Zen And The Art Of Gamerscore Maintenance #13 (Mriceguy)

As posted on ButtonMasher.

So you’ve been a busy beaver this past month haven’t you?

Indeed I have. Too busy to talk with you it seems! Apologies for the lateness of this wee interview. I finished up both L.A. Noire and inFamous 2. I talked about them last time. Needless to say they are both very good games, if not a little flawed in some respects. L.A. Noire pursued something that was neither game or movie, and inFamous 2 improved upon the first — the action is great, although a little samey. And I played some Betas too, including the Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception multiplayer, which I spent a lot of time with. It’s not entirely unique, but it was good enough to keep me coming back. Then we have Journey, an art game by thatgamecompany. I’m not too sure what I think about that yet. It felt too easy, and a little boring, but it’s just too early to say.

And you finally got off the PlayStation, thank god. I was worried for a minute there.

Yes you’d be pleased to know I finally decided to share the love with my 360. In that time I also got around to finishing Enslaved. I bought it some time ago for cheap, and never got around to playing more than what was in the demo. I knew the game wasn’t noted for its gameplay, and my experience was similar. The characters are really neat, and yes it does look very pretty, but the climbing bits are certainly sub-par in comparison to games like Prince of Persia and Uncharted. And the combat gets quite repetitive too. Nothing really revolutionary either, but — hover-boards! Bring back the hover-board I say. Reminded me of the fun times I had with Jak II.

Any recent purchases?

Well for some reason I decided to splurge on some XBLA titles. Even though there’s a plethora of unfinished games just sitting on my hard drive

Cough, Super Meat Boy, Cough.

Well wouldn’t you like to know I finally made it to the end credits. It was my next move after finishing the Cole Phelps story. And don’t you start on the fact that I haven’t 100%-ed Super Meat Boy. The game had worn me thin enough as it is.

I guess I am tired of berating you about it. Flogging a dead Meat Boy as it will.

Phew, I’m glad we came to an understanding. Don’t get me wrong, it is a fantastic game, just one that will drive you to the brink. In fact I would even say it’s a better game than Super Mario, however blasphemous that might sound. So back to those NEW games I bought. Well, only one of them is new per se. I purchased Zeno Clash as it was half price. Very unique looking game. It’s a first-person brawler/shooter if you haven’t heard of it. Interesting concept, but I don’t know if I will go back to it anytime soon.

I picked up Rez HD due to the recent release of Child of Eden – I do not own a Kinect, and I heard it’s remarkably similar. I played the demo of Rez HD when it first came out, and failed the first stage miserably. I thought I may have improved at games with time, and so I paid for the game, trying stage one, only to screw up once again. So that’s as far as I got with that. Colourful visuals and sounds, I just need to brush up on my game skills.

Trenched is the NEW game, and I’m only a few levels in so far. I failed miserably on one level, wasting 20 or so minutes on a lost cause. See the pattern here? It is primarily a tower defence game, but there’s enough to make it stand out from the usual fare. A customisable mech for instance. So it’s pretty good, although the levels feel a little lonely. I can see co-op improving my experience 10-fold, and not just because it makes guarding two bases easier. I really wish it had split-screen.

I hear you even played a PC game, running on that sad clump of chips you call a computer.

Hey, my laptop’s always been there for me, it’s my go-to. Of course it’s not always reliable, and I had to reformat it after it refused to start up one day. And it sometimes shuts down for no reason. Okay, it’s crap. The game in questions is Team Fortress 2. While I did play it on The Orange Box for 360, it’s online community is pretty much a ghost town compared to the one on PC, especially seeing as it’s now Free To Play. Running on the lowest settings possible I managed to get the game working online. And it’s nice to see all the new additions its received; the crafting system, hats, and other collectables, new maps, and modes. We’ve seriously been cheapened out in the console versions!

I even gave into that Freemium model, adding money to my Steam wallet so I could buy a package for my Scout that included a hat, a purple energy drink, and a better bat. Of course buying just one item effectively entitles you to the “Paid version” of TF2, which includes all those benefits the old players got day one. I also noticed I had a few Plants Vs, Zombies hats – it must’ve scanned my Steam collection, which is pretty neat I must say. The game itself isn’t as fun as I remembered however, the maps feel too crowded now. I end up getting dismembered in a few seconds flat, something you’d only find in a game of Call of Duty.

So this week I thought we’d branch out a little. One can only talk about games for so long. Especially with you crying about how much you suck at games. It’s depressing.

That is a good idea, though I do think you could’ve said that a lot better /sniff. For a full list of all the media I waste my time with, you can take a look at my blog. I try to update it as often as I can with things ranging from books to games, to TV to films. And something you might find of interest; I’ve only just now got into comic books. Yes, I know. Far behind the times. I just finished reading the first volume of Fables which is about fairy tale characters living in our world. Legends in Exile follows Snow White and The Wolf (from The Three Little Pigs) as they try to uncover the mystery of a grisly crime scene. And to tie it all back to videogames, Telltale are working on a game adaptation. I can see this new hobby becoming rather costly. As if $100 videogames weren’t bad enough!

And you can’t forget all those hours of TV. May as well talk about them somewhere…

Okay, I’m not sure where to start, but I am watching quite a few shows at the moment. Some old, some new.

Thanks to nzBrowncoat, all those TV critics, and Mighty Ape, I finally picked up all five season of The Wire for a mint $24 per season. I’ve made it through Season 1, and suffice to say it’s a great piece of television. Serial narrative at it’s best. And it looks like I still haven’t lost my love of crime drama.

As for shows of the moment, Breaking Bad has just started its fourth season. Now for anyone who hasn’t checked out that show. YOU MUST go and watch season one right now. You’ll be hooked, trust me. Unlike other shows, it tells its story through images. There’s nothing else like it.

Also watching Torchwood: Miracle Day — a smaller-contained season following up Children of Earth. This is the darker-toned Doctor Who spin-off. Personally I still prefer the first two traditional seasons of the show. These new characters just don’t gel with me, and while the premise is fascinating, the story feels a little dull so far.

Now that I’m caught up with all things Louis C.K. having watching the Adult sitcom Lucky Louie, I’m onto Season 2 of Louie. Not every moment is laugh inducing, but for some reason the off-beat humour and morbid tone just clicks with me.

Jump out of any helicopters lately?

Nope, unfortunately I’m sad to say my life isn’t as exciting as our man Tusock. Although last month I did escort a yellow gorilla through our city centre. For those that don’t follow my exploits on my various social networks you might not have heard, but I’m involved with a group cayellowgorillalled Fair Trade Upper Hutt. In fact I helped start it. The basic aim of our group is to increase the availability of Fair Trade products throughout the city. Fair Trade basically makes sure the growers of the original food product, or whatever it is; coffee beans, cotton etc., get paid a fair price for their product. Not to get too political here, but so many big corporations take advantage of producers in the third world, that often the growers will make less than the cost it takes to grow the thing in the first place.

Any-who, back to the yellow gorilla. The gorilla costume is from All Good Bananas, a NZ company that sells the only Fairtrade bananas in New Zealand. And we thought it would be a good idea to attract some attention to our campaign and petition to Make Upper Hutt A Fair Trade City by dressing up my mate as a yellow gorilla, complete with giant inflatable banana. The idea of going around asking strangers on the street for signatures scares the bejesus outta me, even now. But you do end up doing some crazy things when you’re passionate  about something! I understand why some people didn’t want to sign it. Heck, if someone approached me alongside a yellow gorilla, I would probably run away too!

You my friend, are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity.

Why thank you.

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