Pop Idol

Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut • Find the Fin’s poster • 5G • 17.57% of gamers unlocked this

If you’re an avid gamer, you’ve probably seen the meme that goes around the Internet mocking someone with an extensive game library and ‘nothing to play.’ I feel like that sometimes, but I can usually find something to fill the void that I’m happy with and willing to give a go to for as long and as much as I can take at any given time.

Tonight, however, I really struggled.

I started off with a spot of The Division, moved onto some Call of Duty and then finally landed on Wasteland 2 as an opportunity to perhaps grab a quick introductory or tutorial achievement to round out the day and then maybe ‘hit the hay’. Wasteland 2 had other ideas.

There’s a not-insignificant chance that, had this achievement not popped, I would be reporting on another Telltale game right now. It’s well after 10pm, I’m tired and I just needed to get something over the line – but nonetheless I’m a bit happy that I got something just so that there is a run on the board, or a record on my Xbox profile, of what I’ve done or been doing.

In other words, I can prove that I’ve done it so I never have to do it again.

I stumbled across the poster in question in one of the early missions purely by accident. Despite having a reasonably sized TV, the writing and interaction with Wasteland 2 is absolutely not tailored for the console experience, and so the overwhelming amount of reading kind of just makes you tired and irritable. With that in mind, you kind of end up ‘clicking’ on everything to see if you can work out how to progress the story.

I’ll just come out and say it: this isn’t a game for me. It’s pace is slow, the graphics feel underwhelming and the UI/X leaves quite a bit to be desired. I’m glad I got it on Game Pass to save a few bucks!

I recommend everyone do the same thing!

Stay On Target

theHunter: Call of the Wild • Find 50 tracks from the same animal • 10G • 35.08% of gamers unlocked this

I thought I would do the right thing and try something a bit different today – after all, I ostensibly had all afternoon to play video games, and while I still had a few other little backups up-my-sleeve, I thought that this was a great opportunity to test the waters of some of Game Pass’ latest offerings.

First I started with The Technomancer, which I suppose is best described as a poor man’s Red Faction? Or perhaps in the over-the-shoulder style of God of War, but with the production budget of … say … Every Which Way But Loose? I speak in hyperbole, of course – the game is fine, not something that I probably ever would have bought with my own money, but in my mind, this is part of what Game Pass is all about – trying out different things, and finding the occasional diamond among the rough.

The second game I found was theHunter [sic], little T, no space. The stylisation annoys me, only because the Xbox App has allowed that to slip through the cracks (remember my long-standing hate of incorrect capitalisation), and now we not only have a capitalisation issue, but a punctuation one as well? I know that this is by design, but is the English language been rendered so insignificant that we can just willy-nilly ourselves a little ‘the’ to start a title? What a time to be alive.

(… again, that’s hyperbole for those who think I’m genuinely loosing sleep over these things. They annoy me, but not really this much …)

Not only am I so against ‘hunting’ for sport, I am also the world’s biggest scardy cat. The other week I crashed the car into the shed trying to kill a mouse because I thought it was the most humane way to kill it. $1600 and new doors, bumper and various other little repairs have taught me a valuable lesson: let the mouse go next time.

Yep. It’s not a religious or a spiritual basis that I make that call, I’m just not very good at ‘killing’. For most of my developing years, I had my head buried in a screen, so rather than make me into a violent, gun-toting redneck, (much like the media would have you believe these days), I really am quite the pacifist. Killing in theHunter was a secondary consideration for me, as I went about seeing what I could unlock without firing a shot (spoiler: I did actually try and shoot a deer in the end – seemingly unsuccessfully). In the end, the ‘went about’ bit turned into one achievement for walking a mile, and this one popped for pretty much clicking on every track and droppings marker I could find. And they say we’ve evolved past our primal hunting skills.

I don’t see myself jumping back into theHunter any time soon. I’m sure it has fantastic appeal for the American market who all voted for Trump and who continue to argue passionately for their need to possess an assault rifle, but for me, I’m not a ‘kill a creature, track its blood drops and then finish it off’ kind of guy.

But I do love a good walk. And on that note, Avalanche delivered.

Staring at Animal excrement, not so much – but hey, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone, right?

Road Warrior

State of Decay 2 • You killed 50 zombies with your car door • 15G • 39.85% of gamers unlocked this

I am actually a bit time-poor over the next couple of days, so I wanted to just try and polish off the rest of the easy State of Decay 2 achievements before I move in with my life. Turns out, I ended up earning two achievements tonight – which would normally be fine – but part of me is also a little bitter that I couldn’t store one up for tomorrow.

Another example of why expanding the repertoire is worthwhile. I have played quite a bit of Vita today, and I’m sure the host of trophies I earned on my lunch break would have been equally good reading if I could have found time to document the experience!

The other achievement I earned tonight was for killing a juggernaut, which would probably pose a pretty big challenge, but really – I just rammed him a few times with the car I’d used for the titular achievement. I have to say though, killing the juggernaut was far more satisfying.

The other thing I tried tonight was a quick online game. My motivation was simply to try and grab an achievement, but there was nothing on offer before the network connection dropped out (on my host’s end, I suspect), and booted me back to my own game.

