Disney Magical World is now closed for sticker business

disney magical world 100 stickers complete

Last night, which I’ll dub Fantasy Life‘s Eve, I finally got the last 100th sticker in Disney Magical World, the one that asks you to acquire a bajillion different pairs of shoes. Yes, this sticker was more difficult to unlock than crafting a secret wand. Go figs. Anyways, there’s still plenty of items to find, recipes to make, parties to throw, crops to harvest, and so on, but I feel fine putting Disney Magical World aside now, accomplishing all the main tasks the game throws at you. I still have a lot to say about this game, though some of it I can’t speak about just yet, as it is still too raw to peel back and examine.

To be honest, I gave up on trying to dungeon grind for the rarer ingredients to make new kicks and turned to a less-than-traditional method to get three more stinky pairs of shoes for my avatar to wear. Evidently, if you use the Spotpass functionality, you can visit other players’ cafés, giving them a “Nice!” if you dig their design work. Giving out one nice earns you an entire new outfit, with shoes to boot (pun intended). Three nices gets you another outfit, and then, at last, five nices nets you a third. And so, instead of spending over an hour grinding away in dungeons for maybe even just the chance to get a Mystic Thread or rare gemstone, I simply visited a bunch of cafés and got what I needed in under ten minutes. Feel free to also hop over to my café, which is called The Drinkpad, and give me a nice as well.

There–I did it. Just popped the cartridge out of my Nintendo 3DS and returned it to its case on my shelf. Well, no, it’s actually in a shoebox on top of my dresser, but it sounds way more normal to say shelf despite me now revealing my strange organizational skills. Grrr. That said, I hesitated for a moment and considered at least putting the cartridge back in my travel case, but really…I could probably play this game off and on for a good long while, much to the dismay of other bereft 3DS/DS titles I’ve barely scraped the surface on, such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, and Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story. It’s better if Disney Magical World is out of sight.

And here’s some of my final stats (for now) for the myriad collectibles:

  • 69/148 outfits
  • 17/23 wands
  • 169/303 furniture
  • 82/126 food
  • 20/21 fish
  • 68/70 farming
  • 212/300 cards collected

Oh man, there are SO MANY outfits to create in this game, and I barely saw half of them. Boo to that. Dressing up is one of my favorite things to do in games, whether it is Grand Theft Auto V or Dragon Quest IX, just give me fun clothes to mix and match. I have no idea what single fish I missed pulling out of the pond, but one can only fish for so long, as the fishing minigame is perfunctory, not amazingly engaging. Lastly, those cards…mmm, probably my favorite collectible to gather in Disney Magical World. Some are concept art-style drawings of the expected cast members, but others are old-timey posters, like of Steamboat Willy and such. I don’t know. I could look at them for days.

Lastly, look at the insane amount of hours I’ve logged in this thing since getting it way back in April:

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Clearly, I wouldn’t play a game I didn’t enjoy for such a length, even if it has its dry spell sections, where you are just waiting for crops to grow and people to eat in your café. Again, there’s more to this story than I’m ready to reveal, but this is the only game currently on the 3DS that even comes close to matching logged hours with Animal Crossing: New Leaf. I’m looking forward to discovering if Fantasy Life can overtake that coveted spot, but alas I probably won’t get to play until after Extra Life this weekend.

The hero is me, and Dah Castle is open for business

suikoden 2 dah castle finally

At last, after a smidge over ten logged hours of playing Suikoden II, I finally have a castle headquarters to call home. And yes, I named it Dah Castle, so that when I recruit new soldiers I can read them say zany things like, “Okay, let’s head over to Dah Castle right away.” It’s a small step up from Suikoden‘s Castle Castle, but I just can’t help getting silly with names when given the chance. I wonder what I’ll end up calling home in Suikoden III (if I ever get there again and if that’s an option).

So yeah, it’s a definitely slower, much more somber start than Suikoden, but it doesn’t take you too long to get a castle in the former game. Here, you have to be patient, and even then, you have to be a bit more patient. Certainly, the fact that the main character–who I named Hodor, in case you forgot–is not as pivotal to the bigger actions unfolding plays a part. I mean, in Suikoden, you are the son of a great Imperial leader, on the run as a rebel, forced to take up arms and build an army. This time around, it feels much more natural, like you are caught in a current, going with the flow until, finally, based on Hodor’s connection to Genkaku, it happens–you are asked to take charge and command the Dunan Unification Army. For a good while there, you simply took on the role as errand boy for Flik, Viktor, Lady Annabelle, and whoever else wanted a dangerous job done. Now you get to tell others what to do.

