Daily Archives: August 5, 2011

Achievements of the Week – The Burning Love Edition

Here we are for the second stab at rounding up all of those juicy Achievements unlocked during the last week. Don’t expect the naming convention of these posts to be conventional; they are born on a whim, on a phrase, on a wild brain-bite, with most often the first Achievement listed acting as the muse. Okay, let’s do this!

From Team Fortress 2…


Flamethrower (5G): Set five enemies on fire in 30 seconds.

I was trying so hard for this Achievement, managing to set three enemies on fire before a turret took me out. Was bummed. But then, after respawning, I quickly shuffled back to the warzone, lit two more dudes on fire, and ping. Glad to see that it didn’t have to be all five on one life. I have to imagine though, that since it took me about 10 seconds to respawn and five or so more to get over to the fighting, that it was down to the wire.


Nemesis (5G): Get five revenge kills.

Revenge is a dish best served BOILING HOT, YA BUNCH OF SNIPING SNOTHEADS. This one also tied in with the above Achievement, in case you couldn’t figure that out on your own.

I actually unlocked several more Achievements for Team Fortress 2, but I did them in a whoring kind of way and am not terribly proud of my actions. We’ll leave them unmentioned this week.

From Half-Life 2…


Hot PotatOwned (10G): Kill a Combine soldier with his own grenade.

Ha, funny.

From L.A. Noire…


Johnny On The Spot (30G): Respond to 20 street crime cases.

Petty crooks and ruffians are no match for the mighty Cole Phelps. I also unlocked the Miles On The Clock Achievement, which gets some coverage here. Closing in on a few more, such as The Long Arm Of The Law and The Brass. Maybe they’ll ping this weekend. Maybe they won’t. I’m no fortune-teller.

And that’s it. Been a slow week for Achievements, mainly because I was focusing more on other projects, like journal comics and Supertown comics. Writing up a crazy review of Minecraft. Watching some old Shark Week stuff on Netflix to make up for the fact that I don’t have the Discovery Channel currently. Oh, and moving. Always with the moving. Wish I could get Achievements for packing boxes and carrying them to my car, over and over and over again. Something like this, perhaps:


Professional Boxer (100G): Packed five consecutive W.B. Mason boxes, carried them down two flights of stairs, loaded them into your car, and broke a sweat.

Hells yeah.

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Games Completed in 2011, #26 – Super Mario Land

I’m scrunched up in the backseat of a loaded minivan on my way to Walt Disney World. It’s hot and uncomfortable, unpredictably bumpy; something’s jabbing into my ankle, a part of the seatbelt clicker, and there’s only so many ways for a little boy to twist and turn to avoid burning exposed skin on lava-hot plastic. The cup holder next to me is full of lollipop sticks and wrappers, most red- or orange-flavored, their savory candy heads long devoured. My mom is driving, excitement keeping her foot pressed to the pedal; there might be others in the car, but most of this is fuzzy because what I really remember most is the GameBoy gripped tightly in my sweaty hands, my time-passing device. See, I’m piloting an airplane and submarine with amazing skill, murdering everything in my path, all for a princess, a taste of freedom. I’m nine or ten years old, and I’m playing Super Mario Land for the very first time.

The second time I’m playing Super Mario Land? It’s twenty years later, and everything is different. I’m married. I’m a corporate zombie. I’ve gone through high school and college and emerged with very few friends. I’ve tried a number of different, creative ventures, failing all more or less equally. I’ve become even more responsible than I ever believed possible, taking care of everything I want to take care of by myself, because I have to. I’m motherless and crazy sad and grasping for happy straws. But some things are the same. It’s still Mario, tiny, jumpy plumber extraordinaire, and it’s a game still being played on a handheld except I’m in a comfy armchair and not on my back, seatbelt clickers stabbing me with glee. The Nintendo 3DS does a decent job of emulating Super Mario Land, and I do welcome that with the new system, one can save their progress any time they want. Back in the day, if you wanted to complete Mario’s quest and rescue the princess, you had to do it in one large gulp. Which I believe I did do.

Like Super Marios Bros 2, Super Mario Landdoes not feature Bowser as a main villain. Instead, we have the alien Tatanga, who has gone ahead and captured Princess Daisy. To save her, Mario will have to travel across the Kingdoms of Sarasaland, which is basically four worlds with their own themes. And they are…drum roll…

  • Birabuto Kingdom – Desert theme, taking place inside pyramids and so on.
  • Muda Kingdom – Water-themed levels, including an underwater stage where Mario pilots a submarine.
  • Easton Kingdom – Easter Island-themed kingdom, with some underground levels.
  • Chai Kingdom – Asian-themed kingdom, with the final level taking place in the sky.

The game’s easy. I don’t remember it being quite so easy, but then again, as I’m sure many have discovered over time, a lot of levels from Super Mario Bros 3 felt really long and challenging once, and it was always sad to discover how actually short they are and easy to skip through. Even those dancing ninja enemies in Chai Kingdom (seriously, like chai tea?) that liked to hop about were easy to avoid or take down once their pattern became obvious; I remember them giving me a lot of grief as a young plumber. The only trouble I still had many years later were the bosses, piloting plane Mario or submarine Mario to safety.

Super Mario Land was a nice trip down Memory Lane. Unfortunately, it’s not a very long or challenging game, but at least I can always boot it up again and find myself back in that minivan, back on the road, back elsewhere.