The Escape

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Hunted’ and ‘Death from Above’ on Veteran difficulty • 30G • 2.33% of gamers unlocked this

Some video games have truly iconic villains. Arkham Knight or the Joker in Batman … 006 in Goldeneye … but blow me down if a single aggressive helicopter in Modern Warfare didn’t give me more grief than any of these bad guys combined. As I said last night, this helicopter gave me enough grief that I had to abort and fire-up The Wolf Among Us just to grab an achievement – but once I’d hit the midnight changeover point, I went back to Modern Warfare determined to put this abomination to an end.

I have never felt more satisfaction in killing a bad guy than I had dropping that helicopter out of the sky.

The euphoria of killing that helicopter stayed with me for a while, so I followed-up with the AC-130 mission as well, which is fairly simple on any difficulty – just rain hellfire down on bad guys that aren’t flashing with a strobe and get your team out of there. As long as you keep an eye on everything around the scene, then it’s quite quick and achievable.

With that in mind, combining these two missions into one achievement makes a lot of sense – one insanely hard, one generally pretty easy. Together they make up a reasonably happy medium for what one would expect on ‘veteran’ difficulty.

The rest of my day has been consumed with some health and fitness stuff and a 5-year old’s birthday party, and I am pretty much ready for a bit of a snooze now. I might jump on and see if I can make a bit more progress on the PS4 version of Wildlands if the mood grabs me later, but I’d be equally happy having an afternoon and evening on the couch watching something mindless on Netflix.

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He Was Much Feared

Xbox

The Wolf Among Us • Completed Chapter 4 of Episode 4 • 20G • 35.66% of gamers unlocked this

A bit of an emergency session tonight just to get this one in! For the better part of the last hour I’ve been playing the COD Modern Warfare remaster, but on veteran, you run a bit of a risk of making less progress than you’d like. Tonight was Exhibit A. I am this close to finishing the level, but at 11.40pm, I had to switch to Bigby (a risk in and of itself as we’ve learned before) just to grab today’s achievement.

Bigby visited a butcher shop tonight as part of his pursuit of the magic mirror shard (among other plot lines) and ended up in a terrible sequel to Breaking Bad. It’s a great bit of story for the Fables universe, and it will be interesting to see what makes the cut for the sequel.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I might have a quick session to try and finish that COD level. Either that or I’ll be awake for another 90 minutes!

Who Ruled the Land

Xbox

The Wolf Among Us • Completed Chapter 3 of Episode 4 • 20G • 35.86% of gamers unlocked this

A little more breakfast gaming today, though I did have to abruptly shepherd the kids out of the room when the Jersey Devil started making an appearance … undoubtedly one of my favourite characters in mythology (likely prompted by my early love of The X-Files), let alone Fables, but I do love the latter’s interpretation.

This is an episode that relies heavily on turning Bigby into a detective – though with a much lighter touch than Telltale’s iteration of Batman. Thank God. The gentle guiding of Bigby around the story is a far more enjoyable approach than needing to use your brain to combine clues or hunt for missing objects. I enjoy my Telltale games with a far more passive element than what some of their later titles have employed.

In other gaming news, I’ve been eyeing off the latest DLC for Wildlands and considering a purchase on PS4 so I can play with one of my other gaming friends. It’s also a good chance for a Platinum trophy, but I’m holding off until I can settle my raging mind about the PSN Account switch-around, and also to settle on a decision about whether to renew my PS Plus for another year.

It might be a case of waiting to see what E3 has in store for the gaming calendar before I commit either way.

Save the Bacon

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Protect ‘War Pig’, the Abrams tank • 15G • 23.16% of gamers unlocked this

Fun fact: For a very brief moment following the original launch of MW, I tried the handle of ‘War Pig’ online. It didn’t last very long, but it does remain forever attached to my Google Account thanks to a range of interactions I had with Google Help and Google Forums that somehow means it can never be deleted.

Databases and their web equivalent seem to be the bane of my existence (see also: PSN name changes).

Anyway, I headed back to MW tonight to see if I could make a bit more progress. Tonight’s mission was less about the tank itself, and more about the journey to get there, but I know from history that this isn’t the last we’ll see of War Pig.

Despite being at work all day and having a few hours tonight of personal training dig-into my gaming schedule, I’m still a bit surprised that I managed to smash out a Veteran-difficulty level without too much issue. Either my hands are getting used to it or the layout of this level lends itself to better cover and general protection …

… either way, it was enough to get the job done.

All in a Day’s Work

Xbox

Batman: The Enemy Within • Completed Chapter 1 of Episode 1 • 20G • 60.17% of gamers unlocked this

I’ve been looking and listening to a few of the reviews for The Enemy Within as it reaches its concluding episode. Batman, along with Game of Thrones, is one of my favourite licensed properties by Telltale, and it seems like this second series is off to a great start as well.

Many of the game mechanics from the original Batman, the ones that go beyond that of a normal Telltale game, are still there: The use of detective skills and planning elaborate takedowns looks like they have just carried over without amendment. That’s fine – no need to reinvent the wheel … however, we will see if these expand as the story unfolds.

The opening scene takes place in a casino and is a great introduction to Telltale’s take on Riddler. If we’ve learned anything from last season, it’s that Telltale have a delicious spin, not only on the character of Batman, but of all the supporting cast as well. This narrative looks like it won’t be much different.

That’s about all the Xbox I’ve managed to squeeze in today. I’m finding myself incredibly tired at the end of the day, so I’m calling an early night. These late nights gaming do catch up on me from time-to-time!

