Saturday, March 10, 2012

Computer games

If you haven't met me, or haven't worked it out by reading this blog, I'm a bit of a geek. And I like computer games. I haven't played nearly as many games as most of my similarly inclined friends, but I like to think that I get a lot of value out of the games I do play. And the game that got me through to the end of my PhD is Borderlands. Like many of the games I've played as a poverty-stricken student, it was very cheap (in this case free - I got it as a gift). Though I only started playing a few months ago - a couple of years after it was actually released - the lack of eyeball-exploding graphics didn't stop me falling in love with it. I've decided not to buy any more games until I finish with this one (no Skyrim or Mass Effect 3 for me!) - and I mean really get the most out of it.

So far, despite having a thesis to finish, and then only two weeks' break before getting back into work, I've managed to rack up over 100 hours playing the game already and have almost finished all of the game's achievements*. I like to think of myself as a completionist and it's irked me that I've never truly had the time or energy to master a game at the level of a true obsessive (except maybe for Team Fortress 2 - but there are way too many people who are far more talented than me at it) - so hopefully this game will be my first chance!

The other thing I really wanted to talk about is this:

When I first heard about it, it seemed almost too good to be true for someone who has enjoyed both the Super Mario Brothers and Portal series. Some real love and talent has gone into this, and best of all it's free (thus not breaking my promise to Borderlands) and open source! It's available here.

I'm currently trying to finish the game so that I can get access to the special cheats (some of which are shown in the trailer) - I'm sure the novelty of this game will wear off fairly quickly, but at least for now it's breathed new life into an old classic for me :) I kinda hope that people try to do speed runs of it in the same spirit as the original Super Mario Brothers, like I talked about in a previous post. I think it'd be really impressive to watch!

* for the uninitiated, a set of arbitrary challenges scattered throughout the game of varying levels of difficulty.

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