What I've Been Playing This Week (aka Pile of Shame Sunday)

Screenshot from King's Quest III

The following post is part of a series of posts that are published every Sunday to update readers on what Mark G has been up to with respect to finishing off games on his "Pile of Shame". The games to target are picked by Choicest Games contributors Choona, Luke and myself. As I'll be talking about my progress through these games, there may be spoilers ahead, especially for games containing a narrative. Consider yourself warned.

Chiptune Champion

  • Picked by Me
  • Percentage Complete = 50%
Steam is currently running an Aussie Sale (probably to commemorate Australia Day) which means a whole bunch of Australian developed games are available at a discount (I urge you to go check it out if you want to do your patriotic duty by supporting the Australian games industry :P). Anyway, I grabbed two games during the sale: Submerged and Chiptune Champion.

Chiptune Champion is a game similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band except its targeted for the PC and chiptunes. The chiptunes are decent enough and it's as fun as you'd expect a rhythm game to be, but what's especially cool is that it's integrated with Steam Workshop and you can create your own tracks to import into the game (provided you've got access to the source audio file as background music: Steam Workshop only has the in-game notes for you to play).

I've currently made a start on something I consider easy (or at least short) which is the intro theme to the 1991 Sega Megadrive game Streets of Rage - but even something so simple can be challenging to develop as you have take into account the pitch of the notes, the beats per minute (BPM) of the track and determining how many notes should go in the track for each difficulty level (Rookie, Medium and Expert).

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  • Picked by Luke
  • Percentage Complete = 58%
I got to play two missions that are both related to eliminating a blockade of Nassau by the British. One didn't require stealth which was such a relief and the other required a lot of it (which I really disliked and took me 45 minutes and multiple retries to do!) It really spoils the experience for me. I think I'll spend more time sailing the Caribbean next time I play but it seems I'm unable to at the moment (probably something to do with the blockade).

King's Quest III

  • Picked by Choona
  • Percentage Complete = 17%
I managed to actually wander around outside of the house for a while. Besides bandits trying to steal my possessions, ridiculously narrow passageways with long drops into the abyss (early Sierra games were infamous for these), Medusas trying to kill you in the desert and the threat of dying from exhaustion if you swim for too long, things were looking good without Manannan looking over your shoulder, but alas, it was too good to be true: the grumpy old wizard eventually found me, complained that he was missing his magic wand and then killed me (how is he doing all this magic without his magic wand?)! So, it looks like the game still has a time limit before you'll be paid a visit by everybody's "favourite" wizard.

In order to get rid of the wizard you need to turn him into a cat although one of the ingredients for the spell (fish oil) seems to be sold by a shop located in a fishing village. However, Gwydion has no money so when I checked multiple hints about this (using the Universal Hint System), it mentioned that you can acquire money from a tree house by reaching into a hole under a tree. Now, this tree in question I did come across before and it turned out that when I looked in the hole it said I couldn't see anything – so I just assumed I needed to find some item like a lamp in order to illuminate what was inside. Once again though, I made the wrong assumption and it turns out, what I actually needed to do was stick my hand into that dark hole and feel for a rope ladder! Seriously, WTF? Again the game trolololols me.

After this incident, I've given up on ever hoping to finish the game without a walkthrough – it would simply take too long and even the UHS isn't helping now (it tells me to rob the sleeping bandit but he ain't sleeping when you get to the top of that tree). So, either there's a random chance that he's asleep or there is yet something else I'm meant to do. This is the final straw which is why I'm now going to use a walkthrough to finish King's Quest III: it's way too difficult.

[ The Pile of Shame ]