Checkpoint: Silent Profile Edition

Silence is golden. It’s one of the primary reasons why I purchased an electric vehicle. So it’s no surprise that I want my PCs to be silent as well. 

The Gigabyte GTX 1070 G1 Gaming video card is more than enough for my 1080p gaming needs but as soon as I do anything graphically intensive, those fans can be heard. There was a moment of dread but it subsided quickly after I realized there are fan profile settings in the “Xtreme Engine” utility.  After launching the gaudy utility again, I switched on the Silent fan profile and it was aural bliss. Admittedly there was an uncomfortable amount of heat emanating from the case but I wasn’t worried. The temperatures were kept in check — below the max temperature of 94 degrees Celsius — and I didn’t hear the fans from where I was sitting. 

We’ve come a long way since the days of the GeForce FX5800 and its infamous “Dustbuster”.

I’ve made a couple of gaming related mistakes over the past few days. I started both TitanFall 2 and Picross 3D. I’m not disparaging those two titles — quite the opposite, actually. I’m just saying that I have two other games on the go that need to be wrapped up first. I’ve barely started Gears of War 4 and I’m right in the thick of it with Dragon Quest VII but Picross 3D is really good. And that TitanFall 2? It’s pretty incredible in its own right as well.

 

 

LTTP: Puzzles & Dragons: SMB Edition & Pokemon Picross

posted in: Reviews 0

No that’s not some kind of super combo back of Nintendo puzzle games. They’re two Nintendo published titles with free to play influences and mechanics.

Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition is actually two games in one. Puzzles & Dragons Z is the free-to-play Japanese mobile sensation stripped of its F2P annoyances and the Super Mario Bros. edition is as the name suggests: Puzzles & Dragons with a Mario flavor. The latter is apparently more user friendly for new comers like myself. I played that version.

Pokemon Picross is as straight forward as the name suggests: a Pokemon themed picture crossword game. It’s also completely free to play and equipped with the usual trappings of energy bars and currency to gather and unlock new areas.

I started Pokemon Picross first but was increasingly frustrated by the limitations. It was my first Picross title and so I was making mistakes and restarting puzzles frequently. I also wanted to accumulated Picrites to progress and unlock functionality early on but thanks to the energy restrictions, I was kept at bay.

Then Puzzles & Dragons went on sale and I decided to check it out after hearing the praise by Drew Scanlon of GiantBomb. Like him, I never played Puzzles & Dragons before and was curious.

Firstly, it turns out that I’ve played this kind of game before. Match 3 puzzle games like Puzzles & Dragons spawned many clones and I encountered one of them on FreeMyApps. I immediately saw the appeal of the game. The combos, the flashing colors and all the high damage numbers flying out was satisfying. All I had to do was manipulate a single orb, wave it around to setup other potential combos and then watch the resulting mayhem.

I enjoyed the collecting of monsters, powering them up by feeding weaker variations and evolving them with items. It was apparent that I needed to invest time in this area in order to make significant progress later on but there was something peculiar with the lack of item drops or collectible monsters early on. I thought the drop rate would start ramping up as I progressed but that wasn’t the case at all. No matter how many combos I was setting up, I hit a wall and needed to grind to level up my monsters. I was effectively done with Puzzles & Dragons at world five.

Even though my focus was on Puzzles & Dragons, I continued to check in and chip away at Pokemon Picross. I did the daily challenges and slowly upped my Picross game. Even though I was accumulating Picrites at an agonizingly slow rate, I felt I was making progress. I felt I was improving as a Picross player and working towards unlocking a new area.

Now, my opinion on both games have flipped. The game which I thought was going to be a fun romp without free to play mechanics turned into a meaningless grind and cutesy Picross title turned from aggressively frustrating to a nice little daily taste of puzzling. Perhaps I should approach Puzzles & Dragons with the same mindset as Pokemon Picross but why should I? It doesn’t have free to play mechanics impeding progress. I should be able to play as often as I want and make meaningful progress every time I do. Unfortunately that’s not the case and it’s the free to play riddled Pokemon Picross that I ultimately enjoy more.

Puzzles & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition Verdict:
I don’t like it

Pokemon Picross Verdict:
It’s okay

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