Shadow of the Colossus - one big spoiler

My friend Rob leant me this game over a year ago and said he wanted me to write about playing it because he's now become a busy man and hasn't got so much time for games, and that's what this is.  I thought I'd put it in a blog just for the sake of it.  It's full of swearing because I'm just writing out my thoughts, it's not an article.
 
I'd say only read it as an aide mémoire if you've played it yourself.
 

* Shadow of the Colossus started 28th August 2011 about 12.30 finished 31st Aug 18:00 ish

I really believe in the horse.  Its movements and stuff make it seem real so I care about it more.  I'm wondering if the horse is your Yorda in this.  Your companion so you're not really alone.  In the opening sequence it makes a jump over a broken path and I got the fear on me when it stumbled a bit on the other side.  I wonder if I'll end up shouting at it and calling it a stupid cunt like I did with Yorda.  I'm also wondering if it'll be used for emotional blackmail, but that's me all over, that is.

Niggle #1: The camera is a faff and you always feel like you're fighting it when you're playing horsey.

I'd done the first boss when I started playing it on the 11th of August a year ago, it took 38 minutes, this time it took 12.  I'd watched the Quicklook of the HD releases for the ps3 and thought it was time to give it a go.  I stopped the first time because I started straight after Ico and it was too much melancholy to pile on top and would probably ruin it for me.  It feels like a proper game straight away.  I've just checked xbox.com and saw that Murphy is playing Modern Warfare 2 so I'm absolutely not going on.  The idea of that angering frantic shit gives me the shudders.  Competative multiplayer shooting is something I'm pretty much done with.

After doing in the first guy I used the sword to see where to go next and it pointed into the cathedral or castle of whatever it is you're in.  I thought he said the next beast was in a sealed cavern but it turns out it's a seaside cavern.  There's a pool at the back and around it the spiral staircase you come down at the start and fucking faffed around there dying for 34 minutes.  I think that's what I did last year, too.  Up the spiral, faff, end up jumping off the ledge (that's obviously there for jumping off) into the pool in the middle - maybe try using your sword-reflecto in the air - does that open the pool up?  NOooooo.  So I went outside for a fag and up comes a little cutscene telling me about the saving stones.  The monster is outside, behind the castle?  I bet hundreds have done exactly the same thing I did, given up and thrown the game on the fire.

Second boss wasn't terribly hard to find and was easier to beat than the first one.  Quarry Cow I calls him cos he's all hooves and rubble.  I saw the symbols on the underside of its feet, arrow in them to make him curtsey for the lady, then got on for a super fun ride and took the head glyph first, arse one last.  Almost too easy.  34 minutes on the post kill save.

I forgot to say, but after killing the first beast I felt a bit sad because you're slaghtering these majestic nomadic creatures who don't seem to be doing much harm.  They seem like they're a bit mindless and sluggish and are just doing their own thing.

Now I'm faffing around massively trying to find the third fucker.  I've gone right round the houses and found loads of stuff that'll be for later, I think.  I don't really mind because this really is a slacker's game.  I've got a talking book (Mass Effect Revelation, it's mundane tripe) on the go and I'm not turning it on.  Just like Ico the wind and loneliness are what makes it what it is.  Oh for fuck's sake.  After 30 minutes of fannying about I'm back at the same place but this time the man will swim.  Last time he just stopped at the water's edge like he did at the waves coming in from the sea when I was mucking about next to Quarry Cow.

Niggle #2:  Inconsistent reaction to the environment has wasted my time.

But man it was worth it.  This was the fucker on the inside of the box and I think the one I've seen most pictures of.  Tall biped with a huge stone *sword* I suppose you'd call it.  I love the scale of these things, it makes you go wow.  How do I scale this bitch?  Ball feet don't have no grabs, so it's the sword then, is it?  Yes, but only when he does make it into a ramp.  I couldn't get up his arm so waited and jumped from the sword to his legs but  couldn't get up any more.  The magic voice from the temple said its armour seemed brittle.  Oh fuck, I'm doing so badly that the game is patronising me.  And I don't trust the voice, of course.  He might have an agenda.  Killing all these things might be a trick, and he said something about a price to pay for bringing wifey back.  Wahhhhh.  Ok, back to the monster.  I fell off the big round arena a few times and on the way back found a stone pad on the floor.  I got the beast to clank his cudgel on that and BOOM - off comes some stone on his arm, now there's a clear path up it.  I know he's got a belly and a head glyph to stab and went for the head first.  I'm guessing that they're always hardest to get to so why not.  When you're on their head it all turns into a mad game of Buckaroo and you're the shovel.  The monsters shake their heads like Stevie Wonder and you have hold on tight and stab them.  I'd done this to the head and wondered how to get to the belly.  I just walked forward and fell, then held grab and BONUS: I was holding right onto the belly one, stab stab stab, ding ding!  Back to wifey on the slab.  1:28 on the clock.

