Goldilocks and the Three Bears

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Asphyxia • Roberta tells a chilling horror story

The game I was trying to think of yesterday was Victor Vran, which is the quasi-Diablo III knock-off, but it seems like my cursory look at the achievement list means I might have been optimistic grabbing one today. I’ll get something I’m sure, but the nearest achievement looks to be getting to level 10, so my twenty minutes of playtime and reaching level 2 this morning indicates to me I have a bit more work to do.

In the meantime, there’s visual novels.

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I didn’t realise how close I was to 100%’ing Asphyxia, considering out of the three achievements I had left, one of the playthrough gives you two and then it’s just another ten minute (if that) whip-through to completion. The same situation as last time, skip all dialogue and use a guide, but if it wasn’t for my out-and-out honesty, you’d never actually know.

Curse my ethics.

I want to make a bit of a final push in the story mode of Destiny 2 on my Xbox Account over the next few days, as I’ve started in on the Barons and I’m hovering in the early 40s level-wise … and I have a few 500’ish weapons willing me ‘over the line’ in terms of light level. I certainly didn’t have any problems last night playing Destiny 2, and – after a while – you begin to forget about the gorgeous graphics on PC and just settle in for the ride.

Maybe the universe is telling me to get a new TV?

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Confessions of an English Opium Eater

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Asphyxia • De Quincey confides in Samantha

I feel like Fridays are a good day for some Japanese Visual Novel gaming. There’s something about the slow pressure of everything that is, or was, due the past week needing to be done before you go home, but at the same time, there’s elements of set-and-forget in VN’s that really appeal to the overlap between my sense of wanting to play games, and my needing to do ‘actual’ work.

Some confessions: yes, I’m using a guide to work my way through the multiple endings of this game, and yes, I’m using auto/skip mode. This is nothing more than an achievement harvest for me – and I make no apologies for it. For purists, I promise you, I have a whole swag of achievements ready to pop on Forza Horizon 2 and 3 tonight (I didn’t realise how close I was for some achievements of FH2 until I looked at the ‘Forza Hub’ App this morning), and I have plenty of indie games kicking around if you really, really need something ‘more’.

But, this is my blog – my challenge. And, as I say, no apologies.

In other gaming news, my usual coffee lady discovered that I had a passion for esports, and introduced me to her husband who I’m led to believe has a stake in the Direwolves. I had to hover between being commercially envious, and simultaneously excited about the opportunities that someone with the same level of passion and enthusiasm for gaming as me had. Like a giddy fan, I left him my name, email and number – but I feel like he’s in the same position as me … ready to make the leap but not quite sure where the market lies and how to go about it.

Time will tell how this plays out.

In the meantime … there’s some Japanese Visual Novels to play … well, read … well, turn on and start, anyway …

Goodbye, cruel world

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King Arthur’s Gold • Commit suicide

I’m fairly philosophically opposed to suicide, and I’ve been fairly vigilant about avoiding the topic as a trigger since my own brush with anxiety and depression, but I think the ‘subject’ versus the ‘action’ remain quite different, and I’m not so debilitated that I cannot look at the concept objectively.

This act of ‘suicide’ however, is far from what this achievement is for. This is, essentially, a reset – the same that LittleBigPlanet requires you to do as early as the tutorial, and involves little more than having your player character pick things back up where they left off at the last checkpoint. The function itself is likely to be used for instances where you are stuck or cannot progress through the story without backtracking a bit, but for today – it was more a case of my lunch-break rapidly about to run-out and I hadn’t yet earned an achievement in King Arthur’s Gold.

With any luck, I might have a chance to play some more Spider-Man tonight and grab another trophy. If I haven’t fallen asleep out of sheer exhaustion first.

A Place where there is No Darkness

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Orwell • Complete Episode Two

I have had a hell of a day. To cut a long-story short:

  • Both kids up at 3am
  • One kid very sick
  • One kid in peak tantrum mode all … day …
  • One wife now very sick
  • Father-in-Law air-lifted to hospital with chest pain
  • Mother-in-Law staying with us while FIL on-the-mend
  • Sick kid just had a major bowel evacuation that required … cleanup.

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So, this afternoon during a quiet patch I headed back to Orwell. It seemed less time-sensitive than other games, and there was no risk of being ‘logged off’ (think: Destiny 2), so I fired it up, and when there was a chance, I did a bit of data-mining to see what I could find. Turns out – I saved a whole bunch of people from another explosion.

I feel like that level of effort is appropriate for a day like today.

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Even after a month off, I still feel like the drip-feed of narrative offered by Orwell hasn’t left me wondering what’s going on. If I’m honest, there’s probably a few main characters that I need to be reminded of, but the interface of Orwell gives you enough information to jog-your-memory that it’s not an insurmountable barrier.

And so, the journey continues. I have half-a-mind to jump into a Gambit match or two in Destiny 2 before bed just to unwind, but that 3am start … well, boy … it’s a killer.

