Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One achievement left......

Yes, I'm still chipping away at a bunch of games in a bid to get them ready for the grand completion challenge in January. The good news is that I'm actually doing rather well if truth be told, and should have a host of games lined up ready for me to spend an hour or so finishing them off.

Most of the titles are arcade games, but even then I've managed to do pretty well in terms of getting JUST enough points/progress/completion etc in order to leave myself needing only a few minutes work to actually complete the game in question.

The best part is the fact I've managed to get a few retail games on the verge of completion too: most notably Halo ODST (after finally knocking out that pesky Endure achievement) and Ghost Recon Future Soldier (just need to complete one more DLC challenge to be done). Those games will probably take me the longest to 'finish' come January, but even then we are talking an hour or so rather than the countless hours it would have taken from start to finish (think I've spent 90 odd hours of Ghost Recon in particular).

At the moment I'm up to 11 games that can be completed in roughly 2-3 hours work (most of that time will be doing the last ODST Firefight mission that I need). In fact the other ten games will probably not even take an hour of work between them. I love it when a plan comes together.

However, my work is not yet done. I'm still hoping to get Condemned 2 and The Testament of Sherlock Holmes into the same position from a retail point of view, plus the Golden Axe Collection, Interpol, Monkey Island 2, Nin2 Jump and a few others from the arcade side of things. If I get a bit of luck I may even manage to complete Texas Hold 'Em in January but that all depends on getting a Royal Flush which is clearly not guaranteed.

If I do get through all of the above I can sit down and plan out some more easy stuff to play through before the end of the year, or in January itself, as I have quite a few other arcade games that can be finished off with minimal effort (3D Ultra Mini Golf, Cloning Clyde etc) and a few retail titles that probably fall into the same bracket to boot.

If I can hit the first of January with 20 games lined up and ready to drop, it would be a pleasant start to the year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Completion Challenge shenanigans

I recently mentioned an upcoming Completion Challenge over on x360a.org. Whereby the goal is to officially complete (as in: have all of the achievements) as many games as possible. The idea behind it was to help people who had been in the recent gamerscore league to tidy up their gamercard's of all the crap they had been playing for points.

Now I didn't take part in said league, but I do like having a bit of motivation in order to complete a host of games I've had sat around for far too long. Most of the titles in question are actually Arcade games, ones that I bought in any one of countless XBLA sales and then never actually bothered to play. In that respect I have over 100+ games sat on my hard drive that have yet to see the light of day. But now that is about to change.

I decided to do as much prep work as I could in terms of completions, so that I could literally start up a game in January play it for (at most) five minutes and get the last achievement I needed so that it would count as a completion. Thankfully there are plenty of games that allow me to do just that and here is what I have lined up thus far:

The Expendables 2 - just need a 50 kill combo, which I can easily get right at the start of one level thanks to unlimited respawning enemies.

Shinobi - need the 300k points achievement. I've made a save right at 299,960 points so this will take me seconds to accomplish.

Virtua Fighter 2 - last achievement is for inputting a code on the menu. Will take seconds.

Fighting Vipers - as above, I just need to select a characters alternative outfit and I'm done.

Sonic the Fighters - another game where I can get an achievement via the menu and be done.

Track and Field - just need to spear a bird in the javelin event, which is pretty much the easiest thing I could have left.

I'm also working on a few retail games too and if I could snag them in January it would make things a touch more respectable. I'm hoping to do the Halo ODST Endure achievement this week - which would just leave me needing to complete one last Firefight mission to be done. This weekend I've also arranged a boosting session for Ghost Recon Future Soldier and will hopefully knock out the online DLC achievements I need - which would leave me with some single player DLC to mop up, easy enough. Finally, we have Condemned 2 which is the furthest from being done - but I would like to put in a bit of time to get it completed if I can.

Outside of those titles I have just started the original Streets of Rage 2 arcade title, plus I'm hoping to finally play through the new Sherlock Holmes game as I've had it sat around for a few months. For some crazy reason I'm also making a concerted effort to complete Texas Hold 'Em though that will require on a stroke of luck if truth be told as I will need a Royal Flush to get the last achievement so that could happen any time - or it could not happen at all. I'm hoping to get all other achievements in that game done and dusted though, and then just pray that I get lucky.

After those have been tackled it will be back to focusing on arcade games that I can chalk off fairly quickly and easily and the line up is pretty much the same as it was before. I'm looking at doing the first couple of Sonic games, plus Monkey Island 2 and the Golden Axe and Streets of Rage Vintage collections as well. After that it will come down to how much time I have - as I know there are numerous games on my account that I could blitz through if given the chance. Of course, anything I play before January will be left with one measly achievement to get - in a bid to help my in my quest for success.

Will it work? I doubt it, but time will tell.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

300k so I ramble on a bit

Well here we are again, another milestone hit and yet another example of how my personal time has been wasted spectacularly on games. Yes - I've finally managed to crawl over the line to 300k and thought I would chew on your ear for a little while to show how it all went down and what was accomplished. Try to at least feign interest or something - that would please me.

