Monday, June 28, 2010

Time is not on my side

That song lied.

Yes, once again I find myself swept up by a load of work and far too little time to spend on it all. As a side project I have been doing some work with Creech x360a on cleaning up some cheaters, which generally involves a lot of investigative work followed by a fair bit of typing - then the lengthy wait to see if they get reset of not. That whole system is about to change (for the better) as there is a new investigation forum on x360a where anyone can submit the tag of someone they suspect of hacking, gamesaving or modding. We'll then check them out and pass the juiciest morsels onto MS to deal with. Hurrah!

It will probably mean a lot more work in the long run but, for me, it's worth it. A lot of people seem to think that it is a waste of time trying to get rid of cheats, but if there is no hope of a clean leaderboard at any point then why should anyone bother with achievements in the first place? (Though I appreciate that attitude is what some people go by anyway, ha ha).

Though at the moment I am swamped with work from my original calling: reviews. With Webb out in E3 a number of things were at risk of slipping through the cracks, mainly because he wasn't here to bag us a review copy. So last week I picked up International Cricket 2010 to review, but no sooner was that done than the gates of hell opened upon me (metaphorically).

This week I had to snag Lego Harry Potter and Naughty Bear, plus Webb sent me a promo copy of Tiger Woods 2011 to get through too. I've also got Singularity on order next up, and I'll also cover the new Transformers game if no one else does. Busy busy.

Cricket was actually a bit of a let down, as once again the batting is far too easy and the graphics are shocking. I'll post up the review ASAP so you can check it out though at least it has the reward of being an easy if slightly time consuming 1k. Harry Potter on the other hand was a delight, especially in co-op, and seems to have taken the Lego games back to their fun roots (speaking as someone that didn't really enjoy Indy 2). The review should be up in the next day or so too - but a great kids game, and even us narky old adults can get into it too.

So next on my list will be Naughty Bear, which could be genius or could be a load of tosh. I've certainly heard about a few glitches in my advanced reading but we'll see if that pans out. Then it will be time for a spot of golf and I can put my feet up for a day or so before delving into Singularity.

In the meantime I've also found time to start (and finish) Ben 10, as well as snag a few more points on Gears 2 and Republic Heroes. I'll probably devote my time to finishing up Cricket (just one achievement left) and Harry Potter, then see what I'm feeling after that. Fingers crossed that July and August are lean months in terms of reviews, as I really want to polish off some more of my epic backlog. I had hit the giddy heights of 91% prior to adding two games to my card, so hopefully I can get back over that marker and push on towards my year end goal of 93%.

I can dream.........

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chipping away

I managed to get Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise done with this week, I just needed to do an hour of four player online co-op and I managed to round up a goodly number of people to assist me. Basically we just sat around in my garden for an hour and did pretty much sod all - I then donated all of my chocolate coin horde to my three assistants and can now sell the game ASAP.

I'm actually fairly pleased to get it done with as I had nightmares about not being able to find enough helpers to get that last chore done, so it makes a nice change that something went so smoothly.

In other news I have been taking advantage of the 6x XP on Gears of War 2 and am now sat at level 55 - which is neat considering I started the week at level 1, ha ha! The temptation is there to try and rack up as much as I can but I really do not have the time to devote to it. I could easily get to level 80+ with a couple of nights effort but frankly I'll stick by my guns and just do everything barring Veteran Gear. Maybe if there is another event in future I might reconsider but for now my aim is to get to 1675 and then call it a day. I also managed to get a couple of the Public achievements too (Wingman and King of the Hill) so that was an added bonus.

Aside from that effort I've not done much else, I will probably go back to Halo 3 and mop up what can be done there and I also need to get cracking with Gears 2 as I haven't even touched the single player stuff. Pretty lazy of me, but there you go.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Well that was fast.......

After starting A-Train HX last week I managed to finish it off within 48 hours. It's been a while since I played something so quick and easy so it rather took me by surprise. Especially as the game is a city building simulator which are normally a real time sink. Luckily though there was a fairly quick way to accumulate money and get all of the various tasks done so it was a breeze.

The game itself looked truly awful, I mean real last gen stuff, and it didn't really draw me in as similar games have (like Tropico 3). It was a nice distraction for a day or so but no more than that. If you can find it cheap then give it a go - though be prepared to learn the controls as they can be a real pain at times.

After that I went back to Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise. I was playing it with my lovely lady, which is to say that I was playing it and she was planning what pinata and items we would need for the challenges - then scanning the images in accordingly. I would normally feel bad about such a short cut but frankly it still took an inordinate amount of time and I really didn't get into the sequel as much as I did the original. So the thought of attracting and breeding pinatas for hours on end really didn't appeal. After a weekend of labour we had everything done except for the 4 player online co-op - which I can hopefully get a posse together for shortly (or else rent another copy myself).

After that I think I'll go back to Halo 3 and mop up the single player achievements I can manage and then I may well devote some time to Gears 2 this week while it is 6x XP. I only plan to get to level 50 and do everything barring Veteran Gear. So hopefully I can make that happen.

I'm also going to get cracking on L4D (hurray) and Dante's Inferno DLC too. Bring on the pain.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Outstanding things......


