Best human award, from Day of the Tentacle

Having every intention to write a feature a week is a sweet sentiment, but in practice, it’s a load of bollocks. Not because it’s unrealistic, but personally, I’m not organised enough to get into a rhythm. But, you came to me at the right time coz I’m feeling fruity and spontaneously writing a feature. It’s actually just a piece that isn’t a review. I was thinking about how I feel when I finish a game that I’ve blitzed day in day out. What fills the void next?

This thought came to me this morning when I went to send out my dwellers to complete the next in a line of quests in Fallout Shelter. You’ve read the review, of course, and while there’s not going to be a test, you will recall that I took up this game after a hospital visit and have been playing more or less every day for eight weeks or thereabouts. This morning, there were no story quests – just daily and weekly challenges. Now what? I guess I can level my dwellers up to level 50 and max their stats out, but for what? I’ve kind of finished it. It might be a good time to go cold turkey and delete it. But… I’m holding on just a little bit more and aiming to max out the dwellers. For what purpose, I don’t know. Chicks dig it. Or perhaps, Chuck dug it?

It’s certainly not a depressing feeling, but more a confused state: what do I do now? It’s like after I finished watching The Sopranos or Lost – now what? There’s nothing else to watch. But there always is, and there’s still something new (or old) to play. The last time I felt a mild state of ‘now what’ was after finishing the story of Assassins Creed Odyssey. Being a history geek and a bit of a fan of the AC series, I swallowed it all up and would give myself ‘just five more minutes’ to finish another quest. 80 hours later, I covered the bulk of the game. Sure, I could go on for some trophies or perhaps buy the DLC, but I won’t have time to review anything else and to be honest, I don’t get much time to play games these days for pleasure, other than for reviewing purposes. Woo is me.

Fallout Shelter dwellers lining up after completing quests
When there’s a queue, you know it’s worth it

More than a feeling (Boston)

The feeling of finishing these games after devoting some much time and energy is a little flat. Despite dipping my toes in the gaming industry, I don’t have any face-to-face contact with fellow gamers – only on the interwebs. Despite that, there’s no time to dwell, and it’s on to the next game. What has turned my head at the moment though are trophies on the PlayStation. We don’t have this on the Switch – some games have achievements, but not the same as the PS4 or Xbox One.

I have quite the collection on the PS4 now and just scrolling through my library, I note that there are many games I haven’t even unlocked 50% of the trophies. I gotta collect them all! Some people will have you believe this is OCD. While I’m no doctor, other than a doctor of love (vomited in mouth), but it’s not OCD – it’s just being fussy and a perfectionist. I’m a recovering perfectionist. That’s half-joke, half-truth. Taking into account my deflated feelings of going through a game only to finish it, I thought I’d challenge myself to a few new trophies. You know – for shits and giggles – nothing else.

A surefire way to get trophies would be to get games like My Name is Mayo. I don’t have that, and I’m not planning to buy games for trophies. Especially when I’m not competing with anyone other than ‘tidying up’ my collection and feeling a bit more satisfaction for some of the games. I finished Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and got diddly squat. I wasn’t aiming for a trophy as I very much enjoyed the game, albeit it was a little slow and fiddly in places. After finishing, I found out that if I play through again, I can unlock some trophies. Nope. Can’t be arsed. Sekiro is there, but seeing as I can barely get past the title screen of start game, let’s put that to one side.

Point here, click this

As an adventure fan – specifically, point and click, I revisited Day of the Tentacle. I absolutely loved it the first time around on PC. Back in those days when everything was black and white, I had the game on disks which was all text. It was so enjoyable that when the talkie version came out on CD, I put some money aside and snapped it up straight away. Some years ago I bought it on the PS4 and believed I finished it, evidently that was not the case. As I have recently finished Grim Fandango on the Switch, I thought why not start a new game and unlock some trophies in the process.

