Tag Archives: gamerscore

80,000 Gamerscore lies in the joy of achievement

Hello, my few dear readers. I’m sure you all realize that it’s been about eight months since I hit 70,000 Gamerscore perfectly on the head. Well, the good news is that I’m back with another ten grand. Go me, go my fingers and thumbs, and go creating a silly goal for popping these numerous Achievements, which, ultimately, in the end do not mean much. Eh, that’s okay. I’m having fun doing what I’m doing…if you need a refresher on all of the milestone markers I’ve touched during this journey of mine since early 2010, just follow this tag.

Anyways, videogames. I played them, they rewarded me with digital pictures and numbers, and now I have for you the latest tally hammered hard on the mark, in all its beauty and refinement:

Boom. Click the image if you want to see that number closer up. Getting this was a little trickier than expected, with only having 25 Gamerscore to work with. I thought, at first, I could pop this easily in Rare Replay, but was struggling with some of those Snapshot challenges. Those older games, like Digger T. Rock and Snake Rattle n Roll, are not the easiest to control. Which then lead me to dive deep into my Xbox One’s digital games library folder to see if there was anything easy in a new game to unlock. Such as “finish the tutorial” or “watch the credits” Achievements. I opened a bunch of games, such as Grow Up, The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, and Kameo: Elements of Power. I thought the former would work out since it is kind of a collectathon, but nope, too many Achievements with high scores. All of the Achievements in The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which I do need to play sooner than later, were hidden, and I was too lazy to look up their descriptions. And that last one, that Kameo, seemed to have a bunch of Achievements worth 0 Gamerscore, which I will never understand the point of, but I’m no designer. But here’s proof I did open Rare’s launch title for the Xbox 360 and will now probably have to actually play some of it down the road:

Finally, after opening several more games and getting nowhere, I discovered an early Achievement in Super Dungeon Bros, which is a rock-themed dungeon brawler where a band of mighty rock bros must navigate the fantasy realm of Rökheim and its hellish dungeons. Uh huh. Deep breath. Right, the Achievement was for completing the your first mission in the game, worth exactly 25 Gamerscore, and 8.65% had already unlocked it. I only needed to be careful to not unlock anything else along the way. Which, naturally, I did. This thing, fortuitously worth the same amount of points, popped at the tally screen at the end of the level:


Time Management (25G) – You beat a level before reaching threat level 3

I was worried that hitting any more buttons would “complete” the first mission and ruin my perfect 80,000 number, so I quickly bounced back to the dashboard and closed the game before anything else could happen. I’m crazy, but these are the things I do for this fleeting moments of fun. I’m sure I’ll have another hurdle to cross to nail 90,000. I predict that I’ll be getting an easy 2,000 soon since Mel got me two LEGO videogames for my birferday recently, specifically LEGO Worlds and LEGO Jurassic World. And I always unlock everything in them. I’ll go ahead and be bold and make a prediction for hitting another ten grand, which will happen by…March 2018. Mel is going with April 2018. We’ll see.

And now, to stay on theme, please leave me either exactly 80,000 comments below or one comment with exactly 80,000 words. I’m fine with whatever happens first. You all now have the power.

Grinding Down’s 2017 gaming resolutions

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This is always dangerous, making promises. I’ve done it in the past here on Grinding Down, only to burn myself and those written words when it, for instance, ultimately, took many more years for me to beat Final Fantasy IX. Still, it’s always good to have goals, something to reach for and hopefully achieve after putting in the hard work, and, at the very least, these empty checkmark boxes give me direction, a place to go when I’m not sure what to do next. I’m not saying I’ll be successful on every account below, but I am willing to try. For all we know, 2017 could be the year of our very unmaking, and I might as well go down fighting for a cause, trivial as some of these may be.

Right. Allow me to highlight some future gaming goals…

Suikoden III

It’s always been my intention to play (and replay) the entire Suikoden series from start to finish to get to the games I’ve never touched yet, specifically Suikoden III, Suikoden IV, and Suikoden Tactics. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t believe I ever saw credits roll on Suikoden V, but I do have a memory card save…somewhere. I got through replaying the first two games rather quickly, but then moved on to other non-Konami adventures after that.

For 2017, I’d like to get back to collecting them 108 Stars of Destiny, especially after finally playing some Dragon Age: Inquisition last year and seeing a few strong connections between the two. The roadblock is that I want to finish up everything for Dragon Age: Inquisition first before moving on to another large, time-demanding RPG. I just became friends with Dorian and am looking to move things forward romantically with Blackwall before tackling many more side missions. It’s probably going to be awhile.

