Okay, so I lied a bit regarding the title. This post is not a fairy-tale. THIS IS THE REAL-DEAL GOD’S-HONEST HERE, SON. It’s been over two weeks since I last posted and made a passing mention of providing a progress update. Behold, a mid-month progress report that chronicles my rise to power!
Going into this DLC, I had expected Captain Scarlett to be my favorite of the two (BECAUSE PIRATES!). I also was not looking forward to playing Campaign of Carnage, because reviews kept describing it as “horde mode” and “arena combat.” You know what else was described as “horde mode” and “arena combat?” Mad Moxxi’s Underdome Riot. Underdome was a chore to plow through, and I was not looking forward to repeating the experience of having a numb butt from a mandatory 3-consecutive hour session of just killing stuff (and not gaining experience, to boot!). But those expectations were somewhat mistaken (in a good way!)
I really liked the environmental design of Captain Scarlett, and the sand skiffs were super cool. Also, having pirates was a plus for me. As a whole, Captain Scarlett was enjoyable for what it was, but didn’t seem especially memorable.
Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage, on the other hand, blew me away with wit and charm, memorable situations and enemies, and a lack of mandatory 3-hour numb-butt sessions. I’ve heard professional wrestling described as “soap operas for men.” Mr. Torgue (the character) takes that description to an exponentially crazy degree (or perhaps an exponential degree of crazy?). It’s a world where everyone seems to be aware that all the combatants are just doing what needs to be done to boost ratings in a televised contest of badassitude, and it’s a gimmick that works wonderfully. I was also worried that I would get tired of Mr. Torgue’s inability to speak without screaming (ANSWER: NOT TIRED OF IT) There were moments where I nearly rolled off the couch from laughing too hard, and a surprise appearance from a flamethrowing metal T-Rex (I LIKE DINOSAURS. SURPRISE MEGA BONUS FOR ME!) just sweetened the deal.
In other news, I fully expect there to be a soundboard on the internet somewhere of everything Mr. Torgue says. He’s just as quotable as your favorite quotable movie… you know, the one with that guy that says those things that are funny and memorable and appropriate to use in a social context?
“NOTHING IS MORE BADASS THAN TREATING A WOMAN WITH RESPECT!”
It’s also difficult to type without keeping caps-lock on now. Thanks, Mr. Torgue.
Status: Reached the end credits for both DLC packages, but we still have some side-missions to complete.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet
It was off to the races with this one; I completed it just a few days into the Four in February challenge. I was surprised at how enjoyable the game was as a whole. I seem to remember that I didn’t like the control scheme when I first played the demo when it came out, but that fear was unfounded. I attribute this to Past-Me being an idiot with questionable tastes in a variety of important areas (like “Gameplay Fun-tasticness” for example).
There were two spots that were noticeably not as fun as the rest of the game, though, and I feel they bear mentioning. In the ice area about halfway through the game, there was a laser-redirection puzzle that seemed a bit too finicky for the game. It isn’t communicated very well that while all crystals of a certain color function identically, the two ends of each crystal reflect light at a slightly different angle. I will admit that I had to look up the solution to this on the internet, because I had my crystals in the right place for over an hour, but didn’t realize one of them was upside down. Until I checked it out on the internet, I was like “I SEE WHERE THE LASER IS SUPPOSED TO GO, CRYSTALS, SO QUIT ACTING LIKE A BITCH AND SEND THAT LASER OVER THERE!”
The second part was the final area: Electric Area. The designers decided to make a level completely in the dark. Allow me to elaborate:
Problem 1: Your ship is black.
Problem 2: The enemies are black.
Problem 3: Almost all the walls are black.
Problem 4: The background of the level is black.
The level wasn’t impossible by any means, just really annoying. You can do mostly black levels well; Limbo is a good recent one. And the Paramonian Temple level in Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee takes place entirely in shadow, but you can still easily find your way around when fleeing in terror from paramites.
Status: I managed to get all the collectibles in the main story and reach the ending credits!
Mark of the Ninja
It’s fun so far, but I think I’m only about a quarter of the way through the game. I’m trying to stay away from looking it up on the internet, because I want to preserve that “fresh game” feeling. I’ll be sure to provide my thoughts on this one when I beat it, though.
Status: Trucking along, killin’ folks like a ninja in the night.
Pokémon Black 2
Made next to no progress on this one so far. The way I traditionally play Pokémon games is to have two main pokémon: one that is grossly overleveled, and a backup of a different type. The rest are just utility pokémon that I use for HMs or to take a hit while I revive my workhorses. With the experience/level scaling system in this game, it makes it much harder for me to have that level 60 pokémon when my opponents are at 45. As such, I’ve got 4 pokémon that are seeing regular use now, but my team has some pretty serious type weaknesses, and I feel like I’m doing a lot of unnecessary grinding. Still going to try to stick this one out.
Status: Got the seventh badge from Drayden (but just barely). I still feel underpowered.
That concludes my progress report for the time being. Look for another update in the near future!