Tag Archives: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Achievements of the Week – The Taking Sides with the Dragon Cube Hunter Edition

For those paying attention, I did not put together an Achievements of the Week post last Friday. And I totally could have. I unlocked a dino dropping size of them for Jurassic Park: The Game, which I completed rather quickly, as well a couple in that dragon-laden roleplaying game that never ends thanks to radiant quests and a landmass barely explored. But no one voiced any disappointment, so I guess this segment isn’t an actual weekly heroin fix for Grinding Down readers. Fine by me, really, as I was extremely stressed around then and disinterested in even hinting at why, and so I just played the games I had and kept blathering about their Achievements to a real minimum.

But I’m back. Got some good ones to share, too. So this edition will basically cover the last two weeks. Haven’t played much else on the Xbox 360 besides Jurassic Park: The Game and Skyrim, but I will be downloading Fez today during my lunch break so I might be able to sneak a few in from there, too.

Fez update: within forty-five minutes, I was able to unlock three–as well as had a blast spinning rooms and collecting bits of cube. Seriously, y’all need to check out Fez; it can be your weekend impulse buy! Looking forward to playing more.

Right. Let’s go then.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Taking Sides (10G): Join the Stormcloaks or the Imperial Army

Pssst. Pssst. Yeah, you. Don’t tell anyone…but I signed up with the Stormcloaks! Screw off, ya dirty Imperial.


Dragon Hunter (20G): Absorb 20 dragon souls

Oh yeah! Dragons have nothing on me now thanks to my enchanted Ebony Bow of Lethargy, a full quiver of glass arrows, and plenty of stamina-weakening potions to boot. More will fall from the sky; this, I promise.

From Fez…


Get a cube (10G): Cube GET!

Just starting out. Gotta collect 31 more…

For these next two Achievements, I won’t spoil anything specific, but to get ’em, one just needs to do some light reading of all the Achievement descriptions in Fez and follow through…


Achievement unlocked (15G): Unlocking achieved.


Equal and opposite (15G): Negative space.

From Jurassic Park: The Game…

Hmm. While reviewing the list of Achievements I’ve ultimately unlocked, I realized that several of them share the same artwork. Actually, a lot of them. Never noticed this before. How lame is that? It’s no longer 2006, game developers. Put some care and effort into the look of your unlockables, like BioWare and Bethesda do. That said, here’s the variety you’ll get, with the only differences being in the name of the Achievement and how many Gamerscore points it is worth:

Other than those, the only ones that are special and different are those based on individual dinosaur encounters and not making any mistakes while fighting Yoder. That’s it. The rest are rinsed, shampooed, and used again. That’s pretty disappointing, especially since some good work was done on the Achievement names, like Barbasolved, I Know How to Read a Schematic, and I Herd That.

But whatever. It was not the greatest game.

YOU HAVE NOW REACHED THE END OF THIS POST. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TELLING US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE UNLOCKED ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR WEEK OF GAMING. DO IT. THE CAPS LOCK DEMANDS IT.

Achievements of the Week – The Blood Oath for a Paramour Brawler Edition

Achievements, Achievements, Achievements. They came in droves this week from one game, and I just happened to ping another during my lunchbreak. Go me.

All right, let’s just do this.

From Mass Effect 2…

If you’re a daily reader of Grinding Down, then you know this week was my “falling back into Mass Effect 2 hard and now need to beat it like woah” week. And, uh, in the last week, I’ve unlocked 26 Achievements for the game. You can see others by clicking the links in the previous sentence. Here are a few more that I liked, too.


Paramour (50G): Successfully pursue a relationship with a teammate

Shepard totally got some grinding action from Miranda before the suicide mission went forward, and it was awkward and silly, as these sequences often are, but whatever. Good for them. My biggest gripe was that Miranda was in her white outfit instead of her darker one I earned from gaining her loyalty. At least she wasn’t wearing it for too long…


Brawler (10G): Shoot and kill 20 enemies while they’re knocked back by a punch


Weapon Specialist (15G): Fully upgrade a weapon

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Blood Oath (10G): Become a member of the Circle

Just working my way down the questline for The Companions. Ah-woooo!