So, I did play a bit of Suikoden III a few years ago, but my PlayStation 2 copy seems scratched up and unreliable. Thankfully, during some past PSN flash sale, I purchased a digital copy for the PlayStation 3, which means I really have no excuse now. It’s installed, ready to go. The real question is, as always, what to name my castle once I acquire it.

Earthbound

I’m not sure what it’s going to take me to finally start playing EarthBound. I was hoping buying the game, for more or less zero dollars thanks to Nintendo Club’s closing back in May 2015, was a solid place to begin. Alas, nope. I haven’t loaded it up once. Honestly, having this game available on the Wii U gamepad and not actually a Super NES locked to a TV should make this process even easier, considering I can take the experience with me into bed (hey now) before the Sandman visits.

However, that would mean I’d have to put down my Nintendo 3DS for some time, and with Disney Magical World 2 taking up all my pre-sleep time and Pokemon Moon waiting in the wings–as well as the remake of Dragon Quest VIII waiting even further in the wings–this might not happen just yet. Maybe by Spring 2017. I mostly wrote that to both give myself some breathing room, but also a starting point to stick to. This one’s for you, Iwata.

Steam backlog

At the time of writing, I have 362 games in my Steam library. Yeowza. Granted, many are not installed, and not all of them are huge, triple A titles that can’t even run well on my struggling-to-breathe ASUS laptop. Many have not been played at all, in fact. See, I have a bad habit of downloading just about every free thing released on the platform, as well as gobbling up indie bundles for real cheap to bloat this thing out even more. It’s gotten to the point that, when I do finally occasionally scroll through the list, I can barely remember where some of these titles came from, and then I freeze in fear, unable to decide what to try next, eventually settling on something safe, like AdVenture Capitalist or another unsuccessful run in Runestone Keeper. This is a problem.

I’m not here to make any kind of crazy schedule, like trying to play X number of games every week. That’s not going to gel with life. I am, however, here to make an effort, and make that effort known. I’m going to start small, using HowLongToBeat to help identify the not-so-big-timesinks and start whittling away from there. My problem, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, is that I always want to experience as much of a game as possible, that I can’t remove it simply after beating it if there are, for instance, collectibles remaining to find or extra challenges that could be accomplished. I need to work on that. I need to accept that not every game needs to be squeezed dry, leaving nothing behind but a colorless husk. For 2017, I need to let go more often.

80,000 Gamerscore

This seems more than doable, especially considering that I jumped 10,000 Achievement points in the matter of six months last year. This goal also feeds into the constant sub-goal of clearing up hard-drive space on my consoles and removing finished games, as I continue to download those freebies every month, but not do much else with them except wonder when I’ll find the time. I’m looking to polish off Earthlock: Festival of Magic real soon, as well as a number of those single introductory episodes from Telltale’s numerous adventure gaming series, which will probably help make a good step forward towards this next milestone.

Create something one might call a game or experience or waste of time

Now, I know nothing about programming and code and how to submit something for certification with the big console-makers. It takes me upwards of three minutes to remember how to hyperlink something using HTML when the button doesn’t work here on WordPress. That’s fine. I’m not looking to do all that and beyond. This can obviously be argued, but: I can draw, I can write, and I have ideas.

And so, I want to create something. An experience, with emotions and mood and meaning and jokes, maybe stuff to click on, a puzzle or two or twist you never saw coming. Something interactive. Which leads me to think that a piece of interactive fiction is a good starting area. I plan playing a few pieces of interactive fiction soon, which will hopefully help bring the inspiration juices to a boil (ew gross). The trickier part would be deciding what story to tell, y’know, from the hundreds bouncing around in my brain every day.

Well, there you have it. Five things make a post. Two named games to finally dive into, a whole bunch of things within my Steam library, a larger Gamerscore, and something creative. We’ll stop there, as any more goals will just tip the boat over.

That said, how about y’all? What are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2017? It need not be related to videogames. Perhaps you are finally ready to start cleaning up that garage full of clutter (hi, Dad!) or want to exercise more or get into knitting. Either way, let me know in the comments. I like knowing.

