Last Sunday night, post-blogging and lacking inspiration, I found myself pottering around aimlessly: looking at everything, settling on nothing. My plan for the month was in disarray, and I didn’t really know where my (legitimate) game-for-the-month was going to come from. I still have a few fall-back games that I can push myself through (you know, the type of backburner game that’s pretty much done, but just needs another weekend’s TLC before being struck off The List) – so a Plan B formed, and Paper Mario and Super Galdelic Hour started meandering to the foreground of my mind…
…in the meantime, though, I figured I’d put some effort into one of my long-term games. Chrono Trigger? No, that’s too long-term. Rez HD? Not while I’m still struggling with Child of Eden (which didn’t any game-time this week). F-Zero GX? I want to play something, not be reminded about how crap I am.
And somehow I found myself playing Luxor 2.
Now, I’ve written before about my love/hate encounters with Luxor 2, and when I loaded it up for the first time since I got on Stage 13-4 I was full of trepidation. But, fully aware of the struggle I was having just finishing the first third of the game, I had no great expectations… other than accepting that I was engaging in match-3 practice.
So imagine my surprise when judicious use of the account-signout “feature” saw me inch my way past my stumbling block… and the next stage. The next night saw another three stages completed; the following night another fell. That left me on the final level of Easy difficulty… when I was whisked away to Perth on work. Any spare moment on that trip, my mind flittered back to Luxor 2; the moment I stepped back into my home, the 360 was booted. Forty-five teeth-gritting minutes later, I’d scrounged my way through the game.
And then I leapt straight back into the Normal difficulty level. Currently at Stage 6-1, with my rank a lowly Cutter of Reeds. And, once again, I find myself curiously thinking that I may be feeling something that approximates fun… I’m unexpectedly eager to push on, anyway.
But, having posted a link to last week’s post on my my TrueAchievements feed, one of my old boosting buddies left a comment on TA suggesting we return to our previous Kameo challenges. Some months ago we’d given up on making further progress on the (zero-gamerscore!) Time Rank achievements after our Water Temple attempts left us bewildered and bemused; however, some enterprising German lads had posted some new video guides online, and they left my mate gibajon champing at the bit. So we started tackling them again… with initially predictable results. We were well off the pace, unable to even finish the level.
But we learned; we worked things out. We acted as a team. Sure, it was a pretty uneven team – with gibajon’s slick skills showing my old-man floundering for what it really is – but we worked out how to cover for each other. We polished each little section of the game, we started getting the feel for the flow of the level. The first time we actually finished the level – with a scant three seconds left on the clock, earning a convincing E-Rank – felt like a triumph. Getting within thirteen seconds of our A-Rank target, we knew we could squeeze the extra seconds from somewhere; but when the breakthrough came, and we finished easily… well, it’s safe to say we were both pretty happy.
Then came the next level… less than a dozen attempts. The next… less than a handful (despite my protestations about the apparent impossibility of the task). The final level, with tight initial timings and requiring a healthy dose of luck early on, was more testing, but eventually it too was conquered.
And suddenly Kameo‘s Time Attacks were out of the way – and a little bit of digging led us to discover our world-wide rankings were a more-than-credible 38, 41, 30, 35, 22, and 25. We got gibajon a few extra hosting Achievements, and then somewhat sadly went our separate ways – the Co-op camaraderie was brilliant fun. But it left me further enamoured with Kameo again: it’s still a lovely game, and – now that I’ve managed to blitz the hardest remaining A-Rank – it’s feeling like it may be off The List sooner, rather than later.
I’m pretty sure it deserves another playthrough, though…