Man Made

Xbox

Portal Knights • Craft your first item • 15G • 62.22% of gamers unlocked this

I’ll be honest, this was a bit of an opportunistic grab as my wife jumped in the shower, my son wanted to play a game and I wanted to earn an achievement in the small space of 10 minutes between me arriving home from work and needing to leave for personal training.

Mission accomplished.

I skipped through all the guff at the start and I started looking at the achievement list to see what was possible. I couldn’t see anything off-hand, so I followed the tutorial prompts on screen as best I could – sure enough, this was the first achievement that unlocked, and with that I had grabbed my keys and was out the door. Not before making sure my son switched back to his own account first, of course.

With that in mind, I don’t feel like I’m well-positioned to give any great insight or assessment into Portal Knights. I think it’s something Minecraft-esque with its crafting and stuff, but I can’t really be sure without giving it a much more detailed go.

And, to be frank, I don’t think I’d be rushing to give it anything other than a ‘go’ – sans detailed – if my son hadn’t convinced me.

Anyway, it did it’s job for today, and for that I’m grateful.

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Big Adventurer

PlayStation

Little Adventure on the Prairie • Obtain all trophies • Platinum Trophy • Rarity 95.1% (Common)

I wouldn’t normally go out of my way to write about two PlayStation trophies in a day, but I’m on a bit of a roll with my Vita platinums on my new account … and … well, Little Adventure on the Prairie is a bit of a ‘special’ game.

I don’t mean that in a good way.

It’s a little hard to work out whether this game is a student project, has translated badly, is taking-the-piss out of games generally or was an experiment in seeing how robust the Sony certification process was. On any, or all, fronts – it fails terribly.

Take this snippet from PlayStation Universe (via Metacritic) (8 March 2018).

It may be relatively cheap, and alluring to trophy-hunting fiends, but is losing a portion of your humanity really worth playing a game as despicably dire as Little Adventure on the Prairie?

Well, consider that humanity gone, PSU. I can completely understand where the rhetorical flourish is coming from. The graphical glitches, the AI which quite happily lets you bash them on the head for quick kills (or alternatively can float if you lead them off a hill), the inability – literally – to count to twelve and just downright lack of polish make this arguably the most bizarre entry on the PlayStation store I’ve seen.

Then, of course, it dawns on me:

I paid money for this game.

I paid money – admittedly, not much – but I paid money in pursuit of an easy platinum. How many other members of the 75 million-strong PlayStation army have thrown a few bucks to the developers just to give their account a little polish? A few dollars multiplied means that this abomination of a video game is actually making money … and given its quality, I suspect its margins are actually incredibly high.

Why didn’t I think of this first? I am sure with a few hours and a couple of web tutorials I could knock-out something as terrible as this. Sure, I might need to find a publisher to get the product to the store – but there are many, many avenues for independent developers and publishers now that I think it would be a reasonably easy path to take … I mean … Little Adventure on the Prairie has to be the perfect case study for this, doesn’t it?

The best thing about earning this trophy is that I don’t have to do it again. Tick. I’ll stop short of deleting the game off my Vita just yet – it’s simple enough that I reckon my kids could play with it now instead of touching my other games and accidentally triggering trophies.

Those few bucks I spent have to be good for something.

Platinum Midnight

PlayStation

36 Fragments of Midnight • Become a master collector • Rarity 73.5% (Common)

My efforts to platinum the little puzzle titles on the Vita continues today, this one took a little more effort than I had anticipated, but it certainly isn’t in the running for the next Dark Souls. In parts, it reminded me of Thomas Was Alone (which has a RRP of US$9.99 – surely we need to talk about that price at some point!), and in others, it had the rapid death/restart approach of Hotline Miami. Either way, I found this a great little way to spend a couple of hours – particularly when there was the platinum trophy waiting for me at the end!

Soon I’ll be back on the Xbox for a little bit to earn today’s achivement, and if there’s still time then I might be able to make some more Bloodborne progress. I actually got up to my first boss last night, and got him down to 50% health! Not bad – and I think I could have actually finished him off if I didn’t have to go to bed, or have the distraction of family talking to me as I played. If anything, I think that should be fairly insightful about what my chances of being a professional streamer would be like … if I can’t handle a normal, husband-wife conversation on the couch while playing a game, how the heck would I be able to manage a chat-room, subs, tips, a family and a business while playing a video game?