The fact is I hit 70,000 Gamerscore perfectly

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Mark the date down, for today, this twenty-ninth period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, is yet another behemoth moment for Grinding Down: 70,000 Gamerscore. Hit perfectly thanks to Killer Instinct‘s “Stylish Fulgore” Achievement for 10 points, but really, this was a group effort. Those involved will be thanked two paragraphs down, but first, a summary of my long, meticulous journey to this point and the previous landmarks I visited along the way. Because I enjoy thinking about the trek, imagining myself as an unassuming Hobbit on a grand Adventure, one to eventually share with future generations, becoming legend. Hmm, methinks it is almost time to rewatch Lord of the Rings for the umpteenth time.

Well, naturally, this all started in February 2010 with 10,000. After that, almost a year later, I slid into 20,000. Next, 30,000 was acquired another year after that in March 2012. The black sheep of this story happened in September 2013 as I wasn’t able to get the number I wanted because of stupid ol’ Fable III and settled on 41,000 instead. The gap between that amount and 50,000 was almost two years, as I backed away from the Xbox 360 for a while…for reasons. Here’s the kicker–it was only last June of this very year that I was celebrating 60,000 Gamerscore, which means I did a whole bunch of popping Achievements in the few months since then. Let’s examine where this exponential growth occurred the most.

Let’s see, let’s see. I dug back into my larger-than-necessary backlog for the 360, polishing off Hitman: Absolution and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag as much as possible. In terms of the Xbox One, the games that really helped grow that Gamerscore were LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Costume Quest 2, Monopoly Plus, The Wolf Among Us, and, embarrassingly, Ben-Hur. Of course, I’ve dabbled in a number of other games, both large and small, both on consoles and mobile, and, as mentioned before, this was a team effort. Even the games where I opened them once and played for less than twenty minutes matter. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to thank every game individually, but they should know in their heart of hearts that they are greatly appreciated.

I feel like with every one of these posts, I try to convey an air of lukewarm detachedness. That hitting these milestones is no big deal, simply a little fun to have with a system designed to reward gamers for all sorts of actions, such as defeating a tough boss or simply watching a game’s credits all the way through. The truth is…I care about hitting these numbers very much. The minute I begin to inch closer to them, I immediately start scanning out the list of potential Achievements and begin planning my path forward. I find it entertaining, and maybe someone out there reading this does too–hey, let me know if ya do–and I’m genuinely curious about what mix of games will lead me to the 80,000 mark. I do have a bunch more episodic adventures from Telltale Games to go through, and those are pretty easy Achievements to pop. We’ll see.

With all that said, picture proof:

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Wait, I took a better pic, since that screenshot ended up being so tiny. Also, I refuse to change my Avatar’s outfit. The more likely reality is that I no longer remember how:

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2016 Game Review Haiku, #48 – Ben-Hur

2016 gd games completed ben hur

Take the reins, Ben-Hur
Steer this freebie, for glory
Easy Gamerscore

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

You’ll never take this 60,000 Gamerscore away from me

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It was only a couple of months ago that I was touting my latest small victory, of hitting a Gamerscore of 55,555 perfectly on the dot. Now, over my years of gaming since gaining an Xbox 360 and loving the quest of popping many Achievements, I’ve normally only gone after the, in my zany and hairy mind, seemingly milestone-esque amounts, such as 10,000, 20,000, and so on. The big numbers. You can find posts on these ::ahem:: achievements by clicking here. However, I saw an opportunity then to do something silly, and I rounded out that post speculating that I’d hit 60,000 by the end of the summer or 2016. Looks like I second-guessed my ability to do numerous tasks and receive digital rewards for them. Shame on me.

Well, here, enjoy the photographic proof. You’ll notice that I finally upgraded my user pic–I think this colorful dude looks pretty close to me, or, at the very least, close to how I imagine people in the real world view me–as well as gained a couple more friends/followers:

60,000 GS untitled

Speech time. I’d like to personally thank the following games for helping me along the way, in whatever ways possible, since mid-March, because, without them, I wouldn’t be here today talking about 60,000 Gamerscore:

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division – Thanks for having so many collectibles to collect, even if all I got in the end was a rosy pink jacket. Just kidding. Got a ton of Achievements from running around an empty map of New York City in search of cell phones and abandoned laptops while friends did actual missions.
  • Gears of War 2 – Thanks for a fairly okay solo campaign and multiplayer modes that allow me to play against the AI instead of thirteen-year-old kids that like to curse. At some point, I’ll be back to get all them dog tags.
  • Saints Row IV – Thanks for just kickin’ back and saying, “Have at it!” I’m still working towards a few goals in Steelport, but the fact that there’s a menu keeping track of all your stats, such as how many kills you’ve gotten with a specific weapon, is extremely useful.
  • Hitman Absolution – Thanks for being the sort of game that lets you be sneaky sneaky and then all-out action hero when things go wrong. I hope to write about you soon, as I’m having a much better time in your world than I did in Blood Money.
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – Thanks really goes to Bandai Namco for making Tekken 7, as well as giving this one out for free during E3! Tekken has always been one of my favorite fighting game series, though I strangely never got to play any of the Tag games. Until now. So far, I pretty much only use Jun Kazama.
  • Microsoft Treasure Hunt – Thanks for providing that 10G Achievement of revealing a trap on the first level, which helped me nail the 60,000 mark perfectly. You’re a blessing. Also, I promise to come back and play you at some point, as you seem like a mix of Minesweeper and a rogue-like, which…yeah, sure.

