocean of gun combinations. But it's the RPG-style skill trees that make Borderlands more than Halo with a gun RNG. Wonderlands introduces a slight evolution to the Borderlands skill tree system by offering each character a second class
, e.g. I have a Spore Warden/Brr-Zerker.
The potential for minmax combinations is appealing, but we haven't tinkered (or leveled or looted) enough to really take advantage.
Wonderlands is a Borderlands universe tabletop game called Bunkers and Badasses, so there are some new mechanics. Parts of the game are connected via a Final Fantasly-like overworld
. The overworld is populated with area transitions and encounters, five-ish minute arena battles of varying difficulty.
We got to the final boss (voiced by Will Arnett) a lot quicker than we thought. BL2's main quest was pretty long, BL3's was even longer. This one felt more like a DLC in length
and we never found ourselves needing to power level to hit the next main quest.
From the perspective of classic Borderlands play where you need to run through the main story to unlock True Vault Hunter Mode and then again for Ultimate Vault Hunter Mode, having a shorter critical path is enticing. But Wonderlands doesn't have any New Game+, the endgame is a roguelike mode.
There's no dearth of sidequests and it's nice to have an experience that isn't as hefty as BL2/BL3, but leveling/tinkering/minmaxing seems less enticing when the only remaining challenge is another roguelike run