Silent Hill: Homecoming (Frustrations)

I cannot even tell you right now how long ago I got this game. I borrowed it first from a friend, then decided that I liked it too much to not own it, and that it was going to take me a fairly long time to play through it, so holding onto his copy wasn’t really nice.

I have this frequent problem. Or I did. I am trying to correct it. It’s a bad habit, and it’s how I ended up with a giant fucking stack of games that were only somewhat played through. I would be in the middle of a game and something would come out that I was more interested in. Now, instead of buying said game and waiting until I finished what I was working on, I would play the new game, leaving the other sad and alone. Crying. On my shelf.

While I did this with Silent Hill: Homecoming, I did manage to pick it up again fairly quickly after I finished whatever wondrous thing had floated my way. I was playing along quite happily, too. Enjoying myself. Yelling at the television when things wouldn’t die. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a potty mouth. It’s not just when I write.

Then the most horrible of horribles happened. The one thing that every gamer dreads and curses the sky for.

I got stuck.

I did it to myself. I can wholly admit that. It was all entirely my doing. No question. I went into an area with maybe two bullets, a quarter of my health, a crowbar, an axe, and a flashlight. No medical kits. No health drinks. Just wandered on in, didn’t even think about it. Didn’t consider that I’d just found something pretty significant and maybe, just motherfucking maybe, I should take a moment to gather myself so that I wouldn’t be walking into the massive clusterfuck of assrape that I did. No. Not me. I’ll just go right down this pretty creepy ladder here, and… oh. What’s that? Boss you say? Can’t go back, you say? Fucked myself, did I?

I did.

I literally spent weeks trying to find a way to defeat Scarlett with what I had on me. I can admit that I didn’t even come close. Not even mildly. It’s actually pretty laughable how not close I came to killing her and proceeding with the rest of the game. I would laugh, except it’s my problem. Laughing at yourself often gets you a white padded room and a special jacket. Or maybe that’s just how hard I would be laughing, and with the release of emotion might come some added screaming and…

Let’s move on, shall we?

I have previously talked about my quest to wrap up the above noted games, bringing my backlog into some realm of sanity. Coupled with the vow that once I have picked up a game, I will complete it before starting another. (This vow is hard to keep. Obviously I was not made for vows. Or with much willpower when it comes to video games.) The time for Silent Hill: Homecoming did roll around, and lo, I picked it up and with heavy heart did erase my previous game, thus confirming the restart that was fated to occur.

I’ve been enjoying it… I suppose I should say that I had been, had being a very key word here… I had been enjoying it during the replay. There had been enough time and enough other games in that time that I didn’t remember the story perfectly, I didn’t automatically know how to solve the puzzles. It was a little new despite how far I’d gotten. It was okay. It really was.

Until I started thinking about getting to that boss level with the goddamned giant fucking puppet of massive sphincter bleeding. Then I started to get upset. Not with the game, though, with myself. I kept thinking of all the things I could have done differently to prevent this replay from happening. Replaying because you want to is one thing. Doing it because you’ve shoved your own head up your ass is entirely different. It’s just aggravating.

I had to stop playing again. Now it and GTA 4 are the ones staring at me from my shelves, asking me why they aren’t yet finished. SH:H pleading with puppy dog eyes and little whimpering noises. “Just finish me, I’m a good game, I’ll show ya, you enjoyed me before, just pick me up, we’ll have a good time together, promise”. Bastard.

I’m just so annoyed with myself over things that I’m taking it out on the game. I have to get over it, that’s what it comes down to. I have to, and I will. Somehow. Because I cannot just let it linger. It will drive me crazy (obviously we’re significantly down that street, aren’t we?).

There will be another update on this when I finish the damn game.

Bioshock (finished)

I am proud to say that shortly before I made my massive cross country move, I managed to finish BioShock. Not that it took a lot of effort. As it goes with games that you’ve fallen in love with, the time slips by unnoticed, you’re startled and confused when you see the sun coming around your curtains or peeking in through the little window in the kitchen door. Really, if I’d only had one day to go through this whole game, I would have done it. Even if it meant driving 26 hours with blurry eyes and the inability to think about anything but Little Sisters and if I should Harvest them.

