Tagged: Achievements

Achieving: Double (Weekend) Happiness


It was a weekend of Trophy pop-ups for some very long-in-the-works accomplishments! I’ve had Guitar Hero Live since Christmas and I’d been playing it in fits and starts until the recent news about the development studio’s downsizing and restructuring. The best part of the game is it’s always-on, 24/7 streaming video channels which, naturally, will be the first money-sucking part of the game to get the axe sooner or later.

Of course there’s a progression system to the thing and Trophies tied to milestones like reaching the max level, strumming 1,000,000 times and playing for 24 hours. On Sunday I somehow managed to score 50 million cumulative points within an hour of hitting the level cap. Reaching Level 20 was all I was really after before the game gets shut down and with that scratched off the list I can focus on that one million strums thing. Man, that’s nuts.

As you are no doubt painfully aware, Spelunker World is the other game I’ve been playing for ages. Between the Japanese and US versions I’ve officially been at it for over a year as of early April and I finally — fiiiinally — accomplished two goals as old as time itself. I’ve now completed every one of the game’s 100 nightmarishly deadly levels on my own. There were a few continues used on some of the really fiendish and drawn out ones but I didn’t even blow that many Moon Stones getting through it all.

Though the benefit of teaming up in Spelunker World is immense I still stick to offline play most of the time, that’s why it’s taken this long to get ranked MVP 100 times. MVP comes from a combination of things: most points, having picked up the most keys or litho-stones and rescuing more dead players than everyone else. With more and more players topping Level 100 it’s getting harder to get MVP rank but, just like Guitar Hero, I managed it in the same weekend as finishing off the main levels.

Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward in Games retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.

Achieving: Platinum, finally

Can you believe it’s been nearly two and a half years since I posted about a dumb achievement? The proverbial itch has apparently been scratched. Over the last console generation I played most everything on Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 exclusives I did dive into weren’t usually the ones to get Platinum trophies. So here I am in 2015 all proud that I basically just played a ton of Rocket League.

You’ll hit most of the trophies in the game just by playing it for a while. The unlocks come at the end of almost every five-minute match. Blasting around after the ball you’ll inevitably hit one in while driving backwards as well as bump an opponent into the ball for a goal. Many of them you can unlock just by setting up bot matches. But the ones that took the longest were finally playing online with a friend (aww, how sad) and racking up 50km on a single set of decorative tires. It finally popped though, in the middle of an uneventful match, and now I have a Platinum trophy and Yay and whatever. Let’s go play some more Rocket League already!

Achieving: Tales of Pointless Self Reward in Games retold in brief posts whenever we feel like it.

My first 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V (Part 2: Online)


As obsessed as I was about seeing as much of the single player content as possible, I had no idea how possessed I would get once Grand Theft Auto Online rolled out. I stuck with it after the shaky launch and found a different kind of San Andreas than the world Trevor, Michael and Franklin inhabit. I’m a no-good thug, fresh off the plane and in town to meet my LifeInvader pal, Lamar. He basically hands me a gun and throws open the gates to the world; a confusing new place where I’m a criminal jack-of-all-trades.

Like the fervor around the launch of Portal and Fez part of the fun has been figuring out how this peculiar MMOGTA works. Rockstar filled the game with grinding, loot and quest givers like any other MMO but they wrote a bunch of their own rules and didn’t bother explaining them all. Passive mode makes you immune to player abuse, unless you get in a car. The world is full of ATMs that you can stash your cash in but you can also use your phone for convenient online banking. Races and respawns cost money. Your apartment comes with daily utility fees. I’ve posted a few times as I’ve discovered how it all works and now that I’ve gotten farther in things are really getting crazy.


At any time the open world around you is crawling with distractions. If it’s not driving to a clothing store to see what your last level-up unlocked it’s an impromptu gang attack, an armored truck packed with money, a convenience store yet to be robbed or a random player to greet/grief. All of that sits alongside starting points for nearly 100 races, 72 deathmatches, 6 Horde style survival games, parachuting and team deathmatches.

What you could call story missions pop up frequently from your cellphone contacts and work much like regular GTA missions only you can invite your friends. These linger on the “drive here, kill these guys, drive back” formula for quite a while but soon it gets interesting. Stealing tankers as they barrell across the highway is much easier with multiple gunmen. Bringing a helicopter full of gun-toting friends to bear on a sky-high construction site is much more exciting than attempting it alone. The most elaborate mission I’ve been a part of so far eclipses even the single player stuff with multiple gunfights, invasions and even hacking.

