Saturday, December 31, 2011

My phone is going to get me in trouble someday.

Well it’s the end of the year and as they say, “Out with the bad, in with the good.” It’s entertaining to see the parade of failed goals of the year ticker across the board. Of course, one of the biggest excuses has always been, “Life gets in the way,” and I always considered that an excuse, even if it is the truth. The same excuse for leaving purchased games played on the shelf and our hard drives, creating the backlog situation that plagues gamers of our caliber.

Usually I would back up a lot of my writing with references and supporting facts, but I’m at a serious disadvantage at the tools at my disposal in my current position. Despite my own life getting in the way, I still manage decent movement with my own gamerscore. If it wasn’t for the WP, then you wouldn’t be seeing anything from me at all. Thankfully I’ve gotten the opportunity to calculate what I’ve managed.

Since deploying near the end of September, these total numbers earned were:

September: 500gs, equaling 605 TA
October: 2885gs, equaling 4078 TA
November: 2470gs, equaling 3543 TA
December: 3140gs, equaling 4374 TA

A grand total of 8995 gamer score, 12600 TA score and roughly 36 games completed, almost purely by windows phone. (40 points are credited to Tinker.)

When you see the prices of DLC and games, don’t forget that there is more to the product than what sits before you. The names that show on the credits aren’t there simply for you to sit through to earn that achievement. They are on the other side, doing the things that most of us aren’t capable of doing, which is creating the content we are so quick to judge. We as gamers are given the right, and entitled to our own opinions on wither something is worth its cost; we are the market’s voice. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they take it personally if they ever read through the comments that unfortunately permeates the front page news. Just as we as consumers are entitled to use our voice, developers and publishers are just as entitled to set the price of the content we want to buy. Of course there is the business end of this industry, and there is one more reason why products are priced the way they are; after all, we as a collective whole have made the bed we’re sleeping in right now. Read about the process and maybe even give it a try, then ask yourself when everything is done and your own creation is up on the indie marketplace if the blood, sweat and time put into your creation isn’t worth more than 80ms points.

As for me, when you begin to see crimson traces smear across the cell phone screen, although it would make for a great story, it’s time to reconsider the priorities.

New Year’s Resolution: Come home with all ten fingers. (Insert any monophonic Fallout 3 BGM here.)

Don’t just wish for a good new year; be the change you wish to see in the world. Do it like you mean it, and then do it well. At least do it better than those who settle to bark rather than bite. If you’re as deep-rooted into the gaming culture to the point where you joined communities such as TrueAchievements, gaming is not something that gets in the way of life, it’s a part of it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Burning the Backlog... again.

A backlog, in regards to the gamer, is a collection of unplayed games. When a gamer gets to a certain lifestyle of game play, backlogs are a natural occurrence that stems from a gamers' attempt to save money by purchasing games on sale that they will play in the future. It's so common an occurrence that there is a site online that helps document your progress on your progress on burning the backlog. However, some cases of backloggery are more extreme than others.

In the month of June, 2010 I accepted a verbal challenge with Botafogo "The Enabler" 007 that I w/couldn’t drop my completion percentage from 75% to 50% and build it back to 75%. In actuality, my percentage was higher than 75% and I was around 115,000 at the time. It took around 117 games, according to True Achivements to achieve 49.9%. My percentage and many people’s feeds were properly raped that month; and it was all done at a time before the terms “Bean Dive” and “Feed Rape” actually HAD names. Today, I have hit 60% and I’m looking at an all too familiar backlog that found its way back on to my shelves and into my hard drive.

Backlog? Again? That’s totally unacceptable. 

I remember when I first heard that what I had done had become a community event. At first I was slightly annoyed that what I had originally done to separate myself from the norm became a mainstream event. Then it was funny to compare their efforts to crush their card compared to my own. I figured that a genuine percentage dump wouldn’t be able to be recovered from the same year; but I have to remind myself that their reason for having a backlog is totally different from my own. Most gamers are not exactly Gamer Scoring League participants, or into Competitive Gamerscoring.  However it did serve its greater purpose of freeing gamers from the personal restrictions that they bind themselves to

From a mathematical standpoint, it takes a much greater effort for me to gain and drop percentage than most people. It would take me 185 individual achievements to gain 1%. In comparison to other extreme cases, StophJ requires 275 to achieve the same results. Vandetta x360a, who has a 40k Gamerscore, only requires 39 unlocked achievements for a full percentage gain.  Interestingly enough, both Stallion and Smrnov need 295 achievements to acquire a gain of one percentage point. This is on top of the fact that these numbers only remain true if these gamers do not add any more games to their tag, which is an impossibility considering their playstyle. This is probably why completion percentage races are generally unpopular for higher tiered GS tags; it is the equivalent of running uphill wearing a parachute when playing against those with significantly lower gamerscores.

