Guerilla tactics

Halo Wars 2 • Completed One Three Zero • 10G • 44.73% of gamers unlocked this

I actually started my day with a bit more Star Trek Online. I’m not that far away from Level 20, which will bring about another achievement, but I also suspect that I’m in the middle of one of the story arcs as well (each have their own achievement too), so another couple of sessions should yield ‘something’.

Regardless of my efforts today, I ended up falling asleep in front of the TV this afternoon as my old man body begins to crumble under the stress of being … well, old. The Star Trek Online servers kicked me off for being idle, and when I finished my power nap, I wasn’t quite ready to launch back into another session – so the warm catharsis of Halo Wars 2 it was. I realised when I launched it again that I’m still on ‘Act 1’, and while I’m not sure how many Acts there are … I think it means that I’m not as far through it as I thought I was.

In other news … I have something somewhat concerning to report. Yesterday I booked myself and the family on a nine-day holiday overseas … and you know what that means? No Xbox. Well, I assume no Xbox … I actually have quite a bit of time before the holiday – and it falls on the other side of the deadline I set myself at the beginning of this challenge: 30 June. So, it actually forces me to think about what I’m going to do in the new financial year when it’s time for a new daily challenge. Right now, I’m thinking PC or PlayStation (thanks to the Vita), but I just get unreasonably angry when I think of PlayStation, and I actually have a somewhat physical reaction in playing it.

Right now, I’m leaning towards a simple goal: any achievement a day. It’s quite doable, and will let me spread the love between PC, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS and likely the Nintendo Switch (if they ever have achievements). It also frees-up the possibility of working towards in-game achievements on other games such as World of Warcraft. It’s hard because I want Xbox to be my gaming home, but without the portability of a device other than a laptop (and having burned through most of my mobile options), I can’t see a way to sustain a nine-day gaming pace on a laptop (assuming I even take my laptop that is), where there is no guarantee of internet access and even less social acceptability of playing a game in the first place. PS Vita, absolutely. iPhone? Definitely. Anything else is a bit of a stretch – but still, up for negotiation. I won’t count my chickens before they hatch.

In the meantime, there’s still four months worth of challenge to get through, so it’ll be head-down and bum-up with that first and foremost.

Keep wishing me luck.

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Learn the ropes

Halo Wars 2 • Completed the Basic standalone tutorial • 10G • 42.63% of gamers unlocked this

Of course I don’t need a tutorial to play Halo Wars 2. If anything, I’m turning into a bit of a gun player (touch wood). For what amounts to an RTS on a console, I think I’m doing a pretty good job navigating my way around my controller and saving the world. But, this – along with the other tutorials – offer up an achievement, and it would be remiss of me not to jump through the hoops to obtain it.

When we’re talking ‘Basic standalone tutorial’, it’s almost hard to believe how basic it is. Literally, move the camera left, move the camera right, zoom in, zoom out, move your troops, the end. However, this morning I was up around 4.30am, and had an incredibly difficult time getting back to sleep. I don’t know what caused it – perhaps the salty pizza (and large serving) that I had for dinner last night had caused me to dehydrate (right now I’m craving a drink of water … I might pause for a minute to go fill my drink bottle up) – but the net result is that I was awake, and with the rest of the family asleep, it felt like a good time to knock an easy achievement on the head. Don’t get me wrong, I was tired, I just couldn’t sleep, so following some basic instructions met my fairly low benchmark for complexity today.

Skimming through my games library this morning still makes me realise how many games that I need to finish-off and then delete from my library in order to move on with my life. I don’t think it should be any surprise that I’m a bit of a digital hoarder, and while it doesn’t really impact my day-to-day living, it does mean that I’m a bit flighty when it comes to playing, and finishing games. Perhaps it’s a challenge for 2018-19, but time will tell. I suspect I will be as flighty in 2028 as I am in 2018.

Right now, I’m just thankful that Xbox caters for tired Dads awake in the middle of the night as much as any other demographic.