Insert shoulder shrug here.

Make reactions

W.O.R.L.D.S_ Win Own Reinvent Live Discover Sim 11_05_2018 10_17_38 PM

W.O.R.L.D.S: Win Own Reinvent Live Discover Sim • Perform reactions • 20G • 59.98% of gamers unlocked this

I thought I might have been able to get an achievement a bit earlier tonight, but the footy was on.

I’ll let you sit with that thought for a minute – pick your jaw back up off the floor before you keep reading.

This weekend, I have a whole heap of family about to descend – correction: already have started descending – on my house for a birthday party that we are hosting for an elderly relative tomorrow afternoon. That means that, while I haven’t vocally given any resistance, my TV is not my own … and I’m left either waiting until the end of the evening to get onto the console, or I’m left to find ‘other’ solutions.

Tonight’s solution came by way of the Windows store in a little free-to-play game titled, W.O.R.L.D.S: Win Own Reinvent Live Discover Sim.

W.O.R.L.D.S_ Win Own Reinvent Live Discover Sim 11_05_2018 10_14_17 PM

Firstly, don’t ask me what that means … I have no idea. It feels like they’ve wanted to use the word ‘Worlds’, and then they’ve slapped a whole heap of words together to get an acronym. Much like some dialogue in the opening episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D …

…It means someone really wanted our initials to spell out “shield.”

Titling aside, this isn’t actually a bad little game for the price you pay. It shares similar mechanics with the Doodle God series, which shouldn’t be surprising considering it’s made by the same developer – but it is packaged together in a way that you wouldn’t think a simple puzzler would deliver.

W.O.R.L.D.S_ Win Own Reinvent Live Discover Sim 11_05_2018 10_11_09 PM

My difficulty in this game actually had nothing to do with the game itself, but just the effort required to install it on my laptop. Opening up Windows 10 for the first time in a little while meant that there was 40 apps listed for update. Forty. Four-Zero. Sure, the mileage varied in the update size from app-to-app, but isn’t it so incredibly indicative of the world we live in today … nothing is permanent, everything is always transient. Often in the world of gaming, we lament the loss of cartridges, in which a whole game was finished, bundled, and sold.

Sure, there are benefits to the world of updates – but let an aging man lament the changing world for a while.

Rabbits in a Maze

Super Lucky’s Tale • Retrieved King Bunny’s carrot within the Garlic King’s maze • 40G • 10.79% of gamers unlocked this

Before I begin, I have to say that the description for this achievement sounds like something you concoct out of a night of drunken philosophising around an old table on someone’s back porch. It’s actually one of the simplest achievements you can ever earn, and involves grabbing a carrot and heading to the left of the maze where you can find King Bunny eagerly awaiting his fix of Vitamin C.

I actually started the night off with a bit of Skylanders. I went to Chapter 8 on Trap-Team (don’t ask me what level that is – it’s one with Dream catcher) with the intent of doing some achievement clean-up, but I was blowed if I could find the waterfall area I was supposed to go to, let alone the little gold balls to knock off their platform. I’m not too concerned with any sort of completion of Skylanders, but when I have a chance to play with the kids, I like them to somewhat influence the decision about title.

It just so happens they chose wrong.

With some subtle suggestion, I managed to get them excited about playing some more of Lucky, and after a few levels, we’ve arrived at the final stage of the Vegetable world. Time and inclination got away from us to finish the whole level, but I am certain that it’s only a short replay to get back to where I was earlier.

Tonight I hope to finally capture/kill Predator on Ghost Recon Wildlands, but it’s certainly been a frustrating few hours over the course of the long weekend, and there’s ostensibly no achievement attached to it, so I’m treating this more as a feat. Of course, it could all be for nothing if I have another frustrating night of being shot in the head by an alien, so we’ll see whether it ends in a pleasing victory or a controller through the TV.

They See Me Rollin’

Super Lucky’s Tale • Completed a Marble Mingame • 10G • 13.90% of gamers unlocked this

Some more Super Lucky’s Tale today. I have a lot of other games that I could be playing – but let’s be honest, it’s a long weekend here for much of Australia, I’m tired, and having the kids get a bit excited when I earn a clover or finish a particularly challenging level is kind of rewarding. And when I say ‘kids’, I really mean me.

I earned a few achievements with Lucky today – there seems to be a few achievements designed to reward your ‘firsts’. I finally managed to obtain some mastery of that challenging 2D level that was bothering me yesterday, and I also managed to clean-up achievements for earning all of the L-U-C-K-Y letters on a level and for completing a ‘Burrow Run’.

But the achievement I chose for today was for completing a Marble Minigame. My first thought for this game was: ‘thank God I’m not trying to complete this with sixaxis’, because while the level wasn’t the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish in gaming – the aforementioned tiredness has certainly lowered my threshold for making frivolous mistakes.

If I’m perfectly honest, I still made the odd mistake – certainly there were a couple on the second of two Marble Minigames I accomplished – but they were more the result of trial-and-error than my lack of concentration. I managed to stay just on my own good side long enough to complete the two of them, so ‘bully’ to me.

