Monday, 29 June 2009

Considering Doing Force Unleashed on Hardest Difficulty

Remember a few weeks back I said I will get round to playing Star Wars, I just hadn't done because Top Spin 2 was my priority? Well the weekend just passed I stuck to my word and have now gone and got all achievements apart from 3 for 700 gamerscore on the game (excluding DLC). Those last 3 achievements can all be gotten if I can be bothered to complete the game again, this time on the hardest difficulty.

I don't want to rant on much about the game because I'll save that for one of my mini game completed reviews but what I do want to say is that my brother (gamertag is kizwiz) is inferior to me when it comes to achievements and gamerscore (well I just like to think that) and as he got 1000 on Force Unleashed I feel obliged to do so too.

I think I'm going to try soon as it's going to be hot today so I won't go skateboarding and with me sending off Battle for the Pacific and Transporter 3 I won't be renting anything if I was to also send Force Unleashed back. There's cheats I will probably use this time round, hopefully will make the game not quite so hard.....

Also I'm trying to get up to date with my mini Game Completed reviews but it seems like I just complete more games than I have time to talk about! I've got Fantastic Four, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground, Top Spin 2 and maybe Star Wars Force Unleashed to still write. I will hopefully start cracking on Fantastic Four later, I been lazy and not wrote one since Afro Samurai for like a week.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Game Completed: Afro Samurai

So firstly this is a slight lie, I haven't properly completed Afro Samurai. It's unfortunately sitting on my gamercard at 965/1000 with 2 more achievements needed to be gotten. I wanted to trade in the game the next day though so I didn't have time to get the other 2 and as I was fed up with the game after completing it twice I didn't fancy going through it yet again for the last 2. But yeah, thought I would review it now otherwise I may never get to (and be fair I've pretty much completed it as the last 2 achievements are meaningless ones).

When my friend offered to sell this to me for £15 and I checked on CEX and saw I could get £15 back in cash for it I thought it was a win situation for me. I could play a game I was interested in (it did look cool with the blood and slicing body parts off), get some easy gamerscore and not have to pay a penny. First I do need to compliment the slicing precision on the game, it's not perfect (can be bloody hard to chop a hand off) but ultimately it works really well and was a new fresh idea I hadn't seen before which makes this game unique. There's a fair few achievements which involve you needing to chop off 100 heads or slice off toes and fingers at the same time, these can be slightly challenging at first but after a few hours of playing you learn to understand the best ways of slicing off the body part you want by adjusting to your enemies position and their fighting style.

The 5 achievements that are not fun which relate to body slicing are the ones where you need to do it in a game of poker. The character that's voiced by Samuel L Jackson will tempt you to play a game of poker, here you need to slice off a head, leg and hand on a certain type of enemy in order to get a flush and for the achievement to unlock. Doing this on the robots and peasant type enemies is quite easy as they are weak however the male and female ninjas and samurai are harder due to the lack of opportunities to play poker with them. I was unable to get 2 of these achievements on my first playthrough as I was not strong enough and not used enough to the game, on my second playthrough I was on the hard difficulty which therefore meant the enemies were much harder to fight against making the task very hard. This meant a 3rd playthrough was needed for me (on Easy difficulty again) and I could not be bothered to do that.

Final Verdict: - Afro Samurai also has the standard "Completed blabla level" and "Collect all 5 collectibles on blabla level" achievements but there's a few more fun random ones to obtain too. There's 2 involving slicing a bullet and a couple on accumulative totals (like 2000 gallons of blood shed and 2000 kills) which help to make this game an enjoyable achievement whoring experience. Hard mode can be tricky but patience will get you through it.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

I Showed You Ai Sugiyama!

Who's Ai Sugiyama you ask? Well I'm not entirely sure myself as she may or may not be a real person (my sheer laziness will mean I won't ever find out the answer to that). What I do know is she is on Top Spin 2 and as I got to the Grand Slam final she was my opponent. Ranked 8th I wasn't too worried but was weary due to the fact I somehow hadn't come across her before whilst playing. You see I know who the top players are and each of them have their own strengths and weaknesses, it's my job to exploit those weaknesses so I can win every game which has been the case so far.

Today I witnessed my first "defeat", I put quotation marks around the word defeat because after I lost I turned off my console in frustration knowing I would have to face her again next time I played. So why did I lose? I'm not entirely sure because I won the first set fine and then unfortunately lost the second set in tie break. I wasn't too bothered because this has happened a few times against the harder players and I always manage to win the third set. What happened here was a reverse of what usually happens, I lost the games I would usually win and won the games I would usually lose (so I'd lose when I served, I usually win).