Believe it or not, it gets HARDER to drop in percentage the higher you get. In fact, it is now a mathematical impossibility for the top scoring gamertags to make any truly significant percentage changes because of the sheer mass of achievements they have already accumulated. There are not enough games available for the top 10 to drop 25%. So the lesson learned is that as a gamer adds more games to their history, completion percentage gets harder to manipulate. Eventually, there is that theoretical threshold where gamers' will find that it is harder to drop their completion percentage, as opposed to raising it. Unless you’re already there, like everyone’s favorite personal stalker Jason3535 or Omfamna, who seems to have played everything that Xbox has to offer. (Information is accurate as of August 29, 2011.)

From 60 to 75%, it would have taken me 2766 total achievements. That would have been cake. However I have decided to play what I have on hand. But why am I dumping at 60%? Why aren't I waiting until I reach my personal goal of 75%, when I made that personal challenge?  Let’s just say I have my reasons.

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.


12 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.

Mayhem 3D

Although categorized as a racer, Mayhem 3D’s main focus is obviously demolition derby style than traditional racing. The cel-shaded comic book style artwork can be a pleasant change or a total eyesore, depending on your tastes. And as the title implies, there is 3D, but you don’t need it if you don’t want it.
For GSL competitors, Mayhem 3D will be a pleasant vacation from the typical, “Guide and Game, hand in hand” play style that gamers adopt when game completion efficiency is concerned. That means you can put the laptop away; the charm that GSL players will find from this game is that there are no collectables or missable achievements. It’s fast, it’s streamlined, and the game doesn’t ask for too much skill in order to complete it.

Game speed completion: Short of requiring a second account to unlock four online achievements, the game is built on the simplicity of placing 1st in every event to meet achievement requirements.

The game can be realistically completed in five hours. Difficulty does not affect achievements, but there is one achievement that requires that one exhibition match be played in the hardest difficulty with seven computer players. (Which is not as difficult as it may seem, with the guides that are available online.) All cumulative achievements are earned through obtaining all stars in races.
In short, Get a boost partner for ten minutes, play on easy, come first in every event, and then address all special circumstance achievements for the full completion.

GSL Potential:  Mayhem 3D can be used in many different circumstances in considerations for GSL strategy. Point stacking may not be one of them however since story mode achievements are unlocked in chronological order, and especially if the GSL player wants to keep the game off the radar. Cumulative achievements are unlocked systematically, depending on number of stars earned. Perfect score achievements can be stacked if visibility is not an issue, and if done so, a fast 400 points total can be earned for each one, and would also include the 100% career completion achievement.
Because of the accessibility of the game, it can be utilized as a “vacation game” or something fairly enjoyable to play in between point grinds. It is fast enough to be burned through in five hours, or completion can be spaced out to be done in between other games which require higher levels of attention. The mental reprieve gained from playing a game that does not require an open guide or a checklist is noticeable and can be good for raising morale of a GSL participant who is getting burned out.

What the guides don't tell you:
Although the stats of the car seem like they get better as you unlock them, in one or two particular races it is actually more important to pick a different car type to maneuver the track successfully and around the competition.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2. I love the story. I hate the multiplayer. The first time I decided to give Gears multiplayer a chance, it was a public match on the first version, and my entire team proceeded to gib me with the shotgun the moment I would spawn. Never did care to touch any of that until recently, where I’m in a situation where I will the one doing the gibbing with no chance of recourse whatsoever.

Game speed completion: This is not a fast completion by any means. There is an extensive list of single player and multiplayer achievements in both the co-op and versus flavors. Fulfilling some of the achievements requires extensive attention as well so if the achievement hunter is looking for game value for achievements, this would be an investment in your time.
The single player achievements can even be done with the assistance of a co-op partner, and also has achievements for doing so. This co-op option has been used to exploit the difficulty specific achievements where one partner plays on the game’s easiest setting and carries the lion’s share of the work while the other partner plays on Insane and hangs back to reap the rewards.
Multiplayer achievements can be affected by the gamer’s MP level, which is earned through any active participation in any multiplayer experience. Reaching a prerequisite experience level and a specific task such as reaching a specific horde wave take up a majority of the MP achievement list, and will require dedicated boosting partners for maximum efficiency. Expect to work with a team of for exp and horde level grinds and larger groups for misc verses achievements.
Time frame for expected completion for casual game play would take months. A proactive team (of working adults) dedicated to completing this game can complete the achievement list in two weeks realistically, or within one week if nothing else was played and if a exp multiplier event was available to exploit during that time frame. Outside equipment such as network bridges can also prove useful in expediting the completion of this game.

GSL Potential:  The stacking potential of achievement points is incredibly high in this game. The game contains an in-game progress tracker that periodically reminds the player of how far along they are in fulfilling requirements for specific achievements. Achievement progress can also be checked from the main menu as well. Due to the cumulative nature of a majority of the achievements, progress can be purposely delayed until the appropriate time to unlock achievements comes along.  
Most achievements are dependent on the multiplayer experience level of the player. Also, progress in Horde specific achievements will not begin until the appropriate experience level is reached first. Grinding to level 100 will allow the GSL participant to begin completing all horde wave achievement prerequisites. The GSL participant should start at wave 2 on every horde map with their boosting partners to leave the easiest wave incomplete and proceed to fulfill the rest of the horde achievement requirements. When it comes time to pop the achievements, each achievement will only require the completion of the first wave to fulfill requirements. Doing this method can potentially provide 365 points in 10 minutes for the horde mode achievements only. The stacking method can also be applied to all the cumulative weapon kill, complete map pack, collectables and story mode achievements. Story mode difficulty achievements stack, so a potential 275 can be popped, with an additional 50 if the GSL participant decides to complete the game in co-op as well. If the GSL members are on the same team, payoff is doubled.
Stacking visibility is fairly high for competitors. Achievement stacking can be recognized by story mode achievements being completed with or without the story mode completion achievement being unlocked on casual difficulty. Level stacking can be recognized if the GSL competitor has completed the MP rank update DLC, which are the only MP ranked achievements that do not have a second set of requirements to unlock.

