The Package


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered • Complete ‘Crew Expendable’ on Veteran difficulty • 4.49% of gamers unlocked this

Believe it or not, as I write this, I am in the middle of a game of Sea of Thieves with a bunch of online friends. What fresh hell is this? Of course, none of this tomfoolery has resulted in an achievement tonight, and so I’m left with my – still great fun – COD MW Remaster.

The game itself does feel a little more polished than the original MW. I’m fairly certain that they’ve re-done Captain Price’s voice as well – not necessarily for the better – but it’s just ‘different’. I spent a fair bit of time running the opening mission (the SAS HQ) to try and get my time under 19 seconds (for another achievement), but my wife got sick of Price shouting instructions at me, and I decided to push-on with the game. Given that I don’t need a ‘story’ fix from MW … after all, I spent most of last console generation with Soap and team … I’m planning on going through the game on Veteran, just to double-dip on achievements.

Long story short – the game itself holds up well, and I think they’ve done a good job on the remaster. For me, this is just a chance to play one of my favourite titles once more for a whole new set of achievements.

In other words – any excuse will do!


Gold Star



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 • Earn 1 star in Special Ops

My current COD MW2 savegame is sitting at the start of the ‘No Russian’ level, which I don’t philosophically have a problem playing, but it doesn’t (and probably rightly so) result in an achievement, so I haven’t been bothered working my way through it in full. Yes, I know you can skip the mission, but it’s actually a good example of confronting art – and I don’t think it should be skipped for the sake of sensibility.

Sure, I haven’t been directly impacted by terrorist or gun violence, and that might change my perspective somewhat – but like most art, it is reflective of a given situation and given time, and right now I think it should be played.

Instead of the above, I opted to have a session in the Special Operations section of the game. I spent so very many hours playing MW2 back on the PlayStation 3 … so much so that I remember making fairly hefty progress through the Special Ops (I may have finished, I can’t remember … I certainly remember unlocking all the sections), going prestige multiplayer a few times over and completing all the levels on hardcore (a few times from memory … there was items of intel to collect as well). Of course, this was with a controller, and playing COD on a laptop without a mouse (admittedly, I’ve become quite good with the trackpad on an FPS though … many hours practice commuting on a train), so I probably didn’t have the reflexes and agility that I would have had on console … but I had enough to finish one of the operations and earn myself a single gold star.

It kind of feels like being in primary school again.

Cold Shoulder



Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 • Infiltrate the snowy mountain side base

As I just finished writing, my hangover has left me with a desire to accomplish very little in my day today. I think if I can pop the blister in my hand and maybe not burst into tears at the thought of anymore work in the garden, then today will be a good day.

Following on from yesterday’s fluke achievement, I wanted to wrap-up my work in the Kazakhstan Mountains, and escape the base – so that’s pretty much what I did. Got off the airfield, grabbed a snowmobile, dodged helicopter missiles and a small Russian army, jumped a huge gap and GTFO of there.


Out of all the claims of ‘PC Master Race’, it still seems strange that Call of Duty has really found its home on console. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still rather play on console over my potato of a PC any day, but there seems to be a very clear delineation between the PC Battlefield players, and the COD console players. I make no further comment on that other than it’s an interesting observation.

What the last couple of days of COD has taught me though is that I’ve really missed the catharsis of playing a good mindless shooter. There’s been a lot of ‘filler’ shooters out there recently, but the Hollywood shine applied to the COD series really did scratch a genre itch that needed scratching. The later installments, venturing into space or back to WW2 are certainly not ‘bad’, but they’re not what kept me along for the adventures with Soap and Captain Price for so long.


Imagine All That Imaginite!


Skylanders Imaginators • Open 50 Imaginite Chests • 50G • 53.13% of gamers unlocked this

Ahh, Skylanders, I feel like it’s been a while … it probably hasn’t, I seem to play it at least once every 2-3 days (not necessarily going for an achievement), but between the multiple profiles and save games on the console, I really get a bit lost as to where I’m up to.