::a round of roaring applause while some bouncy exit-stage-left music plays and I’m ushered away behind the curtains::

So, is 70,000 Gamerscore possible in 2016? Hey, anything‘s possible. It’s the doing that takes work. Believe in me, dear readers, and I’ll see you when I get there.

The instructional quest of three tutorials for four Achievements

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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:

55555 gamerscore

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:

Achievement_Terraria_Student
Terraria Student (5G): Begin the tutorial!

Achievement_Terraria_Expert
Terraria Expert (5G): You have completed the tutorial!

gow2 green as grass ach 125175
Green as Grass (10G): Train the rook (any difficulty)

sc2 start here ach 311162
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.

Writing the story as I go with 50,000 Gamerscore

grinding down 50000 gamerscore achieved

There was a time when I was immensely interested in unlocking Achievements and watching my Gamerscore grow in length and size. No, really. Just look around this very blog of mine, through the archives, and you’ll see my thoughts when I hit 10,000 Gamerscore on the dot, followed by 20,000 Gamerscore, and 30,000, and, interestingly, 41,000 back in September 2013. I even had a weekly feature for a bit there highlighting a sample of Achievements I unlocked over seven days. Yeah, remember that craziness? Now we’re lucky if I can put up a single post in a week’s time, but that’s a topic for a different day.

I was pretty devoted to the cause early on, but slowly, bit by bit, I stopped playing my Xbox 360 as much, and you can blame that on my acquiring of a PlayStation 3 in January 2013, a lot of good games on the Nintendo 3DS, and digging deep on indies and point-and-click adventure games on the PC (well, in my case, a laptop). There’s another reason, which involves a cold living room and expensive oil bills, but that’s drama in the past, and now I am able to stay cool/warm to any degree.

Well, here I am, once more, with 50,000 Gamerscore on the nose, attained on July 31, 2015 thanks to an Achievement in Lara Croft: Relic Run, which involved shooting 25 projectiles from enemies out of the air. It’s fine if you don’t believe me; that’s what pictures are for, anyways. Here, take a gander:

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Well, that’s a big screenshot. Did you know I had to Google “how to take a screenshot on Windows phone” in order to get the image above? Yeah, I may be decent at unlocking Achievements–well, no, not in the grand scheme of things given how many there actually are out there–but relatively simple technology actions still require some learning on my part. I’ll get there, I promise.

Here’s the thing. I both care greatly about Achievements, as well as don’t care. Let me explain. There is no race to the top; I’m not in a hurry to grow my Gamerscore and watch those lists of locked Achievements get whittled down, all for the sake of boasting, showing off my bulging e-muscles. For all I know, I might not hit 60,000 ever. Still, I can’t resist pulling up a game’s list and scanning through the Achievements, seeing what looks “do-able” versus what I’ll have to give up on from the very start. They occasionally bring me back to a game or give me the motivation to try something else, especially if in a rut, like going after all the skull collectibles in Motocross Madness.

At this point, I’ve already moved past the clean, nicely rounded 50,000 score, popping a few more Achievements from Lara Croft: Relic Run. The magic is over. You can’t stop a leaky faucet from dripping. Some other cool-sounding phrase that relates to all this. There’s also a laundry list of Xbox 360 games, all full of future unlockable Achievements, sitting in my download queue, waiting until there’s more room on my internal hard-drive. Here, let me name a few–Just Cause 2, Thief, Gears of War 3, and Metro 2033. Lastly, Fallout 4 comes out in a few months–what a strange sentence to write after so many years of day-dreaming–and I need to make the leap to the current generation before the game drops; I suspect, thanks to the extra effort from Microsoft for backwards compatibility, that I’m leaning towards an Xbox One, which only means more Achievements and silly posts documenting all these non-milestones. You are welcome in advance.