On Meteos

In a visitor centre just outside of the Confederation Bridge, I purchased one of those cheapie disposable cameras to act as a backup to my digital — when the battery inevitably died or the card ran out of space and I wasn’t anywhere near my laptop. The camera was primarily used in Halifax, and mostly at the Halifax Citadel. A bunch of the photos didn’t turn out so hot (mostly the ones I took indoors, in the Canadian Military Museum there. So much for my shots of a 19th century Gattling Gun and WW1-era machine guns.) The ones that did develop fine (this was probably the first batch of film I have developed since… ever), I attached to my fridge door.

The effect isn’t as it was expected to be.

Now, everytime I go to get a drink or something to eat, I am constantly reminded of where I was and, more discontently, where I am. Then I want to get a drink drink.

It has also been taking me some time to acclimatize myself to being infront of a computer again. For the majority of last week (and the early weekend), you could find me on a futon/couch listening to music, watching DVDs or the Discovery/National Geographic/History channels and/or playing Meteos. A lot.

Meteos is good. Really good. My favourite domestically released game on the DS (seriously Nintendo, where the fuck is Jam With the Band/Band Brothers), and high on the list of all DS games released in the universe (it’s neck and neck with Band Brothers).

Quite obviously, Meteos is often compared to its closest cousin Lumines. Apart from the shared developer, they are both seen as some sort of shining beacons for their respective portable systems, upholding the classic gaming legacy and, more specifically, the classic portable dropping block puzzle legacy that began with GameBoy Tetris. Lumines is a fine game — one of the best for its system — but I think I prefer Meteos.

Lumines has some quick play modes, but the main game is a long, arduous groove-fest. To play the primary game to its completion (and that means maxing out the score), you have devote a good chunk of time to playing it non-stop. Breaks, while possible with the PSP’s sleep mode, interfere with the zen state you have to achieve to do well. You have to be one with the music to win in Lumines. You have to be, in essence, not very portable.

Meteos is the opposite to that. It works as a portable game, or even as a sudden craving while on the couch watching something boring on TV game. You can just pull it out, play with it for a while, satisfy the urge, and put it away. …

And because you’re always collecting in-game Meteos no matter what game mode you play, you never feel as though the unlockables are impossibly distant. You can get them on your own terms, playing through whatever mode you like (except for a couple unlocks). Which is quite unlike Lumines, which requires you to achieve one time feats in all the modes to unlock specific skins and characters. Some of those feats are quite hard to do.

With Meteos, it doesn’t matter if you suck* — you can still get at everything. The little rewards are what make Meteos the better game.

* not that I suck

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