Pile of shame doesn’t quite cover the stack of games which currently lie untouched atop my entertainment centre (old bookshelf). I think perhaps “precariously balanced, constant concussion risk of shame” might be better suited. If I dig down far enough, through the outer layer of 360 titles and the bedrock of original Xbox games, I think there’s a forgotten Spectrum knocking about somewhere.

Having lashed on a hard hat and made up my will, I plunged headlong into the stack to dig out something for this weeks gaming shenanigans, determined to spend a week at a time doing what I can in each title and then moving on. I came upon Darksiders. No, not the second one – bloody hell, give a guy a chance. I’m talking Darksiders, in which you play as War, an ass-kicking, apocalyptic horseman on a quest for truth, vengeance and some oats for the nag.

It’s fairly standard hack and slash fare, which I’ve no problem with. Hell, any game where I can pick up a zombie looking booger by the face and crush their skull one handed is pretty much hunkydory in my book. There are some innovative and often infuriating puzzle elements, which provide a welcome change of pace from all the blood and murder and blood and did I mention the blood? It’s great fun. It was great fun. But then…

Obviously, score whore that I am, I’ve been running through Darksiders with an eye to pulling as many achievements as possible before moving on to something new and coming back at a later date to finish off. It’s been going well, the High Flier achievement (Kill 5 Duskbats without touching the ground) in particular was far simpler than I’d expected. Hopping from bat to bat whilst clawing their guts out is a piece of disgusting and blood-soaked cake, it seems.

How about Rivers of Blood? A secret achievement which asks you to shed 3000 gallons of demon blood. I’ve shed enough blood in this game to drown Belgium. But story progression? Ah, that’s the sticking point.

You see, I reached this room. It was a very large, very impressive room. Lots of lava and a big revolving bridge. Well, a bridge that would be revolving, if I had any idea what to do. I threw stuff at things and lobbed things at stuff. I slashed, bashed and crashed about. I tried gliding from place to place but that resulted in the most atrocious lava-related injuries. As I stood on the bridge, still smouldering, my face decidedly more melty than it had been when I arrived, I wept tears of utter frustration.

But then, whilst wandering back and forth blindly jabbing at buttons, I picked something up. This something was an Inert Bomb Growth. The game had not told me about Inert Bomb Growths. When I first wandered past them, there was no indication that this piece of scenery was something that I could pick up. No helpful message saying “Press B to pick this up, you noob” or similar. So, having found this Inert Bomb Growth, I needed some way to charge it. A flaming torch on the wall, huzzah!

Of course, having placed my bomb I discovered that I couldn’t reach the torch with my Crossblade, no matter how hard I threw it or how loudly I screamed “OH COME ON YOU WORTHLESS PILE OF DEMON DOINGS!”.

After much running about and winging of things and hilarious, exploding mishaps, I managed to set off the bomb. Only to find the next room needed two bombs and lighting of further torches.

Darksiders? Bloody Lamplighters.

Check out Jamie’s previous Achievement Punting escapades as he puts his sanity to the test each week by clicking here.


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