Tag Archives: LEGO Pirates

Now bring me that horizon, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

lego pirates of the caribbean all achievements finally gd

Four years and some months later, I finally unlocked the remaining, lingering three Achievements for LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, making this the twenty-seventh fully completed game–in terms of popping all the available Achievements–on my dwindling, dying Xbox 360 console. Shiver me timbers, I’m a terrible freebooter. That means pirate in pirate speak, by the way.

Yup, I last touched this title back in June 2011, with the unspoken promise to finish it off entirely, in terms of Achievements and unlockables and 100%-ing, which I’ve done with every other LEGO game in my collection up to this point. However, something went wrong; I found the levels too frustrating to replay and replay and replay, feeling burned a bit too harshly after I’d spent fifteen to twenty minutes searching every nook and cranny of a level only to accidentally finish it by killing a specific dude or walking to a key point. I must’ve figured I’d take a break, distancing myself while I massaged my surprising burst of impatience back into patience, but I never suspected it would take me this long to return.

Here’s the three specific Achievements that have been waiting oh-so-patiently for me to come back and do my thing:

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Take what you can (65G): Collect all Gold bricks (Single Player Only)

 

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Hoist the colours! (50G): Sail all the minikits in the hub

 

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Now bring me that horizon (100G): Complete the game to 100% (Single Player Only)

 

It might not seem like much, but there’s a lot of steps to finishing these three off. Basically, they are all interconnected: to reach a 100% completion rate, one must first collect all the gold bricks, which means finding every minikit and hidden treasure in every level. Once you’ve found all the minikits, you can sail every boat at the harbor. Also, to get that final gold brick, you have to play an extra bonus level, which is cool in concept, but tiresome after all the grinding you have to do to get there. At that point, one shiny object away from complete and total domination, the last thing I wanted to do was punch more breakable things for pointless studs and watch a boss’ health meter deplete slowly.

All of this took a couple of hours and a few trips to YouTube to watch some walkthroughs to confirm I wasn’t crazy and only missing a hidden room or path. Plus, the game froze on me twice, which is weird, because I was motivated to finish this off after having LEGO Marvel constantly freeze on my girlfriend and I as we slowly crawl to its super-heroic conclusion. Yes, my Xbox 360 is getting pretty old, but not many other games hardlock like these LEGO games as of late. Well, save for Fallout: New Vegas, obviously.

Hopefully I grind out the rest of LEGO Marvel in a much faster pace once all the main level missions are cleared. Then I can think about moving on to other block-building journeys, like LEGO Jurassic World on a bigger, badder console, or that LEGO Dimensions thing, which seems neat, though I’m hesitant to buy separate toys to unlock characters and special playsets. If anything, I’ll be getting some Animal Crossing amiibo figurines first. That’s right, Blathers–I’m coming for you.

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30 Days of Gaming, #29 – A game you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving

I have to believe that the last time I played with LEGO blocks–actually played with them, like used them to build the most buffoonish of homes loaded with booby traps and secret rooms–was when I was still only in the single digits. Now, as a man of twenty and eight years, I play with LEGOs all the time, but digitally, with a controller in hand, using them to collect a bajillion studs, form platforms, and as a means of transportation. That’s right. From toys to videogames, the building blocks of life.

At first, when LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game came out, it was hard to think of it as anything else but a children’s game. I mean, it uses the toys of children to tell a simplified story of something much more epic, with no punishment for failing, minimalist controls, and bright, colorful characters. It plays everything safe from a visual standpoint, and at that point, no one knew what a LEGO game was. Some kind of sandbox thing where you just play around in a room with virtual LEGO blocks? A racer? Multiple choice trivia? Nowadays, everybody knows what a LEGO game is, and you’ll either love love love each one that comes out or find them uninspired and repetitious. Me, I’m addicted to their goofiness and collection-based gameplay.