What the guides don't tell you:
Your MP progress is saved onto your gamer profile, there will not be a game save file on your xbox. The data can become corrupted if data save gets interrupted in any way, which usually comes from players taking shortcuts while playing the game. Always be aware of your habits to ensure that you properly quit to the main menu of the game before quitting to the Xbox live dashboard. Also refrain from varying the method of boosting. Do not grind horde levels online in co-op one day if you have been conducting it solo for the majority of it.

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.


10 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Analysis Editorial: The restrictions we place upon ourselves

Everyone has their reasons why they play. In the achievement community, everyone has their reasons for how they score. But if everyone knew that the time they had to play was finite, would they prevent themselves from playing what they wanted to play?
I was playing the BGM of the Stray Sheep Bar as I was reflecting on the ideals presented in the Atlus game Catherine. The melodramatic weight the music provides creates an incredible atmosphere that heightens the emotional connections felt with the characters in the game and has left a lingering imprint on me every time I played this game. (Your results may vary.) The entire game experience was successfully designed as a metaphor to the moral of the story; if you gave the game the opportunity, many aspects of this game would impact you at a personal level. It does one hell of a job of illustrating feelings on topics better than I could ever express them. It was a real shame that I was the only one among the 80 people that I track (and who tracks me) on TA that played the game for the first week it was released. This was probably because the game had a reputation of being, “too hard” and scared people away from even giving it a try. It was kinda sad to have seen all the endings to an incredibly well developed single player experience, and to have absolutely no one to discuss it with.
The reasons people don’t play certain games varies from player to player, and it wouldn’t be too strange to categorize them into general gaming “Disciplines.” The disciplines are what define the play style of the gamer whose primary focus is achievements, which describes the gamerscore communities that frequent x360a, 360v and TA. We’ve all heard the categories before. There is the achievement hunter, who pursues only the most difficult of achievements, which was finally given an identity thanks to the efforts of Trueachievements. The Completionist, whose primary concern is their percentage. These types were given a home when 360voice and  mygamercard provided the platforms that tracked, organized and compared the achievements of one against many. Then finally there is the Scorewhore, who chooses to sacrifice the satisfaction of completion and difficulty in pursuit of the low-lying fruit of achievement based videogames. x360a has the largest community of them all of this type of gamer, because of its seniority compared to the other currently existing achievement websites and its broad achievement appeal which also caters to completionists and hunters alike.
The disciplines that define the characteristics of a gamer are also create the restrictions that generally prevent people from playing the games they would play if achievements were not a factor. Completionists will not touch games with broken achievements for fear of ruining their percentage. Hunters won’t look at easy games because every gamer has, “Been there, done that.” Even the Scorewhores can’t be bothered with particular games because particular genre games such as RPGs and Strategy will not provide low-lying fruit for that fast achievement score fix.
The gamer disciplines should not be such an issue. But the disciplines manifest particular “gaming taboos” that prevent us as gamers from fully enjoying games because of the artificial obligation that we create for ourselves.
“I can’t play that game until I finish this one.”
“I’d probably play that one, but the achievements are too hard.”
“I won’t play that until they fix the achievements.”
“Multiplayer achievements? Screw that.”
I had to make a change when I realized I was not playing the games I wanted to play because of my personal hang-ups. I used to be a slave to the completionist and hunter disciplines, maintaining an 80% completion percentage until I broke free from it, slamming 262 achievements in 117 different games in June 2010, dropping the percentage down to 49% to give Trueachievements a chance to milestone 50%. (And still earning 4000 gamer score in the process. By the way bean-dippers, THAT is how you drop a completion percentage. I lost quite a few TA followers that month…) Then a dear friend and gamer colleague, Roxy x360a, provided me an opportunity I could not pass up, a chance to address additional personal restrictions I placed upon myself in x360a’s 9th GSL. During those eight weeks I played sports games, foreign games and kids’ games, genre taboos that other gamers generally stay away from as well. Finally, I tackled what seems to be the worst established achievement taboo of all; I added games with broken achievements to the gamer tag. Doing such a thing forever sabotaged my card from true completion, but gave me the freedom to not put so much emphasis on the completion of my games.
But there still seems to be one more taboo that I can’t seem to shake, despite all the personal hang-ups I’ve overcome. This wasn’t realized until the day before, when my fellow gamer Botafogo007, (Who seems to be the habitual enabler in my unusual and pointless gamer goals) mentioned that someone should massacre their TA ratio. The thought led me to an interesting self-realization, I have always shunned away from easy games.
With that in mind, Stallion83 hits 600k today as well, a significant milestone for everyone active in the achievement community. I scroll down not only Stallion’s games list, but also other scoring leaders such as Deez, Rand al, Smrnov, Tjayars, Majinfro, and StophJ. I realize that these gamers have each overcame the gaming taboos that hunters, whores and completionists alike have created for themselves. And despite the absolute disregard for the type of games they play, each individual players percentage, TA ratio and gamer score are still higher than most proclaimed completionists, hunters, and scorewhores. This is why these gamers are leaders in the meta-game, and the meta-game is the reason why the gaming disciplines even exist in the first place. I would have loved to be a Machine, but following the example they set is good enough. The leaders in the meta-game do not need Gamer Scoring Leagues or organized competitions to earn their points, or excuses to save their easy games. These gamers score simply because the points are there. They play because they want to.
People are the masters of their own destinies, and gamers have the freedom to choose to play what they want to play. This also includes the restrictions that they place upon themselves. I would love everyone to experience the game Catherine. But chances are slim. It is a real shame because the restrictions that my friends place upon themselves are their own obstacles to overcome.
Tomorrow I will begin to address my own final hang-up. GSLs were a great reason to score achievement points, but Smrnov said once before, “[To him] Every day is a GSL.” The meta-race has always been an individual effort and existed even before GSLs were organized. In the end, the gamer score is what is truly recognized as the benchmarks of excellence by the achievement community, regardless of the disciplines they choose to follow.  The irony of it all is that even as I try to attempt to drop my TA ratio, the effort will only cause other parameters such as completion percentage, gamer score, and TA score to rise anyway. The satisfaction of accomplishing goals that others fear to attempt will always appeal to me, but the mountains will always be there to conquer. Every game should be considered a challenge, regardless of the difficulty. Those willing to be indiscriminate in the challenges they attempt are the ones who are the most successful in the meta-game. But even after all that analysis, in essence it doesn’t even boil down to the gamer score, but providing oneself the permission to simply play and not allowing intangible numbers and statistics to prevent you from enjoying the experiences that all games strive to provide. After all, this enjoyment is why we as gamers became gamers in the first place, isn’t it? Achievements were meant to be earned, not feared. Time is not unlimited, and one should not provide themselves reasons not to play.
Trueachievement ratio, watch out. Effectively beginning at a 1.57 TA ratio. You have been identified as the final frontier. The excuses I have given myself will stop and as a result, I am going to drop the shit out of you.
The irony if it all, is that numerically speaking, it’s an impossibility. Time is short. Play games.

