So – job’s a good ‘un, then.
My final Space Giraffe task – to at least equal my pre-update level scores – is complete. A surprisingly hard slog, too, but such was the joy of Super Ox Mode.
“Super Ox Mode,” you say? Yep – when you ERROR_SUCCESS (beat level 100 for the first time) you also unlock the ability to play the Giraffe in a far more aggressive manner. I start Super Ox Mode by holding down the Y-button whilst I hit the A-button on the pre-Level select screen.
What’s Super Ox Mode all about, then? Well, it’s harder – from just-a-smidgeon-harder to completely-fucking-impossible. First up – enemies nearly always get an upgrade. Passive grunts start shooting, feedback monsters become aggressive feedback monsters, dull ploddy boffins become aggressive boffins. Apart from that, the waves stay pretty much the same.
…but the webs do not. They’re still the 100 webs we know and love, but every time you get a “New Start Bonus Set” (or somesuch) message, their order is randomised. So you play Level 1 and face the simple Level 1 waves on the heinous Level 53 web, or you might select Level 100 and be presented with an easier, circular web. Or it might go pear-shaped, and you’ve still got the Level 100 waves on the Level 64 web. Christ that was bad.
The lovely, score-maximising potential of Super Ox Mode mainly comes from the extra bullets the aggressive enemies lob your way. Juggling bullets is an incredible score maximiser; each time you bounce a bullet back by shooting it, you seem to add more “value” to it; the next time you juggle it, it appears to net more points. So with a fleet of bullets hovering at the end of the web that you can keep at bay with careful sweeping, and a friendly rotor hovering at the other side of the web, it’s possible to get some massive scores on seemingly insignificant levels.
Of course, the random allocation of the webs is a bit of a bastard; what I did was to ascertain whether the web currently allocated to my Level-of-focus was doable. If not, I’d drop back to normal mode and get another Start Bonus Set, inching the score up slightly; when I got a “good” web, I’d sweat on it until I thought I had it nailed. Remember – as soon as you see that “New Start Bonus Set” message in either mode, it’ll randomise the Super Ox Mode webs again; so, if I felt I could rinse the level better, I’d quit the game before the message appears at the start of the next level.
By the time I’d finished, my score of 857,640,088 had me second on the world rankings. Of course, the score above me was over 2 billion, and the score below me was a touch over 800 million… at level 76. So there’s obviously massive opportunities to snaffle even more points; but for me, the Giraffe is done.
And it was a wonderful, wonderful ride :)