That’s it. I have a friend visiting this weekend and a family dinner to go to so I don’t expect too much gaming time to happen. And then I’ll be drawing comics all week to finish up my 31 Lovingly Bad Love Comics challenge. I do, however, have an itch to go back to Dragon Age: Origins or L.A. Noire, but we’ll see. Still have a ton of games to play on Steam and such.

Reading books and stealth-killing mudcrabs like a true Dovahkiin

Recently, Bethesda put word out about yet another patch to one of their patchy videogames–this time, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim–and usually I just glance these over as all they ever contain are a long list of fixes to buggy quests, many of which I can’t actually recall by name alone. However, something was different this time around, and included in this batch of bug-squashing code was the addition of new kill animations for melee weapons and stylized kill cameras for ranged weapons, such as bows and magic. To that, I say: about…freaking…time.

Being the meshuggenah man-boy that I am, I immediately turned on my Xbox 360, downloaded a patch–note that I said a patch, not the patch–and began traipsing across Skyrim, searching for my first kill. Found some bandits in a cave and shot them all down from afar in single hits…with no cool camera action. And with an Archery skill of like 78 or something. Hmm. What gives? This sense of confusion went on for awhile until I went back to the pooter and realized that the patch was only for PC/Steam, and even then, it wasn’t available yet.

Boo.

Nonetheless, I was back in the realm of Skyrim, looting, looking, and living. Checking my stats, I noticed that I was four dragon souls away from 20 and…one skill book away from 50. Surely I could find one more measly skill book, and then I remembered a small hideout right near Whiterun that I had discovered while playing the game on Steam the other night. It was guarded by some bandits and a lonely horse, but otherwise, no trouble–and there was definitely a skill book there. Off I went. Tra la la. All was going to plan until a freakin’ FROST DRAGON SHOWED UP AND TRIED TO ICE ME! After cooling off, I looted the hideout and walked away with one more book in my ever-growing bag of shtuff.

Honestly, I don’t need an Achievement to tell the world I’m a reader, but here it is regardless:


Reader (20G): Read 50 Skill Books

Also, the latest patch just went live on PC/Steam, and so again, I headed back on in, dying to see a ranged weapon kill camera in action. And so it happened. Um…I shot at a mudcrab from quite a distance and watched, in slow motion, as it thunked back into the water, an orcish arrow deep within its shell. It was both lame and exciting, and clearly something that should have been implemented from the very start.

And now I wait for the Xbox 360 version to get updated before I go about finishing up some more quests. Heck, I might even get married soon or pick a Civil War side. There are no limits to my wandering.

Traversing worlds in Braid like a true tourist

I played a little bit of Braid back at the end of August 2011, during the time that Hurricane Irene came swooping on in and knocked out power at Grimmauld Place for a week and then some. Stuck at the in-laws, I only had my Nintendo 3DS and laptop to entertain me videogames-wise–Tara’s dogs and old VHS tapes provided non-gaming fun–and there was only so much of The Sims Social I could take. So I loaded up Steam for like the third or fourth time ever and gave Braid a spin, using just a keyboard to govern Tim and time. It was not easy, but thankfully, the game itself is not punishing, and actually needs you to rewind your mistakes to learn how to progress forward. I got to the end of World 4 before stopping, but let me preface that with the fact that you actually begin Braid on World 2. So, uh, yeah.

And for the most part, I just walked from the beginning of the level to the end. Occasionally, I’d tried to get some of those shiny puzzle pieces, but if they proved too complicated, I just moved on. And the game is fine with that. You can literally go from beginning to end on some levels in under a minute. Just keep going right; Mario would be proud. As Jonathan Blow says, it’s “about the journey, not the destination.” Well, my journey was often that of a tourist, going forward and taking in all the gorgeous sights while trying not to disturb history. If I could, I hopped over enemies instead of on them. I do not regret breezing past some puzzles, as they will still be there when Tim decides to return.