I thought I understood the rules of tennis but I was unaware of what happened when it was a draw at the end of the third set. I was expecting to have a tie break again yet that wasn't the case as we kept on playing normally. After the 4 games were finished another 4 games began and yet again we both won 2 so it went to another 4 games (scores being 6:6 in this set). She won the first game and then won the second and to my disbelief had won the match. I was confused as to why because I was expecting to be able to win the 2 games afterwards to make it go 8:8, I was annoyed that I didn't get the chance to do this as the 2 games we played in this set of 4 were the ones I did bad at. So can anyone that knows Tennis well explain to me what happens? Hope you understand what I was getting at, might be confusing to understand so my apologies if so.

After 10 minute break I was bored and thought I'd try again. I'm the type of person that gets pretty pissed off when something doesn't go my way (I won't be childish, just put into a foul mood) so I was aware that if I lost again it would proper frustrate me. The game played out the same as the previous with me dominating the first set and the second coming down to a tie break. This time however I made full use of my advanced shots and defeated her! So I'm now ecstatic and once again in a good bright happy mood which is probably a good thing because my girlfriend wouldn't have enjoyed my company this evening otherwise.

That's the end of this blog post, I just wanted to document on my crazy losing match and ultimately I've managed to produce a blog post out of it. If Ai Suigyama for some unbelieveable reason manages to read this then my message to you is "muhahaha I beat you in Top Spin 2 :D".

Friday, 19 June 2009

Renting From Lovefilm Again + Getting Sick of Top Spin 2

I was just about to start discussing how bored and sick I'm getting of Top Spin 2 but then I realised that I have forgotten to even mention the fact that I am now renting games again. Lovefilm is amazing, unfortunately for their business their system isn't which means rebels such as myself figured out that if we changed the last letter of our post code we will be eligible for another 3 month free trial with the postmen still being able to deliver the discs to us. I've done this and currently have Star Wars Force Unleashed and Top Spin 2 as well as having rented Saw 5 and the latest 3 Star Wars films.

I played Star Wars the day I got it and really liked it, thing was you spend like an hour on the prologue level getting easy achievements and this therefore killed me out. I haven't bothered to play it since, not because I don't like the game, mainly because at the time Tony Hawk's Proving Ground was my focus (I got my 1000 now by the way, review coming soon) and now it's Top Spin 2. I will get round to completing it, hopefully start playing once I'm done with Top Spin.

So here's the story with Top Spin. I was one of the unfortunate people not to get the 1000 Career Points achievement, I in fact fell miserably short and only got 760 points or something at the end of the 5th season. This is my fault however the developer can be blamed for not making it clear what career points were and not letting us check our current score at any point. If you haven't already played the game then you need to know that there's also another scoring system in the game, this is the score which I thought was career points and therefore considering I was over the 1000 I did a fair bit of simulating. Now back then when I first played Top Spin 2 (like 3 years ago) there were no Achievement Guides (that I was aware of) or Road Maps so I was just playing on my own initiative. I really wish I did do some research because now, 3 years later I am replaying the whole of career mode again, repeating everything I've done just to get the 1 last achievement worth 250 gamerscore.

I have discovered that I'm actually pretty darn good at the game, this could be due to the fact I've already completed Career mode before but nevertheless I have mastered all of the different types of shots and am storming through the career winning all competitions in site (including grand slams in my second season with low stats!). I'm getting bored of it though as I've played it for what feels like 10-15 hours over the past 3 days, trying to get it done as soon as possible and although the game is fun and I enjoy playing it's a tennis game, tennis games do get very repetitive for a gamer that doesn't really like the sport in general.

Either way I'm hopefully going to finish Season 3 tomorrow morning and then will look at my Career Points and will hopefully already have 1000 or near by thanks to me participating and winning grand slams so soon in my career. Don't think I got 200 points your supposed to get for becoming Rank 1 last year, that was a right bummer for me.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Game Completed: Pac-Man Championship Edition

Like Feeding Frenzy (the last game I completed) I also got this on disc with 4 other arcade games for £4. That's enough for an intro, on to the game.

