Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Mission Accomplished

Today is a grand day. Why? I was able to meet my 200,000 TA Score goal before the start of 2010, a goal that I have been behind in for months. I try to go skateboarding every other day but that hasn't been possible due to the snow and weather conditions which has ultimately meant I've spent much more time on Xbox than I usually would. The consequence of this is good, more gamerscore whoring. For the first time I am in debt to the Xbox Live Arcade service that Microsoft provides because together me and my brother have bought/got a total of 7 arcade games in order to get me quick easy points. My girlfriend helped contribute to my success with the contribution of The Beatles Rock Band to my collection as a Christmas gift and tractakid also deserves some recognition for responding to my plee to boost PES 2008 for a quick and easy 500+ TA Score in 2 hours worth of work.

So what does the future hold for me and my gaming? Well I still have the goal of 75% completion for around June time which I'm working on. I'm pretty far behind on that but not definitely out as I will try to claw up from the current 64% I am on. I set myself a new goal of 160,000 gamerscore before 2011. That was set as I reached 125,000 gamerscore a week ago which meant I needed 35,000 gamerscore in just over a year. By a lot of people's standards that is a low goal and shouldn't have been set however I've seen many people raise the bar too high and fail. It was a close call for me to reach my goals this year and I don't want the "stress" of trying to reach my new goals. 35,000 gamerscore in a year shouldn't cause me too many problems yet is still a worthy goal (in my eyes) to accomplish. My main objective however is the 75%, 160,000 gamerscore is just a bonus one for me to work on.

Not sure if I should add another goal or not (I can have up to 3). There's nothing else I really want to achieve so I'll probably stick to just the current two. If however anybody has any suggestions or challenges for me to do then leave a comment and I'll consider it. Off to get some more gamerscore now as I continue on with my rampage!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

What's The Point in Certain Achievements

Now the title of this posting isn't very direct, there's many of achievements I don't see the point in (for my own personal reasons) yet I am still able to understand their reasoning (such as the developer wanting the gamer to visit all areas of the world when collecting flags in Assassin's Creed).

This "rant" is about one specific achievement that I am currently aiming towards getting, it's the 5 Hall of Famers achievement in Smackdown vs RAW 2009. I was just making myself a cup of tea 5 to 10 minutes ago and was thinking to myself what should I do now as it's getting late but still early for bed. Smackdown has been the game I've been focusing my energy in to recently and therefore it popped in to my head, knowing I have just one achievement left to go gives me a drive to continue plowing my way through it. So yeah I'm motivated to get it (and I will) yet it doesn't mean I enjoy my time, instead I just found myself thinking "why did they decide to put this achievement in the game?".

In order to get the achievement to unlock you need to go and enter in to the Hall of Fame, done by entering career mode and winning 6 belts by defeating 5+ opponents in your way. It needs to be noted that career mode is a shamble, a cheap and lame inclusion in to the game that I bet was rushed in last minute and not a single bit of polish thought to be included. It is so repetitive and because extremely tedious after a while. Think of it like this, doing Exhibition matches but limited to your 1 wrestler with poor stats and no sense of direction. Your aim is to beat people well by being a crowd pleaser and your star rating (rated out of 5) then combines with the other star rating results from other people contending for the belt your going for. Now when you have enough stars you can challenge to be number 1 contender and then once you've won you take on the champ for the championship. That's it. No cutscenes, no story telling, just plain old boring similar matches.

Now it's time to finish off explaining what's needed to get the achievement. I've stated you need to enter the Hall of Fame but what I didn't mention is that this needs to be done 5 times! Now managing to bore your way in to the Hall of Fame once is an accomplishment in itself, having to do this 5 times though settles the men from the boys. I love Jeff Hardy, I find his dare devil style a turn on (whoops....) and therefore for my third and current playthrough I have selected to pick him. Problem is I'm only about half way through my third playthrough and I'm bored already, there's a limit to how many times a Swantom Bomb looks cool. Unfortunately I am forced to gruel it out and get it done, opting for the table matches as they do seem the quickest way to get a game over and done with. I have to say I am SICK of hearing the commentators blab useless crap, a complete reverse from what they had to say in the Road to Wrestlemania game type which I happened to enjoy. The problem is it's so repetitive and only makes the repetition of the tedious same matches even worse, thankfully Windows Media Player and my large collection of music help to drown out my sorrows.

So where am I going with all of this? I just want to rant about how I don't see any need for this achievement to be in the game. To come to this conclusion I feel like I did to put my shoes in other people's perspectives, the first one that springs to mind being the game developer. Developers can spend numerous of year producing their game and therefore I can quite understand them putting achievements in that encourage the gamer to see everything that is on display (we're all sick of the tutorial achievements on Guitar Hero now right?). So I think about this in relation to THQ and their game but am unable to put 2 and 2 together. They may want us the gamer to check out career mode (all be how terrible it is), I get that, however it doesn't explain to us why we need to do it 5 times, isn't one playthrough enough? A developer could argue when confronted with this point that every playthrough is different and that's a valid point to make on games such as Fable and Dragon Age where your actions have consequences. But a wrestling game? Yeah it can work in a wrestling game (Road to Wrestlemania mode is fantastic) however not in the dull and boring career mode. Everything is the same and therefore repeated playthroughs offer nothing new to the gamer.