Tonight though, I was steadfast in my commitment to make some game progress on my account. Truth be told, the kids don’t really care about achievements – their interest is more in making sure that they get a turn at a particular toy or another (we all have our favourites), but I knew that I was close to this one so I figured: ‘why not?’

The array of areas and ways where you can obtain chests is fairly wide-ranging. I simply replayed the first half of an early level which was enough to score a couple of chests here-and-there, and certainly more than the couple I needed to earn this achievement.

Tonight I’m planning a session on vanilla Destiny with a friend who has just bought the collectors edition, so assuming there’s not a mammoth update needed, I may be able to grab a couple of sneaky achievements that I missed last time. I’m not optimistic but it doesn’t matter too much – I earned my raid achievement and that was enough to sate me.

… and I’m typically an insatiable beast.

(Not sure where that came from. It’s been a long week!)

Synthesis 101


Transformers: Devastation • Synthesized 10 weapons • 15G • 15.91% of gamers unlocked this

I sat on this achivement until today simply because I knew that it was going to be a bit of a hectic day, with my mother coming into town for a couple of days, personal training tonight, and not a lot of backup options on my mobile phone or PC that I can quickly earn a guaranteed Xbox achievement on.

I’ve actually played a little bit of Transformers: Devastation on the PlayStation before. I can’t remember if it was a PlayStation Plus game, or if I simply picked it up cheaply, but either way, I knew that the trophies required quite lengthy, and multiple, playthroughs, with this achivement – for synthesising weapons – really being the only easily obtainable achivement for early-game. Considering the game itself is broken down into nice bite-size chapters, you would think that it actually makes a lot of sense to have progress achievements in the game itself, but, alas, I’m not a developer, so I have to succumb to the decision of the Hasbro and Activision Gods who ultimately make the call.

Truth be told, I’m actually not a huge Transformers fan, even though I fit the perfect demographic to have my nostalgia cup overflow. Rather, I’ve found some small enjoyment from Transformers via the Rescue Bots, which is a show for kids that my son enjoys, or at least he used to enjoy at one point before one of any other hundred shows overtook his interest-of-the-day. I’m sure Rescue Bots will make an inevitable return eventually, but in the absence of any actual games, I’m left with Devastation to mimic the look-and-feel of the cartoon Transformers, except with an added touch of robotic violence and destruction.

There’s a number of secret achievements in this game, so I’ll have a look through and see if there’s any other ‘low hanging fruit’ as part of the first few chapters of the game that make sense to go for, otherwise, I’ll probably just have this game on the backburner (much like I have with the PlayStation version) for a while. From memory, it actually starts getting quite tricky as the game goes on – even on the easier difficulties – so there’s some trade-off between willing and able that needs to be taken into account.

But honestly, right now, I’m still holding onto a touch of euphoria having unlocked my 20 operators in Rainbow Six Siege yesterday. There’s a good chance I’ll be working on a multiplayer ranking over the next few weeks … despite and in defiance of the toxicity of the community.

May His Death Satisfy You


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls • Kill Malthael in Hardcore mode • 25G • 3.56% of gamers unlocked this

I spent the time in-between killing Diablo and Malthael doing what I thought was the final challenge for Chapter 2 of the season, but as it turns out, doing a rift on Expert Difficulty didn’t require me to hoard stones and change the rift difficulty on the Obelisk … no, all I had to do was exit the game, increase the difficulty and run a rift.

Anyway, Malthael is dead, and so are my brain cells so I’m turning in for the night. Tomorrow’s challenge? Finally grab that Expert Rift, finish off some content I’ve been preparing for and just be a good dad – push the kids on the swing or something. In reality? Probably something involving Skylanders.

Reign of Terror


Diablo III: Reaper of Souls • Kill Diablo in Hardcore mode • 25G • 3.85% of gamers unlocked this

Finally, a Diablo achievement. I actually thought this would be much harder to get, but when I worked out that levels were scaled in Adventure Mode, I pretty much worked out that I could take Diablo down without too much effort. Turns out I was right. Well … kind of right. I did make an attempt the other day using this strategy and going after Malthael with a hardcore character, but he killed me in spectacular fashion and it was back to the drawing board.