I was now around back when Pacman was first created I believe however I have managed to grow up playing it due to it's popularity. I'm yet to play the original on the 360's Arcade but I have gone and completed MS Pacman which I enjoyed. Championship Edition is definitely a brilliant remake of the classic, adding various different game modes to spice up the gameplay a bit. It works brilliantly as does the achievements which involve you needing to play through every mode (ranging from having tinted light so it's hard to see to changing arenas and more) as well as eating the key and crown which crop up during the game and eating 8 ghosts in succession. The other two achievements are for getting a high score of 200,000 and 400,000 in any game mode you wish. I was able to get 200K quite easily but 400 was confusing me. After 30 minutes of trying to work out the best way to get points I finally decided that simply trying to eat lots of ghosts for 3200 points each isn't the best way, it's in fact staying a live so every pellet you eat is worth 50 points. When I put my theory to the test it worked and I was delighted to see the achievement pop up!

Final Verdict: - If you like Pacman then you'll be sure to like this game as it improves on the classics and gives it much more replayability. It's good on the gamerscore as long as you stay motivated long enough to get the hang of it (as in learn how to react when ghosts are nearby so you don't get caught). Try this out, it's 200 gamerscore than can be gotten in an hour and is fun challenge in the process.

Friday, 12 June 2009

After 5 Hours of Boosting I Have My Achievement

The 1000 online games achievement is quite a bitch in Tony Hawk's Proving Ground. I have played on my own (friend left his profile on and left me to it) for the past 5 hours and have successfully completed 700 more games, added to the 300 I already had to get me 1000 and achievement unlocked. I'm surprised I calculated when I would reach 1000 so well, the achievement unlocked when my hit counter was at 1001, meaning I had over judged it.

However I'm not quite so sure as I did play games online when the game first came out which should surely count towards the total. Also my friend (VolcomCR) also should have gotten the achievement as he's been with me the whole time I've boosted online. I did an extra 22 matches after I got the achievement but he still didn't, this leads me to conclude that you either have to host or win the matches for them to count (I always hosted and always won).

Either way I'm glad my ordeal is over, just need to arrange to get 5 of us together to get the Online Domination achievement now. And then have to find 100 more cash spots (got 30 so far, I been tracking) and then it's mod spots and gaps and I'm done! Yesterday I got the other achievement I needed which was All Pro, this was frustrating at times thanks to how crap the game is (as in the developers mess up a goal to make it impossible the way it's supposed to be done) but it wasn't too bad in the end.

In other news Star Wars Force Unleashed arrived through my letterbox this morning from Lovefilm and I was every so pleased. I didn't play much as I spent like an hour grinding achievements in the prologue level with Vader but I do look forward to playing it properly soon as the storyline seems to be great!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

I'm Actually Going To 1000 Tony Hawk's Proving Ground!!!!

So when I finally reached Rank 1 on Project 8 after 500 to 1000 times of trying Animal Chin goal (have to combo across the entire world) I was over the moon, thinking I had accomplished the impossible. Proving Ground was Project 8 all over again but had been stepped up a notch once again as there is now 6 specific achievements regarding you doing all of them type of goals in Sick. These are:

Classic: - Old school where you need to do all 10 objectives in 2 minutes
Hawk-Man: - Have to follow a line in one combo doing specific moves
Line: - Must skate on every obstacle that turns green whilst getting a few million points
Skill: - These vary but you need to reach the Sick marker, may be doing a manual for ages in one combo to trying to launch yourself really far to get distance
Film: - Need to do a crazy trick over an obstacle or something in one combo
Photo: - Same as film but now have to push in right stick to take a photo mid-air

Through commitment and dedication I have now managed to get sick in every one of those goals in the above 6 categories. It's taken probably around 50 hours to do but I'm glad, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground is 10th on TrueAchievements when it comes to the amount of gamerscore it has (6,254 as I type this) and should be higher as new games such as Fuel and Red Faction are there currently due to the fact people haven't had enough time to play them.

I'm not going to quote a comment I left on Youtube to the following vid. This is the video I was using to help me get Sick grade on Classic in the Air and Space Museum and took me 5 hours to do. This is due to it being ridicolously hard to land in a Natas spin on the tip of that Rocket, 80% of the time I would mis judge my speed and Ollie and not land on it, thus meaning I needed to restart. There are plenty of other niggles in the line the person does in the video (which I mimicked) such as the game not always registering the fact you did a triple backflip and not being able to land in the hole doing a Indy 900 as it's hard to judge. So finally after 5 hours I did it and unlocked the last of the sick achievements, read below to see how I finished off the goal in style

"Wow I've finally done this after 5 hours or so of trying and I did it in style!