All of this has been even more all-consuming since we decided to buy a second copy of the game. Finding a game with an interesting online mode that Katy and I are both interested in at the same time hardly ever happens. GTA Online has paid for itself a million times over in ridiculous knife fights, accidental explosions, frantic Survival rounds, racing shenanigans, and bluntly honest fashion advice. Joined by a regular, nightly crew of friends I’ve finally found that unrelentingly fun multiplayer experience that so many have had this console generation.

My first 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V (Part 1: Single Player)


I’ve just topped 200 hours in Grand Theft Auto V so I thought I’d answer your probable first question, “what the hell are you doing in that game all the time!?”. After 93 hours I wrapped up the single player story and completed the 100% checklist which, somewhat perplexingly doesn’t require you to do everything in the game. Still, it was a feat of fun and dedication that I enjoyed completely… mostly.

You’ve probably heard it already but the heists in the game are definitely the highlight. Going over the planning board, choosing your approach and crew, running little missions to recon or acquire gear build up some of the game’s best moments. What really sucked me in, though, is the world that Rockstar created. So many little details at every turn solidify San Andreas as a real place that I couldn’t pull myself out of. One-off conversations you overhear, the random people out on hiking trips or picnics, the handwritten in-game Internet that hooks right into the game world. Websites point to secrets and even start whole mission chains which wind up unlocking some of the game’s mysteries and teasing you with others.

Even after the gargantuan credits finally stop scrolling each character has a good post-game moment that let’s you know Rockstar isn’t finished yet. This is where I really got started on the 100% checklist and other unfinished business because I was honestly saddened at the idea of leaving this world. Little did I know that once GTA Online sorted out its launch-week woes I wouldn’t have to worry about ever leaving San Andreas again. Check back tomorrow for a lengthy recount of my time as a strong, silent, fashionably confused Ginger fumbling into Rockstar’s online world.

E3: Xbox One Achievements fully detailed


While the world is busy screaming about Microsoft’s more outrageous moves with Xbox One some good news did slip out of E3 regarding Microsoft Points and Achievements.

Microsoft announced at their Media Briefing that the old Points currency would be going away with Xbox One. Joystiq got hold of a spokesperson during the show who confirmed that existing Xbox 360 Microsoft Points would be taken to a duty free shop and converted to real-world dollars on Xbox One. It’s good to hear because I assumed my Microsoft Points were forever locked to the 360. Now I can come over to the One with some cash to blow on stupid themes and junk.

Next up is word from Microsoft’s Cierra McDonald on the changes coming to Achievements on Xbox One and there’s a lot to cover. There are now two kinds of Achievements; the typical Gamerscore-boosting kind that will always be available to unlock and Challenges that are time-based and unlock various awards but not Gamerscore.

The idea behind the split is to make sure that every game always has a bunch of Achievements that can be unlocked whether you bought the game on launch day or five years later. Expect the multiplayer-focused or “viral” Achievements that were impossible to get after a game’s popularity died off to become Challenges.

Challenges are time-sensitive and can be updated by publishers as trends develop around their games. Say everyone loves shooting guards in the knee with arrows, the publisher can run a challenge to reward all players who make kneeshots over a peried of time. Challenges can also span titles so your progress in one game could be counted towards a challenge in its sequel. Instead of rewarding players with Gamerscore, challenges can unlock digital artwork, new maps, characters or buff items. It sounds kinda gross but the current alternative is buying all that stuff as paid DLC which is way, way grosser.


Both Achievements and Challenges can trigger the Game DVR feature so if the game knows you’re about to land your 1,000th headshot it can prompt you to save or share the moment. The Achievements dashboard has also been greatly expanded with progress towards Achievements now visible outside of the game and a more detailed list of what your friends have been up to.

The long-rumored Achievements system for non-game apps is also finally happening. Examples given were video and music apps unlocking “sneak peek content, early access or subscription extensions” for performing certain tasks. Rest easy, though, as none of this stuff will reward Gamerscore. Achievements for games are just that although “appchievements” may appear alongside game Achievements on your profile.

Given how coy they’ve been about used game policy and the like, I’d say this Achievement information is downright thorough. About the only question I have left is if they’ll be changing the ‘ba~goink’ sound when an Achievement pops up.