Thursday, 30 July 2009

Game Completed: Tony Hawk's Proving Ground

I'm going to start this mini review off by saying this is the best 1000 gamerscore I have accomplished in the 3+ years I've owned an Xbox 360. American Wasteland achievements were average and Project 8's were bloody hard, Proving Ground did one up on Project 8 and as a result I didn't think I had it in me to ever get the 1000. After what must be around 100 hours I've done it and now I'm here to speak out about the horrors.

First things first not all gamerscore on this game is hard, I just counted 15 achievements which are gotten by simply completing the game pretty much which will give you a couple hundred of gamerscore, shouldn't be a problem. Next you have a few random miscellaneous achievements such as knocking a thug 150+ feet and making a skate video worth 20,000+ points, again causing you little to no trouble.

There's now 18 achievements dedicated to the street goals in the game. This is split up in to 6 section with each section having the Am, Pro and Sick all of the goals achievements. As you can probably imagine going for Sick in all of the goals is where I spent the majority of my time on this game. The majority of Sick goals took me about an hour to complete because after constant failure I'll get lucky and reach that 4,000,000 point combo or do all Classic goal tasks in 2 minutes. Minus a few goals it's pretty easy to Am all the goals and Pro can be done with a bit of effort, Sick is just stupid hard though. Also there is an achievement for getting Am and Pro on all the goals within the game, including the story driven ones. This was pretty straightforward and I am sure I could have gotten Sick on them too if it was needed, thankfully the developers had a heart and left Sick all goals achievement out.

After wasting time going around all the worlds modding every spot and finding all cash spots and gaps all that was left for me to do was to boost online. Now 1000 online games required me to boost for around 8 hours all on my own while my partner went out, quite a boring process if I may say. The wager achievement can be boosted easily enough but then there's the Online Domination achievement which requires you to win all 5 rounds in a match with 4 other people competing. No one was replying to my messages about boosting this so eventually I tried to get it on my own and after spamming messages at random people I found online (begging them to join my game lol) I finally had enough people required. Now I just had to go and beat them all 5 times which was a piece of cake but it didn't stop my heart pounding like crazy out of dear of messing up.

Final Verdict: - Completionists stay away, this game won't look pretty on your card. Up for playing a bit of Tony Hawk's? Stay away, the game is riddled with bugs and was never polished up for release, stay with American Wasteland/Project 8 or better yet try out Skate which is better. The only reason I can think of why you'd want to give this game a go is if you fancy a relatively enjoyable few hundred gamerscore boost to your total, not caring about ever completing the game. Good luck to anyone else who attempts to 1000 this game, it's got a TA score of about 6,000!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Closing in on 60% Completion

As you may or may not know my aim is to get up to 75% completion as that's the number it takes to be in my opinion a game completionist, which I like to think I am. I started this personal goal of mine after the end of x360a's GSL where I was around the 50% completion mark. After I complete getting the most gamerscore possible out of Rock Revolution I believe I will be over 60% and the climb to 70% will continue. The thing is it's not been working on old games that have been helping this percentage. Sure I've done some boosting on old games I own such as PES6, Shadowrun and Flatout but it's the new games I've been adding to my profile which is boosting me the most. Here's a few new games I've played in the months since the end of the GSL and start of my completion percentage pursuit:

You're In The Movies (1000/1000)
Soul Calibur 4 (700/1000)
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (700/1000)
History Channel: Battle for the Pacific (1000/1000)
Trivial Pursuit (710/1000)
Afro Samurai (965/1000)
LOTR Conquest (1000/1000)
Pure (1000/1000)
Phantasy Star Universe (1000/1000)

And the other games new to my profile which are below my target of 750+ gamerscore on

Burnout Paradise (5/1000)
Overlord (375/1000) {Am currently working on, I do aim to get 750 or so)
Rock Revolution EU (365/1000) {Started today, should get 750+ too)

So when you look at it like that you can see the new games I add to my card all manage to get to the 750 mark (or roundabouts) with the others currently being worked on. Burnout Paradise was added when I decided to play it with my girlfriend for fun and I haven't bothered to go back to it since. I will at some point (as I'm sure it's a great game I'm excited to play) but right now I'm happy with my Lovefilm games.

I suppose all in all everything is going good, apart from one thing that's bugging me. My girlfriend bought me GTA IV for my birthday (May 2nd) and I borrowed Forza 2 off a mate a couple of months ago and both of these games haven't even been touched. I'm sure they are great but after seeing Burnout Paradise on my profile and untouched I have decided to leave these games until I can find time to give them the attention I'm sure they deserve. Crackdown also goes in to this category with it's anniversary of being on my shelf untouched coming up in September, naughty me.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

3 Achievements on GH 2

Ever since I came back from NASS (a skateboard festival I went to last weekend) I haven't been in the mood for playing my Xbox, instead I've been all in to my skateboarding. I like it when I'm like this as I sometimes feel my Xbox takes over me a bit too much. So instead of playing Overlord and Soul Calibur 4 in a rush so that I could swap them for a new game with Lovefilm I've been enjoying playing Guitar Hero 2, netting 3 achievements in the process which I'm very proud about.

