Monthly Archives: January 2011

Games Completed in 2011, #4 – Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

::deep exhale::

If I had cool technology, a better cell phone, or awesome lighting, I’d take a picture of my Nintendo DS screen that listed all my stats for Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies at the time I kicked the end boss to the mortal curb. Alas, I failwhale in that department. You’ll just have to lovingly accept what I give you here as proof that I worked–and am still working–hard to do everything possible from Angel Falls to the Realm of the Almighty:

Time spent playing: 103: 39
Time spent in multiplayer: 01:35
Battle victories: 3,071
Times alchemy performed: 170
Accolades earnt: 43
Quests completed: 41
Grottoes completed: 12
Guests canvassed: 2
Defeated monster list completion: 74%
Warddrobe completion: 37%
Item list completion: 56%
Alchenomicon completion: 33%

Hmm. I know. It’s not as pretty as a screenshot, but it is, as a whole, a wonderful way to sum up my experience with Dragon Quest IX. My fab four, Hadwynnn, Tarla, Kingsley, and Juniper, who I’ve pretty much had since the very beginning of the game, have done a lot; conversely, there is still a lot yet to do. “Beating” the game is a hollow experience. Sure, there’s an end boss, some loose plot resolution, and an ending eeriely close to Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past‘s, which shows us how all the famous locations are going about their days now that true evil has been vanquished. But it’s only then, after the credits roll on by, that the game really opens up.

New quests unlock, and there’s also the bonus content gained from using the DQVC and such. I think I have over forty quests titled ????? just sitting pretty, waiting for this day to come. More grottoes to clear, more clothes to collect, more fiendish thingies to make, and I’m also contemplating changing my main character’s vocation now that he is capped at 100 in his whip skills. Maybe something that lets him wield a boomerang? Evidently the new story-related quest I’m on now, the first post-game one, will net me my own personal flying train to let me travel around the map kind of like the magical phoenix form from Dragon Quest VIII did. That’s gonna be sweet because I know a few unreachable spots on the map have been teasing me for far too long.

Unfortunately, this quest is a bit of a mindmess to put it politely. Let’s take a looksie at what exactly we’re being asked to do:

Quest #039 – Follow That Fish
Location: Porth Llafan
Request: Summon Lleviathan by wearing a Watermaul Wand, Flowing Dress, and Silver Shield and then defeat him.

Yeah, sounds simple, right? It’s not. Two of the three items require rare ingredients to create. Thankfully, I already acquired a Watermaul Wand earlier on. I was able to use the Krak Pot and make a Flowing Dress. Really hope my male character doesn’t have to equip that to bring about Lleviathan. The problem I’m having now is that I don’t have enough items to make a Silver Shield. My next best option is to buy it new from the upgraded shop in Stornway, but it’s around 30,000 gold. So, my options are as such: 1) grind until I get 30,000 gold or 2) grind until I get enough alchemy items to make it myself. Either way…uh, grinding.

At least this game continues to keep me busy, keep me interested. That said, I’m really not looking forward to battling Lleviathan…again. But yeah, this is going on the “2011 games completed” list because 103 hours is far too many hours to devote to a single piece of media and not feel like you’ve done far and above what was set. I can’t ever imagine re-playing Dragon Quest IX a second time, but the good news is I never will have to…I can just keep on playing it from my very first time, from way back in July 2010!

Bang! Splash! Kaboom! Boom!

Despite the bulk of activities in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I can easily name my favorite quests. And that’s pretty bold of me, considering I’ve not yet completed the game and am only around DNA Sequence 5, meaning I’ve not experienced everything there is to experience just yet. I mean, who knows…maybe Ezio is tasked with assassinating some distant relative of Julius Caesar. That’d be cool. Et tu, Brute? But it matters not! For Leonardo da Vinci is in da house!

That’s right. The da Vinci, that very dude that painted Mona Lisa and invented things like the hang glider and thought about many-a-things and inspired Dan Brown to write a really hokey novel. I guess he was also in Assassin’s Creed II, but I skipped that game and went right on to Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Right now, the Borgia soldiers are forcing da Vinci to create war machines for them, and the famed Florentine painter seeks out Ezio’s help in destroying these devices. Glad to be of service!

