There is no hope

kholat-19_08_2018-10_53_22-am.png

Kholat • You’ve collected a note in the tree area • 35G • 19.45% of gamers unlocked this

I have actually waited quite a while to score myself an achievement from Kholat. A quick search of this blog notes that I tried back in November last year without much luck to get Kholat working on the 2012 Macbook Pro, and so with my new sexy and beefy gaming PC, it was about time to give this one another go.

Kholat 18_08_2018 10_07_32 PM

If I’m perfectly honest, the only reason I ever got this game was because it looked affordable on the Windows store and I needed more Win10 titles on my laptop to get me through ’emergency’ sessions during the 2017-18 run of Xbox-only achievements for this challenge. But, it wasn’t free – and so I did actually part with some hard earned cash to get this game, and with that in mind it seemed silly just to leave it parked on my account without ever having fully experienced it beyond 10 FPS and frequent crashes.

I tried reading more about the real life circumstances that surround the game of Kholat but it’s one of those genuinely unexplained mysteries that just don’t sit well with me. There are instances like The Staircase, where there are a whole raft of situations that could have happened – up-to-and-including an attack by an owl on Kathleen Peterson, causing the head wounds and her ultimate collapse at the stairs. We’ll never know exactly what happened, but there are scenarios that are plausible and in the absence of any further facts, then I’m happy with them as options. Kholat, or the ‘Dyatlov Pass Incident,’ just raises more questions than answers – and that aggravates me. With that in mind, I can still enjoy the scenario of the game without needing those further answers – I appreciate this game has a far greater supernatural element to it than what reality might dictate.

For the most part, it feels a bit like a walking simulator, though I did conclude today’s playthrough with a terrifying encounter with what I can only describe as a ‘flame man’. Other than a quick snapshot of the man-come-creature grabbing you and a cut-to-black, it’s a bit hard to understand the circumstances and the reason ‘why’, let alone the ‘how’ of being killed, but from what I read on the internet, I guess I’m supposed to treat this as part of the ‘journey’.

Kholat 19_08_2018 11_00_34 AM

Look, it’s not a bad game – and in terms of horror, I think it can rub all the right triggers nicely, but I very much am a spoon-fed gamer these days, and I don’t have the inclination to explore and experiment and learn as much as I feel like developers want me to. I just want to play a game. It’s nice to have the soft dulcet tones of Sean Bean introduce me to the game, but I’d be lying if I said it was enough to keep me there.

Today’s achievements are largely for picking up notes along the walking track. I might go back after reading some more, but there’s certainly no rush. I don’t know if there’s tactics I’m supposed to employ or some sort of order I’m supposed to work through the game, but in either event, I’m nonetheless glad that I’ve got something on the gamerscore board after waiting this long to play it properly.

Platinum Pace

20180818000154_1

DC Universe Online • Earn a platinum medal in any race

I’m usually a little annoyed when I miss a good opportunity to talk about an achievement, and I burn through something else instead. It’s even more annoying when I’ve used some ‘low hanging fruit’ when I could have saved that for another day – but I feel like neither of today’s achievements are necessarily ‘easy’, and so I am compelled to make this a double-post day and talk about this achievement from the MMORPG, DC Universe Online.

20180817072922_1

Full disclosure: I’ve already earned this achievement on DCUO on Xbox, and it is because of this instance that I knew this achievement was … well, ‘achievable’ fairly early on in the game. I didn’t open up DCUO with the intention of grabbing this achievement and posting it today (though there’d be nothing wrong with that if I did! I’ve certainly done similar things before!) but late last night after I smashed through the tutorial, I took the opportunity to have a quick race to see if it was as easy as I remembered.

What was fortuitous was the 12.01am timestamp on the achievement. By rights, I should have just written this one up today and moved on with my life, but the weather is terrible, and it felt like a good gaming afternoon, so Orwell it was. That being said, it is also a good chance to make some progress in DCUO on my PC instance … and, truth be told, it’s awfully nice to be able to have my beloved Thundersquirt back on hero rotation.

20180817235501_1

I realise I haven’t actually talked about the achievement itself. This is simply one for racing through a whole bunch of checkpoints within a minute. Literally … a minute. It really was perfect for a ‘one more level’ thing before bedtime.

I’ll probably partake in another ‘one more level’ before bed tonight, as well!

Torture myself with whimsies

20180818135827_1

Orwell • Show the rebellious side

Because I’m unashamedly a digital hoarder, I almost always go out of my way to add a free game to my gaming libraries … regardless of whether it’s Steam or GOG or Origin or your distribution-model-of-choice. And so when Humble Bundle (part of IGN) gave out free Orwell codes this week (which I assume was part of a promotion for the sequel), I naturally jumped on it and added it to my Steam library. Of course, normally I just add and cancel the installation, but somewhere along the way I must have let this one go – and so when I jumped online today to play something, I saw it there willing me to give it a click.

So I did.