Rocket Jump

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Zombie Night Terror • Kill a zombie by blowing up another zombie nearby

I feel like it would be remiss of me to first mention that I concluded the Destiny 2: Forsaken campaign last night. It was as satisfying as you think it would be, though I was a bit confused by the ending – or more specifically – the final boss battle. I’m guessing that most people who read this blog aren’t really too concerned about spoilers, but in the interests of ambiguity, I’ll just go on to say that the final battle isn’t really with who you think it’s going to be. It’s just … weird.

So, with that out of the way, I move on to more academic pursuits, and that means more zombies.

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I felt like that I hadn’t exahausted the limits of my strategic mind yesterday, and so I ventured back to Zombie Night Terror to see what else I could achieve and how far I could go. I certainly made it a ‘bit’ further, but I wouldn’t say I powered through. Rather, I probably cleared one more level, and learned a little bit more surrounding the strategy of the game and the mutations to use … but all-in-all, I earned an achievement, and that’s all that really matters.

This achievement is for something that I feel like is inevitable as you learn the game anyway – and that’s blowing up a zombie with another zombie. One of the aforementioned mutations is for exploding a zombie, and when they’re so close-quarters, it’s pretty much an inevitability that you’ll have collateral zombie damage.

Braaains everywhere.

On a personal note, this will likely be the last tidy blog entry for the next couple of weeks, as I’m about to venture off overseas. I should be able to get ‘one’ more entry in, but I don’t want to overcommit if technology and travel overwhelm me.

First things first – I fully intend to try and earn an achievmement every day while I’m overseas. I’ll still document the encounter, and maybe give you a smatter of holiday info while I’m at it, but depending on the reliability of the internet over there – this may be the first time that I’ve had to break with tradition, and go for a bulk, backdated upload on my return. We’ll see … chances are I’ll have free wi-fi in the hotel, a library of Steam games to get through, and all the time in the world to play them – but prepare for the worst, expect the best; dib dib dib, dob dob dob, and all that.

Until then …

28 Doors Later

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Zombie Night Terror • Destroy 28 doors

Do you know what’s awesome? Having Overwatch as this month’s early-access on Humble Bundle Monthly … and so while I was stuffing around unlocking that this morning, I took the liberty of unlocking the September games, including this strange strategy-come-puzzle game, Zombie Night Terror.

The premise is that you, essentially, infect people to become zombies, who then, in turn, become zombies and so-on-and-so-forth. There are a few strategic challenges to overcome, such as humans with weapons who unceremoniously kill your zombies on-sight. Only an overwhelming wave of zombies, or a strategically-placed injection, seems to be able to overcome them, so I’ve found that it’s a bit of trial-and-error, but it’s quite cathartic at the same time watching people being eaten alive, so I don’t mind repeating some levels.

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There seems to be a few of these early achievements before it becomes a case of accuring milestones. Number of humans converted, number of zombies killed, etc. I’ll try and give the list another look over before I play again, but I’m sure there’s a few other easy-earning achievements to be obtained here.

In other gaming news, I’ve finally started a bit of a PC Overwatch career. It stiill annoys me that the hours I’ve put into Overwatch on Xbox haven’t carried across, but it’s just one of those blips on the history of gaming – much like achievements, cloud saves and DLC – that we just need to ride-out before they become ‘the norm’.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep chipping away at my new career platform (in-between games of Destiny 2, of course!).

Battery Powered

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Unium • Solve “Battery” by overlapping the line twice

I felt a bit bad continuing to play a lot of ‘new’ puzzle games, without necessarily going back to some of the other games that I’d started in order to grab the quick-and-dirty achievements, and so I made a commitment to start revisiting some of these titles that have nothing mechanically wrong with them, but I’ve never really had the time or inclination to finish them.

First cab-off-the-rank was Unium, the strange fill-in-the-blanks game that resembles the love child of Snake and any Maze ever. I didn’t just want to grab a ‘progress’ achievement (which I did, but it was simply called ‘Easy’ which felt a bit cheap for today’s post), so I reviewed the achievement list to see what other opportunities there were for a quick achievement that had a bit more ‘meat’ to it.

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Part of the Unium achievement list is a whole raft of levels that require some special completion requirements. Most of the levels from what I could tell seemed to be based in the later, harder stages, but the Battery level was conveniently placed in the ‘Easy’ list, which I had been steadily working my way through – so by virtue of convenience, this achievement was first.

Look, I’ll be honest, this is not a matter of just whipping out a quick win … there is actually some effort required in order to meet the requirements of this achievement – which is why I placed some stock in it more than the aforementioned ‘complete 10 easy levels’ one. There is genuinely some ‘meat on the bone’ of this one.

Tonight, well, you’ve probably guessed by now … more Destiny 2. I finally got a chance to complete the first level with my new PC Warlock last night – boosted to Level 30 thanks to the free character boost thrown in with the new expansion … it has helped me build a nice character portfolio that I can chip away at milestones and the other in-game achievements with slowly but surely. I haven’t quite forgotten my Xbox career either, but I’m very much hoping that the executive sway of the likes of Mike Ybarra can make some magic happen when it comes to cross-save and/or cross-play.

If wishing could make it so …