I remember the very first time I played LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game quite well. I was beardless then, and in a Target, wandering around the aisles. Many of my weekend evenings were spent doing this, as at the time I had no girlfriend, no wife, no friends. A playable PlayStation 2–behind glass and locks and the occasional employee with shifty eyes–was making noise, and that noise sounded pretty dang familiar. Upon closer inspection, it was the theme to Star Wars. You know how it goes. I grabbed the controller and started playing. I was a little LEGO Jedi, and the first action I took was to use the Force to push a battle droid all the way across the screen until it exploded…into LEGO bits. Like magic, every ounce of me warmed and tingled, and it never got tiring, Force-pushing dudes. Some young kids stopped behind me to watch, ooh-ing at all the right times.

Getting to the know the LEGO games more intimately, I saw that they were just as much for adults as they were for children. In fact, many of the puzzles were overly complicated, involving planning and meticulous placements of key items. Kids might enjoy seeing characters falling down or opening a treasure chest to find a lone banana in cutscenes (those folk at Traveller’s Tales love their fruit jokes), but it’s the little nods and things unspoken that hit home for older gamers in the know. Such as LEGO Jack Sparrow’s swagger or the way LEGO Malfoy heckles Hermione or how LEGO R2-D2 floats perfectly across a chasm. And they are fun to play co-op, though maybe not at first, as the camera tech hadn’t come around until LEGO Indiana Jones 2, allowing players to split off in any direction and join back up whenever they were ready.

Since that infamous day in Target, I’ve played every single LEGO-based videogame save for these: LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and LEGO Rock Band. That’s not surprising as I’m not interested in much Star Wars lore other than episodes four through six, and plastic instruments are inferior to true instruments. Sorry, it’s true. And I’m picking up LEGO Harry Potter, Years 5-7 on the same day I get Skyrim, and while I’m naturally more excited about traversing mountains, cooking salmon, and stealing spoons, I’m also giddy to get back to Hogwarts with my wife and cast some spells. Very curious to see if this LEGO game gets as dark as the final books/movies, though I’m mostly confident that TT will have handled the material a whole lot better than the film franchise.

Achievements of the Week – The Calamity Hax0r1! Nut Edition

For this week, Achievements popped in only two games, but I also played a lot of Fallout: New Vegas (shocking, I know), as I’m slowly making progress on those ridiculous challenges added into the game via Gun Runners’ Arsenal, as well as aligning myself with Mr. House eventually. A part of me wants to pop in some older Xbox 360 games and go after a few Achievements, like finishing off LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean or doing that one for getting a ton of damage during a single case in L.A. Noire, but I kind of doubt that will happen. Something with my brain is working against me. Maybe though this weekend, seeing as the biggest of plans is pumpkin-picking and drawing.

Okay, here we go…

From Bastion…


Calamity Kid (30G): Complete the story in New Game Plus.

This didn’t take too long and was much easier than the first romp through. Probably because in New Game+ The Kid’s level and distillery drinks and weapon tweaks all carry over. Some levels I previously had trouble on were a breeze, even the dreamy parts of Who Knows Where. That doesn’t mean it was any less enjoyable, as it totally was. This game is constantly and consistently beautiful, sounds amazing, and it a blast to play. Also, it was nice to hear some more lines from the Narrator.

I also got another Achievement–the last one, actually, making for 12 out of 12–but it’s a hidden one and spoilery so that’s all I’ll say.

From Deus Ex: Human Revolution…


Consciousness is Over-rated (15G): Knock out 100 enemies in a single playthrough.


Hax0r1! (15G): Successfully hack 50 devices within the same playthrough.

The hacking mini-game is…interesting. I didn’t really understand it my first few attempts, and truth be told, I still don’t get it now, some 50+ hacks later, but I am better at it. You have to capture a bunch of nodes without getting noticed, and that’s made a whole lot easier with some Augmentation purchases. Hacking is a pretty important skill for getting into locked places, shutting off cameras, and reading people’s emails.

Also, this one’s definitely a contender for Achievement name of the year.


Gun Nut (20G): Fully upgrade one of your weapons.