I don’t know what the next mission is. Right now, I couldn’t care if Luca Blight’s goons were hiding under Hodor’s bedsheets. It matters not. All I know is that the castle is mine, it is huge to begin with, and there are a lot of rooms to fill. The setup is much different than the castle in Suikoden, which was, more or less, a six-story high-rise, with a few offshoots on two or three of the floors to explore. But you’d have trouble getting lost there; Dah Castle is intimidating in size and layout, especially given that it has a separate inn section attached to it from the outside, providing two entrances. There’s also a bunch of portrait-less characters to speak to, whereas before your castle was only filled with your friends. It’s going to take some time to familiarize myself with where everyone is, and then I’m sure much will change once I get more of the 108 Stars of Destiny to join the fight.

Actually, I lied earlier. I do know what the next mission is, and it’s a doozy: find your castle’s docks. Flik said it was right below where Hodor and his friends were chatting. It took me far too long to figure out what he meant. Heck, I even left the HQ and went to a few towns to see if that’s where the boats are being kept, thinking Flik meant below Dah Castle on the world map. Hint: there’s a small staircase that is easily missed, which leads to a graveyard, prison cells, and the docks. Once there, you can get on your boat and sail around or partake in Yam Koo’s less-than-stellar fishing minigame.

Something else I’ve noticed is that Suikoden II is much more challenging when it comes to the turn-based battles. The previous game was a breeze, and I think I only died once (to Neclord), and that was possibly due to little pre-planning going into the fight. I’ve still not scene a Game Over screen yet this time around, but the amount of medicine and healing spells I’ve had to use post-combat has unarguably quadrupled. The Abomination boss that Neclord leaves behind for you to deal with at North Window proved the toughest enemy so far, with only three party members surviving the fight. Also, Nanami has fallen in battle way more than anyone else; DarkBunnies love picking on her, for some reason. At least I’m grinding for a reason now.

Anyways, once again, I’m anxiously looking forward to revisiting known locations and recruiting new friends for…Dah Castle. The quicker it grows, the sooner I’ll get to participate in the cooking minigame.

My tentative schedule for Extra Life 2014

gd schedule extra life nashville MTA schedule

The weekend draws nearer, and I’m trying to hammer out some kind of firm plans for what I’ll be playing for 24 hours (for the kids!–please donate). I feel like if I don’t at least have a tentative schedule I’ll just flail about aimlessly and spend more time trying to find something to play than actually playing. It’s nice to have things to look forward to, which is why I’m putting Deus Ex: GOTY edition later on in the schedule. Ideally, I’m hoping to play each game for at least an hour, though some games might not demand such devotion, and others might suck me in for longer. We’ll see.

Gaze upon the plan, which could–and most likely will–change as everything goes down:

  • HOUR 1: Aquaria
  • HOUR 2: Hack, Slash, Loot
  • HOUR 3: Legend of Grimrock
  • HOUR 4: You Have To Win the Game
  • HOUR 5: The Tiny Bang Story
  • HOUR 6: Botanicula
  • HOUR 7: DragonSphere
  • HOUR 8: FTL: Faster Than Light
  • HOUR 9: Gunpoint
  • HOUR 10: Krater
  • HOUR 11: To the Moon
  • HOUR 12: Proteus
  • HOUR 13: Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
  • HOUR 14: SteamWorld Dig
  • HOUR 15: Eschalon: Book II
  • HOUR 16: Lone Survivor: Director’s Cut
  • HOUR 17: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  • HOUR 18: Titan Quest
  • HOUR 19: System Shock 2
  • HOUR 20: Papers, Please
  • HOUR 21: Tiny Barbarian
  • HOUR 22: WHATEVER KEEPS ME AWAKE
  • HOUR 23: WHATEVER KEEPS ME AWAKE
  • HOUR 24: WHATEVER KEEPS ME AWAKE

EDIT: I expect to start streaming 9 AM Saturday, October 25, and won’t stop playing games until 9 AM Sunday, October 26.

Other games in my Steam library that I’ll dabble in if not everything above takes an hour to play or keeps me entertained enough, especially during the wee early hours of Sunday morning:

  • Crayon Physics Deluxe
  • Delve Deeper
  • Jolly Rover
  • Maniac Mansion Deluxe
  • Might & Magic: Duel of Champions
  • Offspring Fling!
  • Snapshot
  • Teenagent
  • Tobias and the Dark Scepters
  • …and more!!!

