Monday, April 26, 2010

Seriously, redux

It is done.

I was going to be all cool and mysterious by just leaving my post at that, but I felt the urge to chat about it a touch more. Me and the posse had been playing from Wednesday - Saturday (nights only, ha ha) in a bid to cross the finishing line. As I was closest the decision was made to have me play EVERY game in a bid to get it done - which would then free the others up to play more games between them while I just had my two accounts sit there.

10k came and went with no achievement in sight, then 11k fell and I started to get a bit apprehensive as we have all heard the horror stories about people having to wait until 15-20k. As I edged closer to 12k we were going to call it a night, as it was 4am Sunday morning and we had been playing for eight hours straight. The game ended and, thank the Lord, the damn thing finally popped up. I had kind of lost any enthusiasm by that point, and the others assumed I was joking or something but it was FINALLY complete. Relief is the word here............

It took 11,740 kills for it to emerge and I have to yet again question Epic's programming skills here. I saw a quote from one of the producers saying that it wasn't broken and that any time a game froze up or a person left (to take it under six players) then the kills would get added to the leaderboards but would not count. I can safely say that he is full of the proverbial - as there is no way I lost 1,740 worth of kills. I kept a half assed tally of when the game froze up or booted one of us. In all of the games I played there were only THREE matches total where I lost kills which could only add up to a maximum of about 270 kills, assuming I played 19 rounds to the other teams 18 and got 90 kills a match. So screw Epic and their dodgy maths.

Still, I now have to polish off Annex mode and dummy another couple of nights so that the rest of the team can get their reward. Everyone is over 10k now so it shouldn't take too long hopefully.

I also tried my hand at the FIFA 09 DLC too, as it had been sat on my harddrive for months. The online stuff can be done with only two people and a bit of setting up when it comes to matches, so it's not too bad. I got through nine of the eighteen online tournaments and I hope to finish the rest off this week. I'm also going to get started on the offline trophies too but they should be quite straightforward. My biggest grind will be getting enough coins to fill a page of the collection which will come down to a mix of luck and time. Still I'm hopeful of getting it done ASAP.

So my immediate goals will be Annex, FIFA 09 and then Castle Crashers. All of which should be done in the next couple of weeks, then it's time for my triple threat of L4D, Damnation and Operation Flashpoint. I'm also starting Dead to Rights Retribution for review purpose. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dull stats time - why the hell not?


Battlefield 2: MC - 315/1000
Beautiful Katamari - 1050/1250
Bladestorm - 150/1000
Call of Duty: WaW - 1000/1500
C&C Kane’s Wrath - 130/1000
Damnation - 390/1000
Fairytale Fights - 165/1000
Final Fantasy XIII - 150/1000
Gears of War 2 - 210/1750
Gears of War - 1100/1250
GRAW - 737/1000
GRAW 2 - 1000/1250
Guitar Hero 2 - 320/1000
Halo 3 - 805/1750
Hellboy: SoE - 310/1000
Left 4 Dead - 1170/1250
Lego Star Wars TCS - 240/1000
Lost Planet - 350/1000
Operation Flashpoint - 610/1000
Perfect Dark Zero - 150/1000
Project Sylpheed - 60/1000
Resident Evil 5 - 1270/1400
Risen - 70/1000
Scene It: BOS - 615/1250
Spiderman 3 - 10/1000
Splinter Cell: DA - 670/1000
Supreme Commander - 110/1000
Table Tennis - 630/1000
Vampire Rain - 650/1000
Virtua Tennis 09 - 545/1000
Viva Pinata 2 - 20/1000
WSC 2007 - 550/1000
You’re in the Movies - 140/1000

TOTAL - 15692/36650


Boogie Bunnies - 115/200
Castle Crashers - 170/200
Eets: Chowdown - 20/200
Geometry Wars - 40/200
Puzzle Quest - 200/250
Texas Hold ‘Em - 105/200
Wallace and Gromit - 100/200
Where's Wally - 40/200

TOTAL - 790/1650

So I have 32 retail games uncomplete and 8 arcade games, meaning a whopping 40 overall (I do the maths so you don't have to, ha ha). I can chalk off four of these arcade titles in fairly short order - Castle Crashers, W&G, Where's Wally and Puzzle Quest. However, the rest will probably sit on the back burner for a long time after that.

