I had checked out Fortnite when it was first released on Switch in order to see what all the hype was about, and that was during Season 4. At the time I just tried the various modes and got a couple of the free tier rewards, but I got sucked into a full season around February and March when Epic Games let players earn a free battle pass for Season 8 by completing the Season 7 overtime challenges.

Season 8 had a pirate theme, and I don't know enough about the game to know how die-hard fans rank that particular season. Some of the main additions to the map were a volcano, some Aztec-like temples, and a lagoon with a pirate ship. The season also added pirate forts that featured cannons you could shoot yourself out of, or use to shoot cannonballs. The latter turned out to be a huge pain, and I got stuck on all the missions requiring you to deal damage to other players with cannons. They were just way too slow to be able to hit any moving target, and I can't imagine many people had an easier time with those missions that I did.

As for the Battle Pass itself, the onslaught of timed missions definitely gave the game more urgency and forced me to give the game a closer look to learn its ins and outs, but it also added a lot of stress to the game. Working my way through missions felt like a full-time job most of the time. Since I didn't know anyone who was playing the game I had to add a lot of random friends and hope that I could join enough matches with them to complete those missions. I had to endure many foul-mouthed random players in order to complete other missions, and more than once I found myself wondering why I had gotten suckered into completing such pointless tasks as destroying cactus after cactus while completely ignoring the actual objective of the game. Most of the rewards (all of which are cosmetic) were pretty worthless, but I did enjoy some of the unlockable characters and dance moves. I realized pretty quickly that I was never going to get to the highest tier, 100, and even if you do there are even more missions to complete on top of that. You definitely need to have a lot of time or very deep pockets in order to unlock everything in a season, let alone multiple seasons.

I have to admit that I grew to like Fortnite more than I had from the first few hours I had played it. The rotating Limited Time Modes were pretty fun, and included some unique modes like piloting biplane fighters with a partner and also a special Avengers vs. Thanos event to coincide with the release of the final Avengers movie. My first impression of Fortnite was that you spend most of a match wandering on your own bored and then after a few seconds in a firefight it's all over, but after playing for a while I realized you don't actually need to spend that much time gathering materials from the start and can hunt other players pretty soon after you land.

I really can't see myself wanting to revisit Fortnite again, let alone committing myself to a whole season, but as I said in my previous post, if I had a group of friends who were really into it I would consider it. I never even got close to mastering crafting (i.e. throwing up walls and ramps) in the heat of battle, and I never really enjoyed the squad or solo modes, but the casual modes (e.g. 50v50 with unlimited respawns) were pretty fun in general. The game's season structure discourages casual players like me from jumping in for just one or two matches at a time, but I had a decent time with the one season overall, and now I definitely know the game better and have a better sense of its appeal.

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