Overall, a very enjoyable game. Very enjoyable. I will be playing this game again, there is no doubt about that.

Despite my small inability to save the Little Sisters, as I spoke about in a previous post, I did not regret the choices I made or the actions I took. I can play it again and try to save them this time, instead of saving one and then harvesting the next three on reflex. Or… I can try and fail. We’ll see.

I was very happy, very very happy, when I got to put on a Big Daddy costume and lumber about. There are certain sounds that I’m attracted to in games, and I can’t quite explain it or even really know when a particular sound is going to grab a hold of me and make me adore it. The sound of the Big Daddy is one of them. So the fact that I not only got to dress like one, but that I ended up sounding like one, well, it really tickled me. If I could have had more time with that, gone back to some old places and just kind of kicked around for a while, killing those fucking weird ass half dead junkie assholes wantonly, I think I would have been a happy girl for at least a few hours without further need of plot or direction.

I don’t know how I escaped knowing about that particular feature of the game. It’s not like (even though it may at times seem so) I have been living in a cave. People around me have been playing and talking about this game since it came out. SINCE IT CAME OUT. Yet, I had no clue. Somehow the spoilers of this joy flew by me like greased pigeons. I was well and truly surprised at the discovery. And joyful. I cannot go on without saying the word joyful some more. Joyful.

I’m excited to play the next game in the series, whenever I can get my hands on it. Which, given how long it took me for this one, might very well be right around the time they’re making the fourth. I would roll my eyes at myself, but then I’d have to get up and go look in a mirror, and I’m just not that into moving at the moment.

There is nothing more that I can really say. Truly. Love. Deep, penetrating love, filled to the brim love, a little glad I’m behind so I don’t have to wait for more love. Play this game. Play it a lot. Never sell it. Not even if you’re going to starve to death if you don’t.

The Force Unleashed II

I know a lot of people who have played this game and found it to be disappointing. I have heard plenty of complaints about the story and the gameplay, that they were haphazard the both of them.

I, however, very much enjoyed playing the Secret Apprentice again. I thought the story made sense, and I thought that it was very interestingly played out. I didn’t have any issues at all with the game itself.

Of course, there may be some that argue that this is due to my overwhelming love for Star Wars. But I can assure you, there are things within the Star Wars universe that I don’t enjoy. Like the first two prequel movies. And as a gamer, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed a game if I only liked the concept of it. I play video games because I think they’re fun. If a game is not fun, I put it down. I have done this a couple of times, though for the most part I’ve been pretty good at picking stuff that I enjoy very much.

So yes, I genuinely enjoyed having Starkiller brought back, and I think that they made it so it could happen again. Both endings for Force Unleashed II open things up to another game. Which was something I was concerned about going in, since Force Unleashed didn’t exactly leave room for that. I didn’t know how they were going to pull off explaining how a second game could happen. But I’m satisfied with what they did.

I’m also happy with the mild changes in control of force powers and leveling them up.

On top of really loving this game, the fact that it’s Star Wars and the game itself, I also gained an added bonus for it while playing. I broached 20,000 gamer points with it.

Dante’s Inferno

Have you ever been really bad at a game you really loved? I haven’t. Well, not until Dante’s Inferno. And that sounds really arrogant, but it’s true. When I find a game that I adore, it’s like I already know what to do. My brain and my hands communicate perfectly, and everything comes extremely naturally.

Again, that was until Dante’s Inferno.

I picked this game up as soon as I could. The moment that it started to be talked about, I was interested. I am a huge fan of the Divine Comedy and have had multiple copies of it over my life. Currently I have an older set in a three book arrangement, and a giant copy complete with the woodcuttings. You can imagine that I was pretty excited to hear that they were going to make a game from this.