The other perspective I try to view is those of the dedicated obsessed and loving WWE fan. They are obviously going to be much more tolerant to playing through the mode and may well potentially enjoy it every time. How I feel is though that even nobody is going to prefer career mode over Road to Wrestlemania, even the die hard fans. Road to Wrestlemania has everything career mode wishes it had and is a hell of a lot of fun. If THQ were forced to put in an achievement for completing a game type 5 times why couldn't they have picked Road to Wrestlemania 5 times, me and other achievement whores still wouldn't have been pleased but the die hard WWE fans would probably be much more keen on the idea too.

This is getting pretty long and I've got a boosting session on NHL 08 starting in 10 minutes. I've said all that was on my mind and hopefully you would have read what I have had to say and taken it in. I'd like to think you'd all agree with me about how much a pain in the arse the achievement is however if you have any points in pro of the achievement which I failed to see then please feel free to let me know. Your comments and discussion are always valued. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

£3.92 for 4 Retail Games

I said I wouldn't do it but for 98p a game I couldn't say no, I've included a couple more crappy sports games to my collection. This week Gamestation are trying to remove old stock by shifting old games (majority being sport ones) for the low price of just 98p leaving me (a savvy gamerscore whore) on a journey to pick up as many new games for a low price. Here's what I got.

1. NBA Live 08
2. NHL 08
3. Pro Evolution Soccer 2008
4. World Championship Snooker 2007

I was also close to getting a PDC Darts game but when I got to the counter the guy was unable to find the disc in their storage which was a shame. Nevertheless I was happy with my purchases as although I was aware I would be ruining my completion percentage quite a bit with these purchases I felt like it's worth it for a quick gamerscore boost in time for New Year. Also I may even be able to get a high enough gamerscore in a few of the games to make my percentage the same as it was before, one reason is because I played Pro Evo 2 years ago and got one achievement on it and then stopped so it's taunted my tag every since. Now I have the game to rectify the problem and get rid of the 10/1000 that's terribly low on my card.

First impressions of all the games is good and I'm quite happy with my buy. I have NBA Live 07 and can see that 08 improved quite nicely with newly added features and a graphics overhaul. NHL 08 seems good to as there's the ability to create your own players and teams which I'm sure an ice hockey lover would quite like. I also haven't played a snooker game since 2003 or so and therefore I am happy to now have one in my collection. Sure the gamerscore has a True Achievement score of over 4000 and therefore must be bloody hard but I'm just super happy with the fact that I can press the A button to hurry the game up and move to the next event. I remember in the 2003 game I played I used to get bored to death of having to wait 5 minutes because the AI never messed up and I'd have to watch his every move. Not any more! I keep tapping A and the ordeal is over in minutes.

What also made me happy is that there's a CEX store just minutes away from the GAME which do good prices on trade in. They will give me £4 in cash for NBA Live 08 (would have made £3 profit) or £6 trade in value, same principle happens for the other games to with them all giving me at least a pound more back in cash than the price I payed for it. I do feel like keeping the games for my collection however if I manage to get round to completing NBA or NHL soon then I may get rid of it and get my cash back. Reason being that the discs are in disusting condition and I don't really want that in my collection. How people can mistreat them that bad is beyond me, I could dangle it infront of my kitten and tease it so it scratched and the CD all day long and there still wouldn't be as many scratches as I see before me on my new purchases.

Finally before I rush off to get my bus that I might miss if I don't hurry up, I'd just like to say a thanks to Poke13 who emailed me saying how he enjoyed my blog and doesn't wish me to stop. At least one person enjoys what I has to say, that's enough to make me strive to continue. So thank you to him and to the rest of you that read what I have to say. :)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


That's the bug that was going around everywhere a few weeks back. Friends of mine at college were dropping like flies, I couldn't believe Modern Warfare 2 really did excel so much. Well I could believe it as I predicted it would, however the impact it had on real life (the No Russian mission getting in to the news) did take me by surprise.

I got my copy thanks to spending £10 on Overlord II and trading in my Call of Duty 4, then spending a fiver to get myself Modern Warfare 2. I did really like online but my time on it is going to be much lower now as I sink back to my old ways of gamerscore whoring. It's not just the whoring that makes me want to stop though, it's people being too damn good. At first I was staying above the 1.0 kill/death ratio (which is always my target as then I feel like I am playing more better than I am bad) but now I'm sinking down to 0.8 - 0.9 *sobs*.

Gamerscore wise on Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 I have gotten everything apart from two achievements which are (as you guessed) the spec ops ones for getting at least 1 star in every mission and 3 stars in every mission. I have numerous friends on my list that are also in the same position as me, it seems there are a few missions near the end of spec ops that stump us all. I only have 4 left to go on Veteran so I'm sure I will get there eventually, just depends on when I can get a good friend to come on and help me out.

Other news I destroyed my brain with My Horse and Me 2 for the 1000 Gamerscore last friday. Coming in at 4 hours for the first playthrough and 3 for the second it was longer than the 2 hours my friend Rover08 stated when he mailed me the game all the way from Norway. That was a nice little boost in my goal to getting 125,000 gamerscore before 2010 but that reminds me, talking about boost, I finished all the boosting on Burnout Revenge now which has been ongoing for months and I'm glad is finally over.

This is the first blog post I have written in over a month and really I didn't care that much. I've been doing this for nearly a year now (started as a New Year's Resolution) and unfortunately I haven't managed to get enough people following for me to warrant actually bothering to continue writing in it. I did think this morning though that I should write at least 1 more post before 2010 just so I can say I managed to maintain a year of doing it and not failing my Resolution. Will have to see in the future if I do or don't decide to keep writing. For now (and maybe forever but probably not), goodbye my readers.