More CrackHaloBraidWars

Just a very quick one this week, because I’m just about to scoot back to my childhood home to spend some time with my folks. My writing continues unabated and, despite the fact that the novel itself is turning out to be utter trash (what was intended to be a cutting analysis of modern social networking and the Baby Boomer / Gen X divide has morphed into a deathly dull diatribe about some bloke who just wanders around letting stuff happen to him. But he’s managed to get lucky and, as a result, I’m now deeply envious of him), I’ve managed to get a stack of gaming in this week.

(Read that first paragraph again. Check out that mighty fine structure, with the massive bracketed bollocks in the middle messing up any flow the paragraph may have had. Yeah, I’m a writer ;)

Last week, I ended my post with a tiny little snippet that said I was starting to tackle Braid again. And, dear lord, did it sink its teeth in. I basically played that game for three days straight, improvising and analysing and testing and replaying speed runs over and over again in order to snaffle my last outstanding Achievement on the game, and finally managed to snaffle it (the tale itself is long and boring, but I like it; that’ll be another post, I reckon). But that wasn’t enough to knock Braid off The List, oh no! I went back and bested all the Challenge Times for all the speed runs, then went and hammered out all the hidden Stars. Maybe it wasn’t the Herculean effort that it felt like at the time, but I was mighty pleased to have managed it. Off The List.

What was next, then? Geommie Wars 2, and the Smile Achievement. Much practise, little progress. Harrumph.

But then Crackdown 2 got its Deluge DLC and, despite another rocky start with the DLC installation (the DLC was available for purchase from Marketplace for a good nine or ten hours before the title update that enabled it), it’s again managed to up the interest factor in Crackdown 2. Deluge adds yet more new abilities to your character, and adds some arcadey Horde and CTF modes which are pretty bloody good fun. Though I’m pretty sure there’s a large number of people out there who consider me a griefer for my penchant to spam the helicopters in Deluge mode; certainly, several gained the habit of blowing all the helicopters up before I could get near them.

And so to my final big session for the week, a Halo 3 multiplayer boosting session. I had a solitary social Achievement outstanding, and I joined a boosting team in order to try and snaffle it. The team’s instigator didn’t even turn up to his own session, so I – and my trusty spreadsheet of attending players and Achievements and maps – became the default Master of Ceremonies. And it was a delight – hammering through Rumble Pit and, later, Team Mythic maps, we managed to stay focussed on the tasks at hand… with the occasional devolution into the random explosive mayhem that can make Halo multiplayer so much fun. In the end we managed to get everyone all the social multiplayer Achievements, so it felt like a really productive session.

One more thing before I dash off to the bus station: last week I was quite remiss in not mentioning that I’d managed to snaffle one of the pre-order versions of the Japanese No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle sets (the Hopper Edition – try to buy at Play-Asia). Since it was a pre-order, I managed to grab the “erotic comic” that was issued with it, and… yeah. It’s interesting to see some more of Suda51’s ideas in the NMH universe, and more interesting still to see the Japanese trailers and FMVs from the first game, but… hmmm. Dunno whether it was worth expanding The List for, y’know?

For now – toodle-oo. I’m off to, literally, revisit my childhood.

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