Lady M’s Catnip

Lady M is, in her own words, a completionist when it comes to Open World games. She’s recently started playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and has discovered just how many natural resources there are to grab for crafting.

Her general approach to the AC games is one of doing her best in investigate and complete every possible location, gathering and completing quests to complete regions as she goes.

With this game there is now the additional distraction of resources in caves and growing on hillsides. Whenever a search is done, they appear with a small clinking noise, along with any treasures – and so I am now doing my best to not twitch at the sound of constant searches and pings while she is in the middle of clearing a location.

After hearing her mutter that she could hear the ‘ting’ and where was it? I couldn’t resist likening the noise to being her personal catnip… and so an ongoing tease has begun…

Just One More Go

wpid-wp-1441220252426.jpegI don’t know. Have any of you ever had that experience of trying to play a game and just running out of time because the real world has other ideas? I’ve got one of those situations at the moment in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.

Most of the time when I play open world games like this, I’m able to just dip in and out – and I often get so distracted by the sheer wealth of options that I never end up actually finishing anything. With this game I’ve been actively pushing through the story instead. Admittedly, this is because I’ve completed pretty much every side quest and found every collectible item so there’s admittedly not much else to do on the map. More pressingly it’s also because I have Fallout 4 and FarCry Primal sitting next to my console, glinting prettily and waving to my jackdaw instincts.

acsyndThis week’s irritation has been trying to complete the finale of a series of missions that bring you to Buckingham Palace during a grand ball – having run through a series of challenges to obtain disguises, a carriage, invitations and the location of building plans. Normally I’ve been able to rampage through missions within ten to twenty minutes or so, depending on the complexity of the victory conditions and how interested in all the pretty graphics I’m feeling. The missions typically require you to play one or the other of the twin protagonists, but this one that vexes me is telling the story of a joint mission where each sibling is doing alternating parts of the sequence.

So, it’s already more complicated in structure – but it’s also proving to take longer than expected – and life keeps intruding. If it’s not meal cooking times, it’s people phoning halfway through. If it’s not guests arriving, it’s the need to head out to work. I know, I know – first world problems. Compared to the crises and problems we’ve been dealing with this year though, it’s moderately luxurious to be only worrying about completing a section of a game.

Oh well. I’ll have another crack at it tomorrow. At least I know how to crack the early parts of the mission with maximum style and minimum surprise now…

Song and Dance Routine

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If I ever had any doubt about my abilities as a mimic, or at least of being able to carry a tune, they were laid to rest today during Rhymetime – the regular sing along we hold in the Children’s Library on Fridays.

Each of us working there has assembled a folder of nursery rhymes and traditional songs to sing at and with pre-nursery age children and their parents. We’ll often mix and match elements from each other’s files as we go, and that’s mostly to keep things fresh. Today I found a new song in one of the folders, which was the “Grumpy Pirate” song.

This is a cleaned up and child-friendly version of “Drunken Pirate”, and as none of the assembled parents were familiar with it, I told them they would know the tune and chorus and could join in where they could. Then I launched into it:

What Shall We Do With the Grumpy Pirate?

What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? What shall we do with the grumpy pirate? Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Do a little jig and make him smile, Do a little jig and make him smile, Do a little jig and make him smile, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Make him walk the plank till he starts to wobble, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Early in the morning.

Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Hooray and up she rises, Early in the morning.

Now, quite without any conscious thought, my mind drifted to the last time I’d heard this tune, and my voice started to waver and morph into a broad West Country accent, similar to the singer of the Drunken Pirate shanty in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.

Well, that seemed to liven things up. The chorus could heard through the whole library and big grins appeared on everyone’s faces. I’m choosing to believe that was from enjoyment rather than ridicule. There was a flash of recognition from at least one dad there, though there’s no way to tell if that was from being a gamer or hearing the original version when growing up. Either way, we had fun, and that’s what counts.

For reference, here’s the Black Flag rendition