Bang! (20G): Destroy the Machine Gun.

Splash! (20G): Destroy the Naval Cannon.

Kaboom! (20G): Destroy the Tank.

Boom! (20G): Destroy the Bomber.

I will, for the sake of Grinding Down‘s dear readers, not reveal too much about each mission da Vinci gives to Ezio to destroy one of his inventions, but man-oh-man-oh-man. They are fun. I think part of the reason they’re so enjoyable is because you’re taken away to a new location, stripped of your recruited assassins’ help, and forced to really think about how you move about the land. For each mission, being spotted by a guard is an instant desynch. This taught me how to assassinate while hanging from a ledge more, as well as the potent power of smoke bombs and the crossbow. On main storyline missions, I’d either rush in for the kill or just summon an arrow storm and sit back to watch all the mayhem. Each da Vinci mission is threefold: (1) find the war machine’s blueprints without being detected, (2) locate the war machine, and (3) use said war machine against its makers to show them who is boss. The last part of each mission is very cinematic, especially the one for destroying the machine gun. Pew pew pew! Sorry, horsies!

Ezio’s reward, besides bringing the Borgia movement down a notch, for destroying all of da Vinci’s war machines is another invention from the man of the hour: a parachute. I’ve yet to try it out, but I imagine it’ll be great for silent, death-from-above assassinations. However, I’m sad that there’s no more da Vinci missions left. Guess it’s back to burning Borgia towers and unearthing treasures for Ezio…

The Bulletstorm demo is for dick tits and dick tits only

I’ve talked about my prowess before when it comes to run-and-gun first-person shooters; in short, I’m usually no good. Can’t target quick enough, can’t figure out how to snipe and stay on the move; can’t really work with a team. I like to play much slower than that, planning everything all out, meticulous inch after inch. Still, I had heard some interesting things about Bulletstorm, a new FPS from the makers of the Gears of War series, which I’ve never touched, and a demo recently hit Xbox Live for GOLD members. Gave it a download, and then I gave it a play. Here’s an account of pretty much how it went.

You’re given access to only one Echo. Not sure what an Echo is, but there’s more than one of ’em. Anyways, before you can kill with skill, you’re treated to a cutscene of sorts that plays as a tutorial and introduction to Bulletstorm. It’s self-aware, voiced by space pirate Grayson Hunt, who I can only describe as a generic meathead, and totally full of itself. Tara’s response the minute it was over? “Laaaaaaame.” You heard it here first, dear readers. Lame-a-rama. Actually, it’s also offensive and crass, as well as perfect for serial killers in training.

Your character is partnered with two computer-controlled players, and you basically explore different sections of a collapsed building, shooting brainless enemies and racking up points. Points are the point. The whole “kill with skill” is a strong concept except you’re not really rewarded for being clever. Rather, so long as you have a high cruel streak, you’ll begin earning points for kicking an enemy and then blowing his head off or throwing them into a spiky ceiling or even sending a train right through an entire line of ’em. These are called skillshots, and each has its own point value. Evidently, you can also shoot right up their asshole, but I was unable to achieve this. The guns are very ho-hum, but Grayson does have a neat electric leash that can toss enemies your way, prime for the kicking or shooting. That leash kind of made the demo worth it. Kind of.

There are 45 skillshots available in the demo, and over 130 in the final build of the game. Some that I earned include Voodoo Doll, Boned, and Flyswatter. Fun names for devasting actions.

And that’s the demo. Ten minutes or so of shooting, moving forward, shooting some more. I think I got like around 3,000 points or so. Yup, total n00b fail! But I really worry for the game because I can see the demo being the entire game with a hapdash of a “story” tossed in for no one’s sake. I can only imagine that Bulletstorm goes like so: cutscene, shoot up a section of dudes, cutscene, shoot up a section of dudes, cutscene, and so on. The variety is in how you kill enemies, but that’s probably all you will do. Kill enemies with weapons. For hours on end. Maybe to some that’s enjoyable, but repetitive gameplay, by nature, gets stale fast.

Bulletstorm is irrefutably juvenile, and the demo is all I probably needed to experience…ever. And for fun’s sake, here’s some phrases used affectionately during the demo to hit home their target audience: pasty, bean bag, butt hole, and, the new cult favorite, dick tits.