If I get tired of streaming from the laptop, I’ll turn to my consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 2) and a comfy couch, with a few goals in mind:

  • Hit level 70 with Whisper, my demon hunter in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (Xbox 360)
  • Start a “hardcore” run for Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360)
  • Um, Dark Souls? (Xbox 360)
  • Maybe I’ll finally do some alchemy in Ni no Kuni (PlayStation 3)
  • Recruit more peeps in Suikoden II now that I got my castle (PlayStation 2)

Alas, none of the above console stuff can be streamed, so I’m hesitant to do it, as I feel like being “on camera” is part of the whole Extra Life experience thing. Regardless, I have plenty of games to keep me entertained through the night. I just hope I have the endurance as well. Please tune in when you can!

Participating in Extra Life for the very first time

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Hi, everyone! It’s me, your Grinding Down creator, author, and somewhat steady maintainer–Paul Abbamondi! I made a big decision recently, and that is to participate in Extra Life this upcoming Saturday, October 25. What’s Extra Life, you ask not knowing? Well, in their words, it’s “an online grassroots movement working to save local kids through the power of play.” Basically, people stay up for 24 hours straight playing games and asking for donations. Over the years I’ve watched others put in the time and raise money for children in need, and now, nervous as I am, I’m gonna do it too. First, some important links to click on:

My donations page: http://tinyurl.com/pabbamondiEL2014

My Twitch page, where hopefully you’ll be able to watch me stream: http://www.twitch.tv/paulwise

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m thinking. My goal is set at $100 (and we’re already halfway there!), but of course I’d love to raise a whole lot more for PennState Hershey’s Children’s Hospital. I plan to make a big dent in my Steam catalog, though I have to be careful in what I play as my laptop can’t really handle anything too strenuous and stream at the same time, thus the above list of indie/older titles. If I somehow run out of things to play there, I can always hit up the consoles or handhelds (I’ll most likely be getting Fantasy Life the day before), though I can’t really stream from them.

Tentatively, I’ll start streaming at 9:00 AM Saturday and won’t stop playing vidya gamez until 9:00 Sunday. I will be maintaining a “live” blog post here on Grinding Down, updating it hopefully once an hour or so, though these’ll be short, quick updates. Truthfully, I’m excited about finally finding the time to eat up some Deus Ex: GOTY more than anything. I am part of Team Giant Bomb, and I appreciate any support you can offer me–this is my first time doing anything like this, and I’ll be running at it solo (well, my cats will be around), so please, give me strength. And donations, too. FOR THE KIDS.

Metal Gear Solid 2, an unpredictable mix of gloss and dross

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I wish I could remember whether I knew about the big early twist in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty or not before I deep dove into it. At this stage, it just seems like one of those known certainties that everyone who games is aware of. I was certainly reading a lot of gaming magazines at the time, though the Internet was not yet the spoiler battlefield we have to crawl through today. Plus, at the time, I had other priorities to worry about: drawing, failing at drawing, crying in bathrooms, girls, making friends, losing friends, throwing up in bathrooms, and pondering the future. Hideo Kojima’s second cool action guy game in the Metal Gear Solid series came out in November 2001, my freshman year of college at Rowan University when I was still rocking my original PlayStation and using a dorm-mate’s PlayStation 2 to experience things like Grand Theft Auto III.

In fact, I remember exactly when I got my copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 and for how much; the receipt is still in the case, though now very faded after about twelve years. I snagged it on November 22, 2002 for $16.99 at the Deptford Mall’s GameStop (the receipt says the cashier’s name was Jay–hey Jay!) and then visited a girl at a candy store before heading home to immerse myself in nanomachine-driven mindfuckery and yellow-green gummi worms. That was also probably roughly the last time I played it, completing it over a few days or so while juggling school, dates, something of a social life, and the impending Thanksgiving break.

All right, imagine if I’m telling you this plot summary via Codec and you can use the analog sticks to be silly and zoom in on my face. You start out by reprising your role as Solid Snake, ex-FOXHOUND operative, who is now working with his Shadow Moses buddy Otacon to stop the production of Metal Gear machines by the military. Currently, Snake sneaks aboard a tanker supposedly housing Metal Gear RAY, an anti-Metal Gear machine. Spoiler alert, but after this section runs its course, the story begins somewhere else, starring someone else. Big Shell, a massive offshore clean-up facility, has been seized by a group of terrorists calling themselves the “Sons of Liberty” and demanding a large ransom in exchange for the life of the POTUS. You now play as Raiden, a greenhorn member of FOXHOUND fresh out of VR training and ready for his first real mission.