Some of Braid‘s story elements had already been spoiled for me at that point by the Internet, so that was the least compelling part. The puzzles though, they remained unspoiled…and good for me. They are works of art. Clearly planned and executed in a way that mattered to the game’s  mechanics and mood. Even the simplest of them still give off a good feeling aura when completed.

Flash-forward to now, 2012, the year of our unmaking, and I’ve been using Steam a lot more thanks to a capable laptop. Y’all remember that I recently bought a second copy of Skyrim, right? Well, I’ve been playing it with my Xbox 360 controller plugged into the USB slot, and it’s been fantastic. I thought to give some other games in my Steam library a chance, too, to see if they were more enjoyable with a controller versus a mouse and keyboard. And they were–Trine and Super Meat Boy. Braid, too. It just felt more natural to jump about and rewind time using a controller. I dunno. PC gamers can hate all they want, but platformers and controllers go hand in hand.

And for giggles, here’s some Steam Achievements I unlocked, which are totally different entities than Xbox 360 Achievements:


Traversed World 5: Travel all the way across World 5.


Traversed World 6: Travel all the way across World 6.


Solved World 2: Fit together all the World 2 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame.

Okay. Will hop back in soon to hopefully finish Tim’s heroic journey up, though I suspect I’ll need to look up some walkthroughs to get all the puzzle pieces in Worlds 2-6 as many look quite tricky and daunting; however, I’m quite proud of myself for getting them all on my own in World 2, as well as defeating a certain boss using the clone recording mechanic. Guess I retained some skills from playing The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom long before Braid.

I now have two versions of the same named game

Last night, after some extensive Googling and checking of system specs, I purchased The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…for the second time. See, I already own a copy for the Xbox 360–even waited in line at my local GameStop for its midnight release back on that magical 11/11/11–but the Internet was all abuzz about the Creation Kit, which is the PC version’s modding toolset, and Steam was even going so far to knock the price down for the full game version from $60 to $40. Well, it seemed like my ASUS laptop could handle the beast, maybe not at its greatest settings, and so I plunked down my e-cash and drew some comics while I waited for the epic file to download.

And it works. And it works with an Xbox 360 controller plugged into the USB slot. And I can read ALL of the text. I’ve been playing Skyrim for so long as an illiterate Dovahkiin, and now I can actually enjoy those numerous books and bits of flavor text via quest progression. Let them shout it from the mountain. Plus, with the Creation Kit being tied to Steam, it seems like installing mods will be easy peasy. I haven’t tried anything just yet, but I will. There’s an arrowsmithing one that looks kinda neat; one could always use more glass arrows.

Let me just state that this is far from my usual routine. Generally, I have only one version of a videogame. Thinking on this, I can’t come up with many doubles in my collection. Between Tara and I, we have some Mario SNES carts and then them doubled on the Wii red box collection thingy. Two copies of Chrono Cross. From buying a few indie game bundles, I have duplicates ready for downloading. Other than that, um…nope. Just Skyrim. Go big or go home. But the promise of mods and the fulfillment of being able to read text has made getting a second copy of Skyrim worth it. Looking forward to diving back in…on medium or low settings. I have to wonder if there’s a way to bring my saves/character from the Xbox 360 over to Steam?

Achievements of the Week – The Krogan Takes Up Arms and Says Tank You Very Much Edition

How is it Friday already again? Wasn’t it just Friday this last Friday? Y’know, one Friday ago? Ugh. These weeks are blurring by, and it’s probably because I have so much to do. And I’m not referencing videogames here. I have real life stuff, car stuff, and preparations for MegaCon piling up. So I’m keeping this update here real short.

Let’s begin.

From Saints Row: The Third…


Tank You Very Much (20G): Completed all instances of Tank Mayhem.

Just completed another activity in Saints Row: The Third, which involved spamming the “shoot missiles” button and driving forward, and you can see which ones were my favorite right over here.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Take Up Arms (10G): Join the Companions

Got bored doing the ol’ back and forth stuff for the Thieves Guild so I decided it was high time I joined a new guild and became the best of the best there. Getting into the Companions is relatively tame; you speak to their leader, who has you duel with a subordinate–the fight was over with one swipe of my Nightingale Blade–and then that guy gives you a sword to take to a smith at the Skyforge. Return back and poof, you’re in. Now what?