The triple backflip also didn't register for me and I was going to give up but then decided to carry on for the heck of it. After getting the last letter for skate I thought I'd try go back to the craters in one combo (ran out of time) and I managed to Natas both computer things again and then do a triple backflip without aggro kick to get me speed. God I'm happy!!!"

So due to the game glitching I had to go back and do the triple backflip again which I amazingly managed to do in one combo.

So what achievements do I have left to do?

With just 6 achievements left and the hard ones out of the way I am almost certain to get the full thousand gamerscore in Tony Hawk's Proving Ground. The 6 remaining achievements and how/when I will get them can be seen below.

All Gaps: - This is the third time in a row an achievement has been added for getting all gaps. I did it in American Wasteland and Project 8 so when I can be bothered I'll be sure to do it again but for Proving Ground
Cashtastic: - Am slightly confused about this achievement. You need to find all cash points throughout the game but I believe they respawn everytime you restart the game. I think this will benefit me I will follow a guide to get all 130+ of them in one playthrough.
All Pro: - I may have got 6 on all Street missions but there's still Career type goals I need to go back to and upgrade a few goals from AM to Pro. There's 25 or so needed to be done, I'll enjoy this as it's been ages since I played the core storyline of the game.
1000 online games played.: - This is not fun. After boosting for a few hours I've currently played 300+ online games. Me and my friend shall continue to boost.
5 out of 5! Online Domination.: - Problem with this achievement is that you need 5 people all to be in the game and for you to win all 5 rounds in a game. Chance of doing this legit is extremely slim so I need to gather some people together in order to boost this. Will be done in minutes though as rounds can be completed in 10 seconds.
Mod All Spots (secret): - A friend tells me this can be done in 20 minutes by searching the whole world for the hammer icon. Have put off doing this as I don't like having to find things.

And that's that. Getting thousand in this game is going to be fantastic. Having 1000 in the other 2 Tony Hawk games and Skate 1 and 2 means I have 1000 gamerscore in all the other skateboarding games on the console, Proving Ground is the last one. It is going to be conquered, eventually.... soon! :D

Monday, 8 June 2009

Game Completed: Feeding Frenzy

Feeding Frenzy was one of the 5 games I got when I spent £4 on an Xbox Live Arcade package from CEX. As I had previously gotten 200 gamerscore on the sequel to the game I decided I'd put the time in to complete this one too.

I did enjoy playing Feeding Frenzy 2 and therefore I was happy to be able to play a Feeding Frenzy game again, even if it wasn't as good as number 2. Ultimately the second game didn't improve much on the first as I wasn't able to notice much different, apart from the achievements.....

I didn't appreciate how quickly Feeding Frenzy 2's achievements could be gotten as they were done quickly in a doddle in comparison to having to eat 40,000 fish with 1,000 of them needing to be sharks. These 2 achievements are the ones that will have you bored out of your skulls has you keep grinding to get them after doing the simple story and time trial completion completion. It could be tricky to get 300,000 points as it requires skill to ensure you don't die much so that you can build up lives which you can waste near the end where you get to a level which scores you lots of easy points. There's a 10 hour played achievement which I believe takes much longer than 10 hours to do as the grinding of 40,000 fish took what felt like forever, nevertheless it did pop up soon after getting the 40,000 achievement so it didn't bother me too much.

Final Verdict: - This is a game that just like the second is not hard to get 200 on. Once the 300,000 point achievement has been gotten it's definitely a walk in the park from them and just simply needs motivation to complete. I'm not going to recommend it though because Feeding Frenzy 2 is quicker and not as boring I believe however if you were like me and had already completed the second and fancied eating a bit more fish then give Feeding Frenzy a go, ultimately it's a straight forward easy 200.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Bought Fantastic 4 & Shrek The Third for £7

As I was going to strawberry fair yesterday (a local big festival where thousands of people do drugs, drink and listen to music) it meant I would be venturing into Cambridge. As I still had £10 on my HMV Gift Voucher I thought today would be a good time to make use of it as it was a Christmas present I've been meaning to spend. I ended up putting that £10 towards One Tree Hill Series 5 for my girlfriend but the temptation to get Fantastic 4 for just £3 meant I also bought that. After leaving the store I decided to go back and get Shrek The Third too for £4. So why did I buy these games when I've played them before...?