Number 4 I found fairly quickly.  A boney, ribbey cowhorse who you had to trick so you could climb up its tail.  I worked out what to do pretty quickly but executing was badly done.  I tried jumping from horsey to its tail but it was never happening.  I ran around it and the horse kept squeeling all the time.  Run away or fucking shut up!  Oh dear, I've betrayed the horse with naughty thoughts.  Then one of the huge rock blades of the beast's back feet came right down on the horse in front of me and it staggered and started to limp away.  Fuck!  Can horsey die?  Now I was emotionally attached again.  Ok, I tricked the beast into looking for me in a little underground bit then circled around and got on his tail as he stooped to look for me.  I fell off trying to get to his face the first time, then it was straight to the glue factory on the next run.  I pissed around for a long time seeing if I could shoot an arrow into its eye but nothing doing.  I wasn't so impressed with this thing.  1:58 on the clock.

Before boss 4 I spent some time shooting arrows at my wife and the horse.  I had a bit of cyber guilt but fuck all happens.

Oooh, a death.  I'd found a woods that scared me and there was a dam on the other side.  I swam fucking ages around this place with platforms and then made my way back to the damn and fuck yes, my 'Will the current carry me over the waterfall?' turned out to be a yes.  Bastard!  I could see the bit of green I had to get to, too.  I got to it next time but fuckedy-doo-dah it seems like it's not the right place.  I was so tempted to throw myself into the chasm so I'd go back to my save point and save me the walk but didn't.  I swam back across the dam, got on the horse and got lost in the little forest and saved.  30 minutes extra on the clock - rahhh!

Found 5, a big crow thing that reminded me a lot of the bird you fly on in Mario 64 or Galaxy or Sunshine maybe, can't remember which.  I'd started to piss him off with some arrows and then magic man pipes up "Try and piss him off with some arrows."  Yes, I'm doing it you fucker.  After that it was simple.  I wish you could have had a replay or something because I could pick out moments of wow while we were flying about so stupidly high.  I never fell off - fuck, that could have been good just to get a sense of scale.  I was really impressed with the bird.  At first you see its daunting black and blurred outline and when it's in motion there's a lovely weighty train of a tail.  2:45 on the clock.

6 is a beast within an underground temple and he killed me twice.  Very much like the first guy but more of a mountain man with a fuck off ZZTop beard.  There are stone walls you can get on and he'll swing for you letting you get onto his hand.  I thought this was the way but it was shite.  Maybe his wristbands would shatter off if he clobbered enough shit?  Nah, lure him to the back and he'll bend down so you can jump on his beard.  Stab him in the head, stab him in the kidney and it's fuck you Alan Moore monster.  3:13 on the clock.  This guy caused loads of dust when he smashed the walls in which was really disorientating.  As much as I hated it because I didn't know if I was running at him or away I liked the feature.

Niggle #3: whistling for my horse when I'm trying to jump onto a hairy bastard.  X is horsey, triangle is jump.  I should have swapped them.

I knew where to find 7 but was a fucking cretin and ended up back at the platform I fought boss 3 on a couple of times.  I wondered if I had to go to the top again, no, but I did find boss 3 all covered in moss all Miyazaki like.  "Begin Remenisce Mode" it asked as I jumped about on him.  Aye, why not.  You get to fight him again in sepia, always the best way to fight.  It's what Samus does when she's thinking about fighting old bosses.

On the swim back to shore I pressed R1 and it makes you swim underwater - is this quicker?  Your grab meter also ticks down.  Is it air?  Do you gag and roll up horribly like Lara Croft when she's out of gas, or shoot your arms out and bubbles come out of your mouth like Sonic?  While I was thinking about this a ticking sound kicked in as the meter was almost out and it jolted me because I was miles away.