Sympathizing with mages since 1983

I completely forgot how long quests in Dragon Age: Origins are, especially “Broken Circle,” which is the one where our dashing Grey Warden has to go to the Circle of Magi and try to recruit the templars or the mages to help fight off the darkspawn. Blasted quest took my entire night, but at least I was successful:

Magic Sympathizer (20G): Sided with the mages in “Broken Circle”

During my first playthrough (and only complete one at this point), I sided with the templars, but always felt bad about that. They’re kind of racist jerks with puffed out chests and arrogance on their chins shining like stars. I had, however, already had some bad experiences with a former friend who went down the blood mage path, and decided that they–as well as all other mages–needed to be washed clean.

The most frustrating part of “Broken Circle” is that it is surprisingly longer than necessary. See, the first part of the quest has the Grey Warden going up the tower, killing darkspawn, abominations, and evil blood mages. Standard stuff. Kind of mindless. Eventually, you can recruit a new character named Wynne, which I did this time around. She’s a bit wrinkly and old, but has a good heart; I suspect I’ll never use her, mostly because she’s not a sex option. Booooooring. Anyways, eventually you’ll get to the tower’s top and find yourself ready to do battle with a giant sloth demon. Three, two, one…FIGHT!

Or rather, no, don’t fight. You deserve a rest. Go on, take a nap. The floor is nice and sticky. Let the scary demon sing you a soft lullaby. There, there…

Right, instead of fighting the sloth demon, you are put to sleep, only to wake up alone in the Fade. The Fade is a horrible, blurry place where dreamers go to be tortured and tormented. Along with the player. It’s dreary to look at, dreary to walk through, dreary to listen to. Alas, the Grey Warden won’t be escaping the Fade for some time. Here, we have to go back and forth between different island planes, collecting new forms to transform into that will allow us to access a closed off room or section. It’s repetitive, predictable, and, thanks to numerous loading screens, slow. The new magical forms are fun, especially turning into the Burning Man, but they are limited in what they can do, and it’s much easier to stay in Grey Warden form for battles. Once you’ve rescued all your companions, you can confront the sloth demon, but it’s more like six or seven demons in one. Yeah, that kind of boss battle.

Once you’re out of the Fade, you still have to go save the mages or destroy them. Here we get another boss battle. After that, the Grey Warden has to do some chatting before the quest can be considered complete.

So yeah, that’s like, two chunks too many for one quest. I guess the developers really wanted players that didn’t choose a mage class to experience the Fade; those sick, cruel bastards. I’m glad I actually did “Broken Circle” first during my second playthrough, as the others–“Nature of the Beast,” “The Urn of Sacred Ashes,” “A Paragon of Her Kind,” and “Anvil of the Void”–are not as lengthy. Or maybe they are. I can’t remember. There’s too much to remember about this game.

Up next for our dwarven Grey Warden is siding with the werewolves and, hopefully, having some good ol’ dwarf-on-woman sex with Leliana. I need to find some good shoes for her first.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and the honeydew list

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a perfect game for me. It allows me to do a bajillion things at once…or nothing at all. And along the way, I’m rewarded profusely, no matter which path I take. Progression is always building, and this progression is never lost as the game auto-saves like a nervous cokehead stuck fortuitously inside police headquarters. I love it. I can play it in quick chunks of 15 minutes or for hours at length.

Just like in The Saboteur, the overworld map is key to getting things done. Instead of just being bloated with countless white dots, Ezio has to stare at…countless icons. All of them different, all of them something to see, to do, to stab. Here’s just a small taste of everything I can do at this point in the game (DNA sequence 3):

  • Kill Borgia captains
  • Burn Borgia towers to the ground
  • Collect Borgia flags
  • Recruit assassins to the brotherhood
  • Train assassins by sending them on missions across Europe or having them take out Borgia soldiers
  • Buy famous locations
  • Do mini quests for arts merchants, tailors, and weapons dealers to unlock special items
  • Collect feathers
  • Remove posters to lower one’s notoriety
  • Take on assassin contracts
  • Do sidequest missions for locals
  • Start memory sequences to continue Ezio/Desmond’s story
  • Read emails
  • Replay memories for fuller synchronizations
  • Purchase stores to upgrade Rome
  • Buy paintings to fill out Ezio’s hideout
  • Hire prostitutes, thieves, or mercanaries to help with missions
  • Find and search the numerous hidden tombs of Romulus
  • Solve Subject 16’s puzzles
  • Collect from numerous treasure chests hidden throughout
  • Destroy Leonardo’s creations
  • Climb buildings and complete viewpoint synchs
  • Train and earn medals via virtual reality sessions