Endnote: The BGM I listened to while writing this editorial was titled, "Lamb game between ♂ and ♀" but"Also Sprach Brooks" makes a good alternative. But the music won't make as strong an impact as it would until you play the game.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off

No new achievements.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Portal 2

Portal 2 is the sequel to the original which came out in 2007, produced by Valve and was one of the most anticipated sequels from the developer. It's newest addition includes two player online and split screen co-op.

Game speed completion: Dedicated gamers can complete the single player campaign in 4-5 hours with an open guide. Co-op completion can also be done in 4-5 additional hours. Only achievements that could cause issues would be the two online achievements, "Friends List with Benefits" and "Professor Portal" which both require additional friends or boosting accounts in order to fulfill achievement pre-requsites.

GSL Potential: With the written and video walkthroughs available on the internet, point to time ratio would make Portal 2 a benchmark game for any GSL library. The most efficient use for this game would be between two GSL teammates to double up on the co-op point potential. The single player campaign can be completed afterwards on an individual effort. Portal 2 is not a point stackable game, as most achievements involve level progression. With the assistance of guides, not much personal skill is required since most of the difficulty comes from solving in game puzzles.

What the guides don't tell you:
Portal 2 is a pretty well documented game, and with the ability to return to specific levels to simplify point cleanup, most players will only have issues with finding a third player who hasn't touched the game.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: Bomberman


8 hours of online gameplay
continuous draw game loop
2:00 min rounds
random placement off
pressure blocks off 

2 achievements unlocked
Draw 100 for 5
Battle 1000 for 20

9 achievements reamining

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Duke Nukem 3D (XBLA)

So Duke Nukem Forever finally arrives within the next two weeks. Taking around eleven years to produce (beginning in 1997), (referenced June 4, 2011) the next closest thing in terms of production time would probably be Alan Wake, which took five years before production was complete. (referenced June 4, 2011) This Xbox Arcade version is idenical to the original release of 1996, with the ability to play with friends cooperatively and competitively.

Although Duke Nukem is an anomaly in terms of development, it seems the ongoing trend within the game development community is to continue established venues of success with sequels or reinvent them with reboots of the franchises. It could possibly lead to the cynicism that people often get to where they say to themselves, "Everything that can come out now has already been done before." Which is similar  to Charles Duells famous 1899 quote, "Everything that can be invented has been invented."(referenced June 4, 2011)

Needless to say you wouldn't be sitting in front of your computer if that was the case.

