Category Archives: trophies

Land the plane, bury the hatchet in Grand Theft Auto V

gta V bury the hatchet mission rant

Hello again. I’m back to moan and groan about Grand Theft Auto V, but this time it’s not about a glitch, rather an examination of my inept plane-flying skills and strange, faulty mission design stuff on Rockstar’s part. Also, the stupid tug of Trophies, the poor man’s Achievements, both of which I keep telling myself I really don’t care about any more, but find myself still interested in unlocking nonetheless. Le sigh.

I’ve made a big push to see GTA V‘s main storyline come to a close–something I want dead and done before we ring in the new year because I want to move on to at least one of the other two new PS3 games I’ve recently added to my collection, namely Sly Cooper 4–and I think I’m a few missions away from the big finale. That’s good. So long, that is, as I don’t get distracted with side stuff or simply driving around, blasting Eddie Murphy’s “Party All the Time” and zooming through red lights. Anyways, the other night I finished up “Bury the Hatchet,” a story-heavy mission with some graveyard shooting and flying that sees a major revelation brought to light and puts both Michael and Trevor in dangerous, but interesting places. I won’t spoil the exact details of the mission, but the final section has you controlling Trevor as he flies his plane back to Sandy Shores.

Let it be known: I hate flying planes in videogames. I was only ever okay at it in Saints Row: The Third, but mostly because no one designing that game cared a lick about treating vehicles right, putting fun first and realism last. However, that is not the case in GTA V, as one small tilt to the left can bring your plane nose-diving into Los Santos.

That said, I couldn’t finish the mission. I tried four times, but could not land Trevor’s plane. The first two times saw me overshoot the landing strip, crashing into whatever. I landed on the ground with the third attempt, but nowhere near the yellow targeted marker, and I thought I could just have Trevor hop out of the plane and run over to finish the job–nope, nope, nope. The fourth time, well…let me mention that the last checkpoint in “Bury the Hatchet” is pretty far back, and you have to fly straight for a few minutes, listening to mildly different dialogue between Trevor and [redacted] until you get near the airfield again. It’s frustrating and really harkens back to Grand Theft Auto IV‘s poor structure. So, for the fourth attempt, I simply crashed the plane into the ocean and opted to “skip mission,” just like I had a few times in L.A. Noire, an option presented to you after one too many failures. Not ideal, but I wasn’t interested in spending another 15 to 20 minutes attempting this touchdown. The “mission complete” screen came up with the general list of stats, I saved my game, and kept playing.

However, no Trophy unlocked. And I know from perusing some websites, that this is one of the few main storyline missions that rewards you with an Achievement/Trophy at the end, so you know your progress in all the main path stuff. Alas, I got nothing. I did 80% of the mission, failed four times at the end to land a plane, skipped it altogether, and got gipped on a supposedly unmissable digital reward. When selecting to skip, there was no indication that this would happen, no warning; if there had been, surely I’d have kept trying, scared to break the chain.

Evidently you can trigger this mission with either Trevor or Michael, but it really only affects the beginning part of the mission. If I’d gone with Michael, I’d have cut down 50% of the flying stuff, but it wouldn’t have matter because I’m definitely more of a pro at take-offs than landings, which I’d still have to do to properly complete “Bury the Hatchet.” Boo hoo and a bunch of Trevor’s curse words, too.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to “replay” the mission tonight because a part of my brain refuses to finish this game with mission-specific Trophies unlocked for everything but one mission. I guess Rockstar did this so Achievement-whores couldn’t just skip through everything and rack up those sick e-peen scores in their journey to have the largest, most meaningless number ever, but I’m not in it for that. I like seeing proof–however you want to call it–of my spent videogaming time. To this day, I’m still really annoyed with Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter for not giving me the “you beat the game” Achievement after I totally beat the game.

In short–what have I become?

Collected all those scattered Blast Shards in inFAMOUS 2

infamous 2 collected all the blast shards

I’m nearing the end of inFAMOUS 2–sorry, quick aside, but I previously wrote the game’s name as inFamous 2, and the copyeditor in me will not rest until I owned up to the error and corrected it going forward even if it is a weird way to write something–and I don’t expect to ever play it again despite their being two paths to go down. One is good and saintly with ice powers in tow, and the other is evil and dark, circled by fire. If you know me, you know which way I’m playing; for those that are new, I’m always a good Samaritan first. It’s not that I don’t enjoy playing evil from time to time, but I get the sense that the game doesn’t change a whole lot by doing a few missions morally different.

