Bloodstained | Drew1

While we here at Operation Rainfall love covering the latest in gaming news and sharing our reviews of titles new and classic, we also just enjoy playing games in our downtime. So with that, sit back, relax, and check out what the oprainfall gaming crew have been up to this week!

bloodstained - Ritual of the Night

About a week ago, I finally got the chance to start Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. A few years late to the party, I know, but there was zero chance I’d ever skip this. I mean, an Iga title with Michiru Yamane as the composer, that’s a must play. With this small window of time to play, I thus began, enjoying most of my first foray into Miriam’s journey, appreciating the many glimmers, hints, and similarities to Symphony of the Night, Aria, and Dawn of Sorrow along the way. I managed to reach and ultimately defeat Valac, a two headed centipede dragon hybrid, with less HP than I’d care to admit, yet I was satisfied, given that I prefer fighting bosses with an offense-first-and-only style.

Pleased with my victory, I continued on, and soon enough I boarded a train, was accompanied by a samurai, and had to defeat a slimy train boss, called the Glutton Train, because, you know, we’re on a train, so, sure, a train themed boss. How original. It was here, however, that my experience drastically changed and my progress came to a screeching halt. For I had succeeded in doing something I hadn’t yet done; defeat a boss without taking damage. I was awarded a medal and was immediately crestfallen.

Bloodstained | Drew1
Since I already past Valac the second time when I wrote this, here’s a totally accurate interpretation

Of course, the gamer and completionist in me demanded I earn all of the medals, without doing something as crass as waiting for or taking advantage of New Game Plus, of which I also learned about soon after. And so, with this brittle reason for extending this experience of mine, yet with plenty of dread too, I deleted my save and started over.

Progressing as smartly as I can, for I know what facing each boss now entails for me, I nonetheless began anew, restarting boss fights time and time again, and earning a medal from every boss I have faced so far. As I write this, I have mixed feelings, for I am satisfied that I have earned those medals, though upset with myself for not being able to just let it go. I’m also now hesitant for the next fight; a rematch with a certain samurai.

Bloodstained | Drew2
I really don’t.

And I haven’t even faced any of the secret bosses yet…

Who knows how long it’ll take, but maybe I’ll let you know how it all turns out… – Drew D.

Like a Dragon: Ishin! | Mahjong
I was disappointed the game didn’t let me join in on this mahjong match between significant characters.

First of all, I’ve made quite a bit of progress in Like a Dragon: Ishin! since I last added to one of these articles. I’ve now played for somewhere around 30 hours and I believe I’m in chapter 7. This past week specifically, I haven’t played a ton, but overall I’ve been making good progress. I haven’t been doing the side stuff as much as I normally like to though, aside from the Another Life farm. I’ve now gotten Haruka’s meter maxed and I’ve unlocked the full amount of crop space and all of the different crops. I’m finally at a point where I’ll often see a few different well paying requests for specific crops and then keep filling their orders to rake in a few ryo at a time. Story wise, I finally got to meet the head of the Shinsengumi and that’s about where I left off.

Riichi City | Whale Cup Baiman
My best win during the tournament.

Other than Ishin, I also played a ton of mahjong recently. I learned about this Riichi City app and a tournament that was happening this past weekend, the Whale Cup 2023. From what I’ve learned, it’s an annual unofficial tournament, but this year got some more official sponsorship. Anyways, it was relatively casual and super easy to join so I figured what the hell and joined my very first Riichi Mahjong tournament. I got in at the last minute on the day it was supposed to start, March 10th. This weekend was the qualifiers round. The goal was to get one fantastic streak of five games in a row playing South, so you have to go through both the East and South rounds in one match. I think this makes the matches at least eight rounds and then there are extra rounds if the dealer wins. There was no limit on how many games you could play, you just had to keep going until you were satisfied with one good streak of five games.

Originally, it was supposed to be the Top 64 who would qualify and advance to next weekend’s rounds. But since over 200 people participated and got their minimum five matches in, it was increased to the Top 128. Saturday night I finally finished up a game streak where I placed 2nd, got three 1st places in a row and a 3rd place at the end, which kind of messed it up but wasn’t a terrible loss. Unfortunately, all my good matches were extremely close, I didn’t get any Yakumans and skyrocket ahead, so despite being a good enough streak, my lack of significant points kept my rank placement down. I never was able to beat that streak. Now Saturday, this streak skyrocketed me from not qualifying, all the way up to 38th place. Sadly, by the next morning, I was all the way down at 65th and I never got a good enough streak after that one to push me back up. The over 200 people playing saved me and I was able to qualify at 85th place by the end. I’m a little disappointed I didn’t meet the original qualification requirements and just wasn’t good enough, or simply didn’t have good flow as they say.

Riichi City | Tough Whale Cup Match
This was one of my tougher matches I could’ve lost a lot of points on if I wasn’t careful.

This tournament had a lot of fantastic players though. One match I lost horribly the tournament’s top player at the time was playing and some other people I was against I heard are Saint in Mahjong Soul. So I am proud of myself holding my own against really tough opponents and getting my one decent streak in. I only got negative point matches, twice out of my total of 23 matches. Riichi Mahjong is half luck, but it’s also half skill, in addition to simply being knowledgeable enough about various aspects of the game. If you’re interested in watching some of the tournament, you can find one of the main tournament stream videos over here. That link is timestamped at one of my better matches during my qualifying streak, but it’s also thirty hours long with numerous matches OverlordWhale streamed. – Jenae

What games have you been playing this week? Let us know in the comments!

You can read previous Week in Gaming entries here!

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