There are many things that stand out when you go right from Metal Gear Solid to Metal Gear Solid 2, and I’m not just talking about the graphical uptick that greatly allows characters to emote more voicelessly. The goal remains the same and always has since the beginning: sneak, scurry, crawl, cartwheel, and occasionally shoot your way past enemies until you’ve reached your destination. However, Metal Gear Solid 2 really ups the ante, giving both Snake and Raiden new tools, new ways of traversing, and new perspectives. My favorite was being able to hop over guard rails to a floor below or, if needed, just hang there until the enemy walks past. You can also dive into a roll, if you need to get under a desk real fast. Plus, there’s the first-person shooting perspective, which is vital for using the tranquilizer gun, as well as looking around corners. That said, the controls are still tough to master and do not work 100% of the time (I won’t even go into how many times I’d try to pick up an unconscious guard only to immediately drop them back down); in line with that, I’ll also never master holding up an enemy from behind and then walking in front of them, weapon still drawn, to make them nervous. I got less than five dog tags total during my replay.

I continue to find it easier to simply die or jump off into the water after being spotted in Metal Gear games, rather than try to hide and wait for the enemies to go back to their standard patrol routes. For one thing, in Metal Gear Solid 2, the enemy artificial intelligence got a serious boost, as they will hunt you down, call for reinforcements, double-check areas, and so forth. Their vision cones also extend a bit further than what the radar actually displays, which leads to me getting spotted more often than I wanted. Still, one of my favorite moments is when Snake leans against a wall and accidentally knocks over a fire extinguisher, alerting a nearby guard. In fact, I had more trouble dealing with guards and flying gun-toting drones than boss fights, which is probably the completely opposite with all the previous games in the series.

The action in Metal Gear Solid 2 is mostly solid (pun intended), but it’s the story that many remember (or continue to disbelieve). It goes to some zany places, and I truthfully don’t know how I swallowed it all the first time I completed it, doing naked cartwheels and reliving the past. That said, that’s one of my favorite thing about this series, the clash of super series tech talk and then the ghost of a dead twin brother in the arm of your enemy. Fighting a tentacle-wielding ex-U.S. President after taking down a bunch of Metal Gear RAYs. Learning about top-secret military weapon technology while hiding in a locker and masturbating to pin-up posters. I’m so looking forward to Giant Bomb‘s playthrough, especially given the moments in the original game that Drew scoffed at; he has no idea what’s in store.

There’s a lot of bonus stuff to experience on this copy of Metal Gear Sold 2 from the Legacy Collection. Not sure if it was included in the original or not. Sadly, there’s no skate-boarding mini-game from the Substance version, which I’ve always heard was silly fun. Included though are a bunch of VR missions, Snake Tales (five story-based missions featuring Solid Snake as the main character), and some kind of cutscene remix tool. I dabbled in each a wee bit, but think I’m sated for the time being.

Truthfully, this final summary blog post exists so I can continue sharing my end-game screen statistics with y’all:

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I also believe my code animal grade was…elephant? Which was what Drew got for his recent completion of Metal Gear Solid. I think elephants are pretty cool, but I feel like it’s a “bad” grade. Let’s compare rations across the series so far though:

  • Metal Gear – used 57 rations
  • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – used 27 rations
  • Metal Gear Solid – used 90 rations (the photo I took is a little blurry and hard to decipher)
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – used 69 rations

I’m not exactly sure what those statistics say about my skills, but at least I didn’t need to heal as much as a I did in the previous game. Either way, rations are yummers. I look forward to eating more of them, as well as snakes, in the next cool action guy game in the series. When will that happen, I muse out loud as I glance at the calendar and see that 2014 is dangerously close to closing. I don’t really know. My goal of playing through all the Metal Gear games this year is, alas, teetering on the edge, and I didn’t bother upgrading my grip strength to level 3.

Five more games I almost beat, but then walked away from

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Over at SlickGaming, every Sunday or so, Jason Jasicki lists the games he acquired across the week, whether they were provided to him for review purposes or he hit up a yard sale or–and more power to him–he ventured into GameStop during a “buy-2-get-1-free” promotional event and dropped some loose change on the counter. I’m not as deep into collecting as he is–though I still want to have every Suikoden title out there, even if I can’t play them–but it’s interesting to see what he picks up, for how much, and whether or not he’s actually interested in playing these games.

