I lost two more horses last night.
My much-loved Lucy, who I’d saved from an overly-amorous owner, died when a cougar came out of nowhere and attacked her. I shot the cougar in the head, but it was too late for poor Lucy. I couldn’t bring myself to skin her, so I wandered off and found a new horse, who my wife named Shitfire.
I blame myself for his death. As I was riding across the desert a man called out, asking for help in rescuing his wife from some lowlife varmints. We galloped across the desert together and found his wife hanging by her neck from a tree. I shot the rope before the poor woman choked and plugged a couple of bandits for good measure, then rode off when the man put his wife on his horse and thundered away. I’d left a couple of the bandits alive, but I didn’t think it would matter and I was anxious to claim my reward.
As you may have surmised, that was a mistake. We slowed to stop half-way down a hill. The man and his wife both thanked me profusely… and then the two remaining outlaws appeared at the top of the hill. Shots rang out. The man slumped in the saddle, quite dead. His wife ran screaming, straight towards the two bandits. I galloped after her, switched to Dead Eye mode and killed both bandits. As they fell to the ground, Shitfire did too, hit by one of the last bullets the bastards fired. I let the woman run into the desert as I stood by my fallen steed. I have no idea if she survived.
I should have been more careful and let caution override my greed. I didn’t think the bandits would follow us, but that’s no real excuse. I must have known there was a possibility, but I wanted to claim my reward before the husband and wife got too far away. That miscalculation led to the man’s death, the death of a good horse and, quite possibly, the death of the wife. The nighttime desert is no place to be when unarmed.
At least I wasn’t stranded. The outlaws had owned horses and one was the spitting image of Shitfire. I’ve named him Shitbiscuit. I wonder how long he’ll last?
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has just appeared on the App Store. It’s the first DS game in its entirety for the bargain price of £2.99.
I never did finish the DS version, I don’t think – I’m not sure I ever started the fifth case and I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish it – but I’m also looking forward to replaying the cases I did play back in the day.
It’s a decent conversion. The two DS screens are shown using the iPhone’s portrait orientation and, apart from looking a little small, there’s nothing to complain about, except for wishing text appeared a little more quickly. It even does a quick save when you press the Home button. Yes, I know it should, but there’s enough games that don’t to make it worth pointing out.
I’ve just spent my lunchtime playing through the first case. All simple, tutorial-level stuff, but it’s very satisfying when everything goes to plan. I remember it being slightly annoying in later cases when my brain failed me and it became an exercise in trial and error, but hopefully I’m cleverer now.
I love Grand Theft Auto IV. It’s quite possibly my favourite game of all time – at the very least it’s in a tussle with Doom for the top spot.
I also love Westerns and, more to the point, the idea of Westerns, the dream of the West. I mean, I wear a cowboy hat every day and I live in rural Kent.
So Red Dead Redemption should be pretty much my dream game, knocking on the gates to the hallowed halls of the “Best Games Ever” from the moment the disc hit the drive.
And there’s no real need for suspense. After over seven hours with the game yesterday I love it. I loved it from the first moment I walked through the doors of the Armadillo saloon. It’s everything I wanted and any minor niggles I might have with the game are so tiny that I can’t even remember them right now.
I do remember how much of a badass I felt when slipping into Dead Eye mode to shoot a bandit through the skull as he held a screaming woman in front of him.
I remember the grief I felt when some lowlife scumsucker pleaded for my help and then stole my horse when I stopped to give aid – I shot him as he galloped away, but only succeeded in shooting his hat off.
I remember how terrible I felt – and still feel – when I shot an innocent man just to get my hands on a bit of paper he was willing to sell to me. (I’ve been trying to atone for that ever since, my own personal story of separate from the game’s scripted story, but tied up with it nonetheless.)
I remember being pursued across country by men not totally in the wrong, trying and mostly failing to shoot their guns from their hands and disable, rather than kill, them.
I remember standing on a ridge watching a train puff its way across the desert below.
I remember seeing a man being pursued by men shooting after him, killing them, then realising I’d shot lawmen chasing after a criminal.
I remember seeing a prostitute being attacked outside the saloon and shooting the man trying to kill her.
I remember a duel in a dusty main street.
I remember finding a bone, a bloodstain and a shoe in the middle of the desert.
I remember tracking down treasure, helping a con-man sell his wares, herding cattle in a vicious storm, riding out of a burning building, a conversation with a good man, watching a cartoon in an early picture house, picking herbs and stealing a horse for her own good.
And I remember kicking chickens, just to see if I could.
It’s magnificent. Atmospheric, brutal, emotional, exciting. Single shots can kill. You can see for miles. The soundtrack is perfect for the setting.
It’s a game where I walk around instead of running, just because it looks and feels like I should do so. When a game gets me like that, I know that I’ve been drawn in completely.
It’s two of my favourite things in the world meshed together perfectly. And while Irish and Bonnie may not quite be up there with Roman and Brucie, at least they’re not calling me up on a mobile phone to go bowling every few minutes. There’s a lot to be said for the being alone in the desert.
Barely touched my trusty iPhone gameswise over the weekend. Saturday was spent in London, taking my wife on a magical mystery tour for her birthday. Went to the Natural History Museum, the V&A and then finished off the day at the Legally Blonde musical. (Hugely enjoyable stuff – and not just before my Doctor, Peter Davison, is in it.) Then Sunday was spent with Red Dead Redemption.
I did, however, manage to find time to keep up with my games of Words With Friends. It would be more accurate to have taken a screen shot of a solid but unspectacular move, but I just wanted to show off a bit.
Fantastic as always, but I’d love it if the game gave me a warning if I was about to create a unit that would take me above my maintenance limit.
Of course, the real problem with Slay is that once you start playing it’s difficult to stop. Those of you who’ve played it will know what I mean. And if you haven’t, it’s probably about time you started.
Okay, thanks to a helpful poster on the Touch Arcade forums (yes, people like that do exist amongst the twelve year olds still impressed by polygons) I’ve found out how to view high scores. You just leave the game on the initial menu screen for a while and they pop up. Not ideal, by any means, but at least they’re there.
Fifteen new levels! Hooray! Good levels, too, though three-starring them hasn’t been much of a problem so far. I’ve only got three or four left to do and only started yesterday lunchtime.
Nice little puzzle game, though I’m not sure I’ll buy it as I think the Master challenges will give me nightmares.
(Apologies for brevity of my posts today, by the way, I’ve had a long, long day already and it’s barely even lunchtime. Had to get up two hours early to drive for an hour for a hospital appointment, then drive back, then get into work, etc.)
I said yesterday that this was great fun. I wasn’t lying. Not an awful lot more to say about it, though.
Anyway, here’s the music video it was based on. It’s not NSFW or the sensitive. My wife thinks it’s awesome, I find it slightly troubling.
And I’m surprised that the current version of the game got past Apple – I don’t hold out much hope for future episodes.
Conversion of a fondly-remembered Saturn pinball game, I believe. It’s hard to find on the App Store, due to having a Japanese description and title, so here’s a link. It’s currently free, down from £2.99, but the extra tables cost £2.99 each. Still, free pinball, eh?
It’s good, too. It feels just right and there’s a lot do. I’m no pinball expert, so forgive me if I don’t go into details. My only problem at the moment – and this may well be me being stupid – is that I can’t see any record of my high score(s) anywhere, rendering the whole thing a bit pointless.