Old Grandma Hardcore

This blog is the chronicle of my experiences with Grandma, the video-game playing queen of her age-bracket and weight class. She will beat any PS2, XBox, GameCube, etc., console game put in front of her, just like she always has. These are her stories. She is absolutely real. She lives in Cleveland.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Grandma and BioShock part 1: A Series of Vague Spoilers

Grandma finished her first run-through of BioShock last weekend. There's still a lot she wants to accomplish, so we're not quite calling this game 'destroyed' yet. From what she's told me there are something like three different endings one can get; not to mention she only has about half of the possible achievements. For a single player game, this just isn't acceptable to her. She needs to get everything she can before setting it aside to the cabinet; to pull out later as some fantastic little piece of nostalgia from way back to that late summer of 2007. You guys know Grandma by now, that's just the way she is.

I've been working a lot lately. That's great for me but it creates a strange interruption of game cognizance that Grandma just can't explain, saying simply "you haven't played it yet; you wouldn't understand." I leave for work one morning and she's chasing around some surgeon who had tried to turn his patients into works of Cubist art. I come back from work late that night and she has motherfucking bees flying out of her arm.

When I came home Friday night, she was beating Andrew Ryan with a golf club and I thought "well fuck, she's already done with the thing and I haven't had time to post!" As it turns out, however, she still had a ways to go. Not so much a ways that she hadn't seen the somewhat jarring first ending by the time I finally dragged myself in from another full weekend at work. First she was harvesting the Little Sisters, next she was saving them... I still don't know what the hell is going on. I haven't had time to play it! Her explanations are completely lost on me.

Hearing Grandma try and explain to me the purpose of ADAM and The Little Sisters and what a Big Daddy really is, well... that's like listening to someone explaining congressional points of order to a six-year-old standing at the front of a tour group that keeps pushing ahead. I just get that stupid look on my face that says "I have to go eat lunch with the other kids by the big Washington Monument thingy."

All I know is- she wants to talk to somebody who's as deep into the thing as she is, namely you folks.

I'm no help :)

So ask whatever you like about BioShock. Talk with Grandma about it. I'd love to discuss the art style, the implications of major ethical questions brought about in the game, the philosophy of Rapture, the ignominy of Jack's decisions, the anachronisms throughout the underwater city of the 60's... But I'd be lying if I said I was as up to speed as the rest of you and Grandma. I'm just not there yet. I am one confounded gamer.

Game on!


  • At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, Granny's almost finished with Bioshock and I haven't even got mine yet! Everything comes waaay later to Sweden... :( But either tomorrow or Friday I will finally get to play it!
    Granny, would you say this is the best game you've played so far this year (does it live up to the hype) or is it just another good game, no more, no less?

    GAME ON!

  • At 4:51 AM, Blogger Gamer Named Tim said…

    I wanted to know if Grandma REALLY likes the game. I, myself am addicted to it and I'm on my third play-through right now. I noticed that she's been playing a lot of her Live Arcade games over BioShock, and I gotta ask: Does Grandma find BioShock anything other than amazing? I think I remember you saying something in a previous post about Grandma not liking First Person Shooters, so I'm not really sure. Does she find it "Game of the Year" material?

    It would be nice to see a video of her slaying a few Big Daddies or something, just to see if she enjoys the hell out of it. Haha.

    Ah, crap! I had another question but I forgot it. Hmm... shit. If I remember, I'll write another comment.

    Game on!

  • At 5:41 AM, Blogger Jamie said…

    Wow grandma has almost finshed bioshock I havnt even had time to get it yet.Whould you say bioshock was a hard or an easy game?

  • At 6:57 AM, Blogger Jess said…

    I want to see what the difference is if you save the little sisters as apposed to harvesting them. Different endings perhaps? I know that you get more ADAM if you harvest them but there has to be some other major difference. You have one person who tells you to harvest them and another telling you to save them and it will be worth your while. I haven't played myself yet either. I've been watching my husband play and I plan on playing myself very soon.

  • At 12:06 PM, Blogger Jim Kenefick said…

    I actually found myself wishing that I could live in rapture. The art design is simply amazing. Of course, it's a horrible place and I'd probably be sliced to pieced by a spider slicer, but still...

    I harvested two Little Sisters and saved all the rest, but I still got the "You take what you want" ending. I plan to play twice more, once saving them all, once harvesting them all. Plus I am missing two secret achievements...I'd love to know what they are.

  • At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    he he he ... great subject :-) I'll try to make blog about my grandma's stories with the catholic church ...