Anyway 7, fucking amazing.  This thing genuinely got me nervous because of the water.  I think Tomb Raider games first gave me the jitters about water.  You'd swim down somewhere and could see the surface so fucking far above you and as you made for it you'd have your air meter just dribbling down... will... i... make... ittttt??!  Wehh!  And I started having nightmares about it.  And then of course I almost drowned in that Ik Kil cenote in Mexico, which was nice.  So I had a knot in my tumnus, genuinely.  I saw the thing before I got down to the water and fired some arrows at it.  Nothing.  So I get in the water and he starts swimming about, I get on a chunk of floating concrete and fire some more arrows at his sparky spines.  Nothing.  This thing is a big long snakey carpet fish (all Colossi are lavishly upholstered in the finest shagpile) with three towers on it that piss out the leccy.  Because I was fannying too much magic man said swim on the water to tempt him out.  Ohhhkayyyy.  I heard him gurgle and thought that he'd go all jaws and jump on the back of the boat if I got back to land but that didn't happen.  I expected to shoot arrows in him mouth and go "Smile you sunnufah bish!"  So yeah, onto the top if its tail and get dragged down with him, fuck I didn't like it.  The effects of the fish under the water were amazing, the blur and the murk.  I could sort of smell and taste the water and it was like when you get leaves rotting on a pond.  When the beast breaks water you have to make your way forward on the exposed bits - think a kid's drawing of nessie - but you mustn't get close to one of his electric spines when he's going under again.  Nip forward, stab the micro-glyph by them and they're fused.  When I got to the third near his head I was too close and got a right 1.21 giggawatts up me.  I thought it would stop so kept holding on but I was literally down to one pixel of health and let go.  Fukkkkin hell.  I went back to the floating concrete and waited for my health to refill while making a cup of tea then went back and finished him.  Afterwards I was swimming back to the shore and waiting for Mr. Hooper to come up near me and help me back to land with his city hands (Rob, are you getting this?) and was looking for the black snake things that come out of the carcass but nothing happened.  Then BAM in they came and it made me jump a bit.  3:55 otc, over 40 minutes added, more than 30 to find the bastard.  After a few normal biped guys this really kicked the wow back in.

Next up number 8, coelacanth cat.  This guy was shut in a multi-storey cylinder with slits around it so you could fire arrows through.  You start really far above it, like 80 metres and I shot at it straight away which was tactically stupid because I hadn't sized it up.  It climbed the walls and I got a really good look at its guts but I couldn't see any symbols there.  Then the bastard starts spitting electric gas lasers at me.  When they hit you've got to flee because the miasma drains your power real fast.  The thing had glowy legs so they're for shooting at.  Shoot two and he'll fall into the middle.  The first time I did that I had no idea how to get down to it.  I went down near him and tried jumping on his back when he was on his feet and he smashed me with his rocky coelacanth tail then did some more laser shit.  I was dead.  Ok, start again.  He climbs the walls, I shoot his shankles and I climb aboard his belly but couldn't see any symbols so thought maybe I had to make him fall from really high.  Up I went, fell him, no damage registered - bastrard!  Ok, lets take another look at his belly, yes a stabby spot, two in fact and he's all over.  4:34 and 8 down.  I thought there were only 8 bosses when I first started playing but it looks like there's double that.

After this you get a film grain effect of you wife getting up from the slab only she's dressed in black a bit like Bayonetta in her veiled outfit.  Fuck, will your wife return but all evil, dark and damaged?  Pet Semetary style - Is that the price?  Then it's back to normal again.  Your wife has a really nice colour to her, much healthier than you.  When you hold her hand your hand looks all grey and pasty.  (I watched this cutscene again because that's where I left it for the day and there was no black costume.  Maybe I was swinging the camera about with the right stick the first time or something, or it just does it once, but that sounds like crazy bullshit).

9 is Lantern Jawed Bowser, a quadraped come coffee table.  He's in a geyser ridden flat and only had hair on his belly.  During this bit I tried riding the horse under it and jumping off to grab the belly fluff and it did work but I couldn't do anything but hang there.  Magic voice said use the power of the earth or something so I lured it over a geyser and it staggered.  A couple of arrows in its feet and it went fully sideways giving me a chance to climb up the belly and onto its back.  It righted itself, I ran up the back and boom, 4:54 clocked.  I found out during this bit that you can jump at the horse (is it called Arro?) and press hold and you cling to it and get on.  This was useful for the next fight.