So, this time around I chose a Necromancer, one of the most overpowered options in the game (in my view) and got him up to level 10 using a few quick rift runs and a bounty. More than enough to defeat Diablo in this manner – don’t get me wrong, you still need to pay attention and keep the pressure on him, but it’s quite doable for an hour’s worth of work.

It’s just ticked over 11pm here, so I’m thinking I’ll wait until midnight and then I’m going to make another attempt using my newly minted Necromancer to take down Malthael. It’s either that or he’ll kill another of my characters, but at least tomorrow is Saturday and I’ll have a chance to grab something innocuous as backup.

But for now, I’m just pleased I was able to get a ‘little’ closer to 100%’ing Diablo. I don’t think it will be guaranteed to happen, but it’s certainly a worthy aspiration.

Statue Smasher


Skylanders Trap Team • Chapter 3: Destroy 4 stone Chompy heads • 10G • 18.71% of gamers unlocked this

Sometimes you have to be opportunistic in your achievement hunting – this one came by way of piggy-backing off my son trying out a new Skylander, so I ‘subtly suggested’ that he might like to attempt this level after seeing what achievements I had left on my list.

The trick here is in the variety used to smash the heads. Two of them were done with cannons, and I kept looking around for a third cannon to destroy, but – as it turns out – I just needed to push a block off a cliff instead.

Tonight’s entry is a quick one, because I started it, then got deep into my Diablo III season (Level 68 … so close!) – which is exactly where I’m going back to for a quick rift before bed, so if you’ll excuse me …

Pipe Down


Skylanders Trap Team • Chapter 6: Destroy 4 stacks of pipes using the crane on Dredger’s Yacht • 10G • 18.91% of gamers unlocked this

Well, I found Star Wars to be a little underwhelming. But I’ll save those thoughts for another time, but to say that by the time I got home at midnight and Skylanders was still plugged into the TV, I took the opportunistic route to grab this Chapter 6 achievement (kid-free) that I just missed out on the other day (thanks to an ill-timed phone call). It also saves me having the last minute flurry that I had yesterday – so with that I can tick the weekend off as successful.

I’m not entirely sure if you can 100% Skylanders without buying more figures. I’ve (…sorry, ‘The kids’) have a fairly substantial collection of figures, but even still – I don’t know if they cover the full gamut of styles and types and ‘Masters’ that you need in each game to unlock each level. At this stage, when I play, I’m pretty much cherry picking levels to grab an achievement on – so by the time I work my way down the list (assuming it still holds a 4 year old’s interest and there isn’t some other toys-to-life game that piques his interest) I’ll be able to work it out.

With that out of the way, I’m off to attempt a big bike ride with the family today. Last time I did it, I broke my ‘Q Lever’, snapped the bumper off the car and pretty much hated on the world for the day … so this is my attempt to reset the clock and see how we go.

Black Belt


Skylanders Imaginators • Level up any Sensei to level 20 • 50G • 24.45% of gamers unlocked this

A bit more Skylanders today. The leveling up process of your individual characters largely happens as a quick flash on the bottom of the screen with a voiceover that gets lost in the melee, so I wasn’t really paying attention to it – but it’s a nice psychological barrier to overcome nonetheless.

The Skylander in question? Unsurprisingly, it was Crash Bandicoot. I’m not sure if the level is attached to the RFID on the toy itself or the game, but I’ve been using him fairly exclusively both on my game and when I play with my son – so if those combined efforts lead to a higher level then that’s some A+ game/toy design.

I had actually planned on playing a bit of Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, today, but I’m not sure if there’s a failure of the game files on my HDD or the download itself (or the server, the games got pulled recently) but I couldn’t get past the first loading screen after several attempts, and my attention span borders that of a goldfish, so it was back to Skylanders instead.

Today is a welcome retreat back to normal temperatures, so we might spend some family time outdoors today. My wife seriously needs to break-in her bum for riding bikes and I think it’s good to have the kids used to going for outdoors-y trips on weekends as well. At least, I’m sure that’s what the likes of Mamamia would tell me anyway (deliberately no link – the last thing I want to be responsible for is directing clicks to that filth).