With the last mission, I assume it’s the last since it is called “The Final Decision,” in sight, I’m trying to wrap up a number of side stuff before I close the book on Cole’s second chapter. My main objectives are finding all the Dead Drops, liberating the second island fully, and collecting all the Blast Shards. Maaaaaybe play a few more user-generated levels. Out of those three dreams, I’ve now found all hidden Blast Shards, and as a collectible, they are both a lot of fun to collect, as well as extremely rewarding in that a set number of them increase the amount of electricity power Cole can use. They remind me a bit of Precursor Orbs from the Jak and Daxter franchise, and nothing of those dumb flags from Assassin’s Creed. There is certainly an art to collectibles, something I’d like to explore down the line.

Basically, any time you ping the New Marais map for sources of electricity, Blast Shards appear for a second or two as a blue dot. Then you gotta find them, and they are relatively easy to see as they are glowing crystals, but most of them are tucked up high on rooftops or ledges, meaning you have to do some climbing. In total, there’s 305 of them, and you’ll come across them every step of the way early on in the game. It’s only after you’ve found about three-fourths of them that you have to begin paying attention and hunting them down, which is not as tiresome as one might think, thanks to Cole’s superhero powers of zipping up buildings and gliding across telephone wires. I found my 305th one out in the water last night, and upon collecting it, Cole accidentally took a dip, dying from the splash. Regardless, I got the Trophy, and I do believe it’s my first Gold one, unless I got one in Vanquish.

Tonight’s goal is to find three (or maybe it’s four?) more flying birds for the rest of the Dead Drops. I think I have run out of side missions though, meaning I can’t free the second island from enemy oppression. Might be wrong, might have to check online to see if there’s anything else I can do. After that, it’s off for Cole to fight the Beast, use the RFI, and watch another classic ol’ Western with his best bud Zeke. Mostly because then I can download Sleeping Dogs (free this month for PlayStation Plus users!) and have some more zany open-world fun, though probably with a lot less zapping and sticky ice grenades. Can’t say that for sure though.

My problem with the instant game collection from PlayStation Plus

DP-PlaystationPlus-01-1

In this post, I’m going to complain about free games. Well, not just free videogames, but also time, specifically the fact that I just don’t have as much of it as I once did during my high school and college days. If you’re not interested in reading about a grown man whining over the fact that he ultimately no longer has the sort of lackadaisical lifestyle that allows for gaming on end from noon to night, you might want to click away. Really, it’s okay.

Right. So, a full free year of PlayStation Plus came with that classic white PS3 bundle I bought a few weeks ago. This is why that bundle is also dubbed “the instant collection,” though instant is relative to how fast you can download giant-sized videogames. With PlayStation Plus, you can immediately log on to the PlayStation Store and begin downloading a swath of videogames for both the PS3 and PS Vita. I’m only going to list the PS3 titles here, but check out everything I’ve now downloaded and installed since becoming a Plus member:

  • Closure
  • inFamous 2
  • Little Big Planet 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
  • Guardians of Middle-earth
  • Darksiders
  • Megaman 9
  • Megaman 10
  • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
  • Dungeon Defenders
  • Anomaly: Warzone Earth
  • Quantum Conundrum
  • Payday: The Heist
  • NBA Jam on Fire Edition
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • Retro City Rampage
  • Foosball 2012

Oh boy. That’s…um…carry the six…yeah, that’s 17 games. With a new addition every week, I guess. And that’s not even including the straight-up free-to-play games, like Jetpack Joyride and DC Universe. In short, there’s a lot to play, so long as you remain a Plus member, which I’m definitely doing for at least a year.

Of the list above, I’ve sampled a few and simply only downloaded and installed the rest. With hopes of playing them soon. Maybe not today or tomorrow or even next week. But some time in the near future. I tried out Mega Man 9 for a few minutes only to remember that I’m horrible at all Mega Man games save for Mega Man Legends. For Darksiders, I played up to nearly the same part that I did on the PC version, which is not very far, shortly before you gain wings. Lastly, I’ve played an hour or two of Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, which is not very good for a Ratchet & Clank game, especially when you are playing it solo. The humor and colorful characters are still there, but the gameplay is severely linear and not at all welcome to customization. You follow a path, and you shoot enemies along it with a generic gun. Pretty disappointing.

Now, many of these above games are full-fledged titles, like InFamous 2 and Little Big Planet 2, with potentially a ton of content to absorb. Story, collectibles, side quests, level requirements, and so on. Others, like the smaller Closure and Retro City Rampage, seem more quickly accessed, but still present several hours worth of playing. Regardless of size, I am trying to remain focused on only a few games currently. I mean, I’ve still only put like eight hours into Ni no Kuni, and that’s a game I really really want to play more of. Thankfully, they aren’t going anywhere soon, but then again, more is going to get added to my instant collection, multiplying like Gremlins, until there’s too many to keep track of. At least that’s how I see it.

In short: too many games, not enough time. Woe is me.