The Grind Episode 1: Dyad
March 05, 2016

Welcome to THE GRIND, Episode 1: DYAD. THE GRIND is what I am hoping will be a series of blog posts about games that I play over a long period of time for about an hour every weekend in addition to my normal gaming. These are typically going to be games that I've beaten in the past or already played a lot but didn't totally finish the post game content. When I play a game, I usually at least beat it and then I often will get quite deep into the post game too, and sometimes I even 100% it. But quite often there is a limit to how far into the post game I will go. Some combination of boredom, frustration, or desire to move on will cause me to pack the game up and start something new. Recently, I felt a desire to go back and revisit a few games that I left less than 100% finished, but I knew I would just get bored or frustrated if I played them almost daily, so I decided to play just for a short time every weekend.

The first game I did this with is Dyad. I reviewed Dyad back before I joined Honest Gamers on my old blog here. I'm not going to explain much about the game, so if you are unfamiliar with it, reading the review might help. I beat the game and I actually went through quite a few of the trophy levels as well, but I left several unfinished. So for the last few months (close to 3, I would say), I've been grinding away every weekend (I'm the Grinder, Grinding is what I do #Lowe). I had to finish some normal levels with 3 stars to open up the trophy levels and then complete the trophy levels in pursuit of the coveted the platinum trophy.

The only trophies in Dyad are earned by beating trophy levels, which are alternate versions of the game's normal stages. They typically have totally different goals and situations than their game mode counterparts. Contrary to what you might hear, button mashing is required to beat a lot of these levels. Attaining really high speeds often involves a technique where you button mash while rocking back and forth to hit lots of enemies and maintain speed. Of course, you have to do this just right or while invincible or you will crash a lot, which drastically lowers your speed. I was usually able to learn my way around each level in an hour or so, but a few of the levels spilled over into two different weekend sessions.

Once again, I really enjoyed the level names in Dyad. They are some of the best level names in gaming. Winds of the Dawn, That is My Crown (or something like that), KKKKKKKKKKKKKK, The Jupiter Mission, Not Playing is Becoming Increasingly Oppressive, Becoming Purple, I Really Missed Jack, the list goes on and on. These titles rival, and probably exceed, the excellent chapter titles in Atlas Shrugged.

There was some frustration involved in earning this platinum, but in general I felt pretty good about it. Luck is definitely a factor in beating quite a few of the harder trophy levels and even earning 3 stars on the normal levels, but it is a case of making sure you are in the right place at the right time to capitalize on that luck when it does show up.

Earlier today when I finally popped that platinum, I celebrated as I knew I would all along; by playing through the game's gorgeous, trippy finale, Eye of the Duck. I wondered if it would hold up, and it sure did. It was just as wonderful as the first time I saw it. I totally forgot I was playing on last generation hardware; this level is gorgeous.

Grinding through the last few trophies in Dyad was a lot of fun. I really looked forward to each weekend's brief session and enjoyed them a lot, although I definitely realize that I would not have enjoyed playing the game every day. So a perfect fit for playing this way, I guess.

For my next grind, I'm going to try to play some more Rainbow Moon. I'm actually pretty deep into the post-game, and I would love to kill the two optional bosses. Getting there might take many months, so you might not here about it for awhile, and I reserve the right to quit at any time if it's not fun, but hopefully I'll have episode 2 in this collector's series up in a few months. See you then!

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