Play Journal: October 28 – November 3
by Thom Kiraly
My computer crashed. Or rather, I tried upgrading my OS X to Mavericks and it decided that the hard drive I’d been using just minutes earlier was now corrupt. The “genius” (how can Apple just leave their employees open to such cheap sarcasm being thrown their way by the likes of me?) at the Apple Store said something about some parts of the drive maybe not being used for a long time and now being discovered blablabla… Or maybe just… you know, planned obsolesence. Anyway, my boss is the greatest and is paying for new hard drives (yes, that’s drives as in plural. I ripped out the “superdrive” (again with the sarcasm) and am now running a dual SSD/Platter setup. Who needs DVDs anyway?) since I’m using the beast (the computer, not my boss) in my work as well.
Super Hexagon – Fought with the Steam version for a long hard time before rage quitting. Using a hand controller trips me up like you wouldn’t believe. I reached 55 secs three times and I was just about done after the third one. Having quit the Steam version, however, I whipped out my phone to prove to myself that I wasn’t a terrible and filthy pig/person in need of flagellation. Lo and behold, on my fifth try, I beat the bastard. A moment later, I set a new record.
My relationship to this game/portal to a hideous dimension of unnamable horrors may not be altogether healthy. I do realize this, thank you very much.
Hexagonest – 78:16
Hyper Hexagon – 119:45
Hyper Hexagoner – 134:08
Thirty Flights of Loving (with and without commentary) and Gravity Bone – I do appreciate the formal experiments, but I really don’t know what else to say. Never seen smash cuts being used like this before. I guess I kinda sorta liked those a lot.
Halloween Party at daycare – So, it’s not really a game, per se, but it is play and so it gets included. Our kid’s daycare threw (admittedly, “threw” is maybe a bit too strong a word) a halloween party. Lil’ M went as Pippi Longstocking, V went as a cow, and I went as a bear (no, not that kind of bear). Some kids cried when I wore my mask, and it was still a super fluffy and kind-looking mask. Damn kids, don’t appreciate good art when they see it. Anyway, good fun was had, banana ghosts as well as clementine pumpkins were eaten and free play was all around us.
The Stanley Parable – I told a friend to play Stanley: “or at least give the demo a shot”. He did just that, immediately bought the full game (of course) and delved deeper into it than I had done. A couple of days later, he told me about some of the endings he had found and I was driven by disbelief and wonder to give it another go. There they were: secret discos, button heavens, beautiful breakdowns and many more. Eventually, I followed an online guide to find as much as I could, but I didn’t go so far as using the console or hack the game in any way. There are limits, even to my madness. Those limits may be endless, but they are limits nonetheless.
OK, so I did set the computer’s (my stationary gaming PC, not the crashed MacBook) clock forward five years to collect an achievement, but you know… ACHIEVEMENTS!!!
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – I was expecting to be disappointed, but found this to be a visually stunning game with some satisfying puzzles and a couple of clever moments in terms of game mechanics. I can’t get the dead giants level out of my head. It’s somber and sad and disgusting at the same time. If I replay any part of the game, that’ll probably be it. The ending offers some of the cheesier, as well as more profound, moments in the game. I saw the cheesy stuff coming, but did not anticipate the things I’m impressed with. Had those things been turned into games in themselves, they would have been close to some of the indie darlings and celebrated not games out there.
Don’t know why I’m trying to keep this so spoiler-free. I doubt anyone will read this and be bothered. Or will you, Josef?
Memory – Played a couple of games with a neighbor who is 4 years old. Perhaps, the greatest challenge we face was keeping the 2 year olds away from our play area. I won and I lost. It was either 2-1 or 1-2 in matches, I can’t really remember. It’s really easy to play well when your fellow player is so invested in everything about the game; from the pictures on the tiles to whose turn it is.
Vesper.5 – As I said, my computer crashed. Luckily, I recovered a backup from August. Is it weird that one of the things I find most frustrating about this crash is the setback in Vesper.5? To refresh any memories in need of refreshing — Vesper.5 allows you to make one move every day. ONE. This means that the crash set me back TWO MONTHS! I’m now considering whether or not to cheat and just do some magic with the clock to fool the game into letting me make up for lost time.
EDIT: The game does not work AT ALL in Mavericks. This sucks.
EDITEDIT: I lost my patience and looked at a playthrough online. That was stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Stupid Thom, go to bed! Smart Thom, wake… Smart Thom? Hey? Smart Thom? Oh my god, what happened? Is that your blood? Who did this to you? Why aren’t you moving? No!
Leo’s Play Land (Leos Lekland) – A rainy day calls for either jumping in puddles of water or playing indoors. On our way to Leo’s, we got plenty of the former and once there, there was no shortage of the latter. As an adult, you’re always in a sort of in between position at a place like Leo’s. Yes, you’re the responsible parent, but you’re also welcome to play. Of course, I can’t help myself when it comes to these things, so I frolicked in the ball pit, went down some slides (and there are quite a few), and climbed around on colorful platforms and through crazy tubes. The best thing about the place is that we only pay for the kid, adults get to go in and play for free!