Anyway, this particular 100k has been my slowest yet really. Which is hardly surprising I suppose as it has involved far fewer easy games on the whole, in fact a lot of 360 titles have become a bit harder to max out in general thanks to an increase in DLC and developers actually taking a bit more time and effort over their lists. Sure there are still a few games that can be polished off in 5-10 hours, but that's nothing when you think about how many games could be rattled through in under three hours back in the good old days.

The game that finally pushed me over my target was Halo 4, which I finished off last night when the last required Spartan Ops chapter became available. It meant I got my 300k (just over, thanks to GRAW back in the day) plus it was my 300th completion to boot. Hurrah!

Here is how my stats looked at 100k*:

100,012 / 116,870
84/114 Retail games completed
3/10 Arcade games completed
84.06% Completion

Then at 200k*:

200,082 / 222,160
178 / 206 Retail games completed
22 / 28 Arcade games completed
89.67% Completion

And here are my stats at 300k*:

300,032 / 321,725
258 / 292
42 / 49
92.90% Completion

*All of these stats include DLC and completion is based on achievements earned.

Annoyingly I still have a whopping 20,000 points outstanding though considering that figure has stayed the same despite my overall growth it means I've actually done rather well. That is also reflected in my completion percentage which is just shy of 93% right now - a shame as I had hoped to hit 300k, 300 completions and 93% at the same time - but I made my task nigh on impossible by throwing a host of new games on my tag and, even though I finished most of them off, it meant I had to settle for just missing out.

The number of incomplete games I've got on my backlog has also grown to a hefty 41 as well but I'm hoping to whittle that number down to closer to thirty in the next couple of months. I have at least ten easy titles on there that I'm hopeful about finishing off, so it just comes down to finding the time and inclination to do so.

I've managed 80 retail completions in this 100k too which is not too shabby, plus 20 arcade completions too. Though that figure may well be higher if truth be told, as I've had to re complete a number of games due to DLC and whatnot and I'm fairly sure I used to count a game as complete when I had to initial 1k and not discount any that were missing zero point achievements, plus I used to count Madden 07 (with the US only achievement) and I've now knocked that off. Generally I am much harder on myself now and will only count a game that is 100% done and dusted on my list, and I'm happy to admit there are a few games that I own that will never get to that point.

I'm actually really happy to have hit 300k and think I've dedicated a lot of time to completing challenging games and generally tidying up my gamertag in terms of games missing the odd achievement or those requiring some DLC to complete. Certainly I've managed to romp through Lost Planet, Dark Souls, Rockstar Table Tennis, The Club, Virtua Tennis 09, FIFA 12  and two Final Fantasy games - to name but a few. Obviously there has been a bit of fodder in amongst all of that but when you consider that I've spent 800+ hours on just six games in that time frame then I've certainly not been raking in the easy points.

A list of thanks would be in order for sure and includes a lot of people who have helped me in any number of ways.

The wife - yet again my top pick, as she puts up with all of my shenanigans and tries to exhibit a bit of patience when I want to boost something at a ridiculous hour of the day. She is also my go-to buddy for all local co-op gaming too and we've gone through every single Lego game together as well as sung (badly, on my part) through a few music titles as well. Sometimes that can mean a game sits on my shelf, incomplete, for a while until she deems to play it. But that's a small price to pay - thanks babes.

Thrash Forever - aka: Rich, the man, the legend. Always ready and able for some boosting and I've probably lost count of the number of titles we've played through together. Though the last one was Halo 4, and that is the game that got me where I wanted to be. No doubt we'll be boosting plenty more tat as the days go by.

The Cosmic Duck - another member of the posse, and a guy that drags us all kicking and screaming through various shooters as he is generally the only one that doesn't die on a regular basis. Plus, he puts up with me over the top greetings while Rich just sighs at me. What a guy.

elSmitmyster and Kimi - the two other members of the UK boosting massive, though sadly I don't tend to play as many games with them as I used to. COME BACK SMIT AND TELL YOUR WOODPECKER JOKE! Still whenever I need a hand I know I can count on them.

Webb x360a - my editor and evil overseer. The man that supplies me with a seemingly endless supply of average games to review. Plus he lets me wander off to Gamescom in Germany every year and I repay him by being the only one not to run up a massive booze bill. Can't say fairer than that.
Mechahertz - or 'herbybutts' as my wife calls him (he used to be Hertzblut I believe and my wife didn't read it properly). Has jumped in and helped me out on so many occasions and often with the most random games too. Hertz is always a great boosting buddy and good for random chats to boot.

The rest - I've been helped and had help from so many people over the years. So many games played and completed that it would be hard for me to not thank everyone. My friends list is quite short (only 50 people) and its because I only keep people on there if I speak to them regularly or play games with them. Every now and then I'll have a massive cull but the same people retain a place because I know they would help me out in a pinch and I would gladly do the same.

Here's to another 100k - though I imagine it will be a couple of years away!