Tag Archives: OCD

My serious complex with Shadow Complex

ocd shadow complex final achievement

We all have our neurotic moments, and one of mine took place over the weekend. See, I am still operating under the very same Xbox 360 that I pinched pennies for and bought way back in 2008/2009. That 360 came with an internal 20 GB hard drive, which, thanks to downloadable games and saves and countless patches, has been filling up over the passing years at a steady clip. It’s nearly full, and I’ve had to reformat an external hard drive I wasn’t using to be able to download some other stuff. That “Gaming With Gold” program has steadily provided me with a new free game every two weeks now, and some are big boys, ranging from 6 to 8 GBs. The point is this: there are several games in my collection that I am done with–or nearly done with or haven’t touched in years or don’t even remember or can confirm in my brain that they were a once and only once kind of experience–and to make space…well, it’s deleting time. See ya, Limbo, Bastion, and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom; it’s been real.

And I was almost ready to remove Shadow Complex without blinking before I realized that I was just one Achievement away from having unlocked them all. According to the “Serious Complex” Achievement, all I had to do was level up to 50. Hmm. That sounds easy enough, and I wondered why I hadn’t, as, during Shadow Complex‘s time, I ate that game up. Pretty sure I completed it at least three times. After loading up my last save, I discovered I was sitting pretty at LV 45 and playing on Hardcore difficulty. That meant…well, only five more levels to go. Totally do-able. I could totally do that, I told myself rationally, and then I’d have all the Achievements and could erase the game from my 360 knowing fully that I experienced that game fully before it disappeared. Remember, I owned up to all this crazy at the start of this post: my neurosis.

It was not an easy climb to the top, surprisingly. But I guess it never really is. Shadow Complex‘s Hardcore difficulty means you lose a lot more health when shot by enemy soldiers and don’t gain back as much from health packs. I don’t have to worry about ammo as I have a lot of infinite perks already unlocked. It took me a while to get used to the controls again, as well as reacquaint myself with the sprawling, color-coded map. There was a lot of wandering to and fro, finding unneeded collectibles and some boss encounters and remembering how fun it is to run super fast from one side of the map to the other. I died a lot, and I gained a trivial amount of XP along the way. Like, pennies and nickels. That is, until I found an exploit, which helped me gain the final two levels in maybe 15 minutes or so.

At the top of the map, a little ways off from where you fight the final battle, you can gain a MAX BONUS for XP by punching seven or eight soldiers in a row and then exploding some kind of war-robot by launching a missile up its metallic butt. This nets you a really good size chunk of XP, and there’s a Save Room right near the area. So what I did was make my run, get the XP, save, reload my last save, and do the run again, save, reload, and so on and so on. It’s simple and boring and kind of has to be perfectly timed, but it worked and was a better XP guarantee than just plodding around, room to room, popping a soldier here and there and watching that XP turtle forward.

And then the Achievement popped, allowing me to add Shadow Complex to my list of green-starred names over there in sidebar county. I exhaled, checked a few things…and then deleted the game from my hard drive. It was fun going back for a bit to this modern Metroidvania, and the game still plays fantastically, but at this point, I’ve now seen nearly everything from the game. I beat it with 100% of the items and with 13% of the items. I beat it fast, I completed it slow, I unearthed everything. I played with the hook-shot and found ways around enemies, I kicked a lot of spiderbots, and I tried out all the golden weapons. This is just basically me justifying to myself that I did all that I could with the game, and that there was no reason to keep it on the system, when other games, like Clash of Heroes, needed the space.

I suspect this sort of OCD is going to come into play with a few more titles on my Xbox 360, such as Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge and Torchlight, as they both only have one Achievement left to unlock, both attainable, but, just like with “Serious Complex,” might take some time. Some pre-planning. We’ll see when I turn neurotic next.

35 videogames completed so far in 2011, but aiming for 50

The last time I wrote a little bit about the actual number of games I’ve completed within a year, the post got featured on the front page of WordPress.com. The attention the post got was very nice if a little scary. Thankfully, there were only a handful of trollish comments to deal with, and the rest were just as excited as I was to be making progress with games and not just starting them and then tossing them aside for something shinier. We’ll see what happens this time…

So, it’s the beginning of November 2011, and I just beat my 35th game last night while Tara and I watched a badly taped version of The Goonies, which featured some amazingly amazing commercials from 1988. Remember camera film? They used to have commercials for camera film. Anyways, yeah, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars gets all the glory here, but there’s plenty more to come. Two months left in the gaming year, and I’m wondering if I could cross the “50 videogames beat” mark, let alone reach it.

Looking at my backlog, as well as what’s still to come, I think it’s doable, but probably requires much more dedication from me than I’m capable of. See, I have gaming ADD, and whether or not it is actually a disease confirmed and diagnosed by a doctor, I have it; I absolutely love starting a new game, getting to see all of its mechanics and how it opens; very rarely do I push further past this bit magic and fireworks. Take, for instance, Radiant Historia, a stunningly original RPG for the DS that I gobbled up, but only until something else came out. Haven’t gone back yet sadly. Even my Chrono Trigger progress comes in spurts of activity, as I just can’t seem to stick with it for too long, always drifting away to something else with hopes of returning soon. And one game I do want to play of more is Professor Layton and the Last Specter, but Tara’s currently enjoying it, and I like when she finds a game enjoyable, so it’s all hers until she beats it herself.

And of course, November is loaded with big name games to help me climb a little higher. On 11/11/11, I’m picking up not only The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but also LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7, the latest LEGO game for Tara and I to plow through. There’s other titles too that I want, but feel like I’ll have to resist in hopes of not breaking the bank (for example, Cave Story 3D, Super Mario 3D Land, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Jurassic Park: The Game to name a few). It’s a disgustingly great month to be a gamer.

In terms of the backlog, well, if you’ve been reading me for awhile now you’ll know that I’ve been slowly working on collecting as many decent PS2 games as possible before they disappear entirely from store shelves. So, there’s those. Namely Suikoden III, Ys: The Ark of Napishtim, and yes, probably to Greg Noe‘s horror, Escape from Monkey Island. See, I have plenty to play, but it just requires willpower and time, and if I also want to be a famous artist/writer, well it’s probably not going to mesh well with that. So while I’d absolutely relish in joy if I completed around 50 videogames for 2011, I know it’s also probably not probable.

You can read about every game I’ve knocked out of the 2011 park right here on Grinding Down by following this nifty tag. Or, if you’re into looking at lists, I keep one pretty up-to-date over at GiantBomb.  Other than that, good luck to all of you out there with a compulsion to complete all that you got and please wish me luck on fifteen more.