So, the boss fight that I was convinced couldn't possibly be the FINAL boss fight because I still had so many quests to get through (based on my hazy memory of the quest list I looked at on line) turned out to actually be the final boss fight.  As such, the challenge level was about right, on reflection.  I mean, one of my complaints about FF final bosses is that they tend to be push-overs compared to some of the optional bosses.  One thing I can say about the final boss in W3:B&W is that he is definitely NOT a push-over.  I finally defeated him on the fourth(?) attempt, the one where I'd just realised I could SAVE with all my preparations (repairing weapons and armour, applying the right kind of oil, setting up my bombs) just before entering the fray.

And then I got the 'good' ending (at least, as far as I can tell, not having explored all the possibilities - but it all ended happily, which counts as 'good' in my book), so that made me happy.  And THEN there was some bonus happiness based, I assume, on how I played the main game.  I am now spending time working my way through the sizable list of sidequests that I didn't get around to for one reason or another.

So, my thoughts on Witcher 3...

The main game on 'super easy' was pretty straightforward combat-wise, which is just as well because I really didn't get my head around all the buttons and what they do.  Especially when play switches to Ciri.  For most battles, mashing [], with the odd Quen or Ignii worked fine.  The game is seriously beautiful to look at in all the different environments, and the people are just amazing.  The story is very satisfying and all of the characters add to it.  Ciri and Yen, in particular, are VERY well done.  Geralt took a bit more time for me to warm to - but I did warm to him.

My one real grumble is my main issue with 'modern' games.  You HAVE to do sidequests in order to level up and I found they distracted me from the main story.  This was compounded by the fact that W3 sidequests are all mini stories in their own right - which makes them more interesting but also more distracting.  Still, since every RPG requires you to level up, I'm glad that they made the levelling interesting and not just a grind.

The first DLC, Hearts of Stone also had an interesting story but a strangely unsatisfying ending.  A VERY nasty Big Bad.  I did pick up one sidequest but didn't follow it up.  There are others, so if I still have time after doing the ones I have, I shall visit the notice boards.  The part of the story that involved the lecherous ghost was hilarious.  Definitely made the whole thing worth while.

The second DLC, Blood and Wine, was almost a game in its own right.  More beautiful scenery, more situations for me to fail at (the Tourney, oh, the Tourney!) - and some VERY challenging battles.  It was in playing this DLC that I really learned what all the buttons do!  Although I still don't parry...  *spoiler alert* There was an optional story branch that took me to a land of fairy tales that was part whimsy, part tragedy.  Oh, and had the cutest sidequest!  Yes, even the sidequests (well, optional story branches...) have sidequests in B&W! 

I've already described my final encounter and the ending (spoiler free, too!).  I started playing the main game in January and took a small break between the main game and HoS to replay FFXV.  On average, I think I've played 6-8 hours a week.  It's the kind of game where it's impossible to play just one hour - it's always at least one and a half, often two and a half!  These days, my gaming time is restricted to three or four session a week (weeks off work, of course, are different!).  With the quality of the graphics alone and the sheer amount of Stuff To Do, I think the main game plus two DLCs are well worth the money.  And I haven't even mentioned the script, which is often laugh out loud funny, considering it's a translation from Polish.  And all the little side conversations you hear from NPCs as you walk past (a skit on Life of Brian's 'old ex-leper' scene, quotes from Norwegian Wood and El Condor Pasa, all spring to mind).

If you have some spare time and spare cash, I would definitely recommend getting this game.

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rosa_heartlily

July 2017

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