Fantastic 4: So I rented this game a year and a big ago and got every achievement except the last one which needed you to complete the whole game again but on hard difficulty as the two difficulty achievements are not stackable. At the time I was sick of the game and just couldn't be bothered to go through it again for the 160 gamerscore the achievement offered. I've now changed though and become more of a completionist which meant I knew this game should be finished off. As of right now I've finished the first 2 acts again and started on the third meaning I'm already nearly halfway there after a few hours of play. This achievement could be gotten tonight and most likely will be as I'd love to trade it in tomorrow.

Shrek The Third: If you read the first paragraph of this blog you'd have realised I left the shop and then came back for this game. I did this because I was already aware that CEX will give me £4 cash or £6 trade in value for this game which meant I had nothing to lose and the potential to gain £2 in store credit at CEX plus the chance to finish off the achievements in this game before hand. I am not sure if I'm going to bother to do these though as I can't remember the game very well, all I remember is getting frustrated that I kept dieing at this one point on the hardest difficulty and ended up giving up. As I can't remember the game I'm unaware of how hard/long it will be to have to achieve a Perfect on every level so it does put me off wanting to put this game back into my console. I'll check out the guide on X360A later and hopefully the game will have a Road Map, back when I played Shrek they didn't exist.

So there you have it, the reason why I spent £7 on these two games yesterday is to hopefully finish the achievements off on them. Fantastic 4 will definitely be done and it would be nice to do Shrek however I can foresee me simply using it as a tool to help me get a better game when I trade these two in at CEX. With the likes of Overlord and the newest Tomb Raider being sold for £12 it's very tempting to trade my games in and get one of these. Tomorrow might be my last day going to College though which will mean it will be months until I get the chance to go CEX so there's a good chance I'll end up keeping the games until September. Just have to see what happens.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Tony Hawk Ride Will Fail

With e3 over all the articles you'll be reading will be summing up Project Natal or big game announcements like Left 4 Dead 2 and Crackdown 2. I however have been checking out as much news as possible on Tony Hawk's latest game, TH Ride. As I have been skateboarding for 5 years I naturally love to play the games and the prospect of being able to now stand on a deck and actually do the tricks is great, however it's not going to work.....

After seeing it be demoed at e3 thanks to Gamespot's live feed I was able to see how crap the deck is going to be. They must have been very impressed with the Wii board when designing the deck as when I saw the guy using the board it looked just like what you do on a Wii board. Every flip trick I saw the guy do was done by simply leaning in a direction as I've seen be done on a Wii board (have never played one so I am just assuming). This is not good as it really does not mimic skateboarding as every flip trick done in real life has a certain position your feet need to be in to do it, seeing this be done infuriates me. It also makes me think the inclusion of Nollie and Fakie tricks will be removed from the game as the guy simply stood in the middle of the board (where the bolts would be) and never moved, making it impossible to tell what stance he was in.

I'm not too confident grabs are going to work either. Now for people that don't know if your in Goofy stance (right foot forward, left foot behind) like I skate and you grab the side of board toe side where your feet point with your left hand it's called an Indy with the right hand being called a Mute. I can't see the sensors being able to realise which hand is grabbing the deck which will limit the amount of tricks significantly. This also brings me on to the fact that the guy wasn't even grabbing the board, just putting his hand in front of the sensor which yet again is not realistic.

My next complaint is the vert skating mode they were showing. What they've done is gone and made vert skateboarding a different mode all together where the only direction you can go is up and down! Now it's given that they have added some lip tricks such as Blunt Kickflips out and stuff which looks cool but being limited to not move across the ramp from left to right is really going to frustrate me. If you go and watch Tony Hawk or any other vert skateboarder in a run you will see that they make use of the whole ramp, hitting raised bowls in the corner ect which is now not possible due to the limitations they have forced.

Finally in this mode (vert as described above) I saw that when the skater did flip tricks it was always done late! It looked ridiculous as the skater meets his optimum height and then flips the board, that's not how it happens!!!!! I would have loved for the developers to have implemented this properly, something that EA haven't managed to do yet with both the skate games. You see in real life when a skater does a flip trick to grab on vert they don't catch the board on their feet and then grab, instead they flick the board so it flips and then grabs it with their hand and places under their feet. It's a silly minor complaint which I've had with every skateboarding game to date but for an avid skateboarder like me it is a shame that the true realism of the sport hasn't been captured correctly.

So after all of those complaints I think it's fair to say that Tony Hawk Ride is not going to get good reviews. I appreciate the transformation in the genre (done simply because they realised EA's skate was waaaay better) however it's just not been done to the level it needs to be done to in order for a consumer to spend £100 on. I'll be buying the game for sure, just how long it will be kept for is another matter.