I’ve been really quite bad at hitting my gaming goals of late. I suspect — given how much of March has already passed us by — that I’m going to let my other goal of finishing A Plague Tale: Innocence slip by for a second month in a row, too.

But!

I’m doing this one at least. It came up as part of Kim’s earlier #loveyourbacklog event in February. I posted about that here and raised the idea of actually participating in #maybeinmarch with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.

Although a diversion first.

Today was a truly crazy day. It was already a bit surreal with New Zealand closing borders to all foreign nationals some days ago. But today we announced that in 48 hours, a nationwide lock down will take effect.

Schools, restaurants and indeed all ‘non-essential’ businesses that deal with person to person trade must close. There will be an enforced (police, supported by military) period of self-isolation. Whoever would have thought that New Zealand would be a country you could factually say those things about? Not me, that’s for sure.

I imagine this will be one of this generation’s examples of an event you never forget where you were when you heard about it. Up there with Armstrong and Aldrin walking on the moon. The Challenger explosion. The World Trade Centre on 9/11. Last year’s Christchurch Mosque massacre. And now? New Zealand goes into lock down enforced by Police and Military.

*shakes head*

Absolutely surreal and unforgettable.

Although something I probably will forget…?

My Time with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Visually, despite coming out in 2014 — it stands up pretty dang well.

I fell asleep no less than three times during the opening hour (or so) of the game. The opening of the game is a giant extended tutorial. I don’t remember specifically when these fell out of favour. It isn’t really something I’d really thought about until now when I was confronted with one again.

As I noted, visually? The game stands up pretty well. I mean — you’d never mistake it for a more modern release. But it also doesn’t make you reach for the nearest barf bag by any stretch.

I’ll be honest though; I was tired coming to the game. So even putting the long tutorial aside it’s possible I wasn’t in the best state of mind to approach it. Add a general sense of tiredness and a malaise from the news of the day and I will also freely admit that extended climbing-platforming sections with no checkpoints and quick time events out the wazoo was simply not something I was in any sort of space to appreciate.

QTE’s typically haven’t bothered me too much in the past. One of my favourite games was Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy (name depending on your region) and that game was built almost exclusively around QTEs. I’m partly convinced you could more efficiently play most of the set pieces of that game with a Guitar Hero setup than a proper controller.

But whether it be simply tiredness or no longer appreciating these older game design sensibilities I didn’t click with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 very well.

Go sit down again. I don’t think I’ll be back.

I made it through the story told in the past, including the game’s first boss battle (a multi-stage affair partly conducted on the arms, back, etc of the Titan in the image above) and up the modern day happenings of running into Zobek again (Patrick Stewart’s character).

Right now?

I don’t expect to ever head back to C:LoS2. I think now that I’ve at least tried it, I can shut the door on this section of my backlog and hopefully not have it pop into my mind quite so frequently.

Hopefully. I’m already forgetting parts of what I played through just earlier this evening. ;)