Six Pack

Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered • Spelled 50 six-letter words • 5G • 27.41% of gamers unlocked this

Another Letter Quest achievement today. I thought I’d get the ‘damage done’ achievement, but I can’t remember whether I earned that yesterday or not – but either way this one popped this morning so it’s the one I’m going with.

Nothing else of substance to report today. I have the season finale of Star Trek Discovery to work through and then I might indulge in a spot of Splinter Cell … it’s a quiet day for gaming, heck – I haven’t even had time to play one of my idle clickers!

You, The Master of Unlocking

Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered • Opened a treasure chest with no incorrect guesses • 50G • 17.71% of gamers unlocked this

Banana. That was the word I earned this achievement on, and I think that’s fairly special.

I’ve played quite a bit of Letter Quest, between the Vita and the PlayStation 4, it’s one of those games that are fun to play with the kids around – plus it feels like you’re working your brain at the same time. I’ve never played the remaster though – but, to be honest, this feels like, if not is, the same thing. This morning, I wanted to cap-off at least one of the achievements that I have been working towards in the past 24 hours … and I did, I earned two! But this one seemed like an actual challenge so it earns a place in today’s blog … making Banana not only a delicious afternoon snack, but also my word of the day.

The game of what is, essentially, hangman, was probably made easier through my application of the good old-fashioned technique of going vowels-first. A, E, I, O, U. So, when I started with A and managed to clear most of the entire word, it became apparent quite quickly that Banana was going to be the challenge word, earning me not only some crystals, but a sweet, sweet achievement as well.

I’m kind of glad I went for an achievement this morning actually. The weather is particularly nasty here at the moment, so it seems like it’s a good candidate for a power outage tonight … meaning that I’m somewhat insulated from that eventuality tonight if it happens.

Before all that happens though – I have personal training to go to. I’m just not feeling it today … I’m tired, my muscles are sore, and I’ve still got an afternoon’s worth of work to accomplish.

Someone cue the world’s smallest violin.

Dominated

Halo Wars 2 • Completed Ascension • 10G • 48.54% of gamers unlocked this

The saying ‘make hay while the sun shines’ is certainly very appropriate here. Thanks to an early start in the day, I had a spare 15 minutes to power through a level on Halo Wars 2, and given that it was one of the early ones, it went rather seamlessly. Of course, the day where I’ve actually got plenty of time to game in the evening offers up a free morning, but rather than tempt fate, I felt it better to grab an achievement and then I’ve got some latitude to experiment with something else later this evening.

After watching Godless the other day, I have a bit of a hankering for playing Red Dead, plus I know there’s been some tweaks to Destiny 2 of late that I’m actually keen to check out. Last, but certainly not least, is the climax of Halo 4, sitting on the shelf waiting to be finished.

First world problem: too many games to play.

I’m unsure whether there’s going to be some huge difficulty spike in Halo Wars 2 creeping up on me, so I don’t want to necessarily jinx myself by expecting an easy ride one day with an achievement and then getting caught up late at night and rushing to grab something. It’s a fun game, and there’s a few achievement options for me, but time will tell whether this turns into my backup pile or if this is just another game I work my way through on the path to completionist.

That’s not an actual path by the way … I drop games quicker than I do my pants at the end of the day (to put shorts on, of course).

Spare change

Halo Wars 2 • Spent 5 Leader Points in Multiplayer or Skirmish • 10G • 48.52% of gamers unlocked this

First of all, I’m slightly miffed about the capitalisation of the word ‘change’, but I suppose, grammatically, they’re correct in their articulation – so while it’s not my thematic preference, I’ll survive.

Secondly, Halo Wars 2 is part of Game Pass now! I don’t see myself getting into the multiplayer side of things much – I think this would be much easier on a PC – but there’s a healthy campaign attached to the game waiting for me to conquer it – so that’s what I’ll do.

It’s actually a bit of a shame that my computer hardware is starting to age, but a 2012 model computer that can still run a low-res copy of Rocket League deserves some kudos I would argue. There are an increasing number of Xbox games making themselves a spot on the (God-awful) Windows Store, and like the console equivalent, sometimes there’s pretty good deals on there. I still quietly pine for a Steam-Xbox merger, but judging by recent reports, it’s little more than spitballing.