Yngwie Malmsteen Award: - Got a 1000 note streak
Champagne Room V.I.P.: - Got 500,000 points in a song

The two above achievements unlocked during the playthrough of one song, X-Stream on Expert. The song is one of the easiest songs on Expert as it has no hard bit, just constant fast pace which would usually cause me to mess up a few times and therefore eliminate the chance of me getting the 500,000 points I needed in order to get the 500k achievement. I checked a star power path for the song and the maximum amount of points I could have gotten was around 510,000 which meant there was very little margin for error. Eventually after 25+ times of trying I got a perfect run, 100% and FC getting me 506,000 (as I dropped a few thousand points by activating star power too early at one point). As the song has 1337 notes it meant I also picked up the 1000 note streak achievement whilst I was halfway through the song. Both of these achievements I am pretty proud about as neither of them can be gotten by using the terrible glitch, therefore this helped my TA achievement ration quite a bit.

Expert Tour Champ: - Beat the Expert tour

Unfortunately the glitch is possible for this achievement which is why the TA gamerscore for this achievement is below what I was expecting. I'm proud to say I didn't cheat and that I spent 10 minutes playing Free Bird yesterday and conquering it. All you need to do is make sure you have full star power for part C of the solo and then get full star power again for part I and J, the rest is not too challenging and I was able to get through without the need for star power.

So there it is, 3 achievements for 90 Gamerscore gotten on Guitar Hero 2 in just 2 days. Not much else I can get on the game until I have a friend come round and do some of the co-op ones (there's no online on GH2 :(). I still need to complete Expert on GH3 as One and Raining Blood are currently standing in my way. I think I'll be able to do them, just have to give it a go and hope for the best.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Game Completed: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

When I originally played this game I got all the achievements apart from one, completing the game on the hardest difficulty. This was due to the fact that unfortunately the achievements are not stackable and at that time I could not be bothered to re-play the game again. After finding it for just £3 in HMV though I decided to give the game another go and managed to complete it in 5 or so hours. Therefore this review will be focused on hard mode playthrough but I am going to try and remember what it was like to get all the other achievements which I did a couple of years ago.

With just 19 achievements Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is one of the games on the console with a low amount of achievements. You've got three types of achievements as you work through this game which are game completion, collectibles and powering up plus a random achievement for successfully executing a 2-play attack (which I think was just added at the end to make the total gamerscore 1000 as it doesn't make sense to have just 1 type of achievement like that in a game).

You'll pick up 10 of the games achievements when you simply complete the game for the first time (with the 11th coming from playing through again on hard mode). As you can expect this is quite an easy game and therefore getting these achievements should be relaxing as you simply play the game. In hard mode you will probably die a few times but due to the experience of already completing the game once you'll be aware of how to defeat certain bosses and enemies which would have made you a better player. My advice is to make the most out of the ability to let 3 of your team mates die and then simply hide until they respawn, therefore ensuring you don't ever properly die. By repeating a certain level with the Thing you will be able to earn points to upgrade your superhero's powers really easily which therefore makes those 4 achievements gotten with less than an hours work put into them. This leaves the collectibles to make up the remaining 3 achievements which as always in these games is a hassle to do but easy if you take the time to follow a guide.

Final Verdict: - It's just another simple superhero game which will give you an easy 1000 gamerscore. I do recommend it however it can become slightly tedious at times and frustrating finding the collectibles (took me forever on the last level as the buildings all look the same). Due to the nature of the achievements though I would recommend any gamerscore whore to give this game a go, at the end of the day it is pretty fun to make use of 4 people's powers (the game has a good combat system).

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Glitchy Achievements are so Frustrating

You're in the Movies is a very good game, nothing amazing but is fun to play with friends and family. On your own however is a different story. It's not fun getting all hot and sweaty on a few mini games as you attempt to meet the criteria for an achievement (getting full points). Then, when you do meet the criteria the achievement doesn't pop.....

In total I had about 6 achievements glitch for me but inevitably my persevearance as a gamerscore whore meant I kept playing until they finally did unlock.

I won't say any more on the matter as I'll save it for a Game Completed review which will probably never get written as I'm lazy and have a backlog of a few games already. I'm going to force myself to write the Fantastic Four review tonight or tomorrow and then aim to get myself back on track. Just felt like I should write about these glitchy achievements today as it's frustrated me throughout the day and I thought it would be a good topic to discuss (even though I'm being lazy again and want to get back to playing Overlord which I have just started).