Archive for February, 2006
Yes, Oblivion fever sent me back to this. Xbox version, as I didn’t want to bother reinstalling the PC one.
Loaded up my last save, dated 9th February 2004. Yes, over two years ago. Disturbingly, within about two minutes I’d remembered exactly what I was doing. I’d got stuck doing Imperial Guard missions when I got to a locked door in a tower that I couldn’t get past. I also remembered that in the PC version I’d found a key to the door and a bit of nosing around unearthed it. Inside the room was a nasty man who refused to pay his taxes and had imprisoned an orc who’d come to collect them. So I killed him. Harsh, but fair. He had some expensive stuff, so I took that. Freed the orc, went back to my commander. Got promoted to a trooper and got asked to see if I could find proof that some of the soldiers were in a cult planning to kill the Emperor. I had to use a fair bit of cash to bribe people, but I got my answers and found the proof. I was then tasked with killing the two main conspirators. Sorry, not killing, executing. I believe there’s a difference. Anyway, they died and I got promoted to the rank of agent and got given enough new armor to leave me unable to actually move.
I saved it there. I’ll have to drop some stuff when I reload. I probably shouldn’t play this too much before Oblivion appears, lest I get Elder-Scrolled-out. But I may have the bug again.
(And then I played Animal Crossing with p’anther for two hours.)
Thought I’d have a quick go before playing Ridge. Quick go lasted 53 minutes. And I’m still bottom of my friends leaderboard. Gah.
Played more Ridge Racer – I didn’t bugger it up as much as earlier – and then went to download some stuff on Live.
Downloaded all the eighteen unlock keys for extra cars in Ridger Racer 6. Very odd. The cars are on the disc already, but you have to go online and unlock them one by one by one by one. It’s quite a long process and the only point seems to be to annoy people who aren’t online. Mind you, anyone who’s bought a 360 and doesn’t have it online needs their head looking at.
Then I downloaded the Xtreme difficulty level for Crystal Quest. I shouldn’t have done. It cost 100 points. It’ll only encourage more developers to cut bits out of their games to charge for later. Anyway, it transforms the game. It… well, it makes it really hard. Obviously. Hence the name. Basicaly it cuts out all the boring stuff and turbo charges it. I’ve ony got off level one once so far, but that gave me my best score ever by about a million points.
Finally tried it out. Jumped into World Xplorer mode.
Did eight races.
Four took me one try, three two tries and one five tries.
And everyone else on the Internet seems to be saying they won every race first time without any hint of trouble.
It’s great, though. In fact, because I’m actually having to try to win, I’m probably enjoying it more than most other people do.
Oh. It seems to have got difficut.
Loads of striders plus huge numbers of mirrored saucers = death.
Whichever character I use.
I just tried a league match.
I choose Manual mode instead of AI.
And I still won!
I thought Marble Blast would be a good game to play for a few minutes before going out.
I was wrong.
I had to leave a level uncompleted, which is going to annoy me all day.
I just did it again!
I blew up while the “minefield cleared” text was still on the screen!
The trouble is, everything’s brown. Completely brown. So although the mines are on the surface, most of the time they’re not actualy visible.
I know, I know, I should be more careful, but these new mines come at the end of a big, safe bit and as it’s telling me the minefield is cleared.
Mind you, second time was definitely more my fault than the game’s, it has to be said. I’ll try again some other day and this time I’ll remember.
You have to laugh.
On a level where you navigate through an area packed with enemies and reach a minefield. Avoid the mines while killing enemies, that sort of thing.
Anyway, first time I tried the level the mines killed me. Next two times I didn’t even reach it, thanks to things exploding next me. Time after that I made it to the minefield again and slowly, carefully made my way through it, using grenades to blow up the mines in my path, picking off enemies along the way. Lovely game.
Then I got to a point where it said the minefield objective was complete. Hooray! So I – I’m not making this up – took one step forward and the ground beneath me erupted. Oh. A mine. I thought I was meant to be through the minefield. Didn’t you just tell me that?
No checkpoint, so it asked me if I wanted to restart from the beginning of the level again. I didn’t. I turned the Xbox off.
It’s just… how can something with such great gameplay – and I really must make clear that it really is superb given how much I’m complaining – be surrounded by such oddness?
Oh for pity’s sake!
So much of this is great. I love the gameplay, but some of the interface decisions are incredibly stupid. Like the not being able to save checkpoint progress. That’s just absolutely insane. I’m baffled.
I was playing a level just now and for some reason all the guns except my own stopped making sounds. My ally’s gun wasn’t making any noise. My enemies’ guns weren’t making any noise. Which made things a bit tricky and a bit, well, shit. But I was two checkpoints through a mission and I couldn’t turn the console off without losing that progress. So I just had to do the final section several times in weird half-silence.
And why warn that you’ll lose all your progress when you restart a mission after not having made any progress? How difficult would it be to see if any checkpoints have been reached and miss out that screen if they haven’t?
So, we have what appears to be a brilliant game, based on the first three or four levels. (I forget.) I mean, truly exceptional. But there are bugs and an interface that might as well have been designed by Satan himself. No mid-level saving. No skipping cut-scenes until you’ve completed a mission. Odd uneccesary warnings. Stupid unskippable credits sequence when you first boot up and want to get playing.
It’s the exact same problem as Burnout 3. A great game wrapped in a hideous interface.
I am most perplexed. I just don’t see why things are as they are. It doesn’t make any sense.