I upgraded the tranquilizer rifle so that it reloads faster and fires better. Not that it’s doing me any good. Playing stealthy is one hill after another, and I’m just so ready to go tumbling down to the ground below. Next playthrough, I’m upgrading the shotgun fully and then taking everyone out with a single blast to the face.

And how did you do this week? If you don’t speak up in the comments below, I’ll never know.

Achievements of the Week – The Police School of Philosophy Edition

Ahhh…another week of posts at Grinding Down comes to a close, and we have another round-up of earned Achievements. Alas, this was a light week. Extremely light. I mean, I did earnestly try for some Achievements in Fallout: New Vegas over the last couple of nights, but between getting distracted within the game and it freezing on me…it was all for naught. Besides, both Caravan Master and The Legend of the Star are time-heavy deals, frustratingly slow and methodic, and I’m inching closer, I swears, but nothing’s popped yet. Just need a few more Sunset Sarsaparilla Star Caps (41/50) and a few more Caravan wins (24/30).

That said, here’s my only two unlocked Achievements this week:

From L.A. Noire…


The Brass (30G): Achieve maximum rank.


The Long Arm Of The Law (30G): Complete all street crime cases.

I wrote about this one over here.

And that’s it! Boo.

My goals for this upcoming week are to beat Bastion, grind LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean to completion, and maybe give the extremely silly Nier a few more minutes of my time. We’ll see what gets done. I’m kind of teetering on my depression between wanting to do lots of comic work and not, so it all depends on the state of my headspace. If comics take the reins this week, most likely gaming gets pushed to the back-burner. Plus, there’s going to be even more moving and things to do this weekend. Really looking forward to stay-in weekends once Tara and I get into our new place, as the coming and going really does mess up my passion and trivial scheduling. Okay, sorry about that. The mind, it speaks what it wants…

Okay, Grinding Down readers. What’s your favorite Achievement unlocked this week?

Games Completed in 2011, #19 – LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

“A LEGO pirate’s life for me” would’ve made for a good post title. I’m just saying…

Traveller’s Tales has pretty much cemented their LEGO videogame formula, and it seems like they like what they have in the blueprints and are probably not going to stray from it too much. This is both good and bad. The good comes from the aspect that, nine times out of ten, the formula is fun and silly and an OCD gamer’s utopia, with a billion different things to collect and tasks to complete. The bad is that if you’ve played one LEGO videogame, you’ve played every LEGO videogame, whether it came out today or five years back.

LEGO Pirates doesn’t do anything new or shiny, but it is probably the second most appropriate franchise for LEGO-izing next to Star Wars because the Pirates of the Caribbean films are fun, light-hearted, goofy, epic, and made up of a variety of wild locations. Plus, there’s the character of Jack Sparrow, a man that sways and sways your attention towards him immediately; I still can’t believe how perfectly they nailed him and his persona in LEGO form, right down to the drunken swagger. It truly is a sight to see.

LEGO Pirates covers the main cinematic trilogy, as well as the newest film On Stranger Tides. The cutscenes do a great job of moving the plot along humorously, but a lot of giggles were lost on the fourth movie as I didn’t really understand what was happening and why; these games certainly do benefit from a gamer already knowing the tales in and out, allowing the jokes to resonate more without losing out on crucial plot details. Here’s my guess for the fourth film: Jack Sparrow doesn’t want to grow old so he’s off to find the Fountain of Youth. Blackbeard feels the same way. However, for the Fountain to work, they need to make mermaids cry or something. Then some stupid wannabe pirate girl gets stabbed, and we need to use the Fountain to heal her. Oh, and Captain Barbossa has a peg leg now. Maybe a mermaid ate it. The end.

As mentioned before, the gameplay remains the same. You play through a level by yourself or with a co-op partner, smashing everything in your path to collect studs and open new places to explore. Some new tricks include using Jack’s magical compass to find hidden treasures or looking through a telescope and tracking a certain someone as they move around. Other than that, the game is much more puzzle-heavy than combat-heavy, and sometimes the puzzles can be a little difficult to solve, especially when one requires you to have destroyed X over there to complete. I was particularly stuck on the final level of On Stranger Tides, mad to discover that all I was missing was pushing in a block that did not look, um, pushable. Grrr.

