Before the year is out some would have us believe that either the world will end or it will undergo some form of spiritual transformation. Now I’m a natural skeptic so I say poppycock. Of course it is some loose interpretations of the implications of a Mayan calendar reaching the point where it count of days resets to zero that have led to these book- and lecture-selling ‘prophecies’.
By some accounts the Maya used as many as seventeen different calendars so why this one, the so-called Long Count calendar, should be particularly special is beyond me and most of the planet’s sane population. All I’m pretty sure that will happen is that another ancient civilisation will be the popular one next year once the Mayans have been ‘proven’ wrong.
Naturally though you can be sure someone will just claim we got we dates slightly wrong and for a small fee they’ll help us understand our error and prepare for the rescheduled end of the world/spiritual awakening.[drop]Unfortunately the probability that the world will end on December 21st 2012 is non-zero. There are undiscovered asteroids, comets, etc., out there and one of them will have the Earth’s name on it; an impact is inevitable we just don’t know when.
Equally the destruction could be entirely terrestrial in origin, whether by our own hands as the Doomsday Clock ticks ever closer to midnight or as a result of a natural disaster such as the overdue eruption of the the Yellowstone super-volcano.
Why all the doom and gloom? It’s the perfect excuse to point out that when your gaming time is limited either by the imminent destruction of the planet or more mundane concerns that you should make the most of it.
That is something Peter has been failing to do this week. In what could be the first month of the last year of life on Earth he has found himself reviewing the “fairly poor” Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Special Editions. How can such a situation be rescued? By going back to finish playing through Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception which has been bereft of attention since shortly after release.
The imminent destruction of all life on Earth has also had Dan reaching out to Drake for help. In this case it is Drake’s pocket-sized adventure Uncharted: Golden Abyss which features stunning vistas not unlike those the Mayans themselves may have witnessed.
In Dan’s case rather than some snake-oil prophecy that threatened the destruction of Earth it is the ancient machine race known as the Reapers. He turned to Drake to fill the void left behind after he had completed the main story in Mass Effect 2. “It’s such a fantastic game I’m actually glad I only played it now”, he says, “as a longer wait for Mass Effect 3 might have killed me”.
Being one of the lucky few to already have his mitts on a PlayStation Vita he’s not only been using it to give Drake another run through the jungle, he’s also been playing Virtua Tennis 4. “The graphical effects are stunning, at times it’s hard to differentiate it from the PS3 version”, he tells me, needlessly building more excitement as we inch towards the European and U.S. release dates.
Saints Row: The Third is still getting a good thrashing
with a semi-flaccid phallic bat on the team’s consoles. In alphabetical order, Aran, Blair, Toby and Tuffcub have all been going hard at it. Blair has now completed it and confidently declares it “excellent, action-packed and fun throughout”, while Aran is just mopping up the few remaining pieces of virtual silverware as he quests for the elusive Platinum.
Toby’s still “thoroughly engrossed” in the game, saying that while “it might not be the tightest of titles where shooting is concerned” he can’t resist its siren call for long and keeps finding himself returning to it. Tuffcub on the other hand says he’s not really been playing the game as such, rather he’s “been trying on new outfits as I have designed my character to look like me so the game functions like a virtual wardrobe”. Quite.
In terms of the other games they’ve been playing, Aran is playing through Warlock of Firetop Mountain for review while Blair returned to spend a bit more time with Rayman Origins which had been neglected since he reviewed it: “It’s absolutely amazing and I can’t recommend it enough; though the bonus missions I’m attempting are quite hard”.
Tuffcub’s “been doing a bit of Zumba and, obviously, Killzone 3”. He also delivers a word of caution, though I should caution those of you with a delicate constitution or unsullied mind (can that be said of any TSA reader?) that you should pretend the post ends here and head straight for the comments section.
[drop2]You were warned. As for myself, I’ve been playing lots more of Star Wars: The Old Republic and thoroughly enjoying it. Jenn’s been happily reunited with her ship now and is merrily flying about the galaxy sticking her missiles into the nearest Imperial exhaust ports. For a brief spell about a week ago while the SWTOR servers were down I returned to PC tower defense favourite Defense Grid: The Awakening for comfort. Killing aliens with cannon shells and beams of coherent light just never gets old.
I do have a word of warning regarding A Space Shooter For $2 which I have – and there is no delicate way of putting this – been playing whilst in the toilets at work on my PSP. The levels last a few minutes so are the perfect length.
However I don’t recommend following my example as yesterday one of my earphones fell out and I suddenly realised that everyone else would be hearing two minutes of fast, rhythmic pounding (as hammered the X button) concluded with a grunt of satisfaction.
I’ve also been taking my PSP out and about with me on my travels where Gran Turismo PSP and the Telegraph Crosswords minis title have been proving great time fillers. The only action my PS3 has seen this week has been a couple of hours of online Gran Turismo 5 where the currently broken track voting in shuffle races proved somewhat irritating but is otherwise still great fun with a track full of friends who’re only slightly more likely to run you off the road than the AI.
What have you played during the first full What We Played week of the first month of what may be the Earth’s last year?