The Lockdown Diaries - Week 8
It's been a slow week... I've had, and been playing, Saints Row 3 Remastered slowly and realising that while the game is still as much fun as I remember, some of the mini games are a damn sight harder than I remember.
There are reasons why I've been playing a little slower, firstly health wise I've been on a little downward slope the last few days so my enthusiasm for playing hasn't been as high as it has been in the past few weeks... and on Sunday we had visitors around... social distancing of course.
That was a rare glimpse of normality... just sitting in the garden with a couple of beers, a shot or two of proper Mexican Tequilla and good honest chat with friends I haven't really seen since lockdown began... and I dearly miss their company... it was a great afternoon/evening.
Monday was another slow day, and for a change I actually had some real work to do, something that I brought home with me a couple of months ago when I was first "asked" to work at home for an old colleague and, as the figures were now needed for a meeting it was probably time I actually did them.
Tomorrow is to be a rare treat, despite lockdown and advice to stay home for 12 weeks, I have to go to the Hospital for a blood test... whilst the consultant appointment can be done over the phone, there does need to be a blood test first to see how I'm actually doing... blood tests cannot lie.
The last two times I've been the level of anti-bodies in my blood has increased, not to the point where I'll start suffering a relapse, but enough to let us know that the condition hasn't gone away... which is a slight worry, the initial treatment was fairly horrific and I'd rather not repeat any of that.
All this means an early start to be there for the 8am opening and to collect a prescription that my local GP can't or won't prescribe me and one which I have previously picked up when I visit the consultant, knowing the appointment will be on the phone I called ahead to ask about the medication... after explaining the situation the prescription is awaiting collection... one worry off my mind at least.
May 26th: A much more productive day... on all fronts.
My blood test and med collection went fine aside from a 45 minute wait as the Pharmacy opens at 9am and I was done with the blood test just after 8am so it was back to the car and a coffee whilst we waited for the time to tick by.
Onto the game and it's steady progress... I'm still unsure of whether I'll be able to haul in as many Achievements as I did on the 360 version years ago... now that may be because I've not selected some appropriate upgrades that will help me on those... but for now I'll continue to work through the story and some of the mini games I know I can complete... steadily taking over the territory as I go upgrading what I need to when I have the appropriate funds.
After four hours I call it a day, live football back on the TV, even if it is the German league, is a good enough distraction to make me put the controller down.
What I will say is the game has aged from when I first played it, and I can see why the review scores have dropped off when compared to the 360 release... but for most of the time it's fun to play and you can't ask for more than that in a video game.
May 27th: The blood tests results come back and while they are mostly good there is still a little reason for concern.
Basically when my immune system was off kilter it was producing too many white blood cells than was needed, my platelet count went up as a result, and I suffered massive joint pain as a result of these additional cells staying where they'd been sent... on a blood test the level of inflammation is noted by the CRP score, usually 5 on a blood test as any lower requires a different test... mine was 12 last time (and it was 12 again) indicating something is not quite right.
It's not enough to cause me any severe pain, and it's a long way short of the 193 when I was admitted to hospital, but I had hoped it would have dropped to 5 again... my Platelet count is also in the 450 range when the ideal max level is around 400... plenty to discuss on the phone on Friday.
Saints Row ticks along... and the first couple of gripes have landed... why does it take me several attempts to get into a car at times? The game animates my character opening the door and then just stops, not under attack or anything, not moving the thumb stick on my pad... they just stop.
Secondly the loading is all over the place... get to a point in a mission where you hit a check point and the game loads, often once the scene is done the game then loads something else before you can control your character again... this may have been fine on the 360 version but it's bloody annoying on the X version.
Final word on the game for the day... I've realised unless something major happens this is going to be the game that pushes my Gamerscore over the 250,000 as I'm only 320 short of that mark now... I had set that target to be reached by the end of the year, but the lockdown has opened up so much more game time that I've added another 10,000 for a more challenging goal.
Looks like this weeks "wall of text" is going to be considerably shorter... but I'd put my own health above playing games any day.
May 28th: I finish the main plot of the game... and I've only reached 500 Gamerscore of the 1,290 on offer... I've got the DLC to play, and some tidy up... but my skills aren't what they used to be... and I also feel the game has ended a little differently to how it did the first time around.
I intend to replay the final mission again and go with the other decision on who lives and who dies, and see if that makes any difference.
On some of the mini games I'm genuinely struggling to even complete the medium level tasks let alone the harder one, and that locks so many of the Achievements for completing all of each mini game, taking full control of each area of the map and such like... it may yet fail to help me hit 250,000
Which is another matter... I got a phone call today and it seems my furlough is up, I'm back to working from home on Monday... but I can't tell other members of staff from my department as they're still going to be sat at home doing nothing having been furloughed for another month.
What this does mean is that I'm going to have to get up at 8am again, to make sure I'm medicated in time to start at 9am and then try and work through to 5.15pm without going insane.
The gaming is going to have to take a back seat for a while, which is possibly for the best... and it looks like the next one of these will be the final lockdown piece until the work runs out and we find ourselves at a loose end again.