Shishkebap

Xbox

SUPERHOT • Cruelly impaled two cypher beings with a sharp object • 10G • 11.43% of gamers unlocked this

Just a few quick minutes of gaming before training tonight, so I went with my flavour-of-the-month in SUPERHOT. I’ve had a few problems with the achievements on this one lately, for instance last night I completed all the requirements for the ‘Deep Web’ achievement, but it didn’t actually load until I started the game tonight. It’s a similar case to that of Sea of Thieves, where a whole heap of achievements unlocked after-the-fact.

In that vein, I actually completed this achievement three or four times over before it registered. The gist of it is that you throw your katana and kill two bad guys in one hit. One of the challenge levels is ‘katanas only’ which made it a bit easier. But, by now you should know me. The thing that doesn’t bother me most about this achievement has nothing to do with the technical aspects of the Xbox network. No, it’s to do with the spelling of the achievement!

What is a Shishkebap? Is it the same as a shishkebab? Has someone inadvertently hit P instead of B? Is it an inside joke? What is it?

We may never know … what we do know, is that killing red dudes should be part of everyone’s therapy.

We Can See You

Xbox

SUPERHOT • Experienced a direct contact with the system • 25G • 54.85% of gamers unlocked this

An opportunistic achievement today. I jumped onto the Xbox while the family finished their morning ‘get ready’ routine, which is – I imagine like most families – far longer than it actually needs to be. I sense that this is a progress achievement in terms of story (which I still don’t understand) but it’s interesting to see SUPERHOT (capitalisation rant goes here) try a touch of story to go alongside its innovative gameplay.

I might play a bit more of SUPERHOT this evening because I’m once again finding some solace in opening up my shadow challenge (in my head, I haven’t really talked about it here) to encompass gaming in all its forms (platform-wise). The intent of this is, of course, testing the waters before my 2018-19 challenge begins, but I don’t want to commit to anything in particular.

Consider it the Gemini in me.

The Search

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ on Veteran difficulty • 30G • 3.02% of gamers unlocked this

I am running face-first into a 40th birthday party tonight, and because I don’t want to end up in a position where I’m trying to blog in the middle of a function, I’m obliged to knock-out an entry this afternoon.

I am quite pleased that this is the entry I get to write though! I thought I’d never finish clearing that TV station, certainly not on Veteran difficulty! But a combination of rushing through to the objective and then slowly cleaning up bad guys from behind cover seemed to get me through.

I think the 3% completion rate should be fairly telling how difficult this level is. The semi-final encounter in what appears to be a shootout in the studio bullpen is intense. Really intense. But if there was to be a silver lining, I suspect it would be some strategies about clearing large spaces with little (bulletproof) cover. Objective markers are usually a good indicator, and in scenarios that seem to have never-ending bad-guy spawn, a run-on-objective is not an entirely silly idea.

In other gaming news, I had my first attempt at Bloodborne today. I’m already enjoying it more than Dark Souls thanks to the absence of a shield, which means it’s just a matter of attack and dodge that I need to worry about. I’ve also only killed about five enemies so far, which has been far more satisfying than killing five enemies in Dark Souls, but I’ll give a more thorough assessment once I’ve earned a trophy and can get a sense as to what’s in store.

Daredevil

Xbox

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Kill an enemy while blinded by a flashbang in the single player campaign • 10G • 20.47% of gamers unlocked this

I suspect that the twenty-odd percent of people who unlocked this achievement did so in a similar scenario to me … accidentally. I don’t know whether it was my flashbang, my team’s or the enemy’s, but either way … one minute I was alive, the next I was dead (repeat steps 1-2 a few times), and then the next I was unlocking this achievement.

I’m still slowly making my way through the ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ level, which feels longer than I remember – but everything on the map also seems fairly familiar, so I don’t think anything’s been ‘added’ to the level, rather that my Veteran-level playthrough is causing me to work through MW at a slower pace.

If I had dedicated my evening playthrough to it properly, I probably would have finished the level, but instead I had a bit of a session on RiME (their stylisation) hunting an achievement – any achievement – but despite a few areas where I feel like an early-game achievement wouldn’t have gone astray, I’m still sitting on 0G.

Nearly time for an achievement guide.

Hop-a-Long

Xbox

Cars 2: The Video Game • Hop 20 times in a single event • 10G • 67.31% of gamers unlocked this

I’m having a few problems between Xbox.com and the Xbox App lately, so it’s been a bit of an effort to collect all the details I need to be able to prefix my blog post correctly, but I suppose the important thing is that I’ve earned this achievement today, and I’ve taken the steps to document it. I thought that the issue was to do with backwards compatibility and the contemporary Xbox UI inability to display the older titles, but it seems like even the games on Xbox One X I’ve been playing aren’t correctly registering on the App or online either, so it seems like it’s just one of those gremlins causing issues with the overall network.

The ultimate in first world problems.

Anyway, today I had both kids awake, and I also had to go and get some blood tests, so I had to fast and wasn’t able to eat breakfast with them. Instead I did what every deadbeat Dad does and played video games instead, but I made it a family game so that we could talk about what was happening while I played.

That game was Cars 2: The Video Game, and in the interests of full disclosure, I will admit that I’ve never seen the movie. I think I’ve watched a small fragment of the original Cars, but even then I can’t really remember what happens beyond the condensed story that is in the small hardcover book in my son’s bookshelf.

What I do know is: it’s a video game where you race cars.

I started my session with the basic tutorial and training guide, but I was almost ready to go back to sleep it was that dry, so I was delighted to have access to a mission early on. I had cherry-picked this achivement as a piece of low-hanging fruit, as there didn’t seem to be any ‘win your first race’ gamerscore to earn, and so I had to go hunting for ‘something’ to start the day. It seems jumping ten times while you’re mid-race is enough to make that happen.

There was another achievement on the list for completing tricks during a race, so I suspect that might make an appearance tomorrow – though it is Friday, I might save myself up for another run at the complicated Call of Duty mission from yesterday.