Weekly (II)

There’s been little progress since the last entry. First it was the ungodly heat wave which hit my part of the country and sucked every little bit of energy from my veins, then the slumbering beast called ‘social life’ suddenly opening its eyes and making me engage in unexpected activities like a music festival or a fishing trip (the latter apparently being the real-life equivalent of Dark Souls).

So, I barely touched the games mentioned in my last post, like Sunless Sea or Verdun. Still, despite the circumstances I was able gain some ground…

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…in a game which is perfect for short sessions after work, when your body is melting down. Meet Völgarr the Viking, a retro hack’n’slash platformer I’ve been casually playing for a year. The game has never mentioned on this blog because I’ve never treated it too seriously and expected to get far in it due to its very demanding difficulty level, but, to my surprise, I somehow managed to reach the final level and enter the devil’s den, as pictured above. Even if I beat it in the coming days, this will give me (spoiler alert!) the worst possible ending, but maybe I’ll play New Game+ then, testing my patience even harder.

As for other goals, everything tells me that I will be very busy again, so it’s the bare minimum: finally close the Space Marine playthrough and write about it. With some nice screencaps if possible.

Cheers and see you next Monday.

 

Daily Gamer: Look Me in the Eyes

From the Day One, this blog was supposed to be a personal sketchbook to capture my disorderly thoughts about games I was playing, so I didn’t care much about having a profile picture, but since I’ve started to comment other blogs, I think that it’s necessary to finally get one. Because sharing your precious commentary without showing your face would be just rude.

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Flight Officer Squarehead reporting for duty.

Who would think it would be so easy to find a proper photo? The first game that came to my mind was Apocalypse — a long forgotten helicopter shooter released in 1994. The screenshot above comes from the game’s loading screen and shows our hero, an unnamed pilot on a search-and-rescuse mission in the dark jungles of Majipoor. The sterotypical face of an über-masculine action movie hero, its old-school pixelation and the chiaroscuro effect fit my gaming taste perfectly.

What I didn’t expect was that now I feel a strong urge to replay Apocalypse on WinUAE. Well, I was planning to return to it anyway, so let’s add it to my special list of classics I’ve never managed to finish and launch the emulator.

Distraction: Dirty Coward

Surprisingly, my innocent pastime with Fire Force is taking longer than expected. While I was planning to play just it for a while and eventually drop it, discouraged by the player-unfriendly difficulty level, I’m actually managing to pass the first missions without any effort,  and enjoying it. Even awkward controls can’t scare me off. Of course, it’s always a little discouraging see the name of my brave Navy Seal with a little K.I.A. next to it, but, all out of sudden, I found a way to deal with the (perma)death…

…which is surprisingly simple. So simple that it’s no wonder that I haven’t discovered that one dirty trick before. Just like mentioned in my previous post about Fire Force, the game records the outcome of each mission on a special savedisk. Of course, using two different disks to avoid the permadeath would definitely be cheating, but there’s another way to save my character’s skin when things are about to go SNAFU. Similarly to the Cannon Fodder series, it’s possible to abort the mission on any given moment simply by hitting the Escape key. No matter if my stalwart defender of the American Way of Life has just received an entire AKM magazine into is stomach, no matter if the extraction zone is on the other end of the level — the game will return to the roster screen without saving the game status, giving the player a chance to replay a mission without any penalties. Of course, a true hardcore gamer would be too high-principled to exploit this option, which certainly looks strange in a game trying to be somewhat realistic (for the standards of a platformer released in 1992, of course). Well, this doesn’t bother me at all, because I wouldn’t dare to call myself a hardcore videogame player (despite my unhealthy inclination to set myself impossible challenges) and, of course, I don’t have that much time to play daily anymore while there are so many other titles I intend to finish. Besides, it really seems that the miraculous escape button is a genuine feature, not bug. Hey, the game even keeps rewarding me with medals and promotions, so I guess this time my conscience is clean.

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