Today I realised that, for whatever reason(s), yesterday saw me playing a lot of different games on different systems. It was something I hadn't noticed at the time, but my retrospective look at the day made me feel like I'd accomplished a lot. Well, a lot in gaming terms at any rate. Walk with me through the day's events, won't you?
Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure
So I started the day as I have been every morning for the last couple of weeks, with a tram ride and a copy of EA's monocled puzzle platformer wedged into my DS. I'm up to the fifth and final world, and if you've been listening to recent Bombcasts you'll know there were times that I had to struggle through an unholy vortex of unjust fuckwittery to get there. As reported, the boss that awaits you at the end of World 3 is an especially taxing battle and is sure to drag combinations of expletives from your mouth that you never thought you knew.
Don't get me wrong, there's some good puzzling and platforming to be had here, albeit with more of a disconnect from each other than the developers had probably hoped. But man, you'll bite into the dark, hard nuggets of anguish all too often while you're trying to enjoy the smooth and creamy nougat the rest of the game has to offer.
On top of that, on the tram ride back home from work I discovered two secret levels, both of which are forced scrolling affairs where a single collision with an enemy or its bullet can mean instadeath, causing you to restart the whole level again - did I mention this game's checkpointing is bullshit unfair at times?
Anyway, as it stands I can't tell whether I want to finish this game because it's a reminder of platforming days gone by, or if I'm doing this out of pure pigheadedness. Either way, I will make that game doff its bowler hat to me or go insane trying. Unless Monster Tale comes into my life and ends up successfully building on the promise that Hatsworth held.
Mortal Kombat II
All the recent MK fervour (and the fact I can't just buy it) has caused me to revisit the game that my mates and I may as well have hotglued into our Mega Drives. After arriving home from the tram stop – a walk that saw me muttering hell on Henry bloody Hatsworth – I popped the MKII cartridge in and gripped my 6-button controller.
Turns out I can remember a lot of the moves, although I had to fumble around in my memory for some of them. The one I couldn't remember for ages was Baraka's Slice 'n' Dice, which I eventually ended up pulling off by accident. I didn't notice what I'd done to activate it, and then spent another few minutes trying to emulate the mash that saw me perform it the first time. I got there in the end but I don't remember it being B-B-B-LP, that's for sure.
I think I'm going to get back into MK II over the weekend and try to return to the standard I was at back in 1994. Can't wait! Gotta remember there's a block button, though. Oh, and in a shocking and horrific turn of events, Mortal Kombat II on MD/Genesis uses Credits. Yep, that's with a C. How on Earthrealm did that slip through the QA process?
Animal Crossing: Wild World
In a seemingly-random-but-probably-fuelled-by-Hatsworth-hatred manoeuvre, I put Animal Crossing into my DS after dinner. Long ago I had played this game for a year and a half solid, every morning and every evening, until I had caught every fish and collected every fossil. I'd not been back to the town of Xanadu (my girlfriend's idea, she was playing it too) for about a year though, and I was morbidly curious about the state of our tiny digital village.
Weeds. Lots and lots of weeds. And our house was full of bugs. Also, I'd walked out of the place after cramming a bunch of mismatched furniture into it, possibly in a misguided and desperately slutty attempt to squeeze more points from the Happy Room Academy.
I wasn't planning on getting back into Animal Crossing, but this morning while waiting for the tram I discovered I'd left the cartridge in the DS. I like to think it was my subconscious looking out for me after all the vitriol that Henry Hatsworth had induced. I spent the rest of my commute pulling weeds and reconnecting with hazily-familiar faces. And I'm about to do the same once I finish up this blog and head home. What are the odds I'll get hooked again?
Speaking of hooked, we've arrived at the most important part of our meander through the day's events. Yes, at 2:30 this morning, after 190+ hours and 313 saves, I have finally nabbed the final two Achievements and S-Ranked Fallout 3. I'm sure the game itself needs no further commentary from me – you'll likely know by know if you love it or hate it – so all I'll say is that Fallout 3 is one of my favourite games ever. That's despite the fact that by the end of my (incomplete) second run through the sheen was starting to wear off just a shade.
As a small aside, I also saw Megaton explode for the first time ever in all of my hours with the game. After I got the last cheevo, I loaded up the third save I ever made in the game. I then set about levelling up so I could get my Explosives skill up to 25, enough to prime the shabby settlement's explosive centrepiece. I've gotta say, it was worth the wait.
My long term goal now – Rayfield has called me "DERANGED" for even thinking this – is to go back to the wasteland and clean it all up, removing every last piece of collectable bric-a-brac. Each scorched book and each rusty tin can is cluttering up the place, and I don't think the world can truly rebuild until all the refuse is stashed in the TARDIS-like locker of my Megaton home.
Ha! Only kidding... or am I?
All good things must come to an end...
(...which may mean this blog entry will go on forever.)
So there you have it, a day chock-full of joy and anger, and overtired but satisfied yawns by the end of it. I can't remember the last time I got through so many games in a 24 hour period, and this was even with a full day at work to deal with. Luckily it's getting into the more wintery months here, so there may be even more cause for staying at home and settling in with some new games, and revisiting some more cherished favourites while I'm at it. It's a thought that warms my heart.