It all began with doing half of Terraria‘s tutorial, which put me at a perfect Gamerscore of 55,555, which, to number-obsessive nerds like myself, is an amusing triumph. Loyal readers of Grinding Down should already know that I have a penchant for going after perfect scores, like 10,000, 20,000, and so on, but when I saw that I was sitting humbly at 55,550 after playing some Tom Clancy’s The Division…I just knew I needed to make it something special. I assumed it wouldn’t be tough to do, and, for once, I assumed correctly.
And so I scanned my list of games, searching for a 5-point Achievement that could slide me into the sweet spot. I found a couple, but none of them screamed easy to me, and I couldn’t risk going after something like this only to pop an Achievement for 10 or 15 points and completely blow the plan. Thus, I settled on Terraria, which I got for free back in April 2015, downloaded, and then didn’t touch. There’s also a copy on my laptop that I never got into; I’ve always viewed it as a more complex 2D Minecraft, and the thought of maneuvering its UI via a controller is beyond off-putting. Still, there’s an Achievement for 5 points for starting the tutorial, as well as one for 5 points upon completing it, which lead to me loading the event up, beginning it, and then shutting my console down. Y’know, like a boss.
Anyways, since I’ve now already leapfrogged past this 55,555 mark and am on my way to the coveted 60,000 check-box, here’s photographic proof from a few days ago for preservation’s sake:
Aw yeah to the heck yeah. Also, maybe I need to update my user pic so that it fills in that whole gray circle. Maybe.
Anyways, sticking with the tutorial theme of this post, I also then played the tutorial levels for Gears of War 2 and Supreme Commander 2, both of which have been added to the free games list for Gaming with Gold. I like that, for these two games, as well as Terraria, the tutorial sections are optional or skippable. Most games work them into the opening level, which can sometimes feel forced and too hand-holdy. The Gears of War 2 tutorial has you teaching a rookie how to be a super soldier like yourself, which at least makes sense from a narrative perspective since you already know how to actively reload from the previous game, whereas Supreme Commander 2 explains every step of how to play an RTS game on a console, in two lengthy parts. It brought back all those reasons why I don’t love this genre, unfortunately.
Hands down, my favorite tutorial level to date is the one from Deus Ex. Here’s a convenient visual walkthrough of it. Anyways, again, it’s separate from the main campaign, but does a good job of teaching you a number of important mechanics without overwhelming you. Plus, there’s room to be goofy and explore, and there’s even a secret area you can access if you search hard enough. I feel like I’ve played the tutorial more times than the actual game at this point.
In the end, here are all of my digitally sweet and easy e-peen rewards:
Terraria Student (5G): Begin the tutorial!
Terraria Expert (5G): You have completed the tutorial!
Green as Grass (10G): Train the rook (any difficulty)
Start Here (10G): Complete both parts of the tutorial
I wonder what weird side mission I’ll undergo to nail 60,000 Gamerscore on the dot, which, at this rate, is either by summer or end of 2016. Hmm. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be weirdly fun to write about. Until then, I guess.