Unlocking an achievement for waking up the Dr in Day of the Tentacle
You like coffee, I like tea

Last Saturday, I sat down and began a new game. It was enjoyable, but I forgot quite a few solutions to the puzzles, so it took a little longer than expected. After finishing, it felt good to play again but realised I missed loads of achievements. I read through the goals and started a new game. This time I almost got them all, but a few were still elusive – notably a trophy for not skipping a cutscene. What is the cutscene – every time the cursor disappears with dialogue or pivotal narrative moments? Either way, I missed this and was sure I didn’t skip anything. As of writing (21:16), I still haven’t got 100% and thought that this one would be easy. It is actually quite satisfying to get the trophies, but is it really worth it?

Taking a break, I moved on to PaRappa the Rapper. I missed this the first time around, and it wasn’t until about ten years ago that a friend dug out their dusty PlayStation and we had a few beers. They passed me the controller assuming I’d be good, but I just couldn’t get the timing right. I told you I have no rhythm, but I can play games. Apparently not this. My mate’s wife took over and showed us how to do it (the game, not sex) and slew it. A few years ago I got the game and while I finished it, I did struggle. 

Loading it up again, I had a look at the trophies and attempted to get some new ones. Obtain a trophy for doing the practice mode? Simples. Finish just one level with a ‘cool’ rating? Nope. I guess it’s official – I’m not cool. That’s not true, I’m a catch.

Unlocking a trophy at the end of PaRappa the Rapper
Damn right, I believe

Ninja Gaiden Sigma is my nemesis

I’m not a rage quitter, so I stuck with it, but I found it got frustrating and I’ve always maintained that games are predominantly fun. Unless they’re games like Ninja Gaiden Sigma, I’ll stick with them and enjoy myself, but trying to milk just a bit more out of a game by getting trophies for the most ludicrous, stupid, pointless tasks – is that satisfaction? I don’t really know. From my perspective, trophies fit into a few categories of players: those who are naturally good, others who subscribe to completing 100% of a game and diligently unlock each part piece by piece, others who aren’t interested in trophies and only in it for the stories or perhaps are crap and then finally those who want to unlock more than their mates. I would argue that I am the last three, but there’s another category I’ve just made up: those who only play one game at a time or have a limited collection and get the most out of every game. 

I’m a catch.

Me. And fictitious others

If I had more time, both due to commitments and also choices (I choose not to play a game and would rather be with my bitches) maybe I’d fit into that category, but I go through a lot of games each week. I move on to the next game pretty swiftly, so it’s rare to have a connection with one title. But, here we are full circle and having raised my vault with 167 dwellers, most of whom I’ve renamed, customised with hairstyles, clothing and weapons and also raised them since they were babies, I feel now what?. This is possibly where DLC, a new game or unlocking trophies fills the space and in this case, it’s another game.

Well, without further ado, I’ll love you and leave you (in the gutter) and sign off to then jump on the Switch. I have an RPG on the go at the moment that’s taking up time (no doubt I’ll be feeling flat should I finish it), I’m aiming to get Borderlands 3 this week for my pleasure (ribbed) and looking at my library, there’s still quite a few I could put up on here for the masses to devour. That and a few more NES and SNES online titles. I foolishly started Breath of Fire today, so expecting the beard to have grown a foot long by the time I finish that.

The loading screen for Fallout Shelter
We interrupt this broadcast…

Disclaimer: There’s only one of me, and I’m a shoddy juggler. Inside information: Vulgar Knight isn’t my actual name, nor is it my only venture but one thing fo’ sure is that it’s a fun thing. I’m not going to write for the sake of it, and I’m continually reviewing where I’ll be taking this. The original idea was to focus on the Nintendo Switch, which has evolved to the eShop games.

Nowadays, I’m playing more of my retro games and continually looking at being an active YouTuber but don’t have much to say. Much like now. This is like one of those blogs where the writer says “I don’t know if anyone is reading this, but…” Eff orf – that’s not what I’m doing. My brain is literally oozing out my ears, sexually dripping down my arms off my fingertips onto the ‘puter. The breadcrumbs say feature but, in my mind, this has diary and brain farts written all over it. Never thought I’d use brain farts…

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