Road to Stampers Forever: Day 2
Buoyed by an exciting and Achievement-filled first day, I went into Day 2 with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.
Little did I know things were about to get very tough, very quickly…
Check out the previous days here.
Banjo: Played through and completed Bubblegloop swamp and Freezeazy Peak, although missed the two honeycombs in the swamp. I’d forgotten how well hidden they are. Bubblegloop has two of the most charming mini games in the entire game – the alligator bogey eating and the TipTup turtle choir. Both are still really fun and and can be quite stressful.
It took me a long time to actually find the button to open the gate to access the swamp, which was annoying – I’d forgotten how non-handholy the hubworld is. But in a weird way it felt refreshing.
Freezeazy was fun, I’d forgotten a lot of it, like the bear racing and Walrus transformation. This is the first level I’ll have to come back to for the last piece, as you need the speedy trainers to race the bear for the second time.
Still enjoying BK, great how well it’s held up over time.
Lunar Jetman: Stamp 5 is so hard. Half the time a meteorite just shoots down on you as soon as you start the level. I don’t think I’ve played a game that more accurately represents the brutal harshness of what living in space would really be like. The game has complete disregard for you. Still not completed the fifth one.
Underwurlde: Stamp 3 has had me develop an appreciation for the jump mechanics. In this stamp, all enemies are removed, and you have to make your way up to the top of the mansion via various platforms. I discovered you can jump by pointing the analogue stick in the desired direction, and it makes things quite interesting. Although I got to what I thought was the top of the mansion and it didn’t complete the stamp… odd.
Sabre Wulf: I managed to fluke my was through another stamp collecting orchids. This game feels horrible.
Cobra Triangle: My first fully-stamped game. This is actually really fun, and I’m looking forward to doing the milestones.
Battletoads: Tried the tunnel again, and got a bit further! This time over the ramps. Managed 41 seconds, so nearly at the precious 45. Although a lot of dying can happen in 4 seconds in this game.
I thought I’d better delve into some milestones now I’m familiar with most of the older games.
To my surprise the milestones for each game seem a lot more demanding than I’d anticipated…
Blast Corps: One of the few Rareware N64 games I’d not played, but heard good things. First impressions, it’s…ok? It’s impressive how much more Rare were able to get out of the N64 over time, as the presentation here is extremely simple. But the actual mechanics of the game are fun, blowing stuff up to clear a path for (what I think is) a Nuke is satisfying. Although for one of the milestones I have to clear every building from every level, and I find myself completing levels thinking I’ve done so, but the stats screen telling me I only cleared 50% of them… evidently I still have much to learn.
Jetpac Refuelled: Seems like a cool little remaster of the original. Managed the first achievement then got a bit bored.
Jetpac: I made the mistake of jumping right into this game without checking the milestones. Got to the third rocket before discovering the rewind mechanic, which made things completely trivial. I beat the fifth rocket and was feeling pleased with myself, though I noticed I’d only got one achievement. So, I went back to check the milestone progress…
… Needless to say I was disappointed to discover I’d barely made a dent! 250 fuel drops? 1,000 enemies? This will take a while.
Bonus stamps: A nice pick-me-up after the harsh reality of the Jetpac milestones set in was that because I’d played some of the 360 games and remasters before, some of the milestone stamps automatically filled out when I opened the game. These were Perfect Dark and both Viva Pinatas, with 2, 4 and 1 stamps auto-filled respectively. I’m looking forward to getting back into the Vivas, although they’re a hell of a timesink.
Overall a mixed bag for Day 2. Still enjoying Banjo and it was good to complete a second game’s snapshots, but I hadn’t realised just how taxing the milestones will be. I thought the snapshots were bad enough.
I find myself torn between two schools of thought: Do I stick to one game until it’s done, allowing it to consume me mentally and physically until I achieve high zen-like skill in that game, or do I keep things varied and try different games in each session. The former might be better for the harder achievements, but may drive me insane, and the latter might keep me motivated. Tricky stuff. On we go!