Jay's Internet Log

Gaming

1000/1000 Club

by on Dec.14, 2015, under Gaming, General

[UPDATE] – I seem to consistently update this post, so I will place the newest update in red from now on.  Carry on.

People on the GameFAQS boards constantly tell everyone else when they’ve completed the board’s game 100% with the maximum 1000 gamerpoints per game.  I thought I’d start my own little section here for this since, well, this is my site and I can do whatever I want really.  So here goes!

Call of Duty 4 – 1000/1000 on 1-21-2008

This game, as some of you know, has become one of my favorite alltime games, not for the single player but for the multiplayer.  At this writing, I’ve amassed over 500 hours on online play.  Achievements however were only awarded for the single player campaign, and some of the harder ones were REALLY hard.  I would have to say that beating “One Shot One Kill” and “No Fighting in the War Room” on Veteran dificulty caused me the most mental anguish.  The last level, “Mile High Club”, though fun on Normal difficulty, became a nightmare on Veteran, though it felt SO good to complete it, knowing that all that was left to do in order to 100% the game was find a few tapes and destory a lot of televisions 🙂

Fallout 3 – 1000/1000 on 12-15-2008

If you’ve read anything on this site about Fallout 3, you know that I’ve really enjoyed it.  From being a game that I told myself I would never get to being one that I will probably never forget, Fallout 3 is a complete masterpiece, and I’m sad that the story is over.  It took me about 75 hours to 100% it and the entire time was like a wild rollercoaster ride.  I won’t spoil the ending here, but it was pretty sweet.  Bethesda is releasing some DLC for this game which I will most definitely pick up, as it is one of the most engaging games I’ve ever played.
[UPDATE – 1-29-2009 – 1100/1100 now after Operation Anchorage DLC]
[UPDATE – 3-27-2009 – 1200/1200 now after The Pitt DLC]
[UPDATE – 5-20-2009 – 1350/1350 now after Broken Steel DLC]
[UPDATE – 7-6-2009 – 1450/1450 now after Point Lookout DLC]
[UPDATE – 8-11-2009 – 1550/1550 now after Mothership Zeta DLC]
Since Bethesda has not announced any further DLC for this masterpiece, I am taking this as the end for me. If they do decide to release more, I will pick it up, but if they don’t, then the ride was a great one and I will look forward to the next game in this series. Fallout 3 is easily one of the best experiences in gaming that I’ve ever had, took up 1497 save files, and lasted me well over 120 hours.

Tales of Vesperia – 1000/1000 on 12-28-2008

This has been months in the making and I can finally say that I have completed this masterpiece.  The “Tales of” series is huge in Japan and I have played two of the games in the series: Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube, and now Tales of Vesperia on the 360.  These games are traditional Japanese Role Playing Games, meaning the style is very anime and the characters have a lot of personality.  They also implement a crazy live action battle system, which make them a complete joy to play.  Anyways, I played through Tales of Vesperia from launch day until I beat the game about a month later, totaling about 95 hours.  I then immediately started over again, and played through it again to tie up all loose ends and basically get everything in the game, which took another 50-60 hours.  The last two achievements would require a third playthrough, one for finishing the first chapter at a very low level, and another for finishing the game within 15 hours.  All in all, I finished this playthrough in 9:37:31, ranked 791 on the leaderboards for time, and the entire playtime for me is about 173 hours.  I have done everything there is to do in this game, probably a few times, and all I can say is that it is by far the best JRPG I’ve ever played and I’m really looking forward to Namco’s next installment of this great series.  Tales of Vesperia is an epic, long journey that is worth playing for anyone who either likes the series or the genre in the slightest bit.

Fable II – 1100/1100 on 1-25-2009

I consider this to actually be 1300/1300 as I have fully completed the Fable II Pub Games as well. Fable II was a game that I have owned for many months, but stopped playing almost immediately as it was horribly bugged and people were complaining that their games glitched out and got wrecked. This scared me, so I played Fallout 3 instead. A few weeks back, Fable II was patched so I started playing it again. It is a blast to play and is very relaxing. Albion has a very medieval feel to it and you can basically do whatever you want, whenever you want. As far as achievements go, this game has them brilliantly placed. There are only a handful of story-based achievements, and Fable II focuses more on craziness when it comes to them. There’s one for kicking a chicken. There’s one for killing a rabbit. There’s one for shooting the weapons out of an enemy and then hitting him with a headshot. There are so many weird achievements. Some of them require you meeting people online and trading items with them. This can be tedious, but I met some nice people that way. I bought the Knothole Island expansion pack, which honestly only takes about an hour or two to complete, so $10 might be a bit high for it, but I really enjoyed it and the new weapons that it adds. It also adds another 100 to the score, so that’s why this one is more than 1000. I’m not really “done” with this game as there are other things that need to be done in it, but for some reason, there aren’t any achievements for them. I think it would have been cool to have an achievement for opening all of the demon doors for example. Overall, this is an excellent game if you don’t run into a crazy bug along the way!
[UPDATE – 6-4-2009 – 1350/1350 now after See the Future DLC]

Resident Evil 5 – 1000/1000 on 4-1-2009

I had been looking forward to Resident Evil 5 for a few years now, and told myself that I would be taking the release day off of work when it was announced last summer. More on that can be read here but this update is to discuss the game after full completion. That is to say the story mode of the game. Resident Evil titles seem to consistently change with each incarnation, and fans seem to always have some sort of problem with that. I’ve learned to take it as Capcom gives it and enjoy what they’ve created. Resident Evil 5 is without a doubt my favorite in the series, seconded only to the genre-changing Resident Evil 4. The addition of co-op to 5 worried me as so many game publishers are just trying to slap on the words “co-op” as marketing strategies, but when realized, they don’t add anything or are completely one-sided towards the host. I don’t think that Capcom could have done any better with their implementation of co-op, and in this game playing with someone else over XBL trumps the single player in every single way. Finishing this title to 100% took just over 43 hours, making it one of the shorter games I’ve played to get every achievement in. It is truly a masterpiece and I am now going to tackle The Mercenaries, an arcade-like minigame of sorts that is packaged with Resident Evil titles. In a few weeks, Capcom will be releasing an online versus mode based on The Mercenaries, so it’s time to train!