Honestly, I’m sure that’s not everything. And I’ve excluded online multiplayer from the list. Seriously…this game gives you a run for your money, especially considering that I got it on sale for $39.99. And as I mentioned before, you can do all the above, a few things, or none at all. Sometimes I just like to climb buildings and look out at the city; other times, I enjoy riding horseback through the countryside. On occasion, I will simply sit and people-watch. Everyone everywhere is fascinating. The game can be, all at once, the most peaceful and violent experience presented, and I can’t wait to chip away it more and more.

Nice to meet you, 20,000 Gamerscore

So, I used to have this little widget thing over in my sidebar that kept track of my Achievements and recently played games. It was a nice thing to have, a quick reminder of where I sat Gamerscore-wise. However, I guess Microsoft recently updated its system, changing the way players’ gamercards looked, and all the code in my widget got thrown for a wild ride. In short, it ended up looking like this hot mess:

Don’t y’all just love my new hair color? Matches my eyes, I’m told.

Anyways, this wasn’t very upsetting, and I figured it would either fix itself in due time or I’d go looking for a new widget. No rush, no rush at all. Except, suddenly, without warning, there was a great need to make sure the world could see my Gamerscore! Great need indeed.

Last night, while playing some Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I noticed that I was sitting comfy at 19,990 Gamerscore, ten points off from a perfectly pretty whole number. Well, looks like I had a new mission to accomplish then, one not involving finding treasure or assassinating bad dudes or even burning Borgia towers.

Scanning the list of still-locked Achievements in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I found only two worth 10 Gamerscore points exactly. One involved using a parachute, which I did not have yet, and the other required me to win some hand-to-hand fights. I knew exactly where that took place, headed over via the lovely fast-traveling tunnel entrances, fought my way through five easy rounds, and unlocked the following with little challenge:

The Gloves Come Off (10G): Win the highest bet at the Fights.

Mmm. So, math time! 19,990 plus 10 equals…uh…hmm. Hold on. Let me get some scratch paper. Let’s see. Carry the…one, and times everything by the denominator. Factor in the ratio of pi versus the radius. Wait, wait. No, I got it! It’s 20,000 Gamerscore! Look, look, thanks to the widget brainiacs over at

Sure, pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things, but I have fun paying attention to it all. In fact, if any of my dear readers will recall, I was also able to perfectly achieve 10,000 Gamerscore when the time came near. Can’t wait for 30,000 Gamerscore to show up next!

Nintendo 3DS is now priced, dated, and overconfident

Long have we all wanted to know, and now that the day has come, I wish I could un-know all the details about the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS. See, before I learned that Nintendo’s newest piece of future tech was releasing on March 27, 2011 for a disgustingly gross $249.99, I was curious about the system. Genuinely interested in seeing how the glasses-free 3D worked, and whether any of the games were worth pursuing, in 3D, in 2D, in 1D. And now…not so much.

Alas, it comes down to price. No surprise there, as I’m always conscious about spending money and getting what money is worth. Two hundred and fifty bucks is about seventy-five to fifty bucks too much. I was very shocked to see a portable handheld gaming device priced higher than home-based consoles. The new wireless Xbox 360 is, I think, only $199.99 right now. I guess the 3D gimmick was enough to rack on some more dollar signs than needed. Also, analysts are suggesting that 3DS games could retail for $40 to $50. That’s sickening. Heart-breaking. I already feel grumbly enough buying a new Nintendo DS game for $35, believing that to actually be too much.

