New Game in Town

Xbox

Batman: The Enemy Within • Completed Chapter 2 of Episode 1 • 20G • 56.49% of gamers unlocked this

I have been married ten years today, which means that I’ll be hard-pressed to convince the family that I can spend the evening playing Xbox, and so I thought it best to get an achievement out of the way before I got caught up in the celebration. It’s also the reason that I’ll have to be a bit ‘innovative’ with my achievement earning over the weekend. I’ve checked my Age of Empires on iOS and I think I should be alright, even if I need to buy some in-game currency just to get me over the line – I’ll make it work. Now I just have to hope that I have phone reception where we’re going as well!

A special day requires a special game – and what could be more special than the Batman? While I would actually like to sit down and binge on Telltale’s Batman sequel, the pacing of this game has nothing to do with me stringing out achievements, but rather a case of wedging it into an otherwise chaotic day.

This chapter was largely about solving Riddler’s first puzzle, which – spoiler alert – Batman, or Bruce, does (with my help) fairly easily. It is also our first introduction to Telltale’s Amanda Waller, which should be interesting to see given that Telltale did such a fantastic job using Vicki Vale to great impact last season. I enjoyed their characterisation of Waller during this first introduction – I’ll be curious to see where it ends up. For the record, my favourite incarnation of Waller is in CW’s Arrow, but this version is more in-line with the comics.

And on that note, I’ll grapple out of here as well. I sense another chapter in the morning before I hit the road, but there’s a lot of balls in the air to juggle so I’ll see where they land before I commit.

Or perhaps it’s a sign that I need an Alfred of my own.

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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 …

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!

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.

Thirty-Five Systemized

PC

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TransPlan • Complete 35 projects at or below par

I started a bit of a session on TransPlan yesterday looking for something to wind-down at the end of the day while watching the US incarnation of Shameless. I have to say, that this is quite a good little puzzler, in which you aim to get a coloured ball or a box into a specific location on the screen, using a variety of techniques such as an eraser or drawing pin. Yup – the tools of the gaming gods.

I was actually quite surprised to find that I’d completed 35 of the levels already. I suppose the first 5-10 levels are largely tutorial, and each part thereafter is designed to build on your knowledge of the techniques used to complete the level, so with a bit of trial-and-error, 35 is probably inevitable, but you would have to admit, on paper it seems like a good psychological barrier to overcome. From what I can tell from the achievement list, there is at least 70 levels to completion … but I also can see a group for ‘master projects’ as well … so whether they form part of those 70 levels or if they’re something additional will remain to be seen.

Once Upon a Time

Xbox

The Wolf Among Us • Complete Chapter 1 of Episode 4 • 20G • 36.43% of gamers unlocked this

As expected, here it is. Look at this miserable sod. If this achievement was a person, I’d slap its stupid grin off its stupid face. It had one job. One. Unlock before midnight. And couldn’t deliver. I’m not angry, just disappointed.

The big part here was essentially patching Bigby up after he’s encounter with Jack, which was supposed to be an effort to make the game somewhat confronting, but being a child who grew up on a hearty diet of video game violence, a bit of blood and exposed bone really is nothing.

On that note – I’m off to bed. I’m still in Friday mode and it’s been a long day. Goodnight, Internet!

Persuasion

PC

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2064: Read Only Memories • Convince Lexi to help you with impressive speechcraft

As promised, a little more from cyberpunk San Francisco today, hot on the trail of a missing computer genius with his trusty robotic creation as a sidekick. The chapters themselves are a little longer than the prologue, which is fine because they are meaty – and the story itself is quite good in the context of cyberpunk, though I get the sense that ‘futuristic’ might be a better description for the world of 2064, as it doesn’t quite drip with the same level of darkness that traditional cyberpunk literature does.

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The locations in the game have opened up a little bit, now requiring a bit of navigation left-and-right – not that it’s a particularly onerous addition, but it does mean that you need to examine all of the areas of a location to make sure that you try and fiddle with everything needed to progress the story. Today’s achievement though was largely dialogue based, and is easily obtained if you put yourself in the shoes of the character and keep your answers thematic, then Lexi – an augment-enhanced detective with whom you have history – is easily ‘won-over’.