Oh well … I guess I’ll just have to play and write about them instead …

See You In ‘Sept’ember

Xbox

Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey Remastered • Spelled 10 seven-letter words • 10G • 29.45% of gamers unlocked this

I can’t remember the blog entry specifically, but I’m fairly certain at the start of this challenge I made mention of my flighty attitude towards ‘staying the path’ of one particular platform – well, it certainly has been in the past – and that somewhere along the line I ended up turning this challenge into an achievement, any achievement, a day – rather than sticking with one particular console.

Well, I’ve stayed the path this long, and I don’t plan on hitting the abort button just yet, but today my enthusiasm for gaming is pointed in a different direction, specifically Bloodborne. I haven’t even fought my first boss or earned a trophy on it yet, but still – the world, the combat, everything about it has me a bit excited to push forward and get better. Don’t get me wrong – I am terrible, terrible at the Dark Souls formula for gaming, but I am also incredibly stubborn, incredibly smart, and willing to give it a red hot go.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Letter Quest – which I was able to knock an achievement out of during a spare 10 minutes this morning before I left for work. To be clear: I didn’t come up with 10 seven-letter words just this morning, rather I managed to unlock the achievement using the word ORIGAMI (and I forgot to take a screenshot, so then I had to find another word, the above: BASHERS), meaning that I had yielded the other words somewhere along my play history.

Much like my earlier trophy, from My Name is Mayo!, I am really enjoying the small puzzlers at the moment. They suit not-so-much my attention span, but more the availability of time I have to sit down and get a gaming fix. The fact that Xbox doesn’t have a standing portable gaming alternative (excluding Windows 10 / laptop gaming) means that I’m stuck using my phone (which has saved me a couple of times thanks to a couple of Xbox games – many more required!) or the laptop (also saved me) – neither of which have a particularly good long-term gaming form factor.

Bah, I’m sounding like a cantankerous old man. Really, I think I’m trying to justify to myself why I want to play the Vita instead of the Xbox at the moment, but it’s not really a fair apples-to-apples comparison. One requires me to sit on the couch (or nearby) and seperate myself from the family as I engage with the television. The other is more discreet and allows me to suspend, turn off, resume and play with little-to-no effort required.

Plus, only one of these I can take to the bathroom with me.

Speaking of which …

My Name is Mayo!

PlayStation

My Name is Mayo! • Unlock all the trophies! • Platinum Trophy • Rarity 94.2% (Common)

I actually planned on writing this entry with a negative infliction – paying-out on this title that requires little more than smashing the X button 10,000 times, with the odd moment of respite to switch the ‘challenges’ around for the correct unlock.

But then I also realised I’ve spent the better part of this year writing my PC entries about clickers and how much I’ve enjoyed them, so I had a ‘what’s it gonna be?’ moment with myself, and I’ve honestly come down much more positively.

There’s something really bloody nice about a Platinum trophy. I’ve earned a few of them in my time – all on my old account, and this is my first one using my preferred login … which has, until now, been abandoned largely as a result of my ‘anti-PlayStation’ kink. So now that I’ve started my journey to boost my PSN profile again, I’m hoping I might be able to find other short and sharp casual games to see if I can hoard a few more platinums. Time, money and inclination permitting.

In terms of gameplay – well, I’ve written it all haven’t I? You click. You click some more. Click, clickity click click click …

… If you don’t wear out the X button first.

Trend Setter

PC

ragclick

Ragnarok Clicker • Transcend the world 3 times

My addiction to transcension continues today, finally landing enough gold to transcend for a third time on Ragnarok Clicker. Having done a bit of a Google to understand how the concept of transcension works, I have a bit of a better idea now – the main concept being that transcending makes it easier to get to higher levels faster, surpassing them a little bit each time. It’s a novel concept, and I haven’t worked out the quickest path to achieve a good rate of return, but I like that I was able to learn a little more about a game format that I quite like.

