Last night, I got everything there is to get in Bastion after two playthroughs and about 11 total hours of game time. On my second run through, I wanted to make sure that I got every damn thing done before entering the Tazal Terminals, which is the final level of the game. That meant clearing every stage, collecting every weapon upgrade in the Forge, winning every Proving Grounds challenge, and maximizing my character’s level (it stops at 10, but I didn’t actually get to do that until I reached the Terminals). With that done, the only thing I could try to do with my maxed-out character is attempt to play through the entire game after activating all of the Idols, with each one imposing a different challenge to make the game harder (enemies getting improved attack/defense, enemies recovering health, enemies reflecting physical attack damage, etc.) Or perhaps even more insane: all idols active and no stat-boosting tonics. A “no-weapon-upgrade run” is right out, since that would require me to start from the beginning and discard my New Game Plus data.
With that done, I still have From Dust and Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet to play through out of the games that are featured in this year’s Xbox Live Summer of Arcade (Fruit Ninja Kinect comes out this coming Wednesday, and toy Soldiers: Cold War arrives the following week).
But that’s not all I have on my plate! The arrival of Catherine came just as I’d returned from my vacation. Right now I’m on the fourth stage, and poor, harried Vincent now finds himself trapped between two similarly-named women. I’m trying to keep him on the straight-and-narrow for my first time around, because I’d hate to see what happens when Katherine (with a “K”) gets the idea that ripping a guy’s heart out with a dinner fork is a good stress-relief technique.
Section 8: Prejudice came out on the PlayStation Network last week, as well. Even though it’s been on Xbox Live Arcade and PC for months now, I had some money left over in my PSN wallet, so I bought that version instead. I’ve dipped my hand in a few of the online modes, but I feel like I was cheated out of a certain victory because the game switched me to the losing side just as my team was within 100 points of victory. No worries, though…my kill-death ratio isn’t as pathetic as it has been in most other first-person shooters, so I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now. My stats? Not all that impressive, but I’m working on it.