For the curious, here’s a list of confirmed launch titles:

  • Pilotwings Resort
  • Nintendogs + Cats
  • Steel Driver
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
  • Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
  • Madden NFL Football
  • The Sims 3
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
  • Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars
  • Ridge Racer 3D
  • Dual Pen Sports
  • Super Monkey Ball 3D
  • Thor: God of Thunder
  • Crush 3D
  • Bust-a-Move Universe
  • Samurai Warriors: Chronicles
  • Dead or Alive Dimensions
  • Asphalt 3D
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
  • Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D
  • Rayman 3D
  • Rabbids Travel in Time

Yowza. A lot of pre-existing games with the 3D tacked on the end. Where’s Kid Icarus or that Zelda remake? Nothing there really shouts “launch title” or “killer first-party game,” demanding that this hardware being a must purchase. Least not for me. Maybe the world is full of closet Nintendogs & Cats fanatics, and all of them will buy out every Nintendo 3DS in every store in every state, starting riots and chaos and the end of the world sooner than predicted. We’ll find out in only a matter of weeks, and I’ll be watching very cautiously. I do hope to eat my own words.

All Achievements Achieved – Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection

This game was a weird mix of Achievements. Some were blatant freebies, and others were so frustrating that I had to constantly take breathing breaks and power down the Xbox 360 for extended periods of time. The hardest and most excruciating had to be this doozy from Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine:

Yatta! (50G): Dr. Robotnik’s M.B.M.: Complete the game

If I ever meet anyone else in person that has this Achievement unlocked, I will shake their hand, pamper their feet, and maybe then feed them some grapes directly from Tuscany. Because my respect, they will have truly earned.

First of all, before Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection came along, I had no idea this game even existed. Loading it up, I expected it to be a traditional Sonic the Hedgehog game; you know, taking the Blue Wonder and having him run around, collect rings, and possibly, at the end, destroy some mean machine built by the nefarious Dr. Robotnik. I was surprised to find that it was…a puzzle game. Like an odd blend of Tetris, Dr. Mario, and sadomasochism. Eep. It’s not an easy puzzle game, and one can really screw themselves over quickly if they aren’t paying attention. Basically, you want to match four color blobs together, and if you match several in a row, you’ll create a cascading effect that will send blocking boulders onto your opponent’s side. Keep it up, and they’ll run out of space to place blobs, giving you one mean victory. 

That’s the gameplay, and it is simple at first, but with each consequent level, the blobs fall faster and your opponents get tougher. Or cheaper. Magically amazing at placing blobs and cascading your side to be more specific. Thankfully, there’s a password system available, and if you enter Yellow, Has Bean (that’s the one in the Achievement’s picture), Blue, Blue you’ll advance to the last level. All you have to do then is defeat Dr. Robotnik to complete the game. However, it’s virtually impossible, and you’ll be banking on luck and reloading saves more than skill or intellect.

Took me about thirty minutes or so of trying, dying, and trying again. I came close a few times only to have myself cascaded on, never to recover. Eventually, Dr. Robotnik’s AI screwed himself, and before long I heard that familiar Achievement ping! Wow. Did I really just beat him? Even double-checking didn’t help solidify that, yes, I unlocked Yatta! Sure, I used a cheat. Sure, I beat him unknowingly. Sure, I wish I could take more credit on earning this skillfully.

But yeah. That’s Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection, said and done. I was going to talk about some of its other Achievements, but Yatta! has, once again, stolen all my energy.

The road goes ever on, but only if you have a GameCube memory card

Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates –
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!

Bilbo Baggins also most definitely hates the entire population of Hobbiton. As he should. They’re nothing but a bunch of silly fetch quest givers, and shame on them for that. I mean, don’t they have better things to worry about? Like fourth breakfast or picking lice out of their hairy feet? Hogwash, I say. But I’m getting ahead of myself, even though, truthfully, I don’t get very far. You’ll see what that means in just a moment.

Tara and I were able to borrow an old GameCube controller from her brother so that we could test out the waters on Animal Crossing, LEGO Star Wars II, and The Hobbit. I literally looked everywhere on the Nintendo Wii to figure out where to plug this blasted thing in; the slots were hidden under a flap, next to another hidden flap; then, after starting the Wii up, I sat there pressing A on the GameCube controller like some kind of human reject, not realizing that we still needed to use a Wii controller to get to the main menu screen. Yup, smells like dragon dung already. Two very awkward controllers sat on my lap. Why can the Wii use a controller to play an earlier console’s games, but not allow it to function as a menu selecting tool? Is the science really that hard? Ugh.