A Train HX - 240/1000
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
Dante's Inferno - 1000/1290
Fairytale Fights - 165/1000
Final Fantasy XIII - 230/1000
Gears of War 2 - 210/1750
GRAW - 737/1000
GRAW 2 - 1000/1250
Guitar Hero 2 - 320/1000
Halo 3 - 1625/1750
Hellboy: SoE - 310/1000
Left 4 Dead - 1195/1250
Lego Star Wars TCS - 240/1000
Lost Planet - 350/1000
Perfect Dark Zero - 150/1000
Project Sylpheed - 60/1000
Risen - 70/1000
Spiderman 3 - 10/1000
Splinter Cell: DA - 670/1000
Star Wars: Republic Heroes - 350/1000
Supreme Commander - 110/1000
Table Tennis - 630/1000
Tomb Raider: Legend - 1000/1250
Vampire Rain - 650/1000
Virtua Tennis 09 - 545/1000
Viva Pinata 2 - 260/1000
WSC 2007 - 550/1000
You’re in the Movies - 140/1000

TOTAL - 15462/35290


Boogie Bunnies - 115/200
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 - 620/1450

While I have managed to knock a few long term targets off this list in recent times, things like Gears, Damnation and Flashpoint to name but a few. However, I have decided to add in a couple of games I have the original 1k on in a bid to knock off the DLC too.

The games in question are Dante's Inferno and Tomb Raider - plus I already have GRAW 2 and Call of Duty: WaW on that list too. If I get these out of the way then the only game (off the top of my head) that I'll have left with DLC outstanding will be Phantasy Star Universe and I'll never play that again so it can stay that way.

The only totally new addition is A Train but that shouldn't take me too long to get the full 1k on, so hopefully it will be gone by the time I do another of these dull lists. Not to mention the fact I'm hopeful that L4D will finally get done along with Halo 3 as well. Hurrah! I'm also actively working on Viva Pinata 2 so that should be done with fairly soon. Business is picking up.

Part of my goal has always been to whittle down my game collection (a fact my lady is always nagging me about) and she has offered to help me by assisting with some co-op play on Lego Star Wars and Republic Heroes.

My oustanding gamerscore total is approaching a mere 20k (not bad considering my overall score) and my ultimate goal is to get that down to under 10k and, eventually, under 5k. A very quick bit of maths leads me to believe I could get that 15k with a bit of effort and without doing time sapping things like Rank 100 on GOW 2 or the time trials on Spiderman 3. Such a mammoth effort would also get my completion up above 95% no doubt, which would be awesome sauce.

Still, one thing at a time, so I'll try and knock another three or four games off this list as fast as is humanly possible.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Random tasks

I finally put Pure Football to bed last week, I even managed to finish up a review, roadmap and guide as well so it was a good weeks work all around, ha ha! The game is a bit tougher than expected to get the full 1k but it is mainly a time sink rather than difficult in any way. Though you will have to have a high tolerance for repetition as the game really starts to drag........

After that I went back and started doing the meta game achievements on Halo 3. I started from mission 6 because I was still missing some of the terminals for another achievement so figured I would work on that at the same time. I managed to reel off the last four missions in a couple of days of playing it on and off, so hopefully I can go back and finish the four missions I'm missing this week along with a couple of simple five pointers for blowing up vehicles and whatnot.

That will leave me with a couple of Mythic pack achievements, the three 0 point tasks and reaching the rank of Officer online (which is exactly the same task as one of the zero pointers. So it shouldn't be that long until I've chalked it off my list for good.

I'm also still grinding away at Scene It, but I cannot for the life of me get any Best Picture questions to appear during the Pop Quiz round so I'm still stuck at 42 correct answers. I just want that game done with now at is really getting tiresome to see the same questions over and over. Plus I still have to delete my save and restart to get the 50's questions achievement which glitched on me. Bah!

Friday, June 04, 2010

I hate Pure Football

Maybe that's a little harsh, ha ha!

Still the game is starting to really drag on and wear me down, though part of my problem is the fact I've only just figured out the best way to unlock specific players in the campaign. I've just finished the second of the three required campaign completions (attacker, midfielder, defender) and the last few games were me trying to target specific players to snag. Considering there is an achievement for unlocking EVERY player you can see my frustration.

With (hopefully) one campaign left I have about 33 players to still unlock out of the roughly 200 on offer, so I am still well on target. The real problem with some of these players are the unlock conditions - as trying to get 12 tackles in a three minute match is nigh on impossible and that particular requirement is tacked onto pretty much every decent defender. It is also a pain to get certain players to pop up and to do so you generally need your created player at around the same level OR to flood your team with already unlocked players of that nationality and hope for the best.

At worst I can start another campaign, on Easy difficulty, and just blitz through playing only the teams I need but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. On the plus side I will hopefully be done with the game as a whole by the end of the weekend - depending on how much time I get to spend on it.

For all those looking at the list and thinking it is an easy 1k - don't bother - this game is probably about 5 hours for 700 points and then 30-40 hours for the rest. Bah!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Holy Grail

After months of effort, broken promises and review games screwing up my work I have finally hit 90% completion. I've made sure that the mark is accurate across all of the sites I frequent and on my xbox too (as they all take different things into account, such as DLC. So I am now positive that I am over the threshold for probably the first time ever.

Being the obsessed kind of fellow that I am, the fun is not going to stop there as I plan on going for 93% completion by the end of the year. That would allow me to start a new game and easily stay over 90% at all times. Hurrah!

Despite hindering myself by starting Pure Football (while at 89.94&) I managed to fly through the game over the weekend and racked up over 800 points while doing so. I even did all of the online stuff as well which was a bit of a grind but as literally NO ONE was playing the game it wasn't too bad.

When I say no one, here is the scene:

After my first few games I was ranked 34th in the world, then after finishing everything I wanted to do I was 5th in the world. The game is dead and rightfully so as it sucks big time.

That was not quite enough to push me over, so instead I went and snagged a number of achievements on games I had already started. Namely Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise and Halo 3. Pinata was on the menu because my lovely lady wanted to play something with me and you can garden in co-op, which is nice, and then I managed to boost all of the Lone Wolves achievements on Halo to edge me closer to getting it completed once and for all.

I'm hoping to finish Pure Football and maybe Scene It this week, then I can focus on Pinata and possibly Halo as well. Little bits at a time.