Game speed completion: Four to six hours for the story mode with an additional one hour for the 500 online kills. Can be done faster with the assistance of fellow gamers or with online walkthroughs. Not much to it due to the straightforward achievement list. After finding 70 secret areas in the game, the rest of the time played will be devoted to simply running through as fast as possible for full completion.

GSL Potential: Duke Nukem 3D probably can't be considered GSL material since episodes only unlock after completing the preceeding episodes. In considerations to staking points, a solo player can choose to play up until the final level of the first episode if they are trying to keep the game off the played games list. This would also mean refraining from tipping the exotic dancer, which usually comes just out of habit. Running through the first level in under three minutes would also net the player an additional ten points which can also be popped after finishing the first episode. Even after all that preparation though, the participant would only net 45 points. With a boosting partner, 500 kills can be pumped out within an hour for an additional 50 points. Not necessarily a high scoring point vessel; but despite the point to time ratio, can be considered a, "bottom of the barrel" source for points if someone is between shipments of games.

What the guides don't tell you: You can check how many secrets you have officially discovered in each level on the options screen.  You'll need 70 unique secret areas, and you don't get credit for finding secret areas that you've already discovered... because they're not a secret anymore.

Attack of The Movies 3D

     Well I'm finally back from a personal road trip. It was a long time coming, and definitely something that should have not been put off for so long. If it weren't for the interruption of a few unexpected (but welcomed) phone calls from prospective employers, then I just might have kept on going. None the less, the trip is not complete yet, as I got the east coast to tour as well as possibility of perusing Europe in the upcoming year.
     One person can say that this is simply a terrible game. Another person would say that this is a tribute to the old cabinet style rail shooters like Area 51, Lethal Enforcers and Mad Dog McCree. That same person would STILL say that Attack of the Movies game was bad, however. The game wouldn't be so bad if the developers didn't make the first and last level so unforgivably hard; to the point where you do have to enlist the help of local talent.

Game speed completion: From personal experience, the game has the potential to be completed 100% in two to three hours, provided that you have either three LOCALLY talented friends, turbo controllers, or preferably both. At my skill level, I was able to get 950 of 1000 points on my own in that same time period with the assistance of a turbo controller, but required the help of three others for the "Underwater Mine Expert" achievement. Expect high levels of frustration in the first and last levels when playing on its hardest difficulty when playing this game solo, but success comes from memorization of the rail path, enemy attack patterns and power-ups like many rail shooters in the 80's. Supposedly this game is completable solo, but with my own experience with the game, I can't comprehend how.

In short: bring friends, provide food and drinks and make it a boosting party disguised as a social event. (Playing a game that your friends probably wouldn't be too interested in playing.)

GSL Potential: Attack of the Movies 3D does have competitive potential due to its short time requirements for completion (six respective levels to play at approximately ten minutes each.) The methodology of tackling this game will determine how much time will be required to complete. Most GSL participants will opt to initially play on hard in attempt to quickly unlock the 220 point, "Hard to Complete" achievement but will suffer the frustration of replaying the first level, wondering how the hell others actually got through this unforgiving level. (As stated earlier, memorization of the enemy attack patterns, when checkpoints register, and the layout of the power-ups/extra lives as well as when to utilize them will determine level success.)

In retrospect, I could have decided to play on normal first, simply to learn the levels first, then completed on hard and I may have shaved off some personal frustration and lost time from replaying levels. Difficulty choice does determines the ease of completing the various level challenges but success is more determinate on the player's skill of handling the extremely sensitive cross hair controls.

Game visibility is low; it won't be sitting on a GSL participant's gamercard prior to being played. Point expectation would be around 500 to 800 points from any competitor within the initial three to four hour time frame of playing the game, with the possibility of returning at any time for point cleanup.

What the guides don't tell you: The player's ability to cope with the controller sensitivity will determine the level of difficulty they will have with this game. A person with ham fingers and an inability to articulate small thumb stick movements will most likely need more help than those who don't.

Also, the sensitivity of the cross hair also changes with the controller. The default Microsoft controller has the best sensitivity, but shooting in game will be done manually, which means your fingers will be fairly punished after a session with this game. The two Hori pad versions even have different levels of sensitivity, with the blue version being the better of the two with the added bonus of turbo.

On the first level, (the ant movie) most people will be initially stuck after the first checkpoint. If the player can at least get to the 1-up powerup continuously and die before reaching the end boss, this loop can be repeated as necessary to get the, "Big Score" achievement where you must earn 75,000 points in a level.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Analysis Editorial: The Changing Social Aspects and its Effects on Videogaming

     Currently in Vegas, poolside. Waiting for drinks to come around so I got time to write. Random thought came to me as I was on the road. Occasionally a game is released that can be called crap at face value, but after reliving the experience of playing locally with three other people in the same room and defeating a game that sets unreasonable challenges for achievements, I came to the realization that back in the day, ALL games were unreasonably hard. Gamers called it several kinds of profanities. Developers called it, "Replay value." And it caused gamers to come together to overcome the challenges that old school games offered up.

