Last night I hit one of those moments in gaming when you are just lost in the atmosphere and mechanics; existing in an finely honed virtual world and revelling in every second.
There are several 'Survive It' maps in SSX where the aim is to keep snowboarding down the same hazard littered slope over and over until you meet your inevitable end by flying off a cliff or slamming into a rocky outcrop. To keep things interesting, on later runs in a chain, fog encroaches on the route dropping visibility to a few metres. One of my favourite such runs involves trees. Coppices of trees, trees at a 45 degree angle, trees horizontal across the path and trees half buried in snow. I know the run so well I can, for the most part, sail down it endlessly with only the odd moment where I wince and hope I'll narrowly avoid the rapidly approaching columns of wooden death.
On this occasion I was on my third of fourth run and enveloped in fog. Following a trail of red flares over the glistening show I relied on my memory to pre-empt rocks and tree trunks that loom out of the soft white wall ahead of me. Occasionally my board would hit a flare or two sending them skittering across the snow, or into the air, accompanied by their dancing red light. Sound of my companion helicopter crossed my path occasionally and I will see the whirling shadows of rotor blades all around me. My character is Japanese and, when I have a near miss on a tree or fly off a jump too fast, she will make a comment, with varying degrees of alarm, in Japanese. All this, accompanied by a sound track of my favourite songs, made for a sublime gaming experience.
Which moments, in your recent or distant gaming memory, stand out as being near perfection?