The White Rider

OK, there’s quite a bit of gaming to catch up on today – so I’ll start with the ‘official’ achievement – this one from Shadow of Mordor, and for liberating 30 slaves in 180 seconds while riding a caragor. I don’t remember it being quite so challenging on PS4, but it certainly took a bit of back-and-forth between the game and some guides to get it right today. Nonetheless, after about my third or forth guide, I managed to stumble across a good route to take for freeing slaves, and after a good lap of the area, the achievement popped.

Perhaps what is more interesting out of the whole experience was that I found out you could change skins in the game – between Talion, and Lithariel, daughter of the Lady Marwen – and she is fantastic. Who needs Aloy, Horizon Zero Dawn and silly console exclusivity when you’ve got a kickass female lead right here! From what I’ve read, there are obviously other skins available if you had a season pass or bought them separately on the Xbox store, but I was just fairly happy for this freebie to tidy up my last few achievements from the core game. I’m about half-way through the last of the story achievements to complete: ironically liberating more slaves.

This achievement is worth 15G and 2.04% of gamers have unlocked it.

With this achievement under my belt, it was also time to tackle this month’s Elusive Target from Hitman, season one. I understand that this is to be the penultimate target, so I was keen to make the most of my time left with the game, considering that it’s unlikely that I’ll get back to it unless I can dedicate an afternoon to completing a few ‘suit only’ achievements. Personally, I’d rather push-on with getting into Season Two, if-and-when it ever eventuates.

This target was unlike most of them, in that you don’t actually know who it is going in. You’re encouraged to follow patients in the Tokyo Private Hospital to see if they can drop a clue, or look through patient files in the hope that you can discover more information. Sure enough, I spent a not-inconsiderate amount of time wandering around the hospital trying to listen to patient conversations, but not much was happening, so I ended up lingering upstairs until I discovered the Hospital Administrator’s office (something I hadn’t found even through playing the main campaign and doing challenges for Mastery Level 20), so with a quick hack of the lock and a look at his computer screen, Diana tells me that the patient has had work done on his ears, and to look for a patient with bandages on his ears.

It doesn’t take long. After finding the patient in the spa, and following him to the restaurant, an remote explosive duck – my signature move – makes short work of the target, and I glide down the chair lift to my freedom, my Terminus Suit and a fairly nice haul considering the game is in its twilight.

I broadcast this one on Mixer, and I’ve archived the video over on YouTube.

Remember the other day when I spent much of my day playing LEGO Dimensions, only to be cheated out of an achievement pop thanks to a glitch? Well, I finally cleared the air today, doing another, separate run of the Doctor Who part of the main Dimensions story, and finally bringing balance back to the world.

I had to laugh while playing with UniKitty, one of the few new units I collected as part of mega end-of-financial-year sales everywhere, when I discovered she has this delightful ‘rage’ mode (hold down B) at which her head goes enormous, red, and very, very angry. While most of my gameplay involves focusing on Superman for the quick navigation, or the core three (Batman/Wyldstyle/Gandalf) who are often uniquely talented to pass a level, sometimes its a bit of fun to see what else is on offer.

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The last thing I want to gripe a little bit about today is Hearthstone. Early in the month, I managed to get myself down to Level 19, and I was having a good run. Somewhere over the past week, I have successfully managed to loose most of my games – even against true plebs – and drag my June 2017 ranking back down to rock-bottom. Yup, I am now sitting at the base of a Level 20 just riding out the rest of the month for my cardback. Part of the reason for my downfall has to do with completing quests rather than just choosing my strongest decks, but that’s not all. My Priest deck has served me well over the past few weeks, but one of the challenges for coins was to play a sequence of Shaman cards, so I abandoned my ‘team’ in order to go find people to play Shaman against, but once the quest was complete, I switched back, and sure enough … dun dunnn.

I am certain that my own capability has been contributing to my terrible performance lately, but I think the time and knowledge needed to be able to build a good deck requires far greater capacity than I can offer. I do enjoy Hearthstone, and I’ll continue to play it – but golly gosh darn if the rise and fall of competitive rankings doesn’t grate you in just the wrong places.

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