Anyway, I’m enjoying what I’ve played of Halo Wars 2 in the meantime. I’m only a few levels in, but it’s good harmless fun – and something a bit different for a change. There’s some low-hanging achievements there for the grabbing as well, if only I could keep my insomniac children in bed long enough in the morning to let me squeeze in a ten minute achievement session!

Merchant’s Street Market

Splinter Cell Conviction • Complete Single Player Story “Merchant’s Street Market” on any difficulty • 20G • 76.11% of gamers unlocked this

I played some more Dragon Ball Z this morning, but I was right – I’ve reached my capacity for milking everything I could out of the game. Thanks to Xbox for freeplay weekends though – I played more of a game that I likely never would have picked up in the store, and unless it was a Game with Gold, I probably never would have played it at all.

Instead I decided to experience a game that I missed out on at launch because it was an exclusive – Splinter Cell Conviction. I’m a huge, huge Tom Clancy fan – and have been since the original Rainbow Six series (I played the death out of that demo) – but my previous experience with Splinter Cell was exclusively PlayStation, so due to the timing of fate, I never got a chance to play through this part of Sam Fisher’s story when it first came out. Tom Clancy is now more of an IP in its own right, and they’ve made some blunders in Clancy’s name along the way (looking at you, Rainbow Six Vegas), but Splinter Cell has always remained a reasonably good approximation to what I perceive Clancy had in mind for an NSA Black Ops group.

Conviction, however, feels a bit different. If anything, it feels clearly like a precursor to the cover based shooter of The Division, but with the essential stealth mechanics that make Splinter Cell what it is.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hating it. My first thought in the opening level was that this could have been a worthy contender for an early-build Hitman, but it feels like a standalone game with the broad strokes of Clancy’s characters slapped over the top.

I’m only one level in, so all that could change – but right now, it’s kind of nice to be closing out my Splinter Cell experience, even after all these years. It’s also time for a reboot, Ubisoft…

… Dare I say: Make Splinter Cell Great Again.

The Saiyan Legend Reborn!

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 • Complete “The Saiyan Threat” • 15G • 43.23% of gamers unlocked this

Some more Dragon Ball Z (while it’s the free play weekend). Update: still no idea what’s happening. This mission involved defeating two bosses (in seperate levels) and then defeating them again when they turned into giant monkeys! I think it’s fair to say that I’m never going to grasp the intricacies of DBZ through this game – I’ve made my peace with that.

I’ve actually played far less this weekend than I’d like to on account of just having to finish real-life jobs. Cleaning the house, going to the supermarket, running kids around – it is these clinch moments that make Achievement a Day a proper challenge.

I’m not really sure what to do with myself this evening – whether I push ahead with a few extra achievements in DBZ, or knock Halo 4 on the head. I feel like the pace of DBZ would suit me better, but I also don’t know what’s happening with the story … but then again, I don’t really know what’s happening with Halo 4 as well, so perhaps I should give them both a rest.

There’s always a good idle clicker on the PC to sooth the gaming itch if desperate!

Prologue to Battle!

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 • Complete “Raditz’s Attack” • 15G • 61.54% of gamers unlocked this

Cutting it a bit fine tonight! 11.44pm and I’m only just getting into some gaming now! I guess that’s part of the thrill of the chase though, that one final push before the midnight deadline and all that. Anyway, I got it done. Bully for me.

I have never really understood what was happening in Dragon Ball Z. I don’t profess to have any further insights after playing this game for 20 minutes either. All I know is that these days I’m more and more likely to have no idea what’s going on, but I’m still able to enjoy myself playing a game. So that’s … good, I suppose?

It’s kind of good that I’ve been able to play a bit of Xenoverse actually. I’ve been looking at the latest Dragon Ball Z fighting game (‘FighterZ’) and been thinking that it’d be a bit of fun, and assuming there’s no need to understand the story – I might just give it a go.

Anyway, time to hit ‘Publish’ on this blog entry to meet the deadline. No doubt I’ll have another update shortly on the other side of midnight!

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