After his close encounter with Tea and Coffee, Bazaboy will now take on the might of Relentless, “For Those With Serious Energy Needs”.
SATURDAY 22nd MAY
I am taking a night off between each session so that I am rested and ready to go. Tonight I am testing one of my personal favourite energy drinks, Relentless. Given that I drink so much of this stuff already, if anything is going to work, then this has a good chance. But then I thought that maybe this could play against it, with my body being used to it already. Time will tell and it will be fun finding out. Picking up the game from where I left off a couple of nights before, I get right back into the swing of things.
Play tonight begins with a mission which involves me helping a con man sell his potion, which sharpens senses and makes you a better fighter. Oh, the irony of it all. These poor demented ranch hands honestly believe that drinking this stuff will make them as good a gunfighter as me. So as I start off this evening, I am pretty much fully awake and ready to go. The first forty minutes or so of playing are taken up with carrying out the mission mentioned. It has to be said that I am really enjoying this game.
Playing on I meet one of the funniest characters in the game so far, named Seth, whom I quickly nickname “Stinky Seth” because he has not bathed for six months and spends a lot of time with the dead. Stinky and I go on a little horse ride to track down his old partner, who has half of a treasure map that Stinky believes is his property. Seth has some of the best lines in the game, talking out loud to himself then denying all knowledge of it. I have yet to have any of the energy juice so far tonight, but I am still awake and fully alert. It’s bloody warm outside so with the window open and a fan blowing in my face, I proceed onwards into the game.
I pick up my first bounty of the night, but I also decide that, before I go round him up, it’s time for the first of my energy hits. Although I am not really all that tired right now, in an effort to keep the experiment technically sound, I crack open a can. I also decide to add some ice, keeping myself cool at the same time. Before getting back to the bounty hunting I decide to test my alertness by working on the marksmanship challenge. This involves shooting five birds from atop a moving train. The usual plentiful supply of birds seems to drop dramatically for some reason once the train is moving. I get three early on but then find myself searching the skyline for the final two and I am barely quick enough to drop down from the roof of the train as it enters a tunnel. Once it emerges I have no difficulty in nailing the last two birds for the challenge. It seems that I am at least more than awake enough to pull that off. I should be able to handle almost anything the game throws at me tonight. Well, for the next few hours at least.
Now that I am done messing about on trains, I decide to go back to the bounty that I picked up earlier. I enjoy my cool glass of Relentless, still feeling quite awake, but it is still early on into the session compared to the previous nights testing. I continue to track down my target and then take him out. As I ride back from the bounty mark with his henchmen chasing me, instead of riding as hard as I can for the relative safety of the town, I find myself slowing down to let them catch up with me, just so that I can have a little fun taking them out at my leisure. So I am definitely alert enough to be having fun.
Deciding to give myself a bit of a laugh, I go to meet up with Stinky Seth once again, who is fast becoming my favourite NPC character. I learn more about why Seth is so stinky. Not only does my smelly friend refuse to bathe, but he likes to dig up dead bodies and spend time with them, as well as rifling through their pockets. I find this out as we race across the land in a carriage, with me driving and Seth in the back with three dead bodies, piled in a single coffin, searching them and then throwing them over the side. Pretty morbid but also really amusing. Testing both my alertness and skill I then attempt the next marksman challenge, which involves me shooting the hats off two different people without killing them. I manage this quite easily and it soon becomes a fun pastime, rather than a challenge , as I do so over and over again until it all goes horribly wrong and I end up killing an innocent bystander as I try to shoot his hat off. Let’s not do that anymore. Although after knocking off six or seven hats without incident, maybe the Relentless is actually doing the job.
I pick up another bounty. Before setting out to collect it, I decide that it is time to open my second energy boost, despite the fact that I am still pretty much awake at the moment. I am not sure if this is because of the first can or not, but awake I am and, in the interest of the testing, I am trying to keep the amounts of liquid intake similar. With the added ice it’s a really enjoyable cool drink on this really warm night. It was around this time the previous night that I was beginning to feel tired during long horse journeys between locations. But tonight I am totally fine and prove this by casually riding around the countryside searching for rare plants to harvest herbs from, a tedious job at the best of times, but at this time in the morning surely unbearable. Right now though, I really do not mind it.
So, after finding the remaining herbs to complete the next stage of the survivalist challenge, I am still feeling at around 70% alert. To be honest I was not really expecting Relentless, or any of the drinks I tried, to work this well. To celebrate I decide to take another swig and track down the travelling salesman who sells his own in game go go juice and see what he may require of our hero this time around.
The last thing I was expecting to be asked to do from this particular salesman was racing and not just horse racing, which I took part in early on in the game, but single person two wheel carriages. These are pretty nippy and have tendency to flip over should you corner to tightly at speed. In general, a lot of fun and something that I hope there is more of later in the game. After coming first on my first attempt, my many years of racing game experience helping considerably here I think, I then decide to try and find enough of the next herb for my challenge, seeing as I am already near the area in which it is supposed to be abundant. Spotting one, I hop off my horse to harvest it. With no warning whatsoever another bloody cougar hits me hard from behind. Damn those things are quick. Before I can get my gun out and aim at the vicious creature, it hits me again and takes me out. I hate those damn things. I think I have been killed by them more than anything else in the game so far.
What is more frightening though, is the fact that I am still fairly awake. Relentless works surprisingly well in that respect at least.
It is about now I am finishing my second can of liquid stimulant and so it becomes a waiting game. The tiredness will surely now begin to close in, it’s only a matter of time. Until then I reckon it’s time to drop in on my old friend Stinky Seth once again, which leads me to one of the missions I love in the game – an all out fire-fight through a deserted town and the interior of an old abandoned mansion.
I am still pretty alert but I am beginning to get that slight droopy eyed feeling on long horse journeys. I decide to pick up another mission to see if the action is enough to keep me awake a bit longer. I meet up with a chap named Irish who is helping me get my hands on some major firepower. The first lead he gives me is a dead end, but this does not bother me as it leads to a nice little gun fight. What does get to me however, and it hits me hard, is that during a heated fire-fight my trusty steed is shot down. This is the same horse I have had from the start of the game and even though it’s a virtual steed, I am still kind of sad that he is gone. Just because he is easily replaced, it is just not the same. I am awake but rather emotional.
A dead horse and a yawn. But in general I am still relatively awake and decide to talk to Irish again, who gives the second location for the big gun I am after. This leads to one of the biggest and most fun missions in the game so far, in my opinion. It involves me storming a mine, first the camp outside and then in the tunnels, before riding a mine cart back outside, while fighting off bad guys all the way. Enough to wake me up again for a bit. Mounting up after it’s all over does not feel the same on my new horse, but I reckon over time I will become just as attached to the new one. The most worrying thing happens as I ride back to the town. I get a bit of a dizzy spell, which pretty much tells me I had better take myself to bed before I fall over and cant get up again. So the decision is made.
I ride into the town at around 05:50 and turn the game off. Although I am still alert and could probably play for a bit longer, I decide to be a bit more sensible and get some sleep. The fact that I felt awake enough while drinking Relentless to play for almost two hours longer than I did while drinking coffee and tea, tells me that it must at least have some sort of effect. Whether it sharpens the senses and improves game playing itself, I am still not entirely sure and I will be running a control test after the product testing for comparison. But as of now, Relentless seems to have had the best results, at least for keeping me awake. Next on the list of beverages for testing is Lucozade. None of the fancy isotonic varieties mind you, just plain old original Lucozade. But before that I am going to give myself another nights rest.
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