As I noted last week – between the lines – my gaming mojo’s been a-wandering post-Fringe. Initially, I thought this was the usual post-Fringe malaise but, as this week drew on and I still had no yearning for any gaming at all (save my brain-waking sudoku, which surprisingly works wonders for my concentration at work), I began to think something else was wrong. Maybe it was the French Film Festival, patchy in quality and attendance, or maybe it was the running around associated with fitting my new abode out prior to my arrival. Or maybe it’s a distraction of the feminine persuasion, buried deep within my mind and ever-so-delightfully niggling me, keeping my usual thought processes slightly off-kilter.
An unofficial target I set myself is to knock at least one game off The List every calendar month – hey, if I can at least manage that, I’m making some progress, right?
Oh wait – I typically buy more than a dozen games a year. Christ, I’ve bought three this year, and the glut is yet to come.
…but yes, finish one game a month. And that tends to make February and March a little stressful, given that they both get impacted rather heavily by the Fringe. February got off easy this year, with Portal falling early in the month, but March was always going to be a bit problematic.
I’ve got a couple of nearly-completed games that I always figured I could use In Case Of Emergency – there’s a dialogue-tree run-through of Super Paper Mario which couldn’t be more than a day’s work, maybe another weekend recipe collecting for Paper Mario. Super Galdelic Hour is a bit nebulous on its completion requirements – I’ve got a feeling the mysterious sketch that gets displayed at the end of a season will become ever more detailed, but I’ve no idea what may trigger that event. And Electroplankton… well, how hard can it be to explore those little sub-games?
And so I was moping around on Friday, resigned to the fact that I was going to have to pick up one of these games again, essentially playing a trump-card. But the very idea scared me; panicking, I started thinking of other long-shots: snaffling another 25 ranked wins on Brütal Legend? Not likely. A bit of quick whoring and a couple of wins of Texas Hold’em? Ugh – my poker ability is up there with my FPS skills. And then it hit me: Frogger.
A quick perusal of the usual haunts, and I found an amazing co-op “partner” (well, I say partner, but let’s face it – he did all the work) in BUGAJ75 RETURNS, whose ruthless efficiency and friendliness was exemplary… so much so that I actually registered with x360a just to leave him positive feedback (amonst other sites). And so, after about twenty minutes… Frogger was off The List. After nearly four years.
(Four years, eh? Oh yes – this past week also marked the fourth anniversary of my original launch Xbox 360, bless it’s rowdy fans.)
So the unofficial milestone had been reached – but the mojo was still AWOL. And I started mulling on some of the other “unofficial” benchmarks I’d set myself – like trying to knock off as many Wii games prior to acquiring a monstrous HD TV. So I looked at my List again, and thought “fuck it – Wii Play must succumb.”
Now, my Wii Play requirements are pretty lax: Gold Medals in every mini-game (yes, I know there’s Platinum Medals in there too, but if you think I’m playing through one hundred levels of Tanks, then you’re sorely mistaken). So far, I’m missing three: Find Mii (an annoying dirtbag of a game), Pose Mii (an insolent shit of a game), and Tanks (which I’m not very good at). A bit of practise absolutely failed to get me anywhere near my previous high-scores, but I shall persevere – and it shall fall.
Finally, though, I started a 100% run through Twilight Princess. I must admit to having dreaded the prospect – my memory of the early parts of the game (fuelled by my own blog post) was one of wading through stupefyingly twee boring bits before getting to the Zelda dungeon goodness. So it was with some trepidation that I started the game and selected a new save-file.
I don’t know what the hell I was talking about, really – it felt like less than an hour passed before I was rid of all the cat-feeding, goat-herding, annoying-child dullness and wodged deep into the game proper. And bloody hell, it’s good, isn’t it? Having a read around this evening, I was actually amazed that the Wikipedia entry for Twilight Princess states that it’s often considered the Best Zelda Ever; I wonder whether I’ll be espousing the same opinion by the end of the game (especially on the tail end of having had no less than seven 100% Zelda playthroughs last year).