Lost: Via Domus – 1000/1000 on 6-28-2009
Lost: Via Domus I’ve been trying to think about how to put this back when I was still playing the game and knowing that I’d be writing a little blurb about it eventually for all of probably 3 people to see, but this is easily one of the worst games I’ve ever played. For anyone who knows me well enough, you know that I adore the show Lost. It’s my favorite television show that is on television now, and may be of all time. I’m thinking about The A-Team here, but I kind of put them in two totally different categories, so we’ll just ignore that. When Lost: Via Domus was announced and released, it got pretty bad reviews, and I passed over it thinking that it probably wasn’t worth $60….and it isn’t. I found this game a few months back for $10 at Best Buy and figured that I couldn’t really go wrong. I think I got a so-so deal on it. Anyways, when you boot up the game, you first see a Ubisoft logo. If I had read the box and saw that it was a Ubisoft game, I might have just left it be, as I am terribly upset with them and what they did to the Prince of Persia a few years back. But I didn’t see that logo and bought the game anyways. You play the game as a guy who was on Oceanic 815 and crashed with everyone else, but you don’t have any memory. You look almost exactly like Jacob’s nemesis from the Season 5 finale, which I find very strange, and I look forward to seeing if others feel the same way about this. It’s just uncanny how similar you look to him. As you “play” this game which consists of you walking around the beach talking to horribly created versions of the cast, being chased around the jungle by the smoke monster, doing stupid fuse puzzles that make no sense whatsoever, and recovering your memory via looping scenarios where you need to take pictures of things, I realized that I might have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t a Lost fan. I’m kind of on the fence about this one. If I wasn’t a Lost fan, I wouldn’t be so critical about the modeling or voice acting, though John Locke repeating “I’m over in the Banyan Trees” and “Hey, Look at me in the Banyan Trees” over and over again was actually funny, but the funny part was when he said “Banyan Trees”. I don’t know. I’m weird. Hurley, believe it or not, it even fatter in this game. The controls are very loose, and your actions seem to make you float around. You can trade fruit and stuff that you pick up for lanterns and guns, etc, but you only need to really shoot 1 or 2 people, so you never ever need a clip, though they seem to have lots to trade. What sucks even more is that in the end, all your stuff is taken from you, so it’s all pretty useless. They should have just given you what you need when you need it, but then this game would have been even shorter probably. It only took me about 2-4 hours to complete in its entirety, but it seemed like a chore. Would I rather deal with this mess or play CoD4? I had to force myself to finish this game so that I could delete it from my hard drive. One thing that I can say positively about this game is that I didn’t run into any game breaking bugs. That’s a nice thing, but there are some annoyances. One level starts out with you having to run away from the smoke monster, jumping over trees and running across wooden planks, but if you trip up then the smoke monster gets you. That’s not the bad part though. The bad part is that the game is set up episodically, so when you die, which you will a few times, you have to go through the whole 30 second long “Previously on Lost” crap. Argh! Anyways, Lost: Via Domus can’t be recommended by me. If you like Lost, and can get it for cheap (or borrow it from me), then check it out, but don’t expect much.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – 1000/1000 on 12-13-2009

Well, it took me much less time than I thought it would to get 1000 gamerscore points in Modern Warfare 2.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this game is easier and less annoying/time consuming as its predecessor, and I had a great partner in Glenn for all of the co-op missions.  Glenn and I had a really fun time playing through the Spec-Ops missions, and we’re looking forward to more of them via DLC.  The story in this game is not as emotional or as good as it was in Call of Duty 4, and it definitely does not wrap up with a satisfying conclusion, but I believe that this is done on purpose, so that in a few years, we’ll see Modern Warfare 3.  It is also very difficult to follow.  Being a self-proclaimed expert in this series’ storyline (I played through the CoD4 story four or five times and know it by heart), I was confused most of the way through this game.  The writers don’t really like setting the story up beforehand, but rather just drop you into the middle of it, and your squad mates seem to tell the story around you.  The problem with this is that while they are talking, you’re being barraged by bullets and explosions, so your mind isn’t really paying attention to what they are trying to say.  It’s a small gripe about an otherwise excellent piece of work.  All in all, Infinity Ward made another masterpiece with this game, and now all that’s left is multiplayer!!

Assassin’s Creed II – 1000/1000 on 1-18-2010

I was very skeptical about Assassin’s Creed II.  I wrote up about that in my Initial Impressions, and now that I’ve completed the game in its entirety (for now) I have to say that I have much more faith in Ubisoft.  I’m still a bit uneasy about the Prince of Persia series, but now that I’ve completed Assassin’s Creed II, I might give that series another try when it releases a new entry this summer.  Assassin’s Creed II did so many things right.  The graphics are amazing, the story is deep though a bit confusing at times, and the sound is simple extraordinary.  This was a game that I played both with and without the A40’s, and when playing without them, I lost out on some subtle details such as birds chirping in the background.  These things make up the feeling that is Assassin’s Creed II.  I absolutely love how you’re given a walled-in city that is in terrible disarray, and asked to upgrade it by donating your money.  Over time, you see new structures going up and more people flocking towards this city, earning you more money to build it up more.  It has a very medieval feel to it and I just loved it.  After completing the story, I went hunting for feathers; a remedial task in most games, but it is something that I really enjoy.  I have so much fun doing this and the world that the designers created is nothing short of fantastic.  There is only a single missable achievement (Flyswatter) in this game, but I’ve read that in upcoming DLC it will again become attainable.  Overall the achievements were on the easy side, and I almost wish that some of them were integrated better.  Finishing ALL of the races would have been more of an achievement than just finishing a single, easy one.  As I said in my previous segment about this game, I was mostly interested in the Venetian portions of the game, and they really did not disappoint.  Venice isn’t just created to look like you’re in Venice.  It’s created in the same layout as the islands, with the main Grand Canal bridges intact, St. Mark’s Square is nearly identical to the real thing, and even the market is in the correct location on the eastern side of the Rialto Bridge.  One of the funniest moments in the game for me was when I overheard a public speaker informing the public not to eat fish that came out of the canals.  The only thing that made me cringe about playing a game set in Venice is when I would accidentally jump in the wrong direction and dive into a canal.  When I lived in Venice, I worked on a project to drastically change the way the Venetian sewerage system works, so that may help you understand why I have reservations on jumping into the canals.  🙂

