Ahh beautiful, the first barbecue of the year. Last Friday was my friend’s birthday and in celebration (of him being the oldest one of the lot of us and being due for a month of ribbing before the next birthday) he hosted a barbie on Good Friday. In true barbecue tradition we got through enough stubby beers to sink a battleship and headed down to a local bar on the beach for a few more later in the evening. I’ve got to say it was so satisfying to tuck into that first grilled meat of the year that I’m desperate to have the house finished and get into my Saturday rituals again. Quality sausages with leafy salad in a tortilla wrap, liberally smothered with whatever sauce is currently in favour – Jack Daniels Smoky at the moment – bliss.
Despite the amount of beer consumed, three of us headed into town the next morning for an old-style ‘games perv’. A couple of hours later, a few games shops down and a fresh pasty eaten, and we headed back to waste the afternoon locked away with our bounty. Well, actually we went via a garden centre to look at lizards and frogs and things, but that’s by-the-by. Between us we had a reasonable haul and had spent very little money, which has got to be good. We started off with Mad World (Wii) which was a real novelty for me, because I knew it was a ‘big’ game, but I knew nothing about it. It’s not very often I can say that. It’s great though, stylised over-the-top violence and a great sense of humour. Being rewarded for finding more and more ingenious ways of combining the items littering the levels to dispatch the enemies is a nice touch. I don’t think we’ve laughed as much playing a game for a long time, and the boss fights are pretty impressive. The music’s great, the voice acting for once is not actually too terrible, and the funky black-and-white visuals are really refreshing. At the time of writing you can pick it up in Game for about £20 which is a bargain.
Our gracious host wasn’t the only one playing new games, my other friend had grabbed himself a bargain copy of Fallout 3, and I treated myself to a second-hand copy of Pure. I downloaded the demo months ago and really enjoyed its mix of decent ATV physics, racing and over-the-top stunts, so I’d been looking forward to finding a cheap copy of the full game. I’m not disappointed at all in my purchase, it just builds on the demo and adds more and more to warrant a buy. The bike creation is very in depth and lots of fun. The first time I looked at it I didn’t even bother building one manually, there are so many components you need to sort through and add, it was just overwhelming. But when you take your time and choose it all by hand, picking the colours and decals for literally every part, it’s very satisfying to ride it and see it ‘in the flesh’. The announcer is a little annoying, and due to my constant playing every spare minute I’ve had I’ve pretty much finished the championships already, so I’m not sure about the longevity, but it is great fun and a great quick-fix, which is exactly what I look for in a game now.