Getting to 10 was a nice change of scenery.  I took the west south west route and saw a load of new things and had to jump horsey over some gaps.  In a cave was a worm a bit like the sea monster but in sand.  Riding the old sandworm.  I'd thought about that when I was on the last boss.  The fucker takes a massive chunk off when he hits you, two hits and you'm gawn and a fucking scary staring eyes picture comes up on the Retry? screen.  I've only just thought about it but was it trying to give a clue?  I'd been prepared for this fight by Darksiders, ride horsey in front of him, shoot him in the eye and then he bams into a rock - up you go... huh?  Where's the fucking symbol?  Oh wow, it only appears when you're wielding (yes *wielding*) the sword. That's why I couldn't see any on the belly of the one in the cylinder, I was still carrying the bow the first time.  5:14 gone.

11. Little Doggy Lion.  I got patronised on this one again, and I needed it.  The first thing is you think "What's this little twat doing?" because it's only as big as a couple of bulls.  It charged me and hit me over, not much damage.  Then I found a spot in its room where I could just stand there and taunt it.  It's on a raised area you have to jump to and I knew I had to lure it off the edge.  He charges you like a bull so I stood near the edge and got him to run at me and BOOOF, I was too slow and went sailing into the bastard pit.  Get up you fucker!  When you get clonked hard you take a long time getting up sometimes.  Magic voice took pity "Maybe you could use the fire plinths, maybe".  Ok, get it to crash into one and out pops a stick which I of course ignore.  I climb the plinths and try to shoot arrows through the pot of flames on the top.  Fire arrow kills cowdog?  No, so I jump on its back where there's a boney carapace I can't stab.  "For fuck's sake, it's scared of fire." says magic man.  Ok, how do I pick up the stick?  Oooooh, the grab button.  Stick of fire, flush beast out of the wrong side of the room, get battered to fuck until I can jump back to the platform.  But beast isn't on the platform any more - have I broken the game?  Will I need to reload?  And the thing actually jumps over to where I am.  I'm damn impressed by the AI on these things.  The way it moves is amazing, the way it backs up when you've got the shitty stick is amazing, it even swipes at you if you get too close.  So this time back him out to the big drop, his carapace falls off, I jump down to him and fuck you, Fido.  5:38 gone.

The wife being under that pillar of rock doesn't make me feel good.  If it cracks and falls she'll be pate.  And that's where I leave it for the second day.

I knew where the next one was from the description.  The dam I'd faffed about in for half an hour.  This thing looked like one of the Tripods in the flesh when Stringbean or whatever his name is meets them, only it's got a helmet on like something from Jabberwocky or the great Sean Connery bit in Time Bandits.  From the dual forward facing cheek horns this thing fires electricify but if you're swimming below the surface it's fine.  I tried to find his weak spot with the sword locator beam and it was low on his body below the water line.  "You cannot beat him in your current form" said the booming voice.  Huh?  So do I find a magic cauldron that turns me into a fish?  A fish with the sword as my nose?  Some fucking lethal narwhal thing like the fish in Donkey Kong Country?  It didn't seem consistent.  In the pool are rocky picnic spots with stone versions of them gazebo things on them.  I hid in one of them and the beast waded up to me, fired a few shots then I took a chance and ran out and grabbed hold of his jutting jaw.  Yes!  Climbed up on top of his head and saw it had a carpet back so I climbed down it to see if I could go below the water to his grumble cog, but nope, back on top of its head again.  On his head was a crown of what looked like rocky teeth and I hit one for a laugh with the sword and it glimmered.  Wow, perhaps I destroy these and he goes mental so I start whacking all of them.  Nothing happens to his health and I suss out that they steer him - wahhhhh, I'm in control and you're going off the edge of this fucking dam into the soup.  Bollocks, can't get him to go between the arches of the bridge leading to the dam, and I stubbornly try it much longer than necessary.  Booming voice says get to higher ground and I think of the path I took the other side of the dam, but it's not that.  Steer the monster towards the gazebo.  I imagine the teeth cause him pain because it really is like an upturned jaw on his head.  I jump on top of the gazebo and hide behind a plant pot, he climbs and fires, I nip out and jump to his chest - nothi... oh wait, the symbol's appearing - stab, stab, stab and he's over 3/4 dead.  A cutscene shows him headbutting the gazebo and fucking it up into pebbles.  Fair enough, there's another two and the rest is history.  I liked this guy because it brought in a new mechanic.  12 down and 6:04 clocked.

