Make It So

When exactly it happened, I couldn’t possibly say, but crafting has become my go-to gaming activities for burning sizable blocks of time. In the early days when MMORPGs ruled the world and my soul, crafting never took hold in my heart. Shame really. Star Wars Galaxies had a considerably robust crafting simulation but I couldn’t be bothered; instead virtual makeovers and pretend bands were all that glittered in my eyes.

Much to the annoyance of Subnautica streamers everywhere, I’ve consistently asserted said game to be my favorite of all time. A good mixture of accessible crafting, a preference for underwater gaming, and a deep fascination / terror for the ocean has firmly cemented Subnautica and it’s sequel into my regular rotation of games I play “when I can’t be arsed to actually finish anything else in my backlog.” Hell, I’ve even dubbed it ‘Underwater Batman Simulator’. You know, because of all the wonderful toys.

Joker gets it.

Fallout 4 might as well be called ‘settlement simulator’. Of the 400-ish hours I’ve put into post-apocalyptic Boston, probably 390 of those involved collecting assorted pieces of junk to make into my thriving, rusted metropolises. Yes that’s an exaggeration; I can’t speed run the story content of Fallout 4 in 10 hours.

Let’s not even start on how many times I’ve started No Man’s Sky over. I can’t think of a game that has perfected the endless treadmill of crafting and upgrading more than this gem by Hello Games. Well, if you’re not thinking about the thousands of mobile games that have also perfected endless upgrading treadmills.

But the title of ultimate crafting sink still goes to Final Fantasy XIV, where the correct way to play is to level all classes at once WHILST crafting one’s own gear. Let’s just say I just plopped down the money for the premium service of the companion app to get that extra retainer because clearly I needed space for a plethora of crafting mats. That, my friends, is just a hint at FF14’s gloriously convoluted crafting setup.

Mondelot can make that for you.

Extensive preamble aside I’ve been meaning to try an Atelier game for quite some time, ever since I saw one pop up in the PS Vita store. Given the visual style I wasn’t initially sure what to expect but somewhere along the way I became aware that there would be crafting.

Despite that, I don’t get out of bed for most games unless I can get them for $20 or less, and Atelier games stubbornly would not drop below $30. Jerkfaces. So I did what any impulsive purchaser does; I bought Atelier Ryza on a whim for $30, and I picked that one because it was the only one on sale. Let me just tell you this game does not disappoint.

The calm before the gathering storm.

Make no bones about it, this game revolves around crafting. A couple hours in and I’m vaguely aware there is a plot, but my entire mind has been consumed with gathering materials and understanding the crafting system. And as far as I can tell, there is so much variance in the system that pretty much every item you make has unique stats.

Yes. We’re going to be sinking some hours into this game.

Oh, and did I mention the visuals look great AND it runs at the native resolution in handheld mode? Mind blown. So many ports run at a lower resolution that it’s a legitimate surprise to see one that doesn’t. Hell even some exclusives can’t even manage that *cough* Xenoblade Chronicles 1 & 2 *cough*.

Anyway, I’ve got some crafting to do. Turns out I forgot to save for the first 4 1/2 hours of gameplay. Do you have any fun thoughts about crafting? Leave me a comment below or respond to this tweet!

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