Zen And The Art Of Gamerscore Maintenance #2 (Mriceguy)

As posted on ButtonMasher.

I’m afraid in this segment I lose the plot entirely and start arguing with myself. I’m sorry you had to see me this way…

So Mriceguy, what have you been playing lately?
Well, wouldn’t you like to know? Oh… you would? Sorry for the hostility my friend. Before I get into specifics I’d like to briefly talk about the topic of finishing games. That okay?

Go ahead. It’s not like I have all day or anything to listen to your babbling.
I’ll ignore that. So.. ahem.. Some time ago I was contemplating giving up gaming entirely. Having a never-ending bucket of games isn’t easy y’know. The bucket keeps on filling, and there’s still those games right down at the bottom that I just never got to. I was my own worst enemy, and I nagged myself until I could nag no more. So I took a break.

So you’re a quitter?
No I wouldn’t say that. I got back on the horse, and tried to game in moderation. Of course when you write about games you kinda need to play a few. So playing in moderation didn’t really work anymore. That nagging feeling is back, though not as strong, it’s still there. The stress comes from thinking about my Pile of Shame, and countless other games I’ve bought and never spent enough time with.

But I have discovered a little article by Linda Holmes, that talks about how we can never experience everything. Same goes with games. At the rate games come out these days, no single person will be able to play them all. And so you need to make peace with yourself, and surrender. I don’t mean to get all philosophical here, but it’s something I wrestle with a lot, being a media fiend.

Okay, enough therapy talk, onto the games.
Fine, fine, I was done talking anyway.

I hear you bought Portal 2. How’s that?
Y’know it’s actually pretty good. I think it’s the first game I’ve bought on launch day in… say, a long while. The production is classic Valve, and they really know how to put together a cinematic first-person game. Portal 2 in particular feels a lot more like Half-Life 2 than the original one did – and that’s a good thing! Unlike some speedsters I didn’t finish the single-player in a day, in fact I’m still at it, despite my several attempts over the long weekend. I’ve also tried my hand at some co-op with my seven year-old kid brother. Fortunately they’ve got a little system where you can give portal placement advice with a pointer (there’s a lot of p’s in that sentence). I can see that being annoying for two experienced players. But I was the one in charge, mwahaha! Even still, he actually helped me out a few times when I was fluffing about a test chamber for a good ten minutes. I smiled meekly and congratulated him. On the inside I was burning with embarrassment.

Excuse me?

*Cough*, I said Mass Effect.
Oh, okay then. I swear I heard something else. My mind must be playing tricks on me.

So you’re playing Mass Effect 2? A game from January 2010…
Yes I know, I’m sorry. It took me until 2011 to actually finish the original Mass Effect! While Wugga has nearly gained all of the Achievements, I’m still making way on my first play-through. I’m really, really enjoying this game, and unlike with most RPG’s I’m keen to do all the missions I can. Avoiding spoilers for the game has been… difficult. The sooner I finish it, the sooner I can listen to ButtonMasher Podcast without yanking the headphones from my ears every time Mass Effect 2 is mentioned.

You played Beyond Good & Evil HD for a good 30 minutes…
Look, I finished the game already. I bought it on Steam in 2009. I played it, I loved it. Do I really have to do it again? I mean, it is fun, but who’s got the time?

Why buy it then?
Helping fund Beyond Good & Evil 2? I dunno, I’d like to think that it would help the sequel in some way. Maybe I’ll get to it some other day.

You said that about Fallout 3…
I know I make promises I can’t keep. We already went through this.

You had a hissy fit and gave up on Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands?
”Hissy fit” wouldn’t be my exact words. So, I was playing my way through the game carefree. I was pretty close to the end too, until disaster struck. I somehow got trapped in a room with no exit. A god-damn bug. Fortunately Ubisoft included a backup save. Following the online instructions I deleted my auto-save, so the backup would take it’s place. It worked, but I was set a good few hours back. Needless to say I haven’t picked the game up since. But I still plan on finishing it. It’s not the best game ever, but I rather enjoy the Prince of Persia games. Platformers were my favourite games when I was younger, and today they still hold a special place in my heart.

Speaking of platformers. You’ve been taking your sweet old time with Super Meat Boy.
Yeah well,  I’ve been trying to beat this thing, even enlisting a friend to help out. We would swap every 20 or so deaths. I think I’m onto the last world now, so with any luck I’ll have that done next time we talk.

You do realise they’ve put out a whole bunch of new levels now?
Yes, but for me personally, I’ll consider the game beaten when I finish off the levels that shipped with the game.

So, uh, you finished all the Dark World’s too? Got all the bandages?
Are you mental?

That all you’ve been playing?
Actually, I’ve been trying to replay a few games too. I just get these sudden cravings.

Like pizza?
No, more like Crash Bandicoot, Abe’s Exodus, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Uncharted 2. The problem with these cravings is that they go away after I’ve had a bite or two. So I’m left with game saves of some half-finished games. With the case of Uncharted 2, I simply got stuck. Playing on Hard I got right to the end of the game. The chapter’s called “Broken Paradise” and for the life of me I can’t beat those crossbow-wielding Guardians. Any tips?

You’re on your own, kid.
I guess I’ve bitten off more than I can chew.

Enough with the food analogies!
You’re the one that brought up pizza.

Thanks for your time Michael. I’m sure some people might find this, uh… interesting.
No problem. Just please don’t call me an ass-hat again, okay?

I can’t make any promises.

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