Aside from a brief reminiscient blast through Ninety-Nine Nights (to test out the NXE’s dump-to-HDD performance with that title), most of the week was taken up with – you guessed it – World of Goo. I’m having a blast hammering through those OCD ranks on my second profile; only eleven left now, but one of those is the deeply unfair Bulletin Board System. Still, this actually feels like a doable endeavour, so I hope to knock the Goo off The List before the New Year.

The weekend, however, was a different story. At the turning of the page on the calendar for the last four months, I decreed that That Month would hark the Completion of Mutant Storm Empire; all that remained were some very gettable co-op multiplayer Achievements. I had an accomplice who pledged to assist in the endeavour, but every time we made a serious attempt we’d encounter some type of glitch: players getting stuck on walls, cameras zooming off in the distance, and other happenstances that could be used as an excuse for our generally poor play. Given that he was in the UK, and I in Australia, I attributed such glitches (except for the poor play, of course) to network latencies, and decided last week to search for a partner who was a little more local.

I peeked on the Achieve360Points forum, but couldn’t find a partner-seeker who’d already been sated; the forums yielded one potential match who, when contacted, claimed to have never played the game. Odd that it was on his GamerCard, but who am I to stalk? Eventually, though, I found a chap in Wales who enthusiastically agreed to help out and, after two big sessions on the weekend, we managed to get the 10x Multiplier and Millionaire Twins Achievements… thus allowing me to cross Mutant Storm Empire off The List. Cheers Edd! :)

Once that was done, however, I ducked back to help another pal out in his quest for Achievements. Today’s target? The O/C Gamer’s GOTY 2007, Crackdown. And fuck me, it’s still absolutely brilliant. We both cackled with unbridled glee as we romped through the easiest skill level, engaging in massive amounts of mayhem as we went; my Mercenaries muscle memory only helped in that regard as I kept mashing the reload and switch-weapons buttons inappropriately, leading to room-filling explosions rather than the intended close-quarters gunfire. If anything, I left that joyous session nostalgic – pining for the first time I encountered that world, the almost motherly embrace I associate with my growth and progression through the game.

And then I wonder – has anything made me feel like that this year?

One thought on “CrackGooEmpireNights”

  1. The simple answer to that last question is no. I don’t think anything has come close to the simple yet incredibly vast experience that Crackdown provides and honestly I envy the fact that you have reason to return to it. Ever since finishing it myself, there has been no reason to back to it. All my friends have moved on from the title (and understandably so) and thus it just sits on the shelf, weeping silently at its lack of play.

    All that is left to say is damn it, there better be a sequel!

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