      We as gamers may have been spoiled with easily completable games since market studies have concluded that the people who buy the games now either no longer have the time to invest in long winded games, have family to care for (young and old) and/or generally less involved than they were ten years ago (referenced on May 9, 2011), in which older gamers still reminisce about the days of last gen systems and hyping the original Playstation.

     If we were all the gamers we were ten years ago, Attack of the Movies 3D would not be viewed as difficult. It would still suck, but it wouldn't be considered hard. According to trueachievements, as of May 9, 2011 over 50% of the registered players who have played the game only have earned one or two achievements, which illustrates the level of commitment that the average gamer presently has. This is why the causal market has flourished the last few years; the casual gamer gets their game fix with the satisfaction of accomplishment and game developers get paid more often for smaller projects. Nintendo embraced the casual gamer first in 2008 (referenced on May 9, 2011), and the financial windfall that followed began the era of "Casual Gaming" that brought rechargeable health, unlimited continues, and copious amounts butthurt from older hardcore gamers around the world.

     The gamers have grown up, and if any of you are like me, then you also came from an old mindset in which videogames was viewed as a waste of time and a time sink in which something more productive can be done in lieu of sitting on your butt for hours on end, working out your thumbs and nothing else. This is also an old 1990's mindset that is still perceived as truth by the general population who do not play. The availability of the internet, the increased usage of social networking resources and the hardware of consoles that cater to them now make console systems (the Xbox 360 in particular) an alternative for friends, family and even lovers that are separated by distance to connect through the social aspect of gaming. This social outlet can also be a reason why casual gaming has become an appealing genre to developers and gamers alike.

     But ask any friend, family member or couple who do long distance to choose between online or local interaction. The answer should be obvious. Attack of The Movies 3D may have it's issues with quality and difficulty, but it does serve a role in bringing back fond memories of sitting Indian style next to player 2, sharing the gaming experience, whither it was good or bad.

     Granted, the internet allows the opportunity for virtual social interaction. But the social experience of in person co-op or competitive is something that cannot be recreated with the magic of the internet, despite the accessibility that casual gaming has created. Internet cannot recreate the memories of the arcade, where you stood next to your opponent, smelling their aura of opposition and body odor as you sunk your quarters into the console. The instant gratification of the smack talk that followed upon the completion of every round, and the crowd of friends that supported each player that watched from behind and made commentary as you played simply cannot be reproduced with xbox 360's party chat.

     To put into perspective the time frame we are at now, Playboy centerfold models are now born in the 1990s. In the 1990's we as older gamers are now at a time where we will run into the new generation that have not experienced local co-op or competitive gaming as we have in the 20th century, before the internet changed many aspects of social interaction. Games were harder too; almost unforgiving. But gamers of our generation ventured forth and put forth the effort to find other gamers to come over, and share in the joy of tackling and defeating the unreasonable challenges of the games of yesteryear. The act of sharing the good and bad experiences is what brings people closer; and more often than not, those friends that you played with before are still friends today. The internet can be considered a convenient blessing that has created many opportunities, gaming and otherwise; but can potentially rob the newer generations of genuine social skills and courtesies that older/refined gamers have developed. This issue is apparent with the generally belief that the majority of troublesome online gamers are grade school age with lack of proper social upbringing.

     The notion that gamers are anti-social shut-ins is an outdated mindset. It couldn't be farther from the truth.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Otomedious G

The Japanese will always have a special place in my heart. They hooked me on anime the moment I was introduced to my first animated boobies in 4th grade, and as technology and animation techniques dramatically improve, not a damn thing has changed. But don't get me wrong, I stick around for the story. No. Seriously.

It would be silly to even pretend that beautiful women don't draw people to do certain things. And the Japanese aren't the first ones to use artificial, perfect women to entice the promotion of their product. Otomedious is a play on words. It is a mash up of the two words Otome and Gradious. Otome is Japanese for "Maiden" and Gradious is the series that Otomedious is parodying. The stages in the game and the enemy patterns follow closely to the old school shooter.

This also proves that you can put boobs on anything in Japan, regardless how old the material is and they'll eat that stuff up. Hell, I'LL eat that stuff up. We'll just say the Japanese are the most honest gamers in the world. They cater to their market and we all have to buy Japanese systems to play what they have.

Game speed completion: Approximately 15 hours for full game completion. An achievement to play 573 minutes will keep you around for at least 10 hours. The game also has odd numbered achievements so if a player has issues with having a gamerscore that does not end in a five or zero has to be prepared to be in it for the additional 8-9 hour grind. After playing the game for at least 57 minutes, the player will pop a 38 point achievement. The final achievement will involve either playing the first level perfectly over and over or letting your turbo controller play for you for hours on end.

GSL Potential: The game has high GSL potential for those players who have access to the game and a J-NTSC xbox. 600 points can be earned by simply beating the game with each of the six characters, which would take about 30 minutes each with unlimited continues. There is an achievement series for touching the breasts of the character you are playing as 5, 57 and 573 times. (I was told by a GSL teammate that you can also get credit for touching the junk of the guy, but since I had already popped the achievement, I couldn't verify.) Potentially, a player can earn the first 762 points within the first two or three hours. But completion prone players will reduce the game's point-to-time ratio by pursuing the final 238. In a GSL, the six hours spent earning the final 200 points in this game can be better suited towards another quick completion game. The 573 minute played achievement can possibly be earned while away from the xbox only with the assistance of a Hori turbo pad II because of its ability to program auto turbo to the left button as well as the face buttons.