The game itself plays out a bit ‘desktop detective-y’, where you rummage through a computer desktop and a pseudo-internet to uncover clues about an attack in the city of Bonton. There is some Orwellian undertones in the game – “The Party”, “The Capital”, etc. It is actually a good narrative use of nouns, as it kind of both adds to the authoritarian nature of the world, but doesn’t overburden the core story. Orwell himself is a literary genius.

I had to look up the context of this achievement because it didn’t seem progress-based, and this is what I found:

Show the rebellious side

  • From her timeline page, upload Cassandra’s posts about her support for the Plaza bombings – proponent of violence.
  • Do not upload her conflicting statements from the Thought blog.

So on further investigation, it appears that there’s actually a few different paths and endings that either the game itself or the individual chapters can take. A complete runthrough of the game, then, seems to require multiple playthroughs following multiple story branches. It’s a good game – but time and inclination don’t really grab me for such an in-depth examination of Orwell, and so I’d like to get to ‘an’ end, but whether it’s the right one … I’m not too concerned.

20180818140336_1

If I’m perfectly honest, my preferred method to play Orwell would be to follow an online walkthrough and just ‘smash out’ the story, but the best I can seem to find is a few achievement lists and how to earn each one (see above). No sequence to tell me ‘what’s next’ or ‘here’s what to click’ … just the cold, quiet void of digital silence.

Sometimes I wonder if the internet really is just for porn.

Left Key

20180817232251_1

Evoland • Congratulations!

My week is pretty much ending the same way as it has begun … under-the-pump and a little time poor. By 11pm I still hadn’t earned an achievement – and so with less than an hour to spare before the scheduled 11.59pm post, I scrambled to see what my Steam library could deliver.

Thankfully, a little game called Evoland delivered.

20180817232317_1

I first thought that this was just a delightful little indie game, but even after twenty minutes playing, I could see that this was actually something much better … Evoland – the name of the game – was literally taking me through the evolution of videogames. At first it was simple scrolling movement, then combat, then 16 colour display, then a storyline, and so-on-and-so-forth. I have to say – for a guy who has his expectations consistently low, this more-than-surpassed them.

20180817232536_1

I’m actually keen to keep playing this game for the simple fact that I want to see ‘what’s next?’ It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a new twist on a game, and this scratched an itch I never knew I had! It’s nice to know that for all the multi-million dollar developer and high-marketing-budget trash that litters the shelves of EB Games and retailers these days, sometimes it’s a small 200MB game that surprises you the most.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what being a gamer is all about!

Beginner

20180816113700_1

Unium • Solve 10 Beginner puzzles

Back to the nine-to-five grind today, and re-investing in a sneaky little lunchtime gaming session – first making an attempt to play Safety First!, but quickly learning that I probably need a controller (and the fact that I could only play it on full-screen doesn’t really make it appropriate for an office gaming fix), and so I moved on to another random selection from the Steam library, Unium.

20180816114335_1

In a nutshell, this is a game about drawing lines. A hollowed-out puzzle is presented to you, along with a starting block, and you are required to draw a line around the hollow in order to fill-in all the blanks. It sounds quite simple, but the last level in this first batch – level 10 – still required me to make a few different attempts before I eventually got it right. And that’s still on the tutorial, or ‘Beginner’ difficulty … only now I have advanced to the ‘Easy’ difficulty!

I’ll be honest … I like this game. I find it cathartic, but it’s probably more suited to a touch-screen or mobile device than a bootcamp’d MacBook Pro. That being said, I’d like to keep it on the computer for the occasional down-time fix … so don’t be surprised if you see this one creep back into the daily achievement fold.

Bounty: Lagomorph of Caerbannog

20180815070218_1

Clicker Heroes • Defeat Lagomorph of Caerbannog

In the 298 hours I have on-record for Clicker Heroes on Steam, I have never been able to break through the psychological barrier of Level 1000. Much like achieving 666 of every item in AdVenture Capitalist, this is a long, slow burn that experienced people could probably smash through quickly, but most people – like me – are probably going to struggle with as they ‘learn the ropes’ of the game, clicker mechanics, heroes, gilding, and levelling return-on-investment.

20180815070215_1

Well, today I broke clean through level 1000, and I am now onward and upward towards my next stop. From what I can tell on my achievement list, level 1000 – and the Lagomorph of Caerbannog – appear to be the last of the ‘bounty’ achievements, with the next cab-off-the-rank coming at zone 1200 for the ‘Zone Pwn’ achievement.

The Monty Python reference in this boss, or achievement name, hasn’t escaped me either. Lagomorph – or rabbit – of Caerbannog, is a nice play on the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The team at Playsaurus get two thumbs up for that alone.

Life should – touch wood – return a little more to normal now, so I look forward to a bit of standard gaming tomorrow … of course, now the problem is what to play. I have ended up in the (un)enviable position of too many games and no idea what to start, so life could take me anywhere.

Watch this space.

