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Tycho / on Mon, Jul 25 2005 at 4:30 am

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Doldrums

Desperate times call for desperate measures, thought it appears that even a dark round of Retail Roulette may have its sweet rewards.  I have things that I’m looking forward to long term, like Stardock’s new Galactic Civilizations or Heroes of Might and Magic V.  But Battlefield 2 and World of Warcraft together amount to single game that monopolizes every moment past nine p.m., Pacific Standard Time.

It has always been the case that I will play games that reside in the Massive genre until I start to crave something more twitch, moving then to squad based shooters or what have you, and then ultimately back.  But here we have a case where the MMO has action-packed, round-based multiplayer, and the FPS has full stat tracking, ranks you earn, and unlockable abilities.  I’m essentially powerless to resist it, and I’ve become a kind of plaything myself for these two games.  The moment I begin to crave something slightly different, it turns out I’ve already got just the thing installed on my hard drive already, the icon practically leaping in the tray.   

The only thing I’ve been able to fit in aside from it is Meteos, which has become a kind of pervasive fluid that other games are suspended in, and Splinter Cell’s co-op mode, which will get its own entire post sometime this week.  There’s supposed to be new levels hitting for it in the next week or so, and trying to get it wrapped up before they drop has been one of the most positive gaming experiences this year.  Well, by and large.  We’ll get to it later. 

Any time a person mentions Penny Arcade on their website, it is as though I see the Penny Arcade logo projected onto the clouds - recently, it was invoked by Matt from MacHall, and I leered over a tall building to investigate.  He’d like to know why I haven’t played or mentioned Psychonauts.   

When I stopped playing Psychonauts, I had just arrived at the lake.  Not a real lake, mind you, but the lake in the game. I have played it, just not as much as I’d like, and in my mind I always imagined that a period of relative release tranquility like this would be a good time to resume endeavors.  The reason that I stopped playing was the collection elements, a category which I am including Cobwebs in.  This should not be construed as a critique of the game, it is just something specific about me, because Gabe devoured the game as I understand it.  Kara tells me that when he finished the game, he proceeded to simply play with the case itself for a period of no less than two weeks.  He was reluctant to let go of those good times.   

No, the reason I couldn’t play it (and most games which do this) is that when there are tiny doo-dads scattered about that may or may not be absolutely critical for game progression, I become very tense.  I can’t relax knowing that doo-dads exist out there, under some log, and even when I find one that doesn’t relax me, because it makes me think that there’s some other thing out there I’m not determined enough to find, which makes me catalog my deficits as a person, and you can see how a whole Saturday could be spent in this way.

I was so ashamed that couldn’t surmount this fundamental brain problem that, as you can see, I never mentioned it.  That I could not reveal more of the story, which I desperately enjoyed, is not something I am particularly proud of. 

(CW)TB out.

and olly olly oxenfrees


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