Retail wise I have L4D, Damnation and Operation Flashpoint lined up. Plus I'll be going back to Lego Star Wars with my lady and boosting Gears and Resi 5 to get them done. Which takes care of a measly six titles. Oh dear.

All of those games will also see me approaching my target of 180 retail games complete, 90% completion and 200k in gamerscore. Assuming I do all of them then I'll be looking at the following on my card:

GS = 198677
Completion = 90.43%
Retail complete = 177
Arcade complete = 24

With only 1323 worth of points until I hit 200k, then the odds of me getting another three retail completions is slim. My best chance would be to finish off Katamari (200 points), Scene It (635 points) and one of Splinter Cell, WSC 07 or Virtua Tennis 09 (all time consuming). So it doesn't look possible frankly - I'll probably aim for at least one more completion but that will be my lot. Not a bad effort though as I had 84 completions at 100k so doubling that would have given me 168 at 200k - to be ten above that is pretty awesome I think.

Oh and, FYI, there is no chance I'll be hitting 200k on the dot either. That is for nerds, ha ha!

Long haul gaming

Saturday was a busy day for me in the gaming sense. I sat down at about 1pm to make a start on some Annex matches on Gears, as I really wanted to get them done before I got too close to Seriously (otherwise my motivation would just die). However, Rich and Method were online at the same time so we started an impromptu kills boosting session.

Twelve hours, multiple games and the addition of Smit to the group later........

My tally now stands at 8878 kills, so the end is in sight. Frankly I'll never know how close I am to the finish line until the damn thing actually pops thanks to the dodgy stat tracking in the game (cheers for that Epic). How hard is it to put a line of code in there that states: if number of kills = 10,000 then Achievement Unlocked? It boggles my mind. Though not as much as the fact I played games for twelve hours straight without unlocking a single achievement, ha ha!

I was totally under the weather on Sunday (food poisoning methinks) so really didn't do much at all. My only bit of gaming was a co-op game of Resident Evil 5 with my fiance. I needed to unlock Pro difficulty on the Desperate Escape DLC (for the last achievement) and she was game to assist me. I have to say I was a touch nervous as she has NEVER played the game before and hates shooters in general, plus it was on the second hardest difficulty to boot.

She came through like a trooper though and we made it through unscathed. There were a couple of deaths (to be expected) but she was a great partner and I'm almost tempted to lure her back for Pro mode. The toughest part was the final onslaught but we dealt with wave after wave of goons until we ran out of ammo, by that point there was only thirty seconds left so we just ran around like headless chickens until success was assured. Ha ha!

Monday was another rough day too, and after a disturbed night of sickness I slept in until 11.30am. Not a grand time to be sure. I spent the day huddled on the sofa grinding through Annex matches on Gears. Taking myself to 65 games won thus far - though my achievement for 20 wins on Bullet Marsh popped about four games after I thought it would so those figures may be wrong again (how hard is it Epic, I mean really?). Still they were my first points in a few days so it was something at least.

This week I'm hoping to hit 10k on Gears and maybe finish off the Annex stuff too - it would be sweet to have to full 1250 but due to the dodgy tracking I wouldn't say it was a certainty. Next up will be the remaining stuff on Resi 5 and then I'll be focusing on the trio of unfinished games that is Damnation, L4D and Operation Flashpoint.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Progress is good!

Well I finally got the full 1k in Brothers in Arms last night so the game is done - though if anyone thinks I give a rats ass about the 0 point achievements they are sorely mistaken, ha ha! It would be fine if there were a couple but boosting 20 online matches with four players for no real reward is, to me, a waste of time (though I suppose that argument could be laid at the door of achievements in general). So it is going down as another completion.

