Age of Empires: Band of Thieves

Don’t blame me for the lack of updates, blame Scott Lynch! Well, okay, that’s bull; the blame is truly mine, it was just facilitated by the absolutely enthralling Red Seas Under Red Skies. I must say, however, that while the two books so far released in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence have been fantastic, they would make spectacularly bad video games, as a large part of the entertainment to be had from the books lies in the dialogue and the confidence games the characters run. Being witty, as a gameplay mechanic, would be nigh-unto impossible to pull off, spoiling the fun of the books. Actiony bits, of course, would be preferable to create a good game, but they’re not at all what the books are about. They are, however, what another fictitious thief is about.

In a perfect world, this would be the part where I mention that I finished Sly 2: Band of Thieves, but alas, we live not in a perfect world. Distractions abound, but nevertheless I soldier on. I have crossed the halfway point in the game, however, according to the percentage displayed by the autosave after each mission. Without the game at hand I can’t recall exactly, but I believe I’m somewhere in the upper fifties, having spent a few hours on it this past weekend. Not going after all the clues in each level has had a wonderful effect on my ability to get through the game, even while it gives me fits to leave the level knowing that there are still clues out there. As I originally explained, though, the goal of the One Hundred Percent Completion project is to just finish the games and get my stash itself to 100%, not to get each game therein to 100%.

On the portable front, I’m chipping away at my DS list with Age of Empires: Age of Kings, the fantastic turn-based strategy iteration of the venerable series. I had originally set the game down at the end of the second campaign (the Japanese campaign) after getting stuck on its last mission. Up to that point, I had completed only 10 of the game’s 28 missions, which includes the 6 missions in the tutorial campaign. I picked it back up again a couple weeks back and was able to breeze right through the mission that had me stumped before. Go figure. As of right now, I have finished the French campaign (which is the tutorial – 6 missions), the Japanese campaign (5 missions), the Mongol Campaign (5 missions), and the first three missions in the Saracen campaign, having been stymied on the fourth mission wherein the infidel Raynald of Châtillon continually escapes my righteous vengeance at the Horns of Hattin. At 19 of 28, I’m well on my way to finishing up another one.

I’m going to try to knock one or the other out before next week, as I need to beef up my percentage to weather the storm of Bioshock and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption hitting the shelves, nevermind Halo 3 coming out next month.

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