Game visibility is low because there is nothing to stack in the game, but its always assumed that if a GSL participant has one Japanese game, then they have access to many other Japanese games. It will be expected that 672-800 points will be earned by the player, but competitors will observe to see if that same player will be perusing the final 200 points to determine how to close the gap in the meantime.

What the guides don't tell you:

The pink character (Toron) has the lowest point requirements to purchase all the weapon cards of the six available characters. (Referenced and on May 4, 2011)

You need a total of this much to buy all weapons for each character:
Anoa 95450
Toron 88850
Emon 98300
Madoka 90800
Jio 95400
Tiita 89750

To "touch" the angels, you have to use the right stick to manually move the cursor over their breasts/junk and press A. Before it was believed that you only can do it in between rounds, in which you only got five to six seconds, but you can also do this during the character select screen, in which you have a full thirty seconds instead.

Earning the weapon cards by playing arranged mode will increase the probability of getting illustration cards in arcade mode. As prescribed by the available guides, play the first stage perfectly with no deaths in arranged mode, (first blue option on the game screen) to get an S ranking, and then immediately die for approximately 2000 points to spend on weapons cards.

To earn cards effort free, you need to have a Hori Turbo Pad II, which is the one that has programmable directional buttons as well as face buttons. The Hori Pad I (The original blue turbo pad) will not work. Program autofire to the A and left directional button on arcade mode (the red option on the game screen.) The game will cycle through the game, die, ask you if you want to save your replay and verify if you are sure that you don't, which is why it is essential that the Hori Pad can press the left button to confirm that you are sure that you don't want to save and repeat the cycle. This technique can be used to "actively" play the game for 673 minutes for the 38 point achievement in your sleep or while you are away from xbox. Keep in mind that although this technique will ASSIST in card acquisition, expect to still grind points in arranged mode to get all the weapons cards.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Botafogo007 200k Tribute Video

If you get the chance, drop by the thread and leave him a note. That would be awesome. And check out the video I made for the occasion. Original writeup can be found at

Also, big shoutout to Raymond Gallardo of Infrastructure Productions ( for his personal contributions to making the video look as good as it did.

Beginning my roadtrip today, it's gonna be four weeks of traveling for me. The guys said it should be something interesting to document, but I'm sure that I'll find time to write about it while I'm on the road. Tell you all about it later.

Botar Botar Botar. We’ve been playing this silly Gamerscore metagame since 2007. When we first met, we were competing for cash and prizes from the 360voice Old Spice Challenges. And you beat me both times! The second time around I used your own guide that you were writing for Golden Compass against you to finish the game faster than you did in the same competition. But I had to make the tough decision between winning 50 dollars worth of Microsoft Points or picking up my girlfriend up from the airport on time, and needless to say you were 4000 points richer that New Years Eve.

Those were the days when scoring games was HARD. We didn’t have plentiful, easy 1k games that these whippersnapper gamerpunks have nowadays.

For some reason afterwards, we went from competitive rivals, to competitive buddies, and things haven’t changed since then. We’ve gone though many gamer trials and tribulations; friends have come and gone, websites have been joined and lost, gamertags have been retired but not forgotten, (Because they’re still playing, they just prestiged their gamerscore. LULZ.)

Botafogo smashed through 200k in March during the 360 voice month long GSL challenge. As one of the team members of the Emopotomous Killers, which consisted of long time friends and GSL veterans Irish, Peace Star and Fastest Slug, they successfully defeated over 459 individuals and 46 organized teams. Congratulations guys, although it might not mean much to others, now the good ol boys all have a prestigious GSL win under our belts.

You are dear friend who I will never wonder if I have to ask permission to jump into parties with because there is no doubt. We still tackle with open arms the challenges that other gamers are too afraid to attempt. Drop our completion percentages from 75% to 50% and build it back to 75%? Don’t tell us we can’t do it. Bomberman retail? , Nope, we ain’t never skrrd. Not giving OutcastNeedsHelp a hard time? We gave him the benefit of a doubt he was genuinely retarded!

Anyone who knows me knows I’m always looking for excellent people to spend time with. Botafogo is one of the most excellent people I have the pleasure of ever encountering. I’m sure you’ll be talking me into boosting Japanese Culdecept Saga, even though I can't even be bothered to finish the one in ENGLISH. But regardless of how shitty the game, how gritty the grind, how pitiful the party may be; I know if Bota is riding for Rohan, it will never be that bad.

Congratulations on 200k my friend. You blew through it out of obligation, but it’s not as if we’re stopping anytime soon anyway.

Oh, and I'm sorry I didn't have a bigger sledgehammer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers

Sports games. Not my forte. But it is my 185th completed game. On with the analysis.