I knew, of course, that they wouldn’t be following the story exactly. How could they? And that things would be left out, other things would be added in that weren’t there originally. I made peace with these facts long before the game was released. The point was, it was going to be Dante’s Inferno. That’s all it needed to be, for me.

When I got the game, I was more than pleased with what I was seeing. I had no complaints to make, and happily worked my way through levels, deciding (of course) to damn everything as much as possible on the way.

The only problem was – I kept dying.

There’s something to be said for getting used to a game and dying a couple of times in the very beginning, but that wasn’t what was happening here. This was an extraordinary amount of dying. This was me kicking the bucket every few minutes. This was the sort of dying that makes you feel really bad about yourself as a gamer. It was getting to the point that I was only able to get through one level each time I played before I found myself extremely frustrated and having to quit. This is not the kind of thing you want happening in a game you adore. And despite my inability to stay alive, I was still in love.

It got to the point that I decided I was going to have to go for the easiest difficultly level. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I went to the options and lo…

I have it set on the hardest. The hardest is called “Hellish”. Yeah. No kidding. It appears that Dante’s Inferno doesn’t work the way that other games do, with an “easy” “medium” and “hard”, but rather “Normal” (medium) “hard” (Holy crap) and “What the fuck” (dear god, save me). When I saw it, I thought that “Classic” was what they were calling “Easy”, so I skipped to “Zealot” which I thought was “medium”, and accidentally went down too far on the list, putting myself on “Hellish”.

You see, I do all my games on Medium. I’m arrogant, I’m not cocky. I know my level of gaming, and I know what I’m comfortable with. I like a challenge, but I don’t like to be constantly frustrated. Rarely will I go above Medium, and really, those times, it has to do more with getting an achievement. Like if you beat a boss on Hard and don’t have to do the whole game on Hard in order to get it.

So I’m pretty proud of the fact that I got through so much of the game on Hellish, but I was really happy when I knocked myself back down to Classic and stopped dying all the time. The game became fun, and my love grew. I could actually get through entire sections without a single death.

I enjoyed the game enough to play it through twice back to back, and loved all the interactions with Virgil (there could have been more). I loved the way that they made the circles look, there was definitely a feel of what kind of people suffered within them. There was no sugarcoating of what was going on, and the damned echoed (alright, and amplified) the kind of brutality that Dante wrote about. In the Divine Comedy, he certainly doesn’t give mercy to the souls he speaks about, and it was nice that the game didn’t either.

The Tudors (Completed)

Netflix got the rest of the Tudors for streaming, and I decided I wanted to watch it. The sad thing here is that I didn’t remember at all that I’d already seen the first two seasons. I completely blanked all of it.

Then when I started to watch, all the episodes of those seasons were at 99% watched. I was a little confused. Even sadder is the fact that I made a whole post about how much I loved the goddamned show.

I have no idea how I managed to forget it completely. I just don’t. Luckily, all it took was rewatching the final episode of season two and it all came back to me. It was like I was an amnesia victim who had triggered the release of information to bring me up to speed on my own life.

Anyway. I did enjoy the rest of it as much as I loved the first two seasons. I found myself more infatuated with certain characters than I was previously, and still quite envious of the way the women dressed. I don’t care what anybody says, if I can ever afford it, I’m going to have a whole wardrobe made in that style, and then I’m going to wear the dresses all the time. All. The. Time. Even to the grocery.

I was pleased that Jonathan Rhys Meyers held up his end of things perfectly to the end. I was happy to see some characters die. And I was only mildly perturbed at the actress choice for the last wife. I just don’t like her as an actress, though.

There are very few shows that have a definite ending, and it’s kind of nice to have everything all wrapped up neatly. Most shows get cancelled before they have a chance to decide how the story should flow, and have to rush to get it to a point where people won’t have to wonder. Of course, sometimes shows just get cut off and you don’t get anything even close to an ending. Not that I want all my shows to have a pre-imagined end point.