I really wish MS would just flat out ban longwinded 0 point achievemnts anyway - as they serve no purpose other than to annoy the hell out of me, plus there are a number of people on their high horse about why they DO count towards completion. Seriously, if those achievements were that important they would have had some points allocated towards them even if it is only 5 or 10. So once I have all the points in a game the game is complete, nuff said.

Though in a complete hypocritic reversal I did snag the last 0 point achievement on Blue Dragon last night, ha ha! Mainly because I'm planning on selling the game and it took me all of five minutes to do. But I doubt I'll ever lavish the same respect onto BIA as it just looks like a big old pain in the ass.

I also managed to polish off the Lost in Nightmares DLC for Resident Evil 5, my run through on Professional difficulty was actually smooth sailing with only that damnable Wesker and my A.I partners stupidity standing in my way. I'll have to go through it again with my pals in order to help them out, but I figured if I knew what to expect then it would make things taht much eaier. I'll be aiming to get through Desperate Escape on Veteran next so I have the Pro mode ready to go in co-op. After that will be the Team boosting in Versus mode and then it'll be done. Boo yah!

Also made some good progress in Gears of War - though it has been kind of enforced. After months and months of late night boosting my other half has finally got sick of it and told me to either finish up by the end of the month or not finish at all. Yikes! So we have been starting super early and squeezing in as many games as possible (apologies to Method who is missing out as a result). The results have been pretty damn awesome though and I should be nearly at 8.5k by the end of the week. A similar run next week will see us on the verge of the magical number and then it becomes a case of 'when will it pop'. I think once I hit 10k my other half will let me keep going until it finally appears but I have to make sure I get there.

I reeeeeeeally need to get cracking on the Annex stuff too, as once Seriously pops up my motivation to play Gears will be almost dead, ha ha! So that will be high on my to do list.

My next goal will be to complete Operation Flashpoint, Damnation and L4D as they are all within my grasp assuming I pull my finger out. Though I will probably need to harass some boosting buddies into helping me out with each of them. My 90% completion target is merely 0.5% away from me now so it now comes down to grinding out a few more completions before I cross the magical threshold of 200k. Getting there, getting there...........

Monday, April 12, 2010

Didn't I pay for that?

Over the weekend I was due to head over to my dad's house and spend some time with him, though he does pop out and do his shopping and head to the pub with his friends etc so I do have a few hours to myself. Perfect time to boost some Annex on Gears - as he doesn't have internet access so I couldn't really get anything done online.

Not wanting to disturb my hooked up 360 I just took the harddrive off of it and stuck it on my new Elite. Big mistake. As it seems that all of my downloaded content is not just tied to my drive and is instead in some way attached to the rest of my Elite. So I couldn't play any of the new Annex maps or even any of my arcade games, grrrrr!

I had thought (and read somewhere) that once you downloaded content from Live you could then play it as long as you used the original hard drive that it was saved on OR if you were on another harddrive but used the original gamertag that downloaded it (though you would have to be on Live for this method to work). What is the point of me paying money to download content and arcade games if I can never play if offline or at another location? Surely once I have paid for the content I should be able to do what I want with it? I'm not saying I want to be allowed to have all my content available to other users (that would be crazy) but why can't I use it on my tag wherever I am - especially if I'm using the same hard drive that the game is downloaded to?

The whole thing reeks of commercialism and a lack of choice, once a consumer has bought a product they should have unlimited access to it - short of issues that could lead to piracy etc. Anything else is just a way for MS to control the content and spoils the expereince for users.

Anyway, that minor quibble forced me to start on Brothers in Arms, which I happened to have brought along with me just in case I got bored of Gears. I'd only unlocked some of the time based achievements prior to that, the ones that just require you to pop the game in your console for a set number of days, so this was a chance for me to finish up the game and chalk up another completion.

