Spent a couple of peaceful nights at Mum and Dad's, and the final weekend back here in Sydders, attending the AWF Psychoticslam wrestling show at the UNSW Roundhouse (ex-WWE superstars Al Snow and Chris Masters ruled!) as well as philosopher Alain De Botton's "The Pleasures & Sorrows Of Work" lecture (promoting his book of the same name) at the Opera House. But my primary objective was to visit PG and DG in their luvverly new dwelling in Anna Bay and that's where I stayed for the middle seven days. It was as close to old times as we'll probably ever get - talking, joking and fondly remembering as we perused gaming mags from P.'s huge collection, alternated between munching greasy takeaways and home-cooked vegetarian fare, and played videogames on his consoles for hours and hours. Here's the list of what we conquered, NOT counting demos with limited levels:
[SYSTEM - GAMES. NOTES]
DreamCast - "Cannon Spike", "Gunbird 2", "Mars Matrix". These vertically scrolling shooters were all completed co-operatively. It took ages to earn sufficient money in "M/M" to purchase the maximum lives and credits from the shop needed for us to defeat the last boss.
DS - "Peggle" (PG), "Scrabble Interactive 2009" in campaign mode (me), "Doctor Who Top Trumps" (me). As I left, we were both getting into "Retro Game Challenge".
MAME - "Blade Master", "Hotdog Storm", "JJ Squawkers", "Kyukyoku Tiger II", "Macross Plus", "Metamorphic Force". All co-op. Like "Ghouls 'N Ghosts", "M/P" demands that you play right through twice to see the "proper" ending. I urge you not to bother - it's lame.
PS2 - "Ico", "Raiden 3" (co-operatively). The former borders on true art. It may owe debts to the platforming combat of "Prince Of Persia" and landscapes of "Myst", but it's still uniquely beautiful. And that epilogue...
Xbox 360 - "Fallout 3", "Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe", "Portal", "Street Fighter IV". PG was already well advanced in "F3" when I arrived. "M/K/V/DC/U" we did with the superheroes/villains 'cos the alternative sucked. "Portal" is as tricksy and brilliantly executed as everyone says. "S/F/IV" is trivial - just use Blanka's crouching electricity attack.
There were other titles we considered trying to conquer, then abandoned. We were on our way to the third crystal star in "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door" on GameCube when we decided it was taking too long. Discovering that 100-fight bonus dungeon didn't help! "Guardian Heroes" on Sega Saturn offered scant reward for the effort required, although we're pretty certain we were slain by the ultimate enemy. "Shadow Of The Colossus" on PS2 was at least 70% as wonderful as "Ico", but proved to be another time sink. A few bosses in, it was reluctantly retired.
I reckon 18 games in a week is a fair result. Our goal was three :-)