Strangely, I noticed that Traveller’s Tales did not include a level editor this time around, which previously showed up in LEGO Harry Potter, Years 1-4 and LEGO Indiana Jones 2. That’s fine. I only tinkered with it a few times and just didn’t find it too much fun, especially since there was no way to share levels online or download new ones. No big loss. I still think drop-in, drop-out co-op via online would be marvelous, as the screen splitting up is often headache-inducing.

If you’re not a fan of the LEGO videogames, this one won’t certainly convince you. However, if you do love collecting studs and building items from broken LEGO bits and listening to dozens of characters mumble their way through a scene or riding giant crabs, then you’ll love LEGO Pirates. There’s plenty to do, to see, to be, and if you love carrots you’ll be especially pleased to know that there’s a lot of carrot humor. Whatever that means.

Odd Gamerscores are perfect for palindromic numbers

I had a busy day of pinging Achievements, unlocking several from a number of games: A Kingdom of Keflings, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, and Fallout: New Vegas. When all was said and done–and by that, I mean when it was time to stop gaming and make dinner–I noticed that my Gamerscore looked kind of special. It read 23132. Here’s the moment frozen in time too:

Oh boy! Zaaaany. There’s even a name for this crazy happenstance, and it’s called a palindrome. Basically, a sequence of units that can be read the same forwards and backwards. It occurs a lot in life, and I can now check off “palindrome the heck out of my Gamerscore” from my bucket list.

I know, I know. It’s all rather silly, but I found it amusing, and it’s probably never gonna happen again, at least not like this because I’ll be getting the 88G Achievement soon from LEGO Pirates which will turn my ‘score back to a nice, even number. In fact, I’ll probably do some more gaming tonight, messing up my ‘score most certainly by morning’s time, which is why I’m pushing this post out sooner than later.

Another fun example of a palindrome? This phrase: rats live on no evil star.

Welcome to the Caribbean, let me ruin up your Gamerscore

Gamerscore is a pretty fickle thing. It mostly adds up to e-peen though it is also nice just to see in another form your triumphs and kills, but ultimately it means very little. Only one guy so far seems to have made a living out of it. Points for most Achievements range from 5 to 100, usually equaling a nice even number or a number that can be easily made even by adding five more points to it. However, there are exceptions, and some developers like to slip in Achievements for 0 points or 3 points or 7 points or maybe even 59.437 points. I mean, it’s really up to them, so long as the retail game’s total hits 1,000 points, it’s all good. A majority of Achievement lovers hate these oddball pointers, as they “ruin” what appears to them to be a nice, neat, orderly number.

Me? Yeah, it’s a little irksome, especially because I like going after such milestones as obtaining a perfect 10,000 score and a perfect 20,000 score, but it can always be remedied. Which brings me to LEGO Pirates, and it’s very first level, Port Royal, taken from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl‘s storyline. Upon completing it, you unlock this wet bandana:


Welcome to the Caribbean! (12G): Complete Port Royal

Yeaaaaaaah, that’s a 12 there, not a 15. It was my very first Achievement unlocked in the game, but I can see others getting the one where you’re eaten by a shark in deadly water first. So, for me, it was kind of like a slap in the face, the kind Captain Jack Sparrow knows all too well, and after sifting through the whole list I discovered this was done so that Traveller’s Tale could make another Achievement based on some pirate lingo. That one is called Pieces of Eight, and it’s worth 88G, which would totally fix our little number problem. However, to get it, one must acquire a total sum of 888,888,888 studs. That’s gonna take some grinding and cheat codes, meaning my Gamerscore is gonna look wonky to me for a little bit. Oh well.

Let’s all take a moment of silence though for my Gamerscore, now forever changed, forever touched:

Gotta stay strong; time heals all wounds.