Game speed completion: I'll have to take everyone else's word that it took them 5-8 hours. It took me 12-15. It probably is easier than I made it out to be. I had chosen to avoid the story mode and artificially made the game completion longer. The game has a story mode worth 320 points when completed. If a player decides to play the story mode first, all other supplemental achievements could have potentially been unlocked throughout the duration of the story mode, reducing any achievement cleanup for full game completion.

GSL Potential: The GSL potential is high for this game. The game has already been recognized as a quick 1000 point retail game. Because it is such a high visibility game, what particpants will be looking for is if other competitors have this game on thier game lists to predict fast point potential. Because there is no game save capabilities, there is no way to stack points in this game.

What the guides don't tell you: Play the story mode first. Then clean up whatever achievements you did not unlock after the story is completed with the unlocked teams. The provided guide and roadmap in x360a will successfully walk the player through the story mode in the most efficient way. Expect the game to start difficult but get progressively easier as you add team captains to your own teams you beat them.

The guides tell the player to use directional up and the A button to hit the ball. Rather than that, use B instead for consistently better results.

What I found is that games go faster for me was if I could simply build the 10 point gap within the first or second inning. This was done after the second win and gaining two five star batters. If the game did drag into a third inning, I would quit and retry. But for story mode, the game was set to nine innings because you will need the extra innings to meet mercy rule requirements with the weaker team.

GSL Resource Article: Dealing with your game genre weaknesses

This was originally going to be added as the introduction of the next GSL game analysis, but it got long enough to just separate itself into its own post.

An analytical writer prides oneself on the objectivity of their writing, with the ability to put aside one's personal feelings about a subject in order to produce an informational, unbiased product. If I was unable to do so, this article would be written more like the stuff that you would see from your 13 year old siblings tumblr account, screaming beautiful poetic rants of anguish and emotion of my absolute hatred of sports games. Luckily I'm objective enough to realize that even though it isn't easy for me, it might be for someone else. I just finished playing Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers, which was an easy game for everyone else other than me. With my group of friends, I was the first to start, and the last to finish six months later due to my personal feelings of sports games.

Yeah... Sports games are my videogame Kryptonite.

Lessons can be learned from this. For GSLs, the motivation to play certain genres of games can dramatically affect achievement point earning efficiency. Sports games is my weak genre; so playing sports games will take more time and motivation than any other genre available. For others, it may be first person shooters, platformers, or even the inability to tolerate Japanese visual novels that will handicap a person from finishing a game as fast as the rest of the competition. Knowing what your teammates will and will not do is key to team managers who usually dictate who gets what games at particular points of a GSL schedule.

Participants playing games they may not like is a normal occurrence in any GSL. Find me any GSL discussion and I could quickly point out people complaining about what they're playing with very little effort. But just because it is a necessary evil does not mean it would be wise to grind out your weak genre until you're ready to gouge out your eyeballs. In short, two tidbits of information to consider.

1. A GSL participant can earn points more efficiently playing games in their strong genre. Although I personally had tons of point potential in the sports category, the most efficient use of my time came from platformers and first person shooters, in which my strengths are. On top of that, I actually enjoyed what I was playing, so motivation was high.

2. If a GSL participant must earn points in their weak genre don't stay with the genre for too long and break it up with games that you may like. I made the mistake in my final GSL to complete seven basketball games in one stretch. Doing so killed my motivation to revisit the genre for a short period until it became a point necessity for individual placement. If you're not motivated, you're not scoring points. Toss yourself a bone and play something you like in-between personal grinds.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Assault Heroes

The best stuff to write about is the information that is still fresh. This arcade game is far from it and has probably been out since the launch of Xbox 360. Three years later, as I overcome procrastination, this game finally gives me the bittersweet satisfaction of another game completion. This excuse of, "I can always do it later" is going to stop sooner or later, otherwise the backlog may as well turn into a collection of wasted potential, digital or otherwise.

Game speed completion: Realistically, 8-10 hours. For the dedicated person who did their homework and also has a skilled co-op partner? 2-3 hours. A player can finish a full game in an 1 to 1.5 hours, and the difficulty can be further handicapped by playing on easy with a co-op partner. If was was more motivated, I could have gotten 150 points in one playthrough, but for the sake of focusing on certain achievements, slow is fast is the best advice for this game and it would be wise to simply complete the game to unlock everything in stage select, then cherry pick the remaining achievements. Survivor, Peace Maker and Sharpshooter requires you to play under unusual circumstances, but only under one zone so it might be more efficient to run Zone 2 a few times, focusing on the requirements of one particular achievement at a time.

GSL Potential: Despite my own personal experiences with the game, it has fairly high point-to-time-ratio. Play with a decent partner for potentially 130-140 points for one playthrough. If both players are fairly cautious and skilled, The, "Lair Slayer" achievement, which is the most difficult (i.e. controller throwing) achievement of the game, can also be taken cared of as well. After the fast points, It would be up the the player's discretion if they really want to top of the 200. Assault Heroes does have the potential of being fast, but the game does have that "unfun" vibe that would make going for the final few achievements a chore. (especially if the sole reason you're playing this game was for points.) It may become detrimental if time is a concern. Game