Sunday, 21 February 2010

200,000 Gamerscore before 2011

Is it possible? For me to get my gamerscore past 200,000 before the start of the new year. Ask me this question a couple of months ago when I made my gamerscore goal of 160,000 for 2010 and I would have said no. I saw gaining 35,000 over the course of 2010 as being a relatively simple goal to follow and one that I wouldn't be extremely proud over but nevertheless happy that I had accomplished.

Things are changing though. Me and my good friend rover08 have been swapping games with each other and this has enabled me to play a lot more easy gamerscore games than I was expecting too. We've not even finished the first 2 months of the year yet and I am currently at 137,375 which means I am 12,375 in to my goal of getting 25,000 by the end of the year. Lets say by the end of February I manage to make my total gamerscore currently earned this year up to 13,000, that will then mean that if I keep up the pace of getting 13k every 2 months then by the end of the year I would have accumulated 78,000 gamerscore (over double my aim!).

This is what's gotten me thinking that I could potentially get to 200k before new year. It would be another goal for me, one that I don't want to force myself to go for but one that would make me extremely proud to do. I need to look at how gaming these past couple of months has changed my life and whether I can keep it up for the rest of the year or not. I don't really have any commitments, I go to college 3 days a week and have assignments I need to do at home at times but really it's not too much hassle. A loving girlfriend likes to see me everyday plus I also love to skateboard as much as I can.

Now college is going to maintain the same until May or June and ultimately I am capable of maintaining my gaming lifestyle and still reach the Distinction Diploma I am aiming for. I feel like I could have done a slight bit more of work but screw it, I'll make up for it near my assignment deadlines (I feel like I work better under pressure when my time is nearly up). My girlfriend is the one part of my life that needs to be kept as she means a lot to me. I've still managed to spend hours with her pretty much every day (or other day) and it hasn't been a problem with my gaming ways. She'll leave me at 10 in the evening and I'll then game for a couple of hours before bed so that's no concern. The one commitment I have which I know will cause me to cease my gamerscore whoring ways is my skateboarding. These past couple of months we've had horrible weather here in England, all rain and snow. This weather makes skateboarding not possible to do and therefore I've not spent much time on my board (which I don't like). This is the free time I've had which has enabled me to spend more time on my Xbox. Unfortunately this will change come summer as I do want to get lots of skateboarding done as this could possibly be my last summer before I have a full-time job.

So really I don't think 200,000 Gamerscore is going to happen this year. It definitely is possible if me and rover08 keep up our current trading however I need to really want to push for that goal, something I can't foresee happening as my focus will be on my annual skateboard video instead. I'm thinking of going half way in the middle, aiming for 180,000. This way I can have my time to skate in the summer and then game on the wet days or when I'm injured. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Am I Really That Bad At Bayonetta?

Now when I saw Bayonetta was being sold for just £17.99 at Zavvi last week I thought to myself I deserve a treat and bought it. Of course I did this knowing full well that CEX would give me £20 in cash for it so it was a no lose situation (although CEX now offer £16 so it's going down...). You see I am aware of how hard Ninja Gaiden and Devil May Cry are meant to be, I have a little bit of experience and yeah I found them bloody hard. Bayonetta is meant to be different, everyone says it isn't as hard and I was lured in by the crowd. Everyone has played a 2010 game and loved it already, I wanted in on that!

And I kind of am. Bayonetta is a one in a kind game as it is like nothing else I've played. I'm not one for visuals but I am definitely attracted to this game. I've only done the first 2 chapters and so far I am loving the Beloved creatures that have popped up a few times. Any way I'm started to go off track. I find the game good and then I came across the Alfheim challenges. Oh my bloody god!!! I was quite happy with the difficulty up until I started trying these but now I'm close to tears as I officially admit defeat to Bayonetta. See I think it's incredibly hard and no one should be able to do them however that can't be the case as apparently the TA ratio for Bayonetta stands currently at just 1944. Yes that isn't low but I'd expect it to be in the 3000 plus range where only elites manage to conquer.

So what's going on with me and why am I moaning like a girl? Well mainly because I think people like to gloat on the web and make it seem like they can do the game easy without problems. I've got to quote this guy on one of the Alfheim challenges I spent a good amount of time trying.

"This one is super easy. You have no restrictions. You just have to kill all the enemies in the time limit you're given."

Oh..... not going to give me advise then? For gamers reading which haven't played Bayonetta, these Alfheim challenges are portals found during the game which take you to an arena where you need to accomplish a certain task. For the task in mention I needed to "simple" kill all the enemies in the time limit. Thing is your health is only 3 bars long (meaning 3 hits and your dead) and there is at least 4 waves of enemies (probably more but I haven't survived long enough to find out). A wave consists of maybe 6 to 8 enemies all with the intent of making your life hell. I fail to see how anyone can claim this to be super easy! When you have numerous enemies attacking you it's not possible to check who's firing what at you and before you know it an enemy I wasn't tracking as I was busy with the rest just threw a fireball at me. Usually I'd accept that but when you only have 3 bars of health I find it bloody frustrating.

I shall try to plug my way through the game and no longer worry about these Alfheim challenges. They were detracting the enjoyment I was receiving from the game which I won't put up with. Lets hope I can plow my way through on Normal difficulty and continue on having fun with this very unique and great (minus the difficulty) experience of a game.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Name & Shame - Shystie

You may be wondering what the title of this blog means. Well to help you understand I am going to paste the Xbox Live messages that I received from a gamer with the gamertag of Shystie. Here we go.

"How hard was 1K on P8 for you?"

Nothing wrong with that. Every now and then I do get messages from people I don't know either complimenting me on my gamerscore on the Tony Hawk games or asking me for advice on how to do some goals in the game or whatever. I was in the middle of playing Infernal so I paused and responded with something like "It's hard but possible" as I didn't know what else to say in response. His reply to me though started to get me fuming.....

I've just realised at the time of typing this up that the message he sent to me has disappeared from my inbox! I have no clue as to why because I never delete my messages so it doesn't make sense. What he basically asked in a calm and kind manner was if I would be willing to get the achievements for him with my prize being up to 2100 Microsoft Points. Before I sum up my views and opinions on this matter I will continue with the conversation we had. I replied stating that I wouldn't do it and I was curious to ask how he could put trust in to a complete stranger with his gamertag. I for one would never let anyone account recover my gamertag out of fear of them changing my password. Moving on...

"Yeah I'm aware of that, I'm not trying to get a high gamerscore and I don't go around on forums or anything posting my gamercard for bragging rights, I just want to get a high completion % for personal satisfaction and P8 is 1 game I just can't do :("

I checked TrueAchievements and true to the guys word he wasn't on their system which I was glad to see. But he said he wants a high completion percentage for personal satisfaction?!?!? I fail to see how paying somebody the equivalent of £18 (that could have funded my newest purchase, Bayonetta for £17.99 lol) to do the achievements for you is satisfying. He says he doesn't do it for bragging rights which means he's doing it purely for himself, what is the point? In may be morally wrong but I can understand why he may want a high percentage so that he could brag to his friends but that's not the case is it? I responded to him saying something along the lines of what I just stated in this paragraph, how he isn't going to get the satisfaction I did after spending thousands of attempts doing a combo around the whole city in the last goal of the game to become Rank 1. That feeling of accomplishment for me on that day was priceless.

"Well it's like all the games ive played and completed, P8 is the only game I cannot progress any further on no matter how much I try so instead of just leaving it sticking out like a sore thumb I figured I'd see if I could get it cleared up abit lol"

All the games he's played and completed hey? I decided to look at his card at this point and sure enough he had the full gamerscore on the majority of his games including the likes of Resident Evil 5, Call of Duty WaW, Saint's Row 2, Batman Arkham Asylum and plenty more. I didn't bother to check date stamps and everything but I wouldn't be surprised if this person has gamesaved in the past and/or paid other people money to finish the games off for him. It's a shame as he very well may be an excellent gamer capable of completing the games, the problem is his gamertag loses all of it's integrity once you find out he's been trying to pay me to complete a game for him.

I felt the need to expose this gamer to you all in case you for whatever reason may get in contact with him. I believe he does brag about his gamertag and for this reason I wanted to make sure that if he does ever come across you in the future you are aware of what his mentality is on the achievement system (if the going gets tough pay someone else to do it for you). Finally it makes me think back to my previous blog post when I was moaning about how people enjoy easy achievements such as them on Fable 2. is it because everybody is turning in to completion perfectionists such as Shystie and don't like knowing they may not be able to get the maximum gamerscore on a game because they're not good enough? That's another debate I may dabble in to sometime in to the future.....

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

What Makes A Good Achievement?

I just finished reading x360a's Achievement Awards of 2009 (as I always do every year) and I must say I did enjoy reading it. The problem however is that I seem to disagree a lot with the views of Dan Webb and potentially many more gamers.

To me an achievement needs to be what's in the name, an actual achievement. There are of course lots of different types of achievements that have variety but ultimately I believe that the gamer needs to be achieving a feat that they are proud of when they hear their achievement pop. With this in mind I can pick out various points throughout the article that I have a problem with, mainly the choice of Fable 2 as best DLC achievements. So apparently you need to shoot some gamers in the groin, yay? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't see a challenge there and instead an achievement that is easy to do and anyone can get. I got the original 1000 in Fable 2 and I remember that the getting villagers drunk achievement was not fun. It just didn't work and I found myself getting frustrating, asking myself "why am I actually doing this as there is pretty much no skill involved, just luck".

I also think the article is too critical on generic based achievements. I personally don't see the problem in Terminator Salvation giving you the full 1000 for just completing the game. I won't compliment the developers for the list as I do believe a few more types of achievements could have been added such as completing a mission without dying or only using one weapon throughout, this however doesn't mean the game needs to be ridiculed on. I haven't played the game yet but when I do I'm sure I'll enjoy earning the achievements by using my skill of FPS's to complete the game on Hard, much more of a worthy achievement in my books than punching a horse in the face which requires no skill but nets you 100G, get what I'm saying?

Ultimately I think people are getting too wound up in the easy gamerscore world, wanting all games to be nice and easy so that they can net their 1000 points and move on. A great example of this is in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. I personally love the Expert achievements as I am aware that people which can play the instrument on that difficulty will unlock the achievement whilst others don't, the people that did make the achievement pop will now get recognition they deserve instead of those that 1000 Guitar Hero 5 or Band Hero. There's a reason why I played Guitar Hero 2 and 3 the most on my 360, it's because their achievement lists pushed me the most to go and 5 star every song on every difficulty, a feat I one day dream of being able to do.

Don't get me wrong I'm not completely against having a few various random achievements, I just think they should be skill based and not based on awe factor all the time (that must be the reason why people enjoyed punching a horse in Darkest of Days, right?).

Let me know what you think by posting a comment. I hope I haven't sounded critical on Dan from x360a, he's just a good example for me to use right now in order to vent my feelings on this subject.