Well, after four or five weeks writing about other forms of entertainment, it’s good to be back in the land of the Gaming.

The big news is, of course, my absolute lack of willpower regarding Burnout Paradise. A mere day after vowing that I’d not purchase it until after all my Festival and Fringe hijinks, I made a completely self-fulfilling “deal” with myself that saw me purchase the latest Burnout and a Live Vision camera. Much fun ensued; Paradise is a really lovely game, and completely bereft of all the difficulty spikes that existed in the last iteration I’d played (Burnout 3). Sure, there’s still some broken bits – the Stunt Runs when you’re approaching your Elite license are seriously broken – but it’s mostly bloody good fun, especially when you take it online.

As well as Burnout Paradise, I also gave Undertow a bit of hammer over the last month or so (when I should’ve been writing up Fringe shows). Managed to get a group of like-minded souls together to push through its Ultra difficulty, which managed to be equal parts frustrating and fun. One of our hand-picked band disappeared just as we hit the final level, to be replaced by a young American chap who appeared to be experiencing the game for the first time. Our simple instructions to him – “stay over there, in the corner, and don’t die!” – may have seemed a little abrupt and cruel, but he scored an Achievement out of it and seemed happy with his lot.

Over this (Australian) long weekend, I thought of no better way to celebrate the death and resurrection of JC than to dress my hot young female avatar in a (skimpy) schoolgirl’s uniform and leap about (upskirts, ahoy!) killing Geist. Yes, it was a return to Bullet Witch – the game that just keeps on bringing the disappointment – in a bid to conquer Hell Mode, the hardest difficulty level in the game. The reward for such a monumental task? A solitary 1 GP. Cheeky bastards. Still, it’s been done now – so that’s another game off The List.

I’ve also returned to Perfect Dark Zero – which is most definitely not a shit game, with the exception of Mission 10 – in an attempt to garner some of the points there. I’ve enlisted the help of an English chum for the co-op levels, but he’s a n00b to the game and deserved a bash at the early skill levels. So far, so good – but I’m aware this is a long-term project.

Finally, the only other games I’ve missed were Geometry Wars (which I fired up to see whether I’d magically gained some new, hard-core skills… I had not) and Outrun 2, a real blast from the Xbox past. I really like Outrun 2, but I’m stuck in Mission Mode Stage 8; I can’t, for the life of me, nail that last Single Race. It’s no Ridge Racer 6 – I seem to be fighting drift all the time. More practise required, I think.

So now we’re all caught up. The aim for the next few weeks is to clean up the online elements of Burnout Paradise, continue plodding through PDZ, start working on those A-rankings in Kameo, and satisfying my O/C Needs in Katamari Damacy. And writing a longer post on Bullet Witch, which should be good for a laugh.

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