Anyways, The Hobbit. It’s the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, and I know it in and out, up and down, left and right, troll and orc, wolve and eagle, and so on. I’m mostly playing it to see how they handle the story, which is its most important aspect. The 2003 title hits the high and low end in the graphics department. In-game cutscenes and graphics are horrific and bland, with Bilbo’s mouth moving as if his jaw is ready to fall off any minute. Yet, there’s these storytelling sequences that use hand-drawn art and are voiced over by a decent Gandalf, which are surprisingly potent. I almost want to just watch them all in chronological order and call it the movie we’ve all been waiting for. Sorry, Rankin/Bass.

Alas, I did not play much of The Hobbit. I could not. Only got through Bilbo’s dream sequence and then wandered around Hobbiton for a bit, accepting stupid quests from stupid hobbity neighbors. Seriously, Hobbiton natives. Bilbo is not your bitch. That should be on a t-shirt. What was holding me back, you ask? It’s not like the difficulty is cranked up higher than Ciroth Ungol on a day when every orc has off. Memory, dear readers. Memory held me back. To be more specific, not having a GameCube memory card. Again, the Nintendo Wii fails to impress me as a piece of future tech in that it also can’t save data from GameCube games to its own, built-in harddrive. The dragon dung pile gets smellier.

Saving one’s progress is very important to me. Even if it’s only 30 minutes worth, or 15 minutes worth, or even five minutes worth. I want that experience locked in so I don’t have to repeat myself. And so I knew that I needed to stop sooner than later in The Hobbit, not wanting to get too far, to lose too much.

I visited the local GameStop during my lunchbreak to see if they sold any GameCube memory cards. Nothing was visible out on the floor, and they only had one guy working behind the counter. He was pretty busy with a line of middle-aged women, one asking about something called Dead Spaced Tools. Seriously, that’s what she asked for. Dead Space 2 much? So I’ll try again tomorrow. Once I do get hold of this legendary GameCube memory card, it’s go time for Bilbo and his gaggle of dwarves. Also, I can’t help but feel like this would make for an interesting review over at The First Hour. Do I even need to call dibs?

Hide in hay, sit on bench, get stabbed in the back

…rinse and repeat!

That’s how my three sessions with Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s multiplayer went last night, with me striking down the occasional foe and running across rooftops to freedom (and points for escaping!). I guess I did somewhat decent as I managed to progress from a weak level 1 Templar to a…still weak level 2 Templar. Only now I unlocked an ability called “disguise,” which I haven’t gotten to try out just yet. I’m assuming I get to change outfits at whim or something to that effect. Could help me on my latest quest: To Not Get Stabbed in the Back Anymore.

All the complaints about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood‘s matchmaking prowess ring true. It takes a long time to get enough players to join up, and even when it does look like you’ve got 8/8 ready to play, you still have to wait. However, once you’re in a match, it’s pretty clear it’s worth it. This sort of multiplayer experience doesn’t come along a lot, and I absolutely love the idea of hiding in plain sight. Pretending to be part of a crowd, chatting with a merchant, taking a break on a bench–these are actual strategies to surviving. Running up a ladder is a sure-fire way to get noticed, get killed. I’m still not good at figuring out who my targets are, and the assassinate button likes to, uh, sometimes not work. Or maybe I’m not supposed to stab other Templars when they are stabbing their targets. Don’t really know. But yeah, it’s a fun time once you get a good group of people that like to click “rematch” right away.

Sadly, I’ll probably never get any of the multiplayer Achievements. Or, if I do, it’ll be just one. Like killing a target while hiding in a pile of hay. That’s probably the easiest of the bunch. The rest? Very specific, very skill-heavy. Oh well. Sometimes it’s not always about Achievements. Guess I will just do my best to unlock everything in the single player mode, which, by the way, is going good. I am, however, feeling extremely overwhelmed; the map is getting more and more littered with icons and things to see, and Etzio (i.e., me) just kind of wants to run around, climb buildings, and fill his secret hideout with awesome, authentic paintings. Mmm artwork…