I wondered if there's be a new custscene because I was 3/4s of the way through.  Six men on black horses and a seventh on a white one were galloping along and then pulled up.  The one on the white horse had some fancy poncho on and a mask and said that it wasn't far now.  Are they the ones that killed your wife, or are they her relatives?

13 was easy to find out in the desert.  A huge flying worm that bursts out of the land.  I'm already thinking this one could be a right bastard and I'll be patronised soon enough.  Underneath its got 3 white sections and from the horse I fire at one as an experiment and it goes out - right, two more and he looses airworthyness (temporary I bet) and I chase with the horse and jump blindly and fuck-knows-how manage to get on top of it near the tail.  There are three weak spots I find out, and after you stab one he rolls over and dives back into the ground so you've got to bring it down again, which is piss easy.  The next three times (yes THREE because I turned into a cocky twat and thought I was too good to hang onto his fur during some fancy flying and fell off) I climbed up the handy ladder-wings he's got by his head.  6.23 and not nudged by Deep Thought once.  It was probably easier than the first boss, really.

Tortoise.

14.  The voice said he was once a guardian or something so I wondered if it would be the griffin-dog thing from the screenshots of Last Guardian.  On the way to finding it you go through rows of pillars into a cave and then find a crumbled aztec ruin.  It's really Ico and you feel like you've paid National Heritage a stupidly high fee to walk about some cronked up castle.  To be fair it is amazing and has that sun on grass Laputa feel.  Ok, stop faffing and find the guardian.  Oh no, it's a poodle again but this time has a muzzle on.  I actually got a little annoyed with this pugnacious twat.  He did for me once because I got knocked down against a wall testing him out - he's a far better cornerer than you'd think.  Then the second time I'd done all the scripted shit and got killed on the ladder that leads to the part that knocks off his armour carapace because I was too stubborn to lead him away.  The scripted bits are you climbing columns you get it to knock down to let you get to other columns.  Little fucker.  7:00 gone.

15 was another one where I had to go through a castle.  Bigger but no so much sun on grass and a bit grim.  Monkian!  A colossus like the first one with a monkey face and a stone swordy thing instead of a club.  I did have a bit a dread because clearly he'll be more of a bastard than the first one.  Fuuucking hell, it took me ages, basically because I was being a bit of a div.  The monkey stamps about and there's nothing to climb on so you've got to get higher - how?  You make him stamp on some stones so they tilt upwards letting you get onto walls around him.  With a bit more cajouling he'll bring down more things for you to jump on.  There are bridges over the top of him but he smashes them to bits, and I thought they were useless after that, which was my downfall.  I went to the front where there are a load of columns but you can't jump to him from there but only miss by a few feet.  I kept that fucking stupid business up for far too long.  After a while I thought bring him back to one of the other bridges and that got me on him.  Also voice said "Find its hidden vitals."  What, he's got food somewhere?  Not reeely.  Anyway I shon the sword upon his goodies and they lit up and rings came from them.  This was the first time I'd seen the rings so thought if I shot them then that was maybe it, and it looked good because his energy was going down.  Pure shit though.  I had to jump on him from a broken bridge.  On his head, on his arm, on his hand and he's dead.  55 minutes that mess added to the clock, so it's at 7:55.  I'm sort of glad I got shafted a bit after the easiness of flying snaayyyke.

Will there be a cutscene of significance before the final boss?  Maybe I have to get to it before horsey men come and find wifey.

Stupid cunt horse plus bad camera = falling in a fucking ravine.  I almost didn't save it in that spot before you do it.  So do I just hold run after the jump?  Yes, and the horse falls into the fucking ravine but I jump off.  Because of the fuck up I didn't care as I watched him tumbling into the distance.  Maybe he'll turn up later anyway...  there's a river down there.  Ok, let's get moving.  Hopefully I won't be fighting a kilometre tall version of myself, or my wife.