That said, his recent excursions landed him a copy of Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, a game which I got to the very last tank fight, but couldn’t beat–and haven’t gone back to since. Shame on me. That got me thinking about other games I got about 95% through before throwing in the towel. Now, for the die-hard of Grinding Down readers, you’ll most likely remember that I already touched on this topic, focusing on six PS2 titles that never got their respective credits to roll: Dark Cloud 2, Suikoden V, God of War, The Mark of Kri, Ratchet & Clank, and Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. I wrote that post two years ago in October 2012, and here’s a surprising update–I’ve still not beaten any of ‘em. Though I did make an attempt to get back into DQVIII, but it was short-lived.

Well, let’s see what else I can find in my collection that I nearly played to completion but, for some reason or another, walked away from. Dangerously, I might have to even load up a few of these to refresh my memory. On to the list!

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime

All right. Just loaded up this DS cart on my 3DS for the first time in a very long time. Seems like I’ve rescued 90 slimes (out of 100), and my save slot says I’ve played Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime for 12 hours and 57 minutes (also of note: 0 multiplayer wins). I’m definitely at the last level of the game, also known as the Flying Clawtress, but I don’t know if it is actually the last tank battle or not as I previously suspected. I’ve wandered around the town map for a bit to get a feel again for the main slime’s powers and relearn the lay of the land. Maybe later I’ll see just how much more work I need to do to save the rest of the slimes and take down the final tank(s). That jaunty, head-boppin’ Boingburg town music already has a strong hold of my heart again.

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Out comes Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime, in goes The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. My 3DS is very confused. Looking at my save slot, there’s no logged time, and I truly don’t recall that last time I drew a line across the ocean and had Link sailing to and fro. Here’s what I can tell you: I have 11 hearts, three butterfly thingies (red, blue, and yellow), and three gemstones (red, blue, and green), though it looks like there is room for a fourth. I’m on some island, and I suspect I need to head back to wherever that one main ever-expanding singular dungeon is and see how far down it goes. Brace yourselves: I’m glancing at an online walkthrough. Ahh…yeah. Nothing even looks a sliver familiar, so I really don’t know where I am at this point. Maybe not 95%, more like 75% complete. Heck, I could just forget about the story and focus entirely on getting every single fish in the ocean…

Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

According to my Achievements list, I have 31 of 60 unlocked for Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. It’s a bit difficult to tell, but it looks like I maybe only have a handful left related to story stuff, like defeating that mean ol’ witch and collecting a bunch more Jiggies. Jiggles? Er, I don’t remember. I think the problem I ran into was struggling to be creative enough with my vehicle creations and lacking the parts to do anything considerably cool, as well as some of the level design just being frustrating, especially when you are trying to ascend vertically. I know I did complete the game within the game, which was some strange auto-scrolling runner amusingly called Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked

If you’ll recall, I sucked so horribly at this SJRPG that I hit the “Early Bad Ending” and put the blasted thing aside, eventually forgetting about it altogether, especially once Shin Megami Tensei IV entered my collection. Which is a major bummer, because I really enjoyed Devil Summoner Overclocked‘s story and characters, even if every other word out of their mouths is “demons” or “government.” If I’m going to successfully get past this one fight where you need to battle demons and angels and attack the humans to break their COMPs, but then also protect them from the previously mentioned angels and demons, with no civilians dying…I’m going to need help. Mega help. And by that, I might not to watch someone else play it on YouTube and try to mimic their every move. Yeah, I’m not happy with this.

Final Fantasy VIII

Yup, digging deep on this one. Back to the PS1 days and my PSM sticker-covered console that sat proudly on my bedroom’s floor. I have never beaten Final Fantasy VIII, and given that one of the game’s discs is missing from its jewel case, I most likely never will. That’s okay. It definitely is not one of my more favorite Final Fantasy titles, though I did find something strangely interesting with the Junction system. Plus, this is where Triple Triad got its start, but was better refined in Final Fantasy IX. Anyways, I do remember hitting the end-game area, back when I had the disc still, but–and no, I’m not looking this up to confirm–you had to split your group into two teams to progress, and one group of characters was much higher in levels and gear than the other. I was not prepared for such a scenario and walked away from it entirely. Oh well.