This chapter seems to be largely about introducing characters themselves: TOMCAT, Jess, Lexi, and building the profile of others, or specifically, other: Turing. I don’t know how I feel about the player-character being introduced into the world with pre-existing history with the NPCs, as it fails to make the story feel uniquely ‘mine’, but it’s a minor quibble and I suppose it helps force an attachment to these characters quickly without needing to jump through any relationship-building hoops.

I’ll keep going with this chapter tomorrow. Unlike my Xbox achievements, this is very much a grab-and-run approach with my achievements, meaning that I save and log-off as soon as I’ve made ‘some’ progress. I have been considering ways to pursue some of these slower-burn games as part of my 2018-19 challenge, and one of the ways I’m thinking about is going for game completion, perhaps monthly, as a way of getting stuck-into some of the longer games and being able to give a more thorough work-out and assessment of how they can be played with the same busy IRL environment. It continues to be food for thought.

Put The Thing in the Doohickey

PC

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2064: Read Only Memories • Puzzle your first puzzle!

How can you not choose an achievement titled like this for today’s PC Achievement? It’s brilliant. And the game is actually not bad as well!

To be honest, I read a little bit of a walkthrough for the prologue, but I found that useful in terms of quickly getting up to speed with the interactions needed to be able to progress the narrative. I think the subsequent chapters should be OK to attempt on my own, but at least I have found a walkthrough if-and-when I need it for those time-poor days.

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I’ll put it out there to start with – I’m an above-average fan of Cyberpunk…

(One of my more contemporary gripes is that the modern Shadowrun games don’t have Steam Achievements, which means that a game that I would love to delve into much deeper gets sidelined while I divert my attention to other things. It’s not the end-of-the-world, but in 2018, I expect developers to give me a few achievements for things. Bah, humbug.)

… The theme of cyberpunk itself really appeals to overlapping 90s, hacker-culture, l33t, grunge Venn diagram I have in my head. And from what I’ve gathered from the prologue, this has a good collection of the thematic elements which make the story sound appealing from the get-go. A kidnapping, a robot that has selected you as the best possible chance to save a friend, and a futuristic world that is dripping in technology. You had me at hello.

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From what I can tell, the chapters themselves don’t look like they’ll be overly big. The prologue itself was probably a 10-15 minute affair, which might be more a ‘taster’ than anything else, but once I attempt a full level, I guess I’ll have a better idea about how long this game is going to take.

Given that it’s almost a bit of an on-rails narrative, there’s a chance I might be able to save this game for quieter days when I need a bit of a story-heavy fix. It’s also one that I feel like I could smash through on a weekend, so depending on how the mood grabs me any given day, you’ll either be seeing lots of 2064, or never again!

Terminal Velocity

Xbox

Portal • Fall 30,000 feet

I don’t know what’s wrong with my Steam lately. I’ve been having real hit-and-miss results with my screenshot button on all versions of Steam, and so I apologise for the recycled screenshot. I actually thought I took a really great image while I pursued this achievement (which I attempted twice, thinking that I had fallen enough the first time around to earn it – I hadn’t), but it wasn’t in the usual screen capture folder, nor did the Steam Cloud prompt a pop-up, and so I’m left only with the satisfaction of knowing the achievement is registered on my account successfully – and you know what? Sometimes that’s all that matters.

Same as last Portal achievement, this seems like something that I have likely done multiple times on multiple playthroughs, but this is the first time I’ve registered it on my long term account. Falling repeatedly through portals is actually one of those fun experimental things you try when you first get the option to do so in the game, and turning it into an achievement means you need to set yourself up to prevent any ‘slipping’ and accidentally landing on the side of a portal instead of following through. I found a level with a few corners that I was able to set myself up in, fire a couple of portals at the roof and floor and let myself go.

I’ll try a few different tactics for screenshots on PC over the next few days to make sure I can land a solution, otherwise we’re doomed for the next few months to publish repeats.

Not on my watch, boy.