The game has not aged well, which is saying something considering it is not THAT old, and looks extremely rough around the edges. The story is overly convoluted and the gameplay is pretty simple and generic. It reminded me of Full Spectrum Warrior in many ways, but didn't seem as tactical or involved as that particular gem. Still I managed to rustle up a few hundred points in short order and should be able to finish the game off in a few more hours. That will leave the 0 point online achievements but I don't know if I can be bothered to go for them, as I don't know anyone who would be willing to join me and boosting with randoms for no pertinent gain seems even more of a waste of time than usual, ha ha!

I also finished off Lips for the second time, though this time around it was all of the DLC that was the focus of my attention and getting to 200k worth of stars in particular. Though the grind for stars was made easier by a novel method involving a thirty minute single note song and a wired mic - good times. It is kind of embarrasing that the game is now my highest ranked in terms of TA but there you are. I should really finish off Snooker 2007 or SupCom to get something credible up there. Ah well.

I also blitzed through South Park which was thoroughly entertaining. The game was in keeping with the spirit of the show, and also a good tactical change of pace. It was the first tower defence game I'd ever played and I really got into it. Though I'm more proud of the fact I managed to get the full 200 points solo - as a couple of the hardest achievements were meant to be recommended for multiple players. I just manned up and went for it, with great results.

This week I'll probably just focus on getting Brothers in Arms done and then I'm really going to push for L4D as I want it to be finally done with. The game has been nearly complete for months now and with just one Expert campaign standing in my way there is no excuse as to why I haven't done it. It would also sneak me ever closer to my goal of 200k with 90% completion and 180 retail games fully finished. Hmmm.......I could also aim for 20 arcade titles done to make it up to a round 200 games complete. That would be cool.

Friday, April 09, 2010

I'm not dead

Yes, the rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

It has been some time since my last post but that was mainly due to the fact that the servers where I work took an unholy dump, meaning we've had no PC access for over a week. The fact it was Easter and our technical support are apparently incompetent didn't help either. Oh well - such is life. I tend to post while I'm having lunchables at the old office as I'm never really in the mood once I get home.

Still at least that gives me a bit more to ramble on about.

I'm still plodding on with my goal of attaining 90% completion, and I've just hit the 89% mark too so that is a minor victory at least. Though I will still require about 3k more points on games I've already started in order to get over the finish line. Whoop de doo!

Thankfully I've managed to polish off NHL 09 which was a fairly major scalp as it has been on my card for over a year now, I spent the last week grinding out the 150 Be a Pro wins I would need in order to get my Legend card and snag the last two achievements. Thank the Lord that is over. I like hockey games and it does make me proud to have completed all four of the NHL series on the 360 - but at the moment I'm kind of sick of playing it, ha ha!

I'm also finally back on the path towards Seriously in Gears of War. There were a few weeks of uncertainty where we had to reshuffle the team, but as of this weekend I will be at 7,000 kills. Yay! Though considering no one knows the exact goalpost for the achievement unlocking then who the hell knows how close I actually am to finishing it off. Not to mention the fact I also have the dreaded Annex to occupy my time.

Other random tasks including finishing off pretty much all of the Lips DLC, leaving me with just one achievement for 200k in stars to complete the game fully, and all the regular stuff on Castle Crashers - online boosting will take care of the rest. Boo!

I've also made some major progress on Resident Evil 5 and hope to get it all wrapped up in the next couple of weeks. Though I'm not looking forward to grinding out the team games online as it is a soul sapping experience.

The only new game on my tag was Prison Break and I can safely say it is the worst game I have played this year by a country mile - a stealth game where you can get spotted through walls and by people looking the opposite way (trust me - as the camera zooms in on the person that has allegedly spotted you) is quite simply broken. My review is less than kind. Still I managed to get the full 1k so it wasn't a total loss.

Next up...........well I don't really know. I'm hankering to get Left 4 Dead done with once and for all, but I'm also tempted to push through something easy like Brothers in Arms or just focus on Annex maybe. I've also still got Damnation and Operation Flashpoint to mop up as well. Ugh, why can't I just play one thing at a time?