This weekend is a free-play weekend for Wildlands on PS4, so I downloaded that overnight to see whether it’s worth doing a Platinum-run on that. I spent some time this morning detaching my old PlayStation login from my Ubisoft Club (the old ‘UPlay’) account and adding on my new ID. I think I’m in a place now where I’m a little sad about seeing all those trophies go, and it feels more like a death than a divorce, but I think it’s fair to say that Sony isn’t going to do anything about it. Even if they patch in the use of a different field for usernames, it will forever be tied to your original, or legacy, username – and I’d rather something I’m happy with than something that has given me a touch of angst.

Otherwise, it’s the freakin’ weekend here, so I’m off to grab my Xbox achievement and then mix-it-up a bit between the rest of my gaming platforms.

So many games, such little time to play them.

Is this real life?

PC

Clicker_Ascend

Clicker Heroes • Ascend the world 10 times

I feel like I might need to rename this blog Clicker Achievement a Day but no doubt that there is little difference between this and any other game that you get ‘on a roll’ with. I decided to abandon my post-transcending run to clean up some of the more mainstream achievements first, including today’s effort which required me to transcend three times to unlock this achievement.

I can’t quite pinpoint what the buff is that gives me greater damage, particularly in the DPS stats, but I have little difficulty flying through many of the early levels now, even without much intervention. Gold comes more quickly, damage is higher, and now that I’ve worked out how to auto-advance, I’m only required to check-in on the progress once every hour or two.

As a result, I was able to fast track much of the ascension just to earn enough to be able to set Amenhotep’s level 150 ability up and pull the metaphorical trigger. Even at restart which would normally require me to build up a bit of a baseline before I could unlock the better DPS is gone … and what’s better, is that now I’ve completed this achievement, I’ve earned an additional bonus 1k click damage from the start!

I’ll make an effort to whip around some of my other clickers tomorrow just to check-in on them. I have no doubt that there’s plenty of gold, teeth, or whatever commodity is being harvested ready to collect and spend.

Or, if the mood grabs me, I might have a session transcending in those games as well!

34

PC

tenrow

Tenrow • Complete Level 34

Something a bit different tonight. I’ve loaded a few ‘lite’ games onto Steam for quick-and-easy gaming … the kind that you’d normally chip away at on your mobile phone. Tonight’s game, Tenrow, is so lite that I was able to finish it fairly easily in under an hour.

tenrow

I don’t know whether Steam went on a little trend of puzzlers that involved adjacent cells (see also: Hexcells), but it seems like there’s a few to choose from … and their sequels. Either way, in only offering four achievements for this title, I have successfully 100%’d it. Go me!

Bounty: Woodchip, the Rodent

PC

Clicker_Heroes

Clicker Heroes • Defeat Woodchip, the Rodent

Nothing particularly challenging here. Woodchip, a fairly benign-looking rat pops up at Level 300, and after cashing-in a whole heap of idle cash from overnight, it was more than enough to boost my heroes up enough to take him out.

And so, the journey continues.

From what I can tell, there looks to be a bounty achievement to win for every 100 levels, with zone progression achievements kicking-in after about level 1,000 and unlocking about every 200 zones thereafter. My progress is certainly not in the 100-zones-a-day level, but I’d like to clean-up all of the bounty achievements before I consider transcendence. I’ll wait and see how I feel about the process at Level 1,000 before I make a decision about pushing on or cashing in for another achievement. As I’ve talked about before, there is something quite cathartic about cashing in your chips and starting again … just make sure you check achievement progress before you do so.

Tonight will be a very quick session on the Xbox along with the accompanying write-up. After a terrible night up with my daughter, I am just about ready for bed now – and it’s three o’clock in the afternoon!

Kleptomania resurges

PC

Insanity_Clicker_Pic

Insanity Clicker • Open 100 chests during all the playthrough

A little more clicker love today, but as it turns out, my pursuit of this achievement was way off. ‘Opening a chest’, it seems, has nothing to do with opening the suitcases that drop onto the screen at random intervals of play, but rather it relates to the defeat of a particular monster that is rotated through the enemy list with varying degrees of frequency.

Imagine my surprise.

The solution for this was dropping back a few levels and letting my … army? … smash through enemies quickly at around level 100 or so in order to rotate through to the ‘chests’ quicker and eventually unlock the achievement. Tracking the progress was easy enough via the statistics page (under ‘kills’) which makes sense when you work out what you’re doing, but considering I had managed to get this far in ignorance is a special level of dumb.