It’s rare for me to find a show that does end and I’ve liked it all the way through. Arrested Development is one, and I hold all shows to that kind of standard. The Tudors Arrested Development standard, I think I’ll call it from now on. The Arrested Tudors Development standard… Arrested Development Tudors standard…

Anyway. Start to end, I adored the Tudors. Very rich in imagery, very factual (though I’m sure some things were fudged, but without Henry the VIII standing there telling you the story, it’s hard to know every single tiny detail).

Godfather II (Game)

I gotta say, I really thought there would be a post preempting this one to say how much I was actually afraid to play this game because I liked it so much that the first night I played it, I played for 8 hours straight and didn’t realize until the sun was shining through the window on my kitchen door.

It did continue to eat my life, don’t get me wrong. The second time I played, it was for four hours, and I just finished it up with a three hour stretch. There was no way for me to put down the controller, it just wasn’t happening. The story was great, the game was fantastic.

Remember when I said, back when I talked about the first one, that I wished that there were two more missions? I know why there wasn’t now. Not sure exactly why I didn’t expect them to make another one, the movies are a trilogy, after all. And now I can expect that this will end as a trilogy too. Can’t I? I hope I can.

I really enjoyed some of the added elements in this one. I loved being able to fly to different cities and explore them. Although, I hated Florida. Mostly because it’s really easy to get lost in Florida, and end up going to an island you didn’t intend or need to go to. I was doing that constantly. And it’s my fault, I know. I don’t really use the map system like it’s supposed to be used. I just try to get to the dot. I drive toward it without paying much attention to roads. It results in getting lost, car accidents, and a lot of dead pedestrians.

Don’t think it’s just this game, either. Cause it’s not. It’s all games with maps. I love having maps, but I totally misuse them, and I can admit to that.

I really liked doing favors for people in this one, too. I do wish the favors would have been more random and of a wider variety, but I can’t say it exactly got dull killing people and tearing apart a store.

One of my favorite parts was driving around with the classical music station on, because for the most part it played the more comedic music. William Tell Overture and the like. The things you see in movies to accentuate the funny bits. It really gave a nice soundtrack to things as I ran people over or crashed headlong into cars in the opposite lane because I wasn’t paying attention to the road, just the map.

I was pretty fucking amused the entire time I played, too. Between the story, my own antics, the side quests, the beatings and all the rest of it, I can honestly say that there was not a moment of dullness in this whole thing.

There is one recommendation I want to make: If you’re going to use your guys to go try to take over a business without you, have something of your own to do while it happens. Just sitting there and waiting is probably the one thing that could ruin your play time. I didn’t do this much, myself. I’m more the hands on kind of boss. I like to get in there and shoot guys myself. Also, in doing so, you get to coerce more money out of the owners through violence. How could I say no?

Some thoughts I had while playing

– Does it mean anything that my gangsters all look like greasers?
– Fuck Florida
– No! Guys! Don’t shoot the cops, you’re only going to make things wor… fuck. FUCK. Fuck fuck fuck.
– Well. I didn’t mean to actually kill that guy. Oops.
– Goddamn it. Why would you give me information on how to kill guys in a different state?
– That’s it. I’m killing you all.
– STOP TRYING TO STEAL MY SHIT.
– Cooba.
– You wanted to fuck with me, and now your whole family is dead.
– Hey, guy? Could you please come heal me? Before I die? You have two seconds. You fucker. Were you whacking off over there? I should shoot you in the face.
– Man. I like being in Cuba, but the cops hate me there.
– MOTHER FUCKING FUCK FUCK FLORIDA HIGHWAYS FUCK YOU.
– Now that you’re all dead, I’m going back to Cuba.
– Why are the cops so after my ass all the time? Oh yeah. I tried to assassinate their leader.
– Wow, that sound is dirty.
– I should probably get out of this building before it exp…lodes. …
– My roommate thought this would be amusing to watch before, she should see it now that I have armored cars.
– That’s right, bitches. I rule your world now.