Psycho-nuts

· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (612 Words)

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, and on the whole it was a very nice day. We both had the day off, chilled quite a bit in the morning, and went out for lunch to a place on one of the many quays / piers in St Peter Port (my home town) called SaltWater - it’s a little pricey but the food is always very good and it has a nice atmos, and hey, an anniversary is as good a reason as any to treat ourselves. The sun even made a decent appearance which was very accommodating of it.

Later on I had a quick initial go of Psychonauts, which Marie had kindly got for me as a pressie (good girl ;)). It really is very amusing, and I was struck very strongly right from the off at how much the style screams ‘Designed by the same guy as Day of the Tentacle’ - it’s a completely different kind of game, but little things like the quirky character and set design (everything being a little off-kilter, twisted, misshapen or out of proportion), the dark humour, even the music definitely tug at your memories if you used to love that former game. I keep expecting to see the dreadfully evil Purple Tentacle jump out from behind a tree with his trademark ‘suck-pop-suck-pop’ gait and monologue about how he’s going to take over the world (cue background lightning strike). The dialogue and voice acting is first class. The only downside is that it’s a 3D platformer - a kind of game I don’t usually go for, but with this level of quality writing (it won the Best Writing category at the GDC awards this year) I couldn’t resist.

One problem though - like COD2 it refuses to run on my DVD drive. It uses SecuROM 7 and like SafeDisc, it has some problem with my DVD drive meaning it refuses to acknowledge I have the disc in the drive. Since I clean installed XP after my latest hardware upgrade I know it’s not complaining about any rogue DVD image emulation software this time since I don’t have any installed. I tried a couple of NoCD hacks but they were too old (the EU version is more recent and the old NoCD hacks based on the initial versions just crash), so I’ve been playing it on my wife’s PC instead. It might be that it doesn’t like that my DVD drive is also a DVD writer - I have a spare DVD-ROM drive I could fit too but I can’t be bothered right now. Another case of stupid publisher decisions putting another nail in the coffin of PC gaming - with the hassle of graphics card drivers, variable performance, copy protection, install times, expense - is it any wonder Joe Public is voting to buy games on console more and more often? Makes me mad.

Later on I developed possibly the worst migraine I can ever remember having. I don’t normally get headaches, but recently I’ve been getting quite a few and this one was a blinder. Cue two hours of sitting in a dark room trying not to move my head. Work has been pretty stressful lately and I’ve been a bit run-down and grumpy - very often this week I’ve wanted to post responses like ‘For Christ sakes, go look it up yourself you lazy arse’ on the OGRE forum but have so far resisted 😉 - I’m going to blame it on that.

Anyway, later on we watched “Wallace and Gromit : Curse of the Were Rabbit” on DVD which was a damn good laugh and was a good end to the day.