From Mass Effect 2…


Technician (15G): Obtain 10 technology upgrades


The Krogan (10G): Successfully recruit the krogan

I popped Mass Effect 2 back in last night and couldn’t remember what exactly I was suppose to do. I was inside the Citadel, but that was it. I walked around for a bit, chatting with locals, doing an endorsement for a weapons shop, eventually making my way to a meeting with the Council. After that, I skipped around the galaxy map, landing on the first planet I came across that had the “land” option. Turns out, this place was where I’d be able to recruit a new member for my team. Sah-weet. Good times, even if my Shephard did a not-so-nice thing to a krogan back in Mass Effect.

Okay, that’s it. My goal this weekend is to do a ton of comics work and not watch the Super Bowl as I just don’t care, so there might not be much gaming. Eh, I always say that, and there’s always some gaming. Especially now that I want to go on my next recruiting mission in Mass Effect 2 even though I have no idea who to go after next. Must ponder some more.

How have y’all been doing Achievements-wise? Speak up in the comments below. Go ahead. It doesn’t cost a dime.

 

Achievements of the Week – The Sideways Explorer Turns the Tables Edition

I’m too lazy to check if this is actually a first, but a goal I made on last week’s edition of Achievements of the Week was actually met. Which one? Um, keep on reading, loyal readers. I also did fairly well in some other videogames, but they don’t deserve the spotlight quite like Rhaegar does for hanging out in the Mojave Wasteland and shooting the crap out of evil automatons. Oops, guess I spoiled it.

Here we go!

From Fallout: New Vegas…


Curios and Relics (15G): Cause 10,000 damage with unique Mojave Wasteland weapons.

Last week, I knew I wanted to get this Achievement, but I had no idea how close I was to the actual 10,000 threshold mark. I’d been playing for some time at that point–maybe around 25 to 30 hours–and while I wasn’t using unique Mojave Wasteland weapons all the time, I was making a conscious effort to whip out That Gun as much as possible. Guess I was right near the finish line as it was only within an hour or so of playing again that this baby popped.

From Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds…


Excelsior! (10G): Perform 10 Team Aerial Combos. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)


Turn the Tables (10G): Land a Team Aerial Counter in a match. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)

No idea how I got these; I just mash those buttons like a crazy man.

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Explorer (40G): Discover 100 Locations


Sideways (20G): Complete 10 side quests

Sure, these two Achievements seem like natural fits for unlocking after playing a game for over seventy-five hours. I can understand the location-based one, as I’m a homebody and creature of comfort and do not enjoy venturing out into the wild too much, content to spend time in my Whiterun house or within the secretive lair for the Thieves Guild.

The side quests one? Hmm, maybe that needs a whole blog post for explaining. Yeah, that’s it. More content spread out over this hip and happening place of mine. Stay tuned.

From Quarrel…

Just blogged about this wonderful wordy game and the three Achievements I unlocked this morning.

That’s it for this week’s edition. It seems like, with each week, Friday gets here faster than before. Go figure. And it looks like yet another busy weekend. We’ll see if I make any further progress with the almighty, all powerful, and all too important Achievements list.

For those readers out there playing Skyrim, have you hit 100 locations yet? Do you remember your 100th one? Mine was Broken Oar Grotto.

Games Completed in 2011, #36 – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Don’t panic, dear readers. Yes, it is still 2012, the year of our unmaking. We did not travel back in time by nine days and some change. Instead, since I’m slow and sometimes lazy and not the best of planners, I did not get to write about all the games I completed in 2011 in 2011. So there’s some carryover. No big deal, really. I just need to type up some words on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and Half-Life 2: Episode One before moving on to a brand new list for a brand new year, which, I might add, already has an entry. That said, expect me to bang out these three final posts for my Games Completed in 2011 list this week.

Right. Completing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim seems like an odd thing to say, as I both have done it and have not. I have finished the main story questline, killing dragons and dragon supporters and dragon masters and all that. I have made my way to the top of the power heap in both the Mages Guild and Thieves Guild. I have raised a skill to 100 and bought a house in Whiterun and earned a bit of gold and did some errands for Daedric gods and goddesses. My save slot says I’ve played for around 75 hours or so, and there’s still more for my character Lohgahn to do.

