A late entry this week, which I’m blaming on the Australia Day holiday. Staying up late caning my way through the Carcassonne Achievements wasn’t responsible, oh no.
A reader (or rather, “My Only Reader”) Aureole posted a comment asking…
How the hell do you get the time for this? I’m 1/3 of the way into Bioshock and I’ve had that since the launch. And I’ve only completed Portal out of the Orange box in a similar time.
The answer is remarkably dull, I’m afraid; I normally work only four days a week (due to a miraculous agreement with my employer; it really is liberating, I recommend it to everyone), so I deem my fifth “workday” a gaming bonanza. In addition, I have no qualms whatsoever about living in an absolute pigsty, so 95% of all housework is ignored. Result: more time for satisfying my O/C Gaming habits.
As I’ve noted before, the Bioshock demo gave me the heebie jeebies, so I figured it would be too scary(!) for me to comfortably play through; and The Orange Box is just waaaaay too much game for me to commit to. That, and I fucking hated the original Half-Life (which shares the dubious honour – with Metroid Prime 2: Echoes – of being the only games I’ve ever gotten rid of). But the very best of luck to you, Aureole – may you never be afflicted with an obsession such as mine ;)
This week started with a bit of a run; for five days straight, I’d managed at least one Achievement – mainly due to the battering of Bullet Witch and Astropop. I decided to see how long I could continue this run…
Gears of War: Struggling for reachable Achievements, I decided to use up one of my trump cards… the giveaway for your first online ranked match in GoW. So online I ventured; and, after the lush Halo 3 support, GoW feels positively rustic. Once the game – eventually – began, it was clear I’d stumbled into something akin to a 4v4 turf war – albeit one perforated intermittently with awful lag. Five rounds passed before I scored my first kill – an accidental chainsawing of someone I was trying to melee. That dictated my future strategy, and I began running around like a chainsawing loon. I wound up with five kills, and the team won (mainly due to one exceptional chap), but the whole experience felt horribly clinical – not fun at all. Why was this game so popular online, exactly?
Astropop: I managed to clear a screen five times to snaffle one Achievement – that was Day 7. The GoW Cheevo was Day 8. I tried to stretch into Day 9 with the level-in-25-seconds Astropop Achievement; I failed. 8 days is all I could manage.
Halo 2: finally got past that Drone ambush section I mentioned last week. Imagine my relief when I actually saw the words “Checkpoint” appear onscreen! Imagine my dismay when I subsequently emerged in a room with two Hunters, that I barely scraped through on Normal! Scared, I switched the Xbox off again.
Frogger: Last week I neglected to mention that I’d decided to give the XBLA rendition of Frogger another bash, in an attempt to conquer that bastard Level 5. That carried over to this week, and I’ve yet to lay eyes on that Level. Bugger. Two weeks of practice for no reward; go me.
Carcassonne: I downloaded for free this back during the “Live is 5” “celebration” a few months back… and left it unplayed. If only I fired this up for the first time on Day 9… Alas. Played this for the first time on Sunday. 100%-ed the game same day. Had a ton of fun, some good giggles playing with mates online contriving spectacular results, and it barely troubled The List. My kind of game, really :)
Texas Hold’Em: it’s still churning away next to me, A-button on the Hori Fighting Stick held down by a power brick. Royal Flush, eh? Not bloody likely.
Undertow: I knew I’d play this. Against all good sense. And play it I did, despite 95% of the 360-owning Internet bitching to Microsoft about how shit this game is. And they’re wrong – it’s not the greatest game ever, but it’s very far from the worst. Playing online with mates, attempting the rock-hard Ultra levels, provides some genuine fun – a nice mix of capture-the-flag and blowing the shit out of stuff, with good bits of teamwork and tense, almost nail-biting moments where we – as a team – grimly hung on to our capture points and watched the counters tick down.
Ridge Racer 6: with the Rodent Awards coming up this week, a bunch of us decided to give the departing 2006 Game of the Year a bit of a send off. And bugger me if the old girl still has it… more fun than you can poke a fun-stick at. Glorious.
Finally – Rez HD is due this Wednesday. Which utterly, utterly pisses me off, because I’ll be interstate on work until Saturday night. Have fun with your four-controller trance-vibrator rumbles, you lucky buggers – I’ll be joining you the moment I get home :)