An unexpected victory

I’ve read that at Disneyland, the wait times posted at ride lines are deliberately overestimated, so that when you finally get to the front of the line, you feel like you weren’t waiting that long.

For the past month or so, I’ve been playing (mainly on the bus to and from work) Wakeboarding Unleashed™. The manual promised that, along with increasingly difficult levels and challenges, and additional wakeboarding skills and boards, I would be able to unlock videos, as well as a secret character and level. When I found a reference online that revealed that all of these things would be unlocked only by completing the game with a given character, I was pretty bummed. I took “complete the game” to mean completing each level’s objectives, gaps and challenges. If I didn’t do this, after all, I would still have things left to do in the game. And the “attack sheet” gave me a convenient count of how much of my “career” I had completed.

So imagine my surprise when—with only 72.5% of my career goals achieved—I “finished” the game. It turns out all I had to do was finish the last challenge of the last level. It turns out I’m allowed to skip straight to the end, and that counts. Of course, I wasn’t doing things in order anyway—some order is enforced, since you unlock later levels and challenges by beating the earlier ones, and I had unlocked the entire game by this point—but I had expected that “complete the game” surely couldn’t mean anything other than when the career meter got to 100%.

I’m not sure whether to feel enthused or let down. On one hand, I was beginning to despair that I would ever be able to finish everything in the game. The only things left were those that were the most difficult, so I had an expectation that some of the challenges remaining were simply going to be too difficult to ever accomplish as a casual player. On the other hand, I was fully expecting that I would have to do it somehow, and being declared “done” by the game itself after beating an essentially random challenge that happened to be the last one on the list…

I guess there are seven more characters I can play, and seven more videos to unlock. Plus my Shaun Murray career still has 28.5% left to play. But I may be beginning to tire of it. But then, I suppose a months of entertaining gameplay is not bad for a $30 computer game (and I am ignoring the fact that I spotted it in the $10 bargain bin the week after I bought it.)