It’s kind of crazy to consider that after such a long amount of playing, I’ve not even touched any of the civil war story stuff. Not a single thing. I kind of feel like my Imperial will side with the Stormcloaks since he’s none too pleased with almost being put to death by, uh, his Imperial brethren, but later on, during the main storyline, I kind of slighted Ulfric , and now it seems odd to pick either/or. I guess I wish that the civil war missions were interspersed into the main story stuff to make it seem more important, but given how optional it is, I dunno. Maybe it’d be better to save that stuff for a new character, as I do want to try a non-stealth route to get a better feel for the combat or deadly use of magic.

Despite being full of bugs and glitches–some more annoying than others–the realm of Skyrim is deeply impressive. It’s not all just snow and mountains and snowy mountains, which is appreciated, and the designs of dungeons, caves, and ancient ruins are ten times better than in Oblivion, making them fun to explore. Toss in the addition of shortcuts for exiting said dungeons, caves, and ancient ruins as an extra bonus, and you’ve got some great design work here. At this point, I haven’t even fully explored all the major towns yet, as well as not even hitting 100 locations discovered. There’s so much life in Skyrim that one might honestly not ever see it all.

Not all is perfect in Bethesda’s newest mammoth. The dragon fights can be pretty lame thanks to kiting or horses joining in or the dragons themselves glitching into a rock. Conversations, while not as stiff as previous games, are still pretty robotic. The menus are easier to navigate, but I wish there was a better way to see what your character looks like with all your glass armor and enchanted weapons.

I haven’t touched The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in a couple weeks now, but I suspect I’ll hop back in soon enough to do some more quests and maybe whittle away at my ever-growing miscellaneous objectives list. Or just start over with another character. But not until I get at least 100,000 gold in my pockets.

Don’t let this post about being stealthy in Skyrim sneak by you

I haven’t touched The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in a couple of weeks now, but I did put some solid hours into the beast right before Christmas hit. Hey, I had time off of work, and well, I didn’t really know what to do with myself so I just plopped down and teleported away for a bit. From that spree, I was able to finish off the Thieves Guild questline–not counting restoring it to its former glory, which is based around doing a thousand and five miscellaneous tasks for Vex and Delvin–went to jail and then escaped, and polished off a sidequest called The Man Who Cried Wolf, which had the Dovahkiin investigating a cave after rumors of disappearances and strange lights. Also, I got my first skill up to the cap of 100. See here:


Skill Master (40G): Get a skill to 100

Now I’m sure you’re all chomping at the bit to guess which skill I raised to one hundred first. Was it Smithing? Nope. How about Heavy Armor? Um, no. Two-handed Weapons? Unicorn Riding? General Economics? Get real, kids. It was…

SNEAK

Duuuuuuuh. This really should come as no surprsie to anyone that’s been following Grinding Down now and/or for some decent length of time. I love being stealthy in videogames (except when they punish me for going the stealth route ::ahem:: Deus Ex: Human Revolution ::cough::), and since I’ve never been great at swinging swords, blocking with shields, or casting crazy magic spells, I built my character around the battle-plan of creeping through dark dungeons and loosing arrows from afar, hiding in shadows when caught. This works out pretty well except for when I have to fight a dragon or get spotted and then have to deal with a draugr right up in my face.

From what I can gather, the sneak skill increases in a couple of ways. You boost it by literally sneaking around people unnoticed, whether out in the woods or in a cave or potentially inside the hall of some great jarl. The other way is to kill enemies (or animals in the wrong place at the wrong time) without being detected. With an enchanted bow and the perks to zoom in and slow down time, this becomes a piece of sweetroll. And thanks to finishing off the Thieves Guild quests, I now possess the special ability to turn invisible for a significant length of time, useable once per day. Nobody is ever going to see me coming.