  • At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Grandma what are you getting next?

    Metroid Prime 3?
    or even
    Two Worlds?

  • At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Braujo, this would definitely be the best game I've played this year. The graphics are wonderful of course, but it's really the story of the place that gets you hooked. You'll like it!

    gamer named tim, When I get stuck and too frustrated with a particular Big Daddy, I go play some Catan or some Poker to relax for awhile. Sometimes you just need a break. I do really like the game, if that's what you mean, but I think I'd hate it if I just kept dying and dying and dying and dying and dying with no break in the middle. It takes some time to figure out the best way to take down this goddamn things sometimes.

    jamie- if you play it on Easy mode, it's not too difficult. Normal and hard modes, though (that's what I'm playing now) can be a real bitch. It's the Big Daddy's more than the security systems or the splicers, and if you want the achievements, you have to take them ALL out; twice if you want the alternate endings!

    jessica & blair - the difference is in the endings. Harvesting just one of the Little Sisters can change the outcome of the whole game, so it really depends on how you want to play. I won't ruin it for you, but everything changes.

    jimk, I don't think I'd want to live in Rapture. It takes the ideas of self over community to the point of crazyness, and the end is the result. That's the trick- Ryan's propaganda sounds almost nice- work for what's yours. It would be nice if it were that simple but there are reasons it's rejected by societies now, not because we'd have little evil children harvesting the bodies of the dead and shoot each other with lightning from our hands, but because if you have a place where selfishness is the ultimate virtue, everyone is just a stumbling block to get in your way... kind of. I don't know how to explain it really, it's complicated. Do you read Rand? It's the kind of thing she didn't get I think. I think that's the whole point this game was trying to make.

    anonymous, I'm not really sure! I played the Blue Dragon demo and the Eternal Sonata demo and I just don't know yet. I played Metroid Prime 3 at E3 but that was two years ago. They've probably changed the whole thing since then.

  • At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My last message never showed up, so here it is again (sort of):

    I finally got my Bioshock in the mail today and can't wait to play it! If Granny thinks it's cool, it has to be!

    BTW, what version did you buy? I picked up the Ltd Ed one and it's well worth it in my opinion. Some people are already selling their Big Daddy figurines on Ebay. Crazy people...

    Anyways, see you later, and GAME ON!

  • At 9:37 PM, Blogger Dru said…

    i just started a blog anybody want to read it go to http://theslayers-dulist11.blogspot.com

  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger Gamer Named Tim said…

    Alright, I thought of another question... This one has SPOILERS!

    I wanted to know what you thought about the confrontation with Andrew Ryan... Why do you think he died like he did? What were his motives?

    This game is kinda confusing at parts.

  • At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad to hear you're enjoying the game so much! I'm not sure it sounds like it would be my thing, but games with multiple endings are always fun.

    Just to let you know, I finally beat Fatal Frame 3! Yeah! I'm on my second playthrough now so that I can get the second ending. And complete the ghost list. (I still have to get Fatal Frame shots on Tattooed Priestess and Rope Man... *whimpers* I don't wanna...)

  • At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    :( Grandma likes this game more than God of War 2? *Gutted*

    I'm not really a fan of FPS games, so I probably won't ever bother with this one. I have to say though, on the adverts it looks bloody brilliant. That undersea world is just gorgeous, even though it's obviously gone to the dogs, or whatever other freakish things are living there.

    =O Also, I met a Big Daddy! There's a GIANT Big Daddy statue in my local HMV (that's a music/DVD/video games store here in the UK). XD It's much taller than me, and I'm 5ft 8". If you like Grandma, I'll take a picture of it next time I go into town so I can upload it and show you.

  • At 5:04 PM, Blogger Valke said…

    Tim, I know what you mean with getting a little out of touch with gaming because of work. I'm so backlogged on everything it isn't even funny.

    Grandma - since I haven't posted before just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading about your gaming and hope that you always stay young at heart and keep on telling those cheap bosses what you think of them!

  • At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow, grandma already got all the endings? I only got the good one yet :) Does anything else than the very last "cinematic" change or does anything else as well?