Oh wow.  Stormy weather effects, rain you can feel, a giant fucker with a stone skirt and electric wristbands around cruel looking claws.  I'm having a piss and making a cup of tea before facing this one.  Aaaaaand I'm back.  17:07, T-Virus is in the incubator, or teapot as you might call it.  Let's have at this fucker.  I'm guessing at 3 deaths.  Ok, make that 30, fucking electric bombs shoot out of this bitch's fingers and blew me to shit.  I've got to sneak up behind cover.  17:19 and I almost died so many times on my 2nd life.  I think I'm right next to it now so I'm going to let my life recover and pour this tea.  Lovely tea.  Yeah, I get a cutscene.  Up the skirt, stab a spot in the middle of its back.  Wah, it's gunnah grab mee!  Oh, actually that's what I want.  Then I fall off its sleeve like a pleb, miles I fall but luckily not out to laser range, time to climb again.  Onto hand, manage to get up the sleeve and stab bicep, jump to other hand, other hand to handy ledge on chest.  I'm shitting it at this point in case I fall and have to do it all again.  Plus some twat in the real world was ringing the buzzer, twice.  Could I pause with grab held and it not let go?  Not taking that chance, buzz away you fucker.  At the top this thing reminds me of the robot from the cover of News of the World.  I get to the head and wonder if it's just this glyph.  Yes!  I stab it so he's down to about a third and then come off to get some grip back.  Then I go back and he's down to like one baby stab to be over but I need one more rest BUT FALL OFF.  Fuck it.  I catch the hand as I'm going down.  Bloody hell this is stress.  But I get back easily.  I never stabbed the point on his shoulder, wonder what it does?  Oh, and I kill it.

The next bits have me completely full of dread that there are multiple endings and I got the worst of them.  Lordy and his men are in the temple with the girl and I'm still lying out in the field next to the last boss.  Then I'm magicked back and start turning into a shadowy demon with horns, wahhh, like full blown big shadow beast and I can clobber the floor, shoot a beam out me gob, and by the time I discover all this the men are away up the spiral and I haven't killed one of them.  Old Man River throws the sword in the pool from the jumping and dying ledge at the top of the spiral the the pool erupts full of light.  It's a seal to trap me forever.  The light sucks the darkness off me and is dragging me into the pool.  I start tapping everything because if I keep running from this pool all the black will leave me and I'll be alright again and can get back to wifey.  I press jump for about 15 minutes and man it's getting tiring so I let up and get dragged to the egge of the pool.  Grab button!  It's like Ripley and an open airlock, my feet are hanging in the air, yes the black will be sucked off and I'll be fixed... and the grab meter is ticking down but I'm sure it'll stop before it hits nothing.  But it doesn't.  Shit IT!  I'll have the bad ending.  Grrrrr.

The men are away over the big bridge and it's collapsing as they go as the supports magically disappear.

Wifey wakes up.  Horsey limps in (told ya, dinneye!) and both go towards the pool.  In it is a baby with horns; didn't expect that.  She picks it up and horsey starts climbing the spiral.  He's clever, that horse.  I've always liked him. 

Old Man River and his goons are at the end of the brige and he turns back and says that if you're alive then try and repent for what you've done and have a good life and he'll see you in heaven.

Wifey and horse go up a spiral that's on the outside of the temple and find another picnic spot full of fawns and grass.  They'll be happy there.

It was 18:00 by the time she got off the table, the horse staggered in and the credits started to roll and wow, a proper ten minute ending.  8:55:57 on the clock when the final "Would you like to save?" came up.  The seconds just to make it seem even more OCD for laughs.

I've got the post good game thing now where you just want to be quiet and not play anything else for a while.  I'll probably watch the start again and get reminded of things, and see things that became familiar, just like Ico.  I've more than likely forgotten loads of plot from the start and half of my thoughts have been drivel, but it doesn't matter.

End

Finally I can go and watch the Yahtzee video of the game.  What the fuck!  You can increase your grip meter by shooting lizards??!  I completely avoided things like this so I felt more like I was being a character wanting to do no harm and was focussed on revivifying his wife.  I didn't even try and crunch up the tortoises with my horse.  And I'll read the manual now.  Ahh, you're called Wanda and the horse is Agro.  I was glad I finished it with him nameless.  In fact I'm just glad that pile of shit is over.

Me joko!