 

Bulletstorm – 1000/1000 on 3-6-2011

Today, Bulletstorm joins my list of fully completed games.  This is a game that exceeded all of my expectations, many of which were set very high.  The story is fun adn hysterical, the time trial mode (Echoes) is challenging and great to compare scores against friends, and the co-op multiplayer mode (Anarchy) is a blast to play with friends.  As far as achievements go, only a few require other people, and most are easily doable.  Red Barrels was difficult for me to get, and a few chapters on Very Hard difficulty were a pain (I’m looking at you 7-1), but overall it wasn’t terribly hard to fully complete.  This is a spectacular game for adults, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

 

Portal 2 – 1000/1000 on 4-28-2011

When I first heard that Valve was creating Portal 2, one of the first thoughts in my head was “What kind of crazy achievements will this game have?”.  I was also worried about the length of the game.  Portal 1 took all of 2 hours to fully complete the story, so could Valve create a game that people would and should pay a full $60 for?  The story portion of Portal 2 took just over 9 hours to complete, without a single moment of boredom.  The co-op portion took about half that to complete, but I’ve since played it through two to three times.  The achievements range from smashing 11 TV’s in a single play session to simply hugging your friends.  This game is perfectly executed in every way, and one not to miss out on.

 

Brink – 1000/1000 on 5-15-2011

Brink is an interesting game. It was marketed very well, but is missing some key aspects that could make it great. The concept of gaining experience whether you play against robotic AI or humans is a breath of fresh air. The same can be said for being able to fully map the controller layout. Every game should have this feature. One thing this game is lacking, and I can not being to contemplate why, is a multiplayer lobby. Brink promotes playing with friends, but there is no easy way to group friends together and then play against other humans. It’s a mess, and I have no idea how this decision was made. Anyways, overall I’d say that Brink is a good game. It throws gamerscore at you like nothing else, and within five days, I’ve completed every achievement. The only one that I could see giving trouble would be “Tough as nails” which requires you to finish the storyline in Hard mode or online. The latter is extremely annoying because of what I mentioned earlier, and the fact that every time a person joins or leaves a team when online, the server comes to a halt for a few seconds. I played through the campaign with friends, and that made it easier, but it wasn’t a walk in the park. The reason this is difficult is because as you rank up, the enemy AI ranks up as well, and while your team’s AI still waits until the last 2 minutes to help out in any fashion, the enemy team’s AI just gets more brutal. Other than this achievement, which is mildly annoying, the rest are extremely easy. I hope the development team adds more achievements with DLC in the future.

 

L.A. Noire – 1000/1200 on 5-23-2011

This game shiped with two pieces of DLC that are preorder specific. I didn’t get these, but that’s why there are 1200 points total. Instead, I got a sweet light blue outfit called The Broderick. Yippee. Anyways… I didn’t know what to expect from L.A. Noire before release. I’m glad to say that this is not Grand Theft Auto in the 1940’s Los Angeles. I’m a big fan of GTA, but not really of this time period. L.A. Noire is more of a puzzle game than a shooting one, and the story that Team Bondi has created is spectacular. I figured out some of the story from bits and pieces, but was thrown off by others. It’s also nice to play a game without a multiplayer component. You can tell that a lot of work was focused on this single player element. I look forward to playing future games using this engine. Real actors can now successfully play roles in video games, and L.A. Noire is the first game that I believe can show off their talent well. This year is looking great for gaming, and it’s only May!

Deus Ex – Human Revolution – 1000/1000 on 9-5-2011

I never wrote up my impressions of this game when it first came out. This is because of two separate reasons that melded together and caused me to first write up about this game after fully completing it. First off, after playing this game for a few hours, I didn’t really care for it, and I was having trouble figuring out how to write that down. I was upset that the control layout was so radically different than most other games, and there is no way to change it with exception to inverting axes and sensitivity. That right there angered me, along with the fact that I couldn’t aim well and couldn’t hack into anything successfully. It was just somewhat of a mess, and after a few hours, I decided to give it a rest and come back the next day. This is where the second reason comes in. I picked the game back up after a night’s rest, and somehow the controls made sense to me. I started leveling up my character and weapons, making them easier to aim, and making hacking much easier. Most of my problems were almost instantly solved. The only problem now, is that I was somewhat hooked; hence my second reason. The depth that this game goes in each of its aspects is amazing, be it first person shooter, third person spy, even the hacking minigame is probably the best hacking minigame in any game that I’ve ever played. It’s smart, and took me a while to master. The best thing Deus Ex has to offer though is that you can tackle objectives in just about any way you want. You can get there by sneaking by, or by knocking guards out and hiding their bodies. You can also just run in and kill everyone. It’s up to you and in every single situation in the ~25 hour long campaign, it worked flawlessly. This is easily the best game that’s come out this year so far, and possibly even last year as well. As far as achievements go, all but three were completed rather easily on my first runthrough of the game. A second playthrough was completed in order to 1. finish on the hardest difficulty, 2. without killing anybody, and 3. without setting off any alarms. Playing through a second time like this wasn’t as difficult as it may sound because I knew every nook and cranny of the game already, and it was a blast to play through again.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 1000/1000 on 3-23-2012

I don’t quite know where to begin with this one. I’ve never played any of the previous games in this series, but was in complete awe when I played Fallout 3, another amazing Bethesda piece of art. If you scroll up in this post a bit, you’ll see that I completed that game as well. Skyrim plays very similar to Fallout 3 at its core, but the world and characters here are vastly different. I started this game and played for about 40 hours as a pure mage before starting all over again as a stealth Khajiit assassin, and never looked back. When all was said and done, I’ve got over 1500 save files and 130 hours into this character. Skyrim also now sits atop my list of greatest games ever played. It is masterfully made and a pure joy to play. You can lose yourself in this world, and whoever designed the city of Whiterun is a complete genius. None of the achievements seem really difficult to get; the hardest if probably Oblivion Walker which requires you to find 15 of the 16 special Daedric weapons scattered in numerous dungeons in the land. I’m still not done with the game, but I’m done with the achievements until DLC is inevitably released. Some minor bugs aside, this one is a complete winner.

