Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bark: Roadkill Bingo

Squishity-squish: Six Dead Badgers!

I was working down in Portsmouth today, and during my journey down the A3, it was like a game of bingo, ticking off all the dead animals slumped by the side of the road. Half a dozen badgers, a couple of foxes, a solitary hedgehog and something that may or may not have been a pheasant. The A3 certainly appears to be one of the more wildlife unfriendly roads I've driven on. Still, at least I didn't get hopelessly lost getting there this time, though it took me the best part of three-quarters of an hour to drive the ten miles down from Camberley down the Hog's ass (the A31 Hogsback) to pick up the A3, thanks to some appalling rush hour traffic. Two hours in all to go less than 55 miles. I wasn't impressed. Plus I get to do it all again tomorrow! The joy!

I spent an hour or so of last night playing Metroid Prime, which I'm really enjoying, despite the fact that I got "pwned" mightily by the first Boss. The control system is taking some getting used to - having the aiming plus the movement bound to one stick and using the shoulder buttons to lock onto targets and strafe is novel, to say the least. It's not your common or garden FPS; arguably, it's not an FPS at all, rather a first-person platformer-cum-adventure game. It doesn't have the pace of an adrenalin-coursing FPS, and personally, I'm rather pleased about that, because I've gone off FPS games recently. It's wonderfully atmospheric, and I love the curved look of the interface, as if you're looking directly through the visor. I like entering a new room and scanning the hell out of everything, and though the combat's pretty simplistic, once I get used to the control method, it should still be satisfying stuff. It may take me another couple of attempts to get past that first Boss, but I can see how Metroid Prime is a game you could easily fall in love with. I'm definitely going to have to go back to Guildford on Saturday to try and pick up Prime 2 from HMV, if they have any copies left.

I also played a bit of Rogue Leader, which is considerably harder than I thought it would be - well, the actual Trench Run in the first Death Star mission is pretty tricky, anyway. The clipping's perhaps a little suspect, and needing to switch constantly between the targetting computer and the external view to a) identify targets, and b) avoid flying into things, is pretty irksome, but again, I suppose it's just practice. It's been a long time since I've played anything so arcade-inclined as this. It's Star Wars and pretty drop-dead gorgeous, though, so I can't complain too much.

Now that we're a three console household (well, four, if you count the PC), the amount of space I have to keep my ever-growing collection of games in is getting critical. I'm giving serious consideration to ditching all the DVD boxes for the vast majority of my games, and sticking the disks and manuals in a super-sized CD wallet. Since I'm never going to re-sell any of my games, there's not really that much point keeping the boxes, though I'd probably want to hold onto a few, say for games that have loads of disks, like Baldur's Gate II and Neverwinter Nights, or for games that have the cardboard-slip type boxes, like GTA: Vice City. Plus I'd probably want to keep ahold of the boxes for the Console games (especially the DS) since they're not quite as numerous as my PC games collection, and if I ever did decide to trade in my console games (unlikely, but possible), it'd be pretty hard without the boxes...
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