Niggle #4: Reading the manual and finding out you do swim faster underwater and that you regain health faster if you're crouched.  pffffukkit.
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Another game finished

Finished  Ratchet and Clank 2.  It's fucking excellent.

All the lock on shit that didn't work in the first one is fixed and you can strafe, just that alone makes it 20% better than the first one.  Most fun I've had in a game in over a year and puts another notch on the PS2 is better than the 360 headboard.  Ending was abrupt as hell, though, I really thought it was fake credits time when they popped up.  I'd watched the Gamespot review and they said it was 20 to 25 hours and I only had 16 on the clock.  I might just do the harder runthroughs later on but I've now got 3 to play - oh yes.

The Good: Strafing, weapons that feel niiiiice almost overpowered sometimes, general tone.
The Bad: Occasional "Why didn't you grab that ledge, you cack handed cunt!" moments.  Giant Clank moon fights, flying bits.

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Great game, bad camera

Still enjoying my holiday away from the 360 and am playing Ratchet & Clank on the Ps2.  It's a 10/10 game ruined by a 3/10 camera that just frustrates terribly - and why won't that damn blaster lock on to anything properly!?!

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Finished God of War 2... thank Kratos it's over

 Finished God of War 2, thank fucking christ it's over.  I'm not saying that because it's bad but because it was just so relentless and you get the "pleeeeease let there be a checkpoint" knitted brow thing going in your mind fairly often.  I played it in pretty small bursts, as soon as I'd finished something taxing, save: turn it off, cup of tea and a lie down.  This is the first real game I've played on the PS2 and the quick time events fucked me right over because of the 'X' clash with the 360, especially because I'd go back to the 360 in between plays.  That fight at the end... finished the normal bit really easily but then the quick time event finish = bastard.  Unskippable cutscene 9 times in a row, ding ding!  Fuck off.

It's epic, though.  Afterwards you can watch all the cut scenes in a row and it took about 50 minutes and you're going "Oh my god, I'd forgotten about that" for about the first 30.  Do you want to save your progress and see the unlockables?  yes please!  Ok, this is the challenge arena, kill the baddie in under 40 seconds.  Oh, suddenly I'm fucking angry again and have lost all sense of the controls even though it's only been 55 minutes since I played last.  I had a lot of anger in this game, it's probably right up there with COD WAW's "Heart of the Reich" on Veteran but I think that's because I was a button mashing finesse-less bellend.

I never ever felt that I was playing something last-gen during it at all, only the cutscenes had the look of something not today.  I've still got the first God of War to play but I'm leaving a big gap.  Just put in Ratchet and Clank and it's nice to have something that's looking like it'll be a genuine pleasure and won't make me want to punch a milkman.

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I dreamt of a giant bomb...

 Last night I dreamt that I'd created a SONIC BOMB that had like a massive blast radius - you know, miles or something.  I'd armed it and was faffing about doing stuff somewhere and then I realised that I'd lost track of time so might not be able to get far enough away in time.  I'd also forgotten the arming code for it but it turns out Pg (my girlfriend) had it written down and it was ffwm or something, so I went back to the bomb and extended the time and then said we'd have to clear out.  My mum and Pg said they basically weren't going to bother and were basically going to stay and get killed by the blast because they were pretty content with their lives and didn't mind dying.  Then they were having tea and biscuits with a load of other people who didn't seem to care either.  I tried to pursuade them to go but they weren't fussed so eventually I got in my car/truck/whatever and drove away.  I watched the shockwave from the bomb from far away spreading out like a ring, ripping up the land.

I'm wondering if this dream was brought on by the fact that yesterday I found an old stupid japanese alarm clock in my room and I wound it up,  A little rabbit nods its head every tick and there's an elephant in the main picture, dual bells, a hammer - all the classic Mickey Mouse clock qualities.  It was ticking away all night.... like a bomb!

But mostly I think it's the fact I've played Red Faction every day for a week.

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Kicking Achievements.

Giving up achievements.
 
I set myself a target of 24,000 in a year and said after that I'd stop, then that turned out to be too close so I thought I'd make it 25. And do you know what, I got there within 11 months of getting my 360 and it really did work. Well, apart from the niggles of having two Scene It? games in there and King Kong.
 
Being a slave to achievements is a realllly bad thing and takes the fun out of so many games.
 
Hope I've kicked them for good.

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