    Little Spoiler
    I can't really imagine Tenenbaum helping you when you harvest her "kleine Mädchen" (I loved the german in the english dub btw, I played it in English and I'm German, that was fun).
    /Little Spoiler

    Well, gotta play it at least two times more =) I finally need a 360, I wanna collect achievements, too :(

  • At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi grandma,

    Spoilers ahead :-)

    I'm not through yet with Bioshock, but I think it's an awesome game, probably best of the year (well, there's still Super Mario Galaxy on the way :-) ). I'm at the point where you are just getting rid of F.F.'s influence over you. Boy, you should have seen my face when Atlas said that he was really F. ... and when I had to watch myself killing Ryan... and Mother Goose's orphanage... isn't it strange how that game makes you think about what you're doing there? I couldn't havest a little sister after that. I just couldn't. Great game.

    I guess I have the same question I read before: why did Ryan tell me to kill him? Is this another bluff by someone??

    Also, if you're havíng trouble killing a big daddy: they keep the damage you inflicted on them. if you just revive at a vita chamber, you'll be as good as new, but the big daddy will be as damaged as you left him. it may be a bit cheap, but it works :-)

    game on, grandma!


  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are definitely two endings (one for saving all, another for harvesting at least for two); I'm still not sure there are three, although I'd love to be proven wrong.

    Taking down Big Daddies gets easier later on, with a combination of the following:
    1) thrown gas canisters (which do big damage);
    2) emptying a can of electric gel;
    3) electric buck at point-blank range.
    Although I'm sure there are many other possibilities. Making it trigger an alert via security camera does wonders!

    There are various interpretations about Ryan's actions (obviously SPOILERS AHEAD). There are some meaty discussions going on in the Quarter to Three forums.

    Was he attempting to break your conditioning? Could he really 'not raise a hand against you', as he said earlier? As a guy who valued the freedom of the individual above all, was your condition as a slave too much to take?
    Or (potential sequal possibility) is there a Vitachamber somewhere with Ryan's name on it?

  • At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Grandma! I finished the game twice so far (Once in normal where I saved the sisters from the get-go, and then in hard where I harvested them all) And I'd like to ask you (If you've got the good ending by now) what you thought of it in terms of game endings. I mean, I thought the good ending was expertly written..it touched me. Even most RPGs don't have endings that touched me as deeply. I truly felt for the sisters, and it made me cry when I saw it. It was so hard to replay it and harvest them, knowing the torture they went through in that daycare place you find near the end of the game.

    And what the guy above me said about using Electric buckshot to take down big daddies is true. 6-8 blasts on normal kill them. And each blast stuns them for about 4 seconds too, which gives you time to reload.

    Also, I have Metroid Prime 3 and it is AMAZING. I hated the first 2 because of the controls, but the 3rd controls so fluidly that I wish Halo 3 was on the wii. I know, blasphemy!!

  • At 12:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, and also, not to get all pseudo-political on you, but what you said about "Self over community" not being all it's cracked up to be is right Grandma.

    I really grew to hate Ryan, right from the start, because I don't understand how someone can be so selfish that they won't sacrifice some of the fruits of their labor with people who aren't able to contribute themselves. what about the physically disabled? Or the mentally handicapped? Wounded, crippled war vets? The terminally ill who can no longer even get up from bed out of pain? Should we just make ourselves richer and let them all suffer and wither away?

    Ryan had what was coming to him, honestly. Sorry if I offended anyone, but that's my take on life. Ryan was too selfish. When people needed his help, he hid with the other "upper class" in fort frolic, or so the recordings claimed. That proved how selfish and uncaring he was.

  • At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just ran across Old Grandma Hardcore on youtube, and all I gotta say is You rock! I wish you were my grandma! Game on! :)

  • At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Saw that grandma was playing Blue Dragon. How's she liking that? I love it, just reached Disc 2 a few hours ago. BioShock was so immersive and fun, I need to go back through on Hard and to rescue all the Little Sisters, I did find all the Audio Diaries, which took a while, since they are so numerous, but it may be the 360 game of the year. Two Worlds is also something she should check out. Just finished it, too, yesterday, in fact. Like Oblivion, but not quite as good. Metroid Prime 3 rocks, love the controls there, and am having a blast. Gonna try Stranglehold soon, and Eternal Sonata, so keep it up grandma, and hope to see another video before long.

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really wish I bought Bioshock instead of Two-Worlds. I loved Oblivion, and absolutely HATE FPS's. I had Two Worlds on Ebay after playing it for only 3 hours :(

    But Two Worlds was just that bad. :(

    Although, I would love to see a OGHC video blog of her cursing out the nit-wits that programmed that game. In fact, I should have sent the copy!

    Now to save up enough money to get Bioshock :0

  • At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It would be gw2 goldwonderful to view videos of the girl killing a few Big Daddies or something, simply to see if the girl likes your heckDiablo 3 items out of it


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