There are some downsides to being a sneak master though. I previously mentioned that once you are spotted it can be pretty difficult to defend yourself, especially if there’s more than one foe coming at you. The best tactic I have is to skate backwards and hide in a corner in hopes of them giving up after a few minutes. Because I like to be quiet and not alert everybody to my presence, I can’t bring along companions. I had a companion once; her name was Lydia, and she was loud as all gets, and sadly, something killed her so that I didn’t have to, and missions where I have to team up with someone never work well as they constantly run forward into rooms to say hi to everyone. And lastly, because of my OCD to creep and inch my way forward, going through a single cave can sometimes take up to an hour or more, whereas a warrior-like character would just charge through, smash everything with a mace, scoff at traps, and loot all chests before the fifteen minute mark.

But yeah, I’ve topped Sneak. Haven’t bought the 100 level perk for it yet though, and I’m not sure if I need it exactly, but we’ll see. I kind of like saving my perk points. My next closest skill to 100 is Archery, and after that I need to work on Light Armor or Pick-pocketing. Then nothing will be out of Lohgahn’s reach. And at some point I’ll pick a side (Imperial or Stormcloaks), but if it hasn’t turned out to be a rush after 70 hours or gaming, it probably won’t ever be.

Achievements of the Week – The Wanted Ghost Buster Saving My Quarters Edition

Hey, long time, no Achievements talk! Yeah, my bad. The last iteration of Achievements of the Week was back on December 9, 2011, and I totally planned to continue doing it all through the month, but then a drunk driver hit me as I was driving home and the holidays were in full swing and my depression surfaced with extreme tenacity. But I’m back, yo. I swears it. And I have plenty to report. Again, I’m not listing all the Achievements I unlocked over the last, um, three to four weeks, but some of the ones I liked the most.

And we’re off!

From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim…


Wanted (10G): Escape from jail

Well, to be honest, this wasn’t as amazing as I thought it might be. I stole something in public, did not resist the guards, was taken to jail, picked the lock with ease, grabbed my gear, and left the Whiterun prison without a single soul aware I was even on the loose. And that’s it.


Darkness Returns (10G): Complete “Darkness Returns”

Finished the Thieves Guild questline…sort of. Seems like to return it to its former glory, I have to do an inane number of miscellaneous quests, which involve a lot of fast traveling, which also means a lot of loading screens. It’s on my to-do list, but not a priority just yet.

From LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7…


Shedding Skin (10): Complete “In Grave Danger”

Tara was able to wrap some Scotch tape around my second Xbox 360 controller’s faulty wire, and that seems to have solved the problem of it cutting in and out…for now. This has allowed us to play some co-op again.

From Rage…


Ghost Buster (10G): Complete Ghost Hideout in the Campaign


Waste Management (10G): Complete Wasted Garage in the Campaign

I haven’t played too much of Rage yet, but it’s not bad. Very pretty at times, and very ugly at times in terms of textures not loading. And no, I’m not going to instal 157 gigs onto my hard drive to make the game run better. But yeah, it’s okay. I do hope to play more of it, but I gotta remember to stock up on ammo like woah. Always running out of bullets because I’m terrible at aiming. Also, John Goodman for the win.

From Saints Row: The Third…

I previously shared some Achievements earlier this week, but here’s a another I got just the other day that makes me smile. It sure makes hijacking cars fun and fast.


Bo-Duke-En (10G): 50 quick vehicle hijacks, the Dukes would be proud.

From Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds…


Need a Healing Factor (10G): Win a match without blocking. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)


Saving My Quarters (20G): Beat Arcade mode without using any continues.


Female Flyers (15G): Make a team composed of women who can fly, and win a match. (Arcade/Xbox LIVE only)

In total, I’ve pinged 16 out of 47 Achievements already in MVC3, and while there’s a handful of others that are attainable, the majority are not. Just like in Street Fighter IV, most of the Achievements require skill, endurance, and grinding. Not really for me, but it’s a nice edition to the collection for those times when Tara and I want to just mash buttons and have seizure-inducing images flash on screen.

Whew. Told you there would be a lot of ’em. But how about you? What cool Achievements have you pinged since last we met here? Share ’em below in the comments section, folks.