Well, that’s all I got for now. Whew. Between this list and that other one with the six unfinished PS2 games on it, I have plenty in the backlog waiting to be polished off. Waiting and wishing and wanting. That is if I ever make a dang effort to do so. We’ll see. My gaming habits are constantly in flux, and I just end up playing what I want, when I want, and for how long I want. If something goes unfinished or untouched for a good while, perhaps that’s how it was meant to be. Yeah, yeah, I see you, Game of Thrones, eye-balling me from across the room. I see you.

Tell me, dear readers. What games in your collection hover right on the edge of completion? And why did you stop playing?

 

GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH: Colony Wars

games I regret trading in colony wars

I still can’t believe we haven’t seen a new Colony Wars game in this day and age of impressive technology, big TV screens, and unstoppable imagination. Or, at the very least, a half-hearted remake of the first 1997 space adventure from Psygnosis. Alas, it seems like the Colony Wars series was deeply cornered in the late 1990s, possibly too unique for its time, and never managed to break free from its own genre, and that’s a shame, because this is the series that really taught me what it might be like to fly an aircraft not of this world. Also, not in this world. Yeah, sorry, Decent.

Story stuff. In Colony Wars, the player assumes the role of a nameless colonist involved in the expanding League of Free Worlds resistance movement. As a skilled League fighter pilot, you take orders from the Father in an attempt to overcome the oppressive Earth Empire and its massive naval fleets, which are spread across multiple colonies. I don’t know if it is simply the American Revolution in space, but it’s close enough. What’s really neat is that failing a mission in Colony Wars did not mean “game over,” just a new branch to follow. You can “fail” every mission in the game and still see it end, albeit through dire consequences. This allowed for the story to really feel unique, like your own, and certainly softened that blow when things didn’t go as perfectly as you planned them. Evidently, there are two alternative “good” endings, though I couldn’t tell you if I saw any of them. I definitely witnessed my fair share of “failed” missions though…

Speaking of missions, I remember them being quite many, as well as varied, though they naturally all involve you flying in your spaceship to some capacity. I think there’s about 70 in total, and you have to remember that you’ll only experience maybe a third or so based on your success or failure rates, making multiple playthroughs worth the effort. Let me see what some mission types were: perimeter defense, guarding supply lines, protecting capital fleetships, taking down opposing capital fleetships, dogfighting, infiltrating Imperial territory, and surveillance-style objectives, like obtaining Naval technology.

At the time, the graphics in Colony Wars were capable of being described as light years ahead of other PlayStation titles (pun intended). It did that thing where when your spaceship goes faster, speed lines appear around you in a circular fashion, something I’d probably scene on Star Trek or some other space-themed TV show. And there I was, the one piloting the ship, zooming forward through the emptiness towards that massive hulk in the distance, my target to destroy. It’s also one of the rare games that I enjoyed using the cockpit view more than the third-person camera, as seeing the inside of your ship and HUD really helped immerse yourself in the action, especially when you’d be flipping this way and that, hot on some enemy ship’s trail. Also, a friendly warning that should be heeded by all: do not look directly into the sun.

The game’s soundtrack is not exactly memorable, but upon giving it another go via the YouTubes, I’m finding it thematically appropriate. Dark, brooding, and capable of building to something that feels almost entirely overwhelming–perfect for backing up a contested dogfight out in the middle of no spaceman’s land. A great use of orchestra and electronica, but maybe a bit too unnerving for listening to when writing a blog post. I feel the need now to take down an evil-as-evil-gets ginormous battleship hiding in an asteroid belt singlehandedly; that, or entirely rewatch Battlestar Galactica for like the umpteenth time.

I’ve had a disc copy of Colony Wars: Vengeance in my collection for some time now, untouched, the manual glanced at occasionally, and I guess if I ever do really get that itch to fly through space and shoot some massive vessels I can give it a go. I don’t know much about this sequel to the original, save that it retains the idea of fail-able missions, but also lets your spaceship entire planets’ atmosphere to shake things up. However, it won’t be the same Colony Wars that I remember so fondly from 1997, that opened before my blossoming eyes and stretched out endlessly, that put a dot in the distance and directly me towards it. Let’s leave with a fitting Carl Sagan quote: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

GAMES I REGRET PARTING WITH is a regular feature here at Grinding Down where I reminisce about videogames I either sold or traded in when I was young and dumb. To read up on other games I parted with, follow the tag.