When Microsoft announced the Gamerscore Champion contest for the Xbox Hall of Fame, I took one sweeping glance and instantly dismissed the whole thing thinking I would never get close to earning the amount of Gamerscore needed to top the UK leaderboard. I still think that now, but I hadn't really played many "quick completions", and the thought of journeying into the world of Ratalaika and easy Gamerscore sounded appealing. After one evening of subjecting myself to the lowest of ratios and quickest of completion times, I found myself unreasonably angry at a one-eyed alien and tearing up over a pelican.
After finishing work at 7.30 PM, I checked out the UK leaderboard for most Gamerscore. The leader was only sitting with around 10,000 Gamerscore at the time. Easy! I thought to myself. I had never played a Ratalaika game before, but I knew exactly where to start: Jack N' Jill DX. As soon as I fired up the game, I was treated to a hideous soundtrack that pierced my eardrums. I muted it immediately. I had finally been inducted into the world of Ratalaika. Knowing that I potentially had hours upon hours of pain like this ahead of me, I pondered quitting there and then. I somehow found the strength within me to tap one button over and over again and complete Jack N' Jill DX in about 20 minutes. It wasn't too bad, actually. Would I ever play it again, though? Absolutely not.
My descent into the world of Ratalaika continued with Super Destronaut DX. With an achievement that requires you to kill just one single enemy to unlock it, how could I not jump into that next? Again, another super easy completion that took no more than 20 minutes. 2000 Gamerscore in 40 minutes — I was on a roll! More Ratalaika, was of course, up next. Mochi Mochi Boy, is a strange puzzle game that consists of filling the screen with a snake-like character (which I think is made of mochi?) to complete a stage. It was all very simple, and another 1,000G added to my total.
At this point, I'd kind of had enough of Ratalaika and went with something else. I hadn't been having much fun in the grand scheme of things, but Storm Boy changed that. Now, I like birds. I like looking at birds, and the fat ones that waddle when they walk, they make me laugh. There are no fat birds in Storm Boy, but there are definitely birds, including a pelican called Mr Percival. Storm Boy is a narrative adventure made up of several mini-games. The controls are shockingly bad, but the story is surprisingly emotional. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had a tear in my eye at the end.
One Eyed Kutkh was next on my hit list. I hate you One Eyed Kukth. For a game that takes less than an hour to complete, it felt like an eternity. The character moves painfully slow, and I was in a rush to top the UK Gamerscore leaderboard. Didn't One Eyed Kukth know this? The Curious achievement was bugged for me, so I had to go back and walk to the ends of each branch of that stupid tree with all of those stupid moon people, twice. If you've played it, and have come across the bug, you'll know how painful it is to do.
It was coming up to 11 PM, and I was getting a little tired. I blitzed through The Station, not caring about the story, (yes yes, explore abandoned space ship, listen to the voice logs, read the notes, blah blah) and jumped straight into North. North is insane. Without context, it's a bizarre game that's filled with faceless aliens, giant doctors, and something you need to feed in a hot tub? I instantly dismissed it as a weird art game, but looking back and actually reading about it, North is a game that takes players on a journey through the eyes of a refugee. I played it just for the Gamerscore without paying attention to the story, but from what I've read, North might have some depth to it.
Haunted Halloween '86 took a grand total of 13 minutes to complete, and then I jumped into The Journey Down: Chapter One. Again, not caring for the story, I was skipping dialogue and cutscenes like nobody's business, and it made me feel dirty all over. I managed six of the game's fourteen achievements before calling it a day. I couldn't get Mama Makena to give me her spice container. She just kept telling me I was too poor or something to try her stew whenever I asked. Get stuffed Mama Makena; you can get in the bin along with that cyclops Kukth. After failing to get the spice container, and realising I must have missed something out while following the walkthrough, I quit The Journey Down: Chapter One knowing the game's speed run achievement would be out of my grasp. A fail right there.
It was almost 1 AM, and I had to be up for work in seven hours. I knew I had totted up at least 8,000 Gamerscore at this point and decided to check my standing on the leaderboard. To my horror, Bond OO7, had somehow racked up a huge 23,980 Gamerscore and was sitting in first place. I had only managed to break into the top ten! Deflated, I shut down my computer and went to bed. Still, 8,000 Gamerscore in around five hours isn't too bad, right?
I knew I didn't really stand a chance of topping the leaderboard. I'm mainly doing this as a bit of fun in the evenings considering the pubs shut at 10 PM, and my gym is still currently closed. Quick completions and easy Gamerscore titles have got a reputation as being bad games, and while there is a lot of rubbish out there (One Eyed Kutkh, I mean specifically you), there are a couple "quick completions" that are diamonds. Keep flying high, Mr Percival.