Complete Area 7

Angry Birds Pop • Beat all levels in area 7

I feel like after such a cop-out with tonight’s achievement that I should include this last minute entry I earned just before I packed it in for the night. Right now I’m laying in bed, writing this post on the same device I just earned the achievement on, and it feels decisively more like an actual achievement than tonight’s tick-and-flick.

Right now I’m in the happy microtransaction overlap where I have just enough purchasables to get a ‘taste’ for what’s on offer, but not really enough to survive for an endless barrage of prohibitively tough levels. Everything is geared towards ‘just spending a few bucks,’ and while I don’t really care what people spend their money on, I’ve made a fairly conscious decision that Angry Birds Pop wasn’t about to shake me down!

Though, I certainly feel like I’ve got a few extra pounds around the middle … perhaps ‘pop’ is a far more accurate word!

Dripping With Insanity

20180814215838_1

Achievement printer part 1 • Only Liars Comes Up With Excuses

Look, I won’t lie to you – this was a tough call. Do I yield a little and take one of the 1,450 Steam Achievements that I earned tonight from ‘Achievement printer part 1‘ … a game so independent and lacking in polish that they can’t even be bothered to get punctuation right on their game title? Or do I try and push my luck with Borderlands or jump onto the Xbox and play something from Telltale?

To cut a long story short, I sold out.

It’s been another day of no sleep and an action-packed schedule, so I’m left with not much time in the day for gaming – that, plus I’m keeping my mind sharp (as sharp as possible) for a certification exam tomorrow, so there’s only so much time to distract my delicate little mind.

Truth be told, there’s actually nothing wrong with this little basketball game – I remember playing something similar on Facebook Messenger for a while there, back in the day when Apps and additional features were more of a novelty than they are today – but nonetheless, using your finger to flick a little basketball into a hoop can be quite cathartic. Of course, it has been included in this title much as something to do, rather than the actual purpose of the game. In reality, you can just leave it running and suck-down the 3,006 achievements on offer.

For the most part, there’s not even a whole lot of sense in the achievements (including today’s). Some just link-out to individuals’ Steam profiles, such as:

(Do yourself a favour and check-out tshtxyd’s Steam Profile for a very innovative use of the screenshot feature!)

Look … am I sorry? No, not really – and I don’t think I can offer much in the way of an excuse seen as I’ve already litigated my decision-making from the time I used Achievement Hunter games so … yeah. It is what it is.

And trust me: I’m looking forward to the warm embrace of a AAA title as much as anyone else is!

Ominous…

20180813210622_1

AdVenture Capitalist • Buy 666 or more of each Earth investment – A lot of unlucky numbers

This is just a quick entry tonight, because I am neck-deep in study mode as I prep for my Microsoft Certification later this week. Nonetheless, duty calls, and what better way to burn through an achievement then to pull out one from the list of low-hanging fruit and grab that elusive ‘evil’ achievement from AdVenture Capitalist … you know … the one for getting ‘triple six’ of every investment on Earth.

With that in mind, I have nothing really of substance to add. Another one down! I think I need to start looking at what achievements on the Moon I need to start chasing … perhaps there’s something just as easy there to grab for tomorrow night – but I should have a little more time to wrangle study and gaming tomorrow … and on that note I’m going to insert a big, fat, ‘touch wood’ here!

Toe in the Water

20180812140255_1

Endless Legend • Play for 10 turns, across any number of playthroughs

If I’m perfectly honest, Endless Legend isn’t really what I was expecting. What was I expecting? Well, to be frank – I was expecting something in a similar vein to Baldur’s Gate or Pillars of Eternity, whether it was turn-based or not, I was essentially looking forward to a high-fantasy romp with new characters and a new world setting – but instead what I got was what appears to be a rather good knock-off of pretty much any turn-based Sid Meier game – notably Civilization.

20180812141609_1

I don’t want to go down a rabbit hole of negatives for Endless Legend, because I think this is partly my own fault for having misguided or underdeveloped expectations. (I think a lot of the world’s problems could be addressed when people understand their own human failings in that regard.) For a strategy game, this is actually really quite good. It is rich in its world building, the graphics look great on my new PC and there is enough micromanagement options available to keep even the most cantankerous old gamer sated.

Today’s achievement was very much a low-hanging fruit experience. It was barely halfway through the tutorial when this one popped – 10 moves is, by no stretch of the imagination, a long haul. It was actually quite a good tutorial in the sense that it gave you a ‘taste’ for everything you needed to know, but didn’t labour the point. Rather, it expects you to throw yourself into the game and learn the hard way. Personally, I still think this is the best way to learn a new game. (This is also something I’m trying to teach my 4-year old!)

20180812142405_1

I think I need to be ‘in the mood’ to play some more Endless Legend, and that requires a day when you need your mind sharp. Somehow, a Sunday afternoon on a fairly wet and windy day just isn’t fitting that description.

With a busy few weeks ahead, I’m not sure the month of August is looking any better either.