Every videogame that I complete in 2014 will now get its very own wee comic here on Grinding Down. It’s about time I fused my art with my unprofessional games journalism. I can’t guarantee that these comics will be funny or even attempt to be funny. Or look the same from one to another. Some might even aim for thoughtfulness. Comics are a versatile form, so expect the unexpected.
I had a busy day of pinging Achievements, unlocking several from a number of games: A Kingdom of Keflings, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and Fallout: New Vegas. When all was said and done–and by that, I mean when it was time to stop gaming and make dinner–I noticed that my Gamerscore looked kind of special. It read 23132. Here’s the moment frozen in time too:
Oh boy! Zaaaany. There’s even a name for this crazy happenstance, and it’s called a palindrome. Basically, a sequence of units that can be read the same forwards and backwards. It occurs a lot in life, and I can now check off “palindrome the heck out of my Gamerscore” from my bucket list.
I know, I know. It’s all rather silly, but I found it amusing, and it’s probably never gonna happen again, at least not like this because I’ll be getting the 88G Achievement soon from LEGO Pirates which will turn my ‘score back to a nice, even number. In fact, I’ll probably do some more gaming tonight, messing up my ‘score most certainly by morning’s time, which is why I’m pushing this post out sooner than later.
Another fun example of a palindrome? This phrase: rats live on no evil star.
I used to be a Command & Conquer: Red Alert junkie back in my high school and early college days, and much of this blame can go to my then best friend W. We would constantly challenge each other in races for single-player missions or go head-to-head in crazy, hours-long skirmishes. I rarely won, and the biggest reason most certainly was because I took too long trying to build my base up perfectly. The key word is perfectly, not perfunctory. W would build his base just enough to start amassing troops and heavy tanks and then swarm me as I was still trying to figure out where to place my Tesla Coils.
Thankfully, in A Kingdom of Keflings, I have all the time in the world to build my base–because nobody’s coming to attack me. There’s still the problem of building my magical kingdom perfectly, which quickly got away from me as I placed houses here and workshops there and my giant castle in front of a chunk of dense forest. But there’s no outside pressure; just soothing music (save for the banjo tune), a lot of back and forth, and a great sense of accomplishment as you lock in that final piece of a building.
I don’t really understand Keflings and where they come from or why they worship my giant Avatar so, but that’s all pretty moot in the grand scheme of things. They’re great help in mining for source materials or carrying them from one end to the other. And they seemed to like me, despite my constant kicking of them or taking off their hats. It’s a quirky mix for sure.
Achievements-wise, I got 11 out of 12 by the game’s end, most of which pop naturally as you progress through the many blueprints. The last remaining one requires me to host a multiplayer game and get ten other Xbox 360ers to join and drop a special banner down. I probably won’t ever pursue that one. You’ve played A Kingdom of Keflings once, you’ve played it enough. That’s not a slam. I enjoyed my chilled time with the game, just relaxing it up and going through the motions. But nothing different would happen in a second playthrough except maybe me trying harder to achieve the most perfect-looking kingdom. Alas, I know in my heart of hearts that no kingdom would ever be perfect enough for me–unless I can physically live there.
Posted in 2011 completed games, achievements, avatar, entertainment, musings, videogames, xbox 360
Tagged A Kingdom for Keflings, castle, Command and Conquer, RTS, W
Tonight, I ate an entire half tuna sub with chippy chips from the local Sub Shack, and while that might not sound like a lot…it was. See, it’s the kind of mom-and-pop operation that crafts with love and not logistics, stuffing these sandwiches to the brim with lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and–can’t forget–tuna. There is no measuring here; it’s all in or get out. Twas a yummy dinner, but immediately afterwards I regretted eating the entire thing as my stomach was growling and rumbling and acting all funky. So I plopped down in front of the TV to digest and decided to play some…A Kingdom of Keflings.
This is an arcade title for the Xbox 360 that I picked up during a crazy sale some weeks back and have been playing off and on as of late. It’s a strategy game wherein resource managing is key to building one’s kingdom. Need more wood or stone? Order your Kefling minions to get it and bring to where you want it. Need linens? Well, you better shear those sheep for cloth. And that’s kind of it for the gameplay, a lot of back and forth, with the seasons changing constantly (to no effect) and your resources growing/depleting with each new blueprint that unlocks. It’s repetitive and mindless and absolutely perfect for just chilling out with.
See, there’s no major conflict in A Kingdom of Keflings to worry about. Nothing’s going to come by and maul your Keflings to death. Your resources don’t wither away over time or with neglect. No time limit. No failing missions. Just gentle music (save for the banjo tune) and light-hearted gameplay. Perfect for digesting to. Heck, I even unlocked two Achievements tonight, proving that I’m coming close to completing this one:
Master Builder (25G): Build a cathedral (Single Player)
Like Rabbits (15G): Reached a total Kefling population of 30 (Single Player)
The game’s big, main goal is to build a castle, which actually consists of a bunch of different blueprints. This is where I’m currently at, and it’ll take a bit as each blueprint needs a bunch of different resources, several which require other resources to create. Meaning, my Keflings and I will need to carry items from one place to another to another. No worries; I got the time. There’s always time to chill.
Posted in achievements, entertainment, food, life, music, musings, randomness, videogames, xbox 360
Tagged A Kingdom for Keflings, RTS, Sub Shack, tuna
There’s some crazy deals happening on Xbox Live today for tons of games. Seriously, there’s a lot of content marked down, way too much for little ol’ me to type up, but Major Nelson has a good summary of it all.
Having only 400 Microsoft Space Bucks left over from when I recently purchased Torchlight (well, 410 if you wanna be specific), I figured I’d grab one game for a good price and be done with it. Then I started to peruse all the deals, and well…I caved. There’s also one-day only sales happening today, the day of fools, and I just couldn’t pass one up at the discounted price. I purchased another 1600 Microsoft Space Bucks and have now downloaded five arcade games in the past 12 hours. Check ’em out:
A Kingdom for Keflings – Marked down by 50% to 400 Microsoft Space Bucks. I don’t really know what this game is…an RTS with your Avatars? Interested to find out even if I’m probably late to the multiplayer aspects and all that.
3D Ultra Minigolf 2 – Marked down by 50% to 400 Microsoft Space Bucks. Golfing season approaches, but one probably couldn’t tell considering it is SNOWING outside right now. Maybe this will help pass the time.
Costume Quest – Marked down to 600 Microsoft Space Bucks. I’ve heard many great things about this bite-size RPG. It looks freakin’ adorable to say the least. Might feel a little weird to play a Halloween game in April, but that’s not enough to stop me from charging forward.
X-MEN – Marked down by some insane percentage to a mere 200 Microsoft Space Bucks. WELCOME TO DIE!
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (Special Edition) – Marked down by 50% to 400 Microsoft Space Bucks. I missed out on an entire generation of point-and-click adventures, and this one seems like a fun time. I like that it can be switched between new art and the original screens. Hope it’s not too confusing since I never played the previous title. Oh well. I’m sure the Internet could help me there.
I normally don’t splurge like this, but honestly, these were some great deals. I’m most excited about Costume Quest and seeing what I’ve missed out on in Monkey Island 2.
If you too are interested some of these titles, you’d better act fast. This foolish day is almost done.
Posted in entertainment, purchase of the month, RPGs, videogames, xbox 360
Tagged A Kingdom for Keflings, arcade, Costume Quest, Microsoft Points, minigolf, Monkey Island 2, X-Men, xbox live