This is also a good chance to welcome any newcomers to the blog who might have found it via the new Instagram page: @achievementaday. I found that my account is filling up with a whole raft of quite good gaming screenshots, and it seemed a waste to tuck them away on Facebook, Twitter and this Blog, so why not expand the scope a little and use an actual medium dedicated to visual content? Anyway, if you’re new here – welcome. Check out the ‘About‘ page for the details of the challenge as we rapidly approach the final quarter.

This afternoon I’ll be broadening my horizons again with some more PlayStation and PC gaming. I’m not sure what I’ll fill in my time with the most, but I’m a man of much whim and flimsy – so it’ll be a surprise for us all.

Survivor

Riptide GP: Renegade • Earn 1st place in any Elimination Event • 20G • 20.74% of gamers unlocked this

I didn’t realise that I had another event type to earn an achievement on in Riptide, and I thought that today’s achievement would be for reaching Level 5, but in my ongoing progress through the campaign, this event type came up – and I managed to stay in there long enough (not overly difficult) to win the race.

You would think for someone who has been less than enthusiastic for this game, that they might have long since abandoned it … but this weekend has been a time-poor occasion, where I’m attempting to mix garden landscaping (building a retaining wall yesterday, I ended up getting burned and blistered), a Robbie Williams concert (yes, Robbie, you may entertain me), and a foggy, hungover head as a result of the aforementioned concert. It seems like a miracle that I am even able to get out of bed today, but other than sitting down to do a couple of races and smash through the rest of my level on Call of Duty (which I’ll write about shortly), I have been taking it deliberately easy.

The good news about earning these surprise achievements is that I know what I can accomplish tomorrow before I even have to worry about it. Tomorrow is another balls-to-the-wall kind of day, so a couple of races to clinch Level 5 is likely all I’ll have time for.

And right now, my hangover tells me that sounds like a damn good idea.

Racer

Riptide GP: Renegade • Earn 1st place in any Race event • 20G • 60.29% of gamers unlocked this

I wonder how many people would have ever played Riptide GP if it hadn’t of been for Game Pass? That’s not a criticism, I think Game Pass is one of the great vehicles for discovering diamonds-in-the-rough of the Xbox marketplace, but it is essentially the same stock-standard JetSki-esque racer that we’ve all seen, and played, before.

I couldn’t even get through the tutorial level without getting frustrated, so I ended up skipping it and just getting straight into the action. Turns out that was probably for the best, as it was just a simple matter of whipping around the circuit and earning myself the achievement. I noticed that there is another achievement for getting first place on a Slalom event, which happens to be the next race-type in my career mode, so I’ve strategically put that aside for tomorrow.

Before I even touched my console, I did try and earn an Xbox achievement on my PC, but it turned out that there was just simply too much legwork to be able to pull one from Age of Empires or A Walk in the Dark quickly tonight. I’ve had another killer night last night being up with the 2 year old, and then a full day of work has left me incredibly fatigued, so expediency was somewhat the order of the day.

And it still is the order of the day. Insert Yawn Here.

Everyone’s got to Start Somewhere

Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection • Started your first zoo • 10G • 62.85% of gamers unlocked this

I’ve had a fairly good day gaming. It’s probably only been about three hours of console time all-up, but I’ve certainly had a good dose of both quantity and quality of gaming.

To start with, I completed the first milestone in Diablo III‘s season, reaching level 50 and levelling most of the merchants up to level 10. I’m going to persevere and try and get my Witch Doctor, my character for the season, up to the level cap as I pursue the ‘get all characters to level 75’ achievement, but in all honesty, I’m quite happy if this is the only milestone I get to for the season. It earns me a nice portrait frame and, more importantly, a set of wings – with the other levels really just a variation on the same theme

From there, I moved onto a few games from the Game Pass collection that I thought would be ‘not unpleasant’ to play. Other than today’s achievement title, Zoo Tycoon, I also dabbled a little in Monaco: What’s Yours is Mine, and Joe Danger 2 (having already had a few sessions of the original on Vita lately).

Anyway, needless to say that I got some gameplay in on a few titles that I otherwise would have taken a while to get around to … if at all. It’s been fun, but I suppose I should concentrate a little bit on my achievement for today.

Zoo Tycoon is a surprisingly fun game – though I think it’s a case of being ‘simple to understand, difficult to master’, given that the one scenario I attempted (the ‘Australia’ one because, hey, it’s Australia Day) I failed because the animals weren’t happy enough, and even the tutorial seemed to take me way longer than it seems like a normal human being should take.

I don’t know why, but I actually didn’t take many screenshots of Zoo Tycoon. In fact, the one you get at the top of the blog post is it for the day. Visually it’s not a bad game, and as a family title, it certainly would have been a good showcase at the launch of the Xbox One X. There’s a couple of reality-jarring moments that take you out of the game – like pedestrians sliding out of the way of your buggy – but these are minor quibbles in the bigger picture.

So, that’s one day out of three done for the long weekend. Here’s to another day of frivolous gaming tomorrow!