SSX – 1000/1000 on 4-14-2012

SSX is the first sports game that I’ve ever completed fully. This game’s achievements are a mix between easy completion awards and tough, time consuming challenges. Some require grinding, but not too much. They are generally very easy to attain. Some of them do happen to require many people playing online, so the older this game gets, the tougher it will be to max out its achievements. In general, SSX is loads of fun, and I plan on continuing to play it as the online challenges are very well made. A maxed out character in this game can do some wildy amazing moves. I made a video of a race recently that can be found here. It doesn’t show off the magnitude of the tricks that can be performed, but it shows some of the more treacherous terrain that the game sometimes throws at you. I had an absolute blast playing this game for achievements, and look forward to setting some sweet scores now!

Far Cry 3 – 1000/1000 on 1-2-2013

Far Cry 3 released at a good time for me. I had been playing Borderlands 2 for a good two months, had completed Black Ops 2 for as much as I could handle, and had just played Assassin’s Creed 3, which for me, was a letdown. When I heard that Far Cry 3 was basically Assassin’s Creed with guns, it sparked some interest. I really like the AC series, but the latest installment left me with somewhat of a stale taste in my mouth. Right from the beginning of Far Cry 3, I could see that this was an entertaining and well-made game, even if it copied its core structure from another game. I spent about 15 hours with this game, and was able to complete the achievements in just a single playthrough. The multiplayer co-op isn’t anything special, but the single player portion is really great. I enjoyed the stealth aspects when trying to liberate the outposts the most. None of the achievements were really hard. Overall, I think they were well balanced and spaced out. I’d say that some of the most annoying achievements were just the ones for completing multiplayer, as I never really wanted to go through it.

Borderlands 2 – 1125/1125 on 10-20-2012
I haven’t made many updates to my site in a while. The only game I’ve been playing is Borderlands 2, and though I’ve wanted to write up my impressions, I just haven’t had any time to do so. I guess I can use this space for a few of them. Borderlands 1 is one of my all-time favorite games, and I was really excited for its sequel. I’m glad that Gearbox took their time with this game, because they improved almost every aspect of it. They made an incredible game even better, which seems to be a difficult task now that publishers are trying to milk some franchises dry. Anyways, Borderlands 2 starts you off with no real good items for the first ~10 hours or so, and then starts dropping better ones in a seemingly exponential fashion. By the time you’re at max level, you’ve played through the game twice, and can then focus on farming bosses for better loot. I did this for a few days before starting up a different character. If Gearbox is going to raise the level cap like they did with Borderlands 1, then there isn’t much of a point to collect a lot of maxed out weapons now, or even use my maxxed out character. They’ve already released one DLC pack, which is why my score is 1125 instead of 1000. They’ve also released a DLC character, which I have at level 32 currently. As far as achievements go, the character-specific achievements aren’t as easy as they were in the first game. One character has to get to level 31 in order to earn his achievement, and another to level 25. In the first game, they could all be gotten in the first ~10 levels. Other than these, the rest kind of fell into place. Borderlands 2 is not a game that I play for the achievements. I play it for the amazing world that Gearbox has created, and I will play it until the next entry in the series releases.

1125/1125 on 10-20-2012- Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty – This was a surprise, releasing within 30 days of the actual game. It lasts about 5 hours, and is quite fun to play. I’ve gone through it with my level 50 Siren and level 32 Mechromancer. It adds a new type of crystal called Seraph, that only drops by the DLC’s two raid bosses. These bosses are not easy, and they only drop a few crystals each time. It appears as though the special items that you receive cost around 100 crystals, and they aren’t really that great, so I’m not putting a whole lot of time in here once finished. It is a really nice place for your character to level up, and it is quite comical and fun, so I recommend it for characters going through the story each time.

1250/1250 on 11-23-2012 – Mr. Torgue and his Campaign of Carnage – The humor in this piece of DLC is off the charts. I enjoyed this one as I did with the first, but still question why we haven’t been given a level cap increase to expand our characters some more. The achievements in this DLC were pretty straightforward, with one requiring a bit of luck. Every so often, an enemy will drop a photo of Moxxi, and you need to collect 10 of these. This was the last achievement acquired, and took a bit of farming.

1375/1375 on 5-1-2013 – Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt – So far,  this is my least favorite piece of Borderlands 2 DLC.  For one, if focused only on main story quests, this takes 2 hours maximum.  I don’t usually play without doing the sidequests, but it isn’t as deep as the previous Torgue DLC, which is quite good.  There is one treasure room that can be looted just once per playthrough.  There are two raid bosses, one of which is insanely difficult (Voracidous), and another that requires you to travel around, lighting furnaces with Eridium in order to spawn (Dexiduous).  This one has the chance to drop The Chopper, which is a throwback weapon to Borderlands 1.  This isn’t a bad piece of DLC, but it isn’t as deep as the others.  I think it would be better off if it had given a skill point upon completion, like the Mad Moxxi DLC did in the first game.  By far, the hardest achievement was to complete all sidequests, but sidequest to defeat Voracidous took me a very long time.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (360) – 1000/1000 on 12-8-2013
Call of Duty: Ghosts (One) – 1000/1000 on 2-3-2014

The addition of the Extinction game mode is the highlight of this entry. It was released just before the Xbox One came out so it was split between two consoles. This means twice the amount of achievement points! The game definitley lookes better on the One, but just a fraction of my friends moved over, so it quickly fizzled out in terms of multiplayer. Since the release of Titanfall, it hasn’t gotten much attention except for when new DLC is released.

South Park: The Stick of Truth – 1000/1000 on 3-16-2014

This game caught me off-guard. I’ve been a longtime fan of South Park and was excited for this to come out. I was also a bit nervous, as many South Park games have been attempted in the past, and most of them are horrid. I always did like the first person N64 South Park game though, where you could upgrade your snowballs to yellow snowballs. That was a blast. The Stick of Truth is set up as a side scrolling turn-based RPG, and it’s made very well. I ended up playing through the game twice to get all of the achievements, and I laughed the entire time. This is easily the funniest game I’ve ever played.

Titanfall (One) – 1000/1000 on 5-11-2014

Well, I never thought this would happen. Titanfall has been my most anticipated game since Respawn was born. As a long time fan of the old Infinity Ward who made some of the previous titles in this list, hearing that this team was going to create a new IP made me very excited. As an achievement hunter, this game scared me a whole lot. There is one achievement that I never wanted to even attempt (Pull Harder) where you have to get an airborne kill with a very precise weapon. I only went after this one after unlocking an achievement that takes mostly luck to attain (I Killed Them All). For this one, you have to kill all escaping enemies single-handedly, which can be tough when the whole team is going after them. This one unlocked for me in a slightly cheesy way because all but two of the enemy team backed out of the room, so upon killing just two enemies, I got the achievement. Respawn hasn’t announced any more achievements for Titanfall, but if they do, I’ll be going after them… this game is phenomenal.

 

Fallout 4 – 1000/1000 on 12-13-2015
Yesterday I attained 1000/1000 in Fallout 4. It’s been a very long time since I’ve updated this log with a gaming post. Earlier in this same post, I saw that Fallout 3 was completed on 12-15, and Fallout 4 on 12-13. Fallout 3 was released about two weeks earlier in the year however, so my 33 day completion is pretty good. I’m far from done with this one though. It’s really been seven years since Fallout 3, and since then, I had always hoped that they would bring the wasteland to

Massachusetts. The season pass was purchased alongside the game, so I’m ready for whatever Bethesda has lined up next for this one! I think it’s funny that I spent a total of 120 hours in Fallout 3 and all of its DLC, and I’ve already put in over 160 in Fallout for in just over a month. The most time-consuming achievement was definitely Benevolent Leader, which requires you to bring the happiness of one of your settlements all the way up to 100%. It took a few hours to get it the last 10% or so.

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Mediterranean MTA 2013 – Day 4 – Venice, Italy

by on Nov.07, 2013, under Gaming, General, Mediterranean Maiden Transatlantic 2013, Vacation

Today with confirmation of all passengers and crew onboard and with all of our presailing checks complete, Royal Princess will let go her lines and maneuver slowly off the berth and commence navigating slowly through the narrow, shallow canal network. The Venetian Lagoon stretches from the River Sile in the North to the Brenta in the South, with a surface area of around 212 square miles. It is around 8% land, including Venice itself and many smaller islands. About 11% is permanently covered by open water, or canal, as the network of dredged channels are called, while around 80% consists of mud flats, tidal shallows, and salt marshes. The lagoon is the largest wetland in the Mediterranean Basin. Once clear from the lagoon breakwaters we will disembark our pilot and commence our transit south-eastwards across the Adriatic Sea, towards the Strait of Otranto on the way to our next Port of Call, Messina.

Sleeping last night was rather difficult. We were onboard the ship, but it wasn’t moving, so it felt strange. We got up early, had breakfast, and departed for our last day in Venice. I had a long list of things I wanted to get done. We took a chartered boat from the pier over to San Marco where the four of us took a 30 minute gondola ride. It was really fun, and our gondolier came very close to hitting multiple bridges, but never did. I kept looking for sewage outlets in the canal walls, but the tide was too high to see many of them. For those who don’t know, the sewerage system in Venice consists primarily of plumbing that goes into a storage area underneath a building (think of a compost heap) and then into the canals. After our ride, we walked around a bit and Mom and Dad headed back towards the ship. Heather and I took a Vaporetto up to the train station and did a little shopping.

We then headed back towards the amazing restaurant that we ate at on our first evening, but before that we stopped at a small wine store that I frequented when I lived here. This man has a winery and his store consists of a handful of barrels on the wall. You bring him an empty water bottle and he fills it with his wine. Each type of wine costs a different amount, but most are in the range of 2 Euros per liter. I remember it being great wine, and after buying it, Heather took my photo with the man.

We had a very quick bite to eat at our favorite Venetian restaurant, then walked back to our hotel because I had forgotten to give their key back, and they were very appreciative. We then took the monorail back to the ship and boarded. Luckily they didn’t find or care about our wine so we’ve now got 3 liters in our refrigerator!

Another few hours passed and we were ready to set sail. I found a spot where my tripod would sit nicely and after the required muster drill, I went and set up the tripod. The ship slowly left Venice through the Giudecca Canal, and I got quite a spectacular shot of the departure. It always makes me emotional leaving this city, but our adventure is just beginning.

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Gamerscore!

by on Sep.10, 2013, under Gaming, General

Here I will show updates on my gamerscore as I cross 10,000 point barriers because, well, I did it once, so I might as well continue to do so!!  New updates will be in red.

1-20-2009 – Well, I crossed the 10,000 gamerpoints mark yesterday.  This was the first year that I have ever had MLK Jr day off from work and a few weeks ago I decided to take it as a gaming day.  I played mostly Fable II and really enjoyed it.  The achievement that broke the barrier was the following:

I had to sub target both weapons of a Hollow Man, and then sub target his head to finish him.  At the end of the day, I had 10,065 points and had maxed the stats of my character in Fable II.  Now on to 20,000!

10-29-2009 – I crossed the 20,000 point barrier last night.  I have been watching this ceiling for a while now and hoping that I would pass it when Modern Warfare 2 comes out, but I got there faster than I had thought.  The achievement that broke the barrier was the following:

In DJ Hero, after you have successfully gotten 40 hits in a row (on Medium, 60 on Hard) you have the option to “Rewind”.  When the game tells you to rewind, you spin the platter back and can repeat what you just played, but with a bonus multiplier.  Do this 20 times and hit all the notes and you get this achievement.  Now on to 30,000!

12-7-2010 – Yesterday afternoon I broke the 30,000 gamerscore ceiling.  I had the day off from work for some pre-op appointments for my shoulder reconstruction surgery that’s taking place tomorrow, and I spent a good amount of time playing Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.  It’s been a little over 13 months since I broke through 20,000, with not many 1000/1000 games played.  The achievement that broke the 30,000 gamerscore barrier is the following:

Plumber is an achievement in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and deals with finding an artifact in the Shrine of Cloaca Maxima.  There are six shrines in this game, and finding them all nets you some sweet armor, which I grabbed a few minutes after completing this, the last shrine.  I like this achievement because the picture of it is a throwback to Super Mario Bros.  The creators of the Assassin’s Creed franchise seem to like putting little nods to SMB in their games, and I approve of this.  Now on to 40,000!

6-21-2011 – 40,000 gamerscore was broken yesterday, almost without notice. I’ve gone back to playing Lego Star Wars and have been enjoying the game. It’s not a terribly difficult game, and I usually end up chuckling a few times each time I play, so I will continue playing it, possibly until 100% completion. We’ll see! Anyways, the achievement that broke the barrier this time is the following:

Shoot First is an awesome achievement. Lego Star Wars is loaded with achievments for killing a certain character with another, and this one requires you to kill Greedo with Han Solo. As we all know, something snapped inside George Lucas’ head when he retouched Episode IV and the order of a certain event got a bit askew. Putting that event back in its original order pops this achievement. Now on to 50,000!

3-14-2012 – I’ve made it to 50,000 gamerscore, and just a few hours ago it read just 25 points. There was a glitch somewhere at Microsoft that reset some peoples’ gamerscores, mine included. I’m glad that it was fixed as I was really close to this ceiling.

The achievement that broke the 50,000 point barrier is The Best of the Best, earned for completing Modern Warfare 3 on Hardened or Veteran difficulty. I am now three achievements away from full completion of the game. Now on to 60,000!

9-7-2013 – It’s been 18 months since passing the 50,000 gamerscore mark, and seems like just as long since I made a gaming-related update here! This past weekend, I passed the 60,000 ceiling as well as completing all achievements in Borderlands 2. I wasn’t sure if that would push me over the edge, but it didn’t.

The achievement that broke the 60,000 barrier was Intellectually Superior from Tomb Raider. This game is fantastic. It’s one that I put down a few months ago and just recently started again in hopes of finishing it. I haven’t completed it yet, but this achievement was given for completing all optional tombs, which provide some of the most fun this game has to offer. This will probably be my last update in this post for the 360 era, as the One releases in a few months, so… Now on to 70,000!

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Initial Impressions – Forza Motorsport 4 and Wireless Speed Wheel

by on Oct.12, 2011, under Gaming, General

To begin with, I’ll put it out there that I tried the Forza 3 demo two years ago and absolutely hated it. The setting was boring, the handling felt weird, and there was no nitro boost. You see, to me, the best racing game ever created is Mario Kart, which is vastly disimilar to the ultra-realistic and almost RPG-like game that Turn10 has created. I played the demo for about ten minutes and knew that the game was not for me.

On the day before Forza 4’s release, I downloaded the demo on a whim to see if the game had been improved with two years development. Boy was I surprised! I ended up spending about 45 minutes with it, completing all six races and wanting more. I read about it online and watched some video reviews. I read about the Speed Wheel and how it wasn’t a complete joke like the Wii Wheel. I also read about the super rare Limited Collector’s Edition that was going for over $200 on Amazon, much higher than it’s asking price. All in all, I was excited, and about a game that I abhored the previous time I played it. It was a strange feeling.

I decided to try arriving at Best Buy at opening and see if they had a Limited Collector’s Edition there. I wasn’t expecting them to, but upon getting there, they had about 10 of them. I instantly felt sorry for all the people who spent a lot of money on them. I also was able to demo the Speed Wheel and was impressed at how well it worked. I was told that with Kinect, it is even more precise. I ended up picking one up as well.

Forza 4 jumps you right into the racing, even before I was able to get the Speed Wheel set up. The campaign progression works as seasons, with each season having faster cars and more races. The types of races are varied well, and after every few of them, you level up and get a new car to try. As you race cars from the same manufacturer, you level up your affinity with them, giving you cheaper and eventually free upgrades. I haven’t really gone into the upgrades yet as the game will automatically upgrade for you when needed, and that’s as deep as I’ve gone. It also has a very deep tuning section that I briefly saw. It was like walking into a room you shouldn’t be in and instanly running away scared. That’s how I felt when I saw what types of things you could do in the tuning section.

The game integrates with Kinect and on paper, it sounds pretty awesome. When you turn your head in real life, the camera turns a bit to look at your mirrors. All I’ve been able to make it do is look to the right, even though I’m trying to look forward or even to the left. It hasn’t worked yet but I’ll try it again, but I think you have to be closer or standing to make it work, neither of which I want to do. When you crash in the game, you can press a button to initiate the “Sands of Time” in essence to go back a few seconds. This is great and all, but the way I have my controller set up, whenever I start up again, it quickly looks behind me and is just annoying. Other than these little issues, this game is rock solid. There are many modes, and I was able to lose two online races successfully without lag, but people online are jerks and crash into you a lot.

Now I picked up this wireless Speed Wheel as well, and I like it a lot. It is shaped like a “U” and I think it has a gyroscope in it. The tops of it glow green at times and I think the Kinect sees it. In any event, it works very well and the movements mimic the hands on the steering wheel in the game. The only problem that I’ve come across with this wheel so far is that it doesn’t have the XBOX bumper buttons on it anywhere. There’s plenty of room for them, even on the middle section. This is problematic when navigating the menus in Forza 4, which released alongside this device. In order to change my title in the game, and probably tune my car, I have to switch out to a regular controller, though this causes other problems when trying to sync back up with the Speed Wheel. It’s funny how third party controller manufactures are not allowed to make wireless controllers for the Xbox, but Microsoft can’t even remember to put the required buttons on them. I’d love to hear their reasoning behind this.

All in all, I am having a blast with Forza 4 and the Speed Wheel as well. This is definitely the best automobile simulator that I’ve ever played, and I’ve just scratched the surface!

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Initial Impressions – Dead Island

by on Sep.08, 2011, under Gaming, General

Dead Island is another game that I was not planning on buying until a few weeks ago. You could say that I succumbed to peer pressure, as a good handful of my friends were planning on picking it up. Also, there was a midnight release for it at my local Gamestop, and I’ve always had fun at midnight releases.

Dead Island is not difficult to explain. You’re stuck on an island in the South Pacific, partying it up one night, then you stumble back to your room and pass out. When you awake, most everybody has obviously been turned into zombies, and you have to escape the island. The game plays as a first person shooter, almost too similarly to Borderlands, but as a Borderlands lover, this doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

I’ve played Dead Island for about 14 hours, and I have had a lot of fun with this game. Sure, there are glitches here and there, for instance, FateOfVengeance and I stumbled across a couple; The man had recently been bitten by a zombie and wanted us to drive his girlfriend up to safety. You’re supposed to get in the truck and she follows you to it, but instead, she just ran in place. Even after exiting and starting up a new game, she didn’t seem to run to the truck, but when we each tried it in our respective single-player games, she ran to the truck without a problem. That was the biggest issue that I’ve come across with the game. For the most part though, the game plays very well. It’s definitely not perfect, and there is a 37 point patch that is going through Microsoft certification now that should, among other things, make the engine noise louder. Oh yes.

I was worried that Dead Island would be a Left 4 Dead clone, but instead it’s a Borderlands/Fallout clone with zombies. I’m having a blast with it, bugs aside, and would definitely recommend it if you like the RPG aspects of Borderlands, but set on an island, with the voice acting technique and questing of Bethesda RPG’s.

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Initial Impressions – DiRT3

by on May.27, 2011, under Gaming, General

To be honest with you, I didn’t know that DiRT3 existed a week ago. After completing L.A. Noire, I looked around for a new game and saw that DiRT3 was getting review scores in the 90% and above range, so I decided to give it a try. This is hands down the best racing game I’ve played in a long time. I’m the type of person who likes my racing games more on the arcade side rather than the simulation side, and DiRT3 seems to blend the two types together nicely. You can adjust five aspects of your car such as suspension, braking, ride height, etc, which makes it somewhat of a sim, but from what I’ve played so far, it doesn’t critique every move like one. Every race you get 5 chances to back time up and try a section again if you fail. I’ve gone off the road many times but just hit a few buttons in order to make it through a section.

DiRT3 is made up of four different racing seasons, and after going through the first season, you open up a big parking lot full of jumps, poles, and sliding areas. This reminds me of the old(good) Tony Hawk games where you had a certain amount of time to complete multiple objectives, and you can replay it repeatedly. In DiRT3, there is no time limit, but this track has about 20 different objectives to complete. It’s very cool and supposedly you can play this mode with friends. I went online and played some rally races against human oponenents, which was fun and surprisingly void of lag. It plays very smoothly, and even though I didn’t win a single event, I had a blast playing.

This game features a way to record clips from races and upload them directly to youtube. It isn’t the best quality, maxing out at 480p, but it’s better than nothing. I tested it out on my very first race, and you can watch a short clip here. Overall, DiRT3 really does impress, and if you’re looking for a great all-around racing game, I don’t think you can top it right now. Even the sound and music choices are superb. Codemasters did a great job with this title.

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Initial Impressions – Crysis 2

by on Mar.24, 2011, under Gaming, General

Have you ever had a nightmare, then woken up just to fall back asleep and have a great dream? This is what it feels like to play Crysis 2 just a week after the atrocity that is the multiplayer portion of Homefront. Seriously, Homefront feels like you went out to dinner, ordered a roast duckling, but instead was served a boiled pigeon. I may sound harsh on Homefront, but I am very disappointed in a game that feels more like a beta build than a finished product. I’ll give it another try once KAOS patches what they think is wrong with it. I doubt it’ll be anywhere near to what I think but I’ll give them another chance.  Crytek knows how to make a solid game, and they do so without trying to one-up the big shooter names. Sure, Crysis 2 could be classified as a mix between Halo and Call of Duty, but it doesn’t feel like it’s aiming to take down either one. It plays wonderfully and is a lot of fun.

I originally purchased Crysis 2 on PC, and let me tell you that it looks absolutely amazing on that platform. The next day I picked it up on 360 because of a few things. First off, on PC the game requires you to input a code every single time you want to play. It’s a bug and there has since been an update to fix this, so hopefully it will work the next time I try. The real problem I have with the PC version though is that I can’t figure out how to use the mouse and keyboard for controls successfully. I have a Razer Onza hopefully arriving sometime today, so that should fix this for me, but I’m just not good with this type of control mechanism. It’s a personal problem, not one that Crytek has anything to do with. They’ve done a great job.

I’ve played the first few chapters in the single player campaign on both PC and 360, and about 4 hours of multiplayer on the 360. It’s a solid, beautiful-looking (on both platforms) game that has a lot of depth. Upgrades are well thought-out, and the sound is engineered masterfully. The designers really seem to know what FPS gamers want. The melee system works well and isn’t too over or under powered, I can have my tactical button layout, and there seems to be little to no lag whatsoever, even though signal strengths vary. It’s all just really well-made, and I’m glad to play a game that feels this way. Crysis 2 is the first game of 2011 that I feel has a “Game of the Year” feel to it, and I’m not even a quarter of the way through its campaign. The multiplayer is customizeable like most FPS games that release these days, but it doesn’t overdo it in suplerfuous customizeable options such as how I want my face to be painted up. If you like the taste of first person shooters, do yourself a favor and eat this duckling up.

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Initial Impressions – Homefront (Multiplayer)

by on Mar.16, 2011, under Gaming, General

At this time last week, I was not planning on buying Homefront. At PAX East I was able to play a short demo, and because it didn’t suck, I decided to buy the game. I somewhat regret my purchase. Now it should be known that I have only played the multiplayer aspect of the game, so all impressions here are from that game mode.

Multiplayer is fun if and when you can get into a lobby. I notice less lag than what I see in the Call of Duty games, possibly due to this game having dedicated servers, but I really don’t know. The problem however, is actually finding a room to play in with your friends. It works most of the time by yourself, but it crawls to a halt as soon as you add a friend to the room.

There are two game modes; one a Team Deathmatch mode, and the other a Domination type mode. There is a third mode that combines the two, and then there is Battle Commander mode, which is just an overlay on top of the first three. Confused yet? Battle Commander mode is actually pretty cool. If you are doing well with your killstreak, you become wanted, and you get a star. Keep going and you add more stars. It reminds me of the legal system implemented in the Grand Theft Auto series. Upon earning more stars, a few things happen. First, the enemy gets a yellow circle on the map showing your approximate location. Secondly, you get perks such as a tad bit more armor, or a sweeping UAV that shows enemy locations. It’s one of the nicer touches to the game in my opinion, though some of my friends abhor it. I also like how you have to buy your drones and vehicles each round with points that you’ve gathered. Some of the vehicles can also be upgraded, which is nice.

This morning I decided to start a list of issues that I’ve seen with this game in my ~5 hours of playing, most of which were spent sitting in a lobby that goes nowhere. These are all just observations where the game seems broken to me. Overall, when I am about to get into a match, I generally do have fun with it.

Issues:

  • A quick read through the game manual revealed at least five grammar or sentence structure mistakes. I don’t know if it was proof-read or not.
  • Hitting the Back button makes your character stop moving whatsoever. This is a huge hindrance. Hitting the Back button shows the room’s scoreboard, but you can only do it when you’re alive, and all of your movements stop while looking at it. You can’t check the score after you’ve been shot and killed. You have to respawn, then check the score while you’re completely vulnerable.
  • Speaking of vulnerability, it seems that if you call in an airstrike, but someone kills you during it, you’ll lose your airstrike and die. I’ve had it happen to me twice already, once in an airstrike, and the other in an expensive helicopter. I was not pleased. The game should allow you to continue your airstrike or give it back to you.
  • There is no Tactical button layout. This is just a personal one. I like clicking the right stick and crouching instead of knifing. I think it should be standard for shooters by now, but again this is just a personal complaint.
  • Matchmaking is completely broken.
  • Sniping is insanely overpowered. The handful of maps are mostly geared towards sniping, and the game makes it so easy that a lot of people snipe. You die in one or two shots from a sniper rifle. They have little to no sway, and you don’t have to hold down a button to hold your breath. It’s amazingly easy and annoying when you are up against a full team of snipers.
  • Why do I have to confirm if I want to veto the map? Just let me veto it with a single button press.
  • Parties don’t stay together when they back out. This kind of goes along with my matchmaking statement.
  • When a room says 16/16, it is not Joinable.
  • When I see that a friend is in a room with 22/24 players, I shouldn’t ever see the following message: “There are not enough available slots in this game session.”
  • You have to hold the X button to enter a vehicle. The game just says “Hold to enter vehicle”
  • Do I have to select my hard drive EVERY time I start the game? The answer should be no, but unfortunately, it isn’t.

I am giving this game a shot, but I don’t think it can hold up to the bigger FPS titles. I am really looking forward to seeing what Crysis 2 will bring to the table next week.

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Initial Impressions – Dead Space 2

by on Feb.10, 2011, under Gaming, General

I played through the first two chapters of Dead Space 2 last night, and honestly, didn’t want to stop.  I only did because i had to go to bed an hour later and didn’t want to be awake from fright all night.  The game comes on two discs (for 360), and I installed them both to my hard drive.  EA requires you to input a code that comes with the game.  This is designed in order for EA to make some money off of used games as they charge $10 to play online if you don’t have this code.  It makes sense from the company’s point of view, but probably upsets consumers who like to purchase used games.  From what I’ve heard, Dead Space 2’s multiplayer isn’t spectacular, and I plan on playing primarily the single player game anyways.

Okay, so after playing a few hours with the iPad game, I had a feel as to what to expect, and as soon as it got dark out, I fired up the game on the big TV and cranked the surround sound.  I watched a short video that comes with the game and tells of the happenings in Dead Space 1, since I never played that game.  The opening sequences set up the story well and somehow throw you into the action while you’re still in the middle of them.  It’s done seamlessly, and before I knew it, I was walking around this space station that’s in complete ruins.  At first, you’re in a straight jacket, running from crazy mutated people, and the sense of helplessness is very real.  You’ll walk by an area and see people getting maimed in all sorts of different and awesome ways, then they will start attacking you.

I’ve upgraded a few of my weapons and found schematics for others.  The schematics unlock the weapons in the shop, so I can buy them from now on.  I’ve upgraded a few items, but it seems as though the Power Nodes that are required to upgrade items are few and far between, and the upgrades seem to need a lot of them.  I suppose that there will be more later on, or that the game is set up to earn more on subsequent playthroughs.

If there was just one aspect of the game that I would call the best, it would be the sound design.  Walking into a room and having steam blow down on me wouldn’t have such an impact if not for the calm ambiance turning instantly into a loud “whoosh” that made me jump back over a foot, literally.  This is where the game seems to really excel.  It’s not just all monsters coming at you; it’s the environment that scares me the most.  Sometimes I’ll hear whispering behind me.  Sometimes I’ll be in an elevator and the lights will go off, then the game will throw some crazy image up that I just didn’t expect at all.  The game does this so well, and I look forward to finishing it up, then playing it through again.
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Initial Impressions – Dead Space HD for iPad

by on Feb.09, 2011, under Gaming, General

Disclaimer – I’ve never played a Dead Space game

This past Christmas, an iPad arrived at our house, and over the past month I’ve been buying games for it here and there.  Two days ago I purchased Dead Space 2 from Amazon and it should be arriving today, so look for my impressions on it tomorrow hopefully.  From doing some research, I learned that Dead Space on iPad would unlock something in Dead Space 2, and the reviews of this game in iTunes were mostly very excellent, so I decided to pick it up.  It’s $10, which is on the more expensive end of the price spectrum for iPad games, and so far, I can say that it’s worth this price.

Dead Space iPad drops you onto a mining station in the middle of space.  At the beginning, you are tasked with having to find a weapon, so you walk around using the iPad touch controls.  With your left finger, you move forward, back, and side to side, and with your right finger, you look.  It works just as if you had a controller, and it works VERY well, though takes some getting used to.  Once you attain your weapon, you tap the screen with your right finger to bring the weapon up, then tap again to shoot it.  You can tap various glowing areas on your back to use secondary attacks, and reload your weapon.

I’ve made it through Chapter 4, and I believe that there are a few more chapters.  So far, one of them has given me problems, but I got through it.  I’ve upgraded one of my weapons and my suit a few times, and from playing in pitch black with headphones turned all the way up, I’ve screamed out “ARGH!” more than twice.  It really is creepy, and all I can think of is how crazy Dead Space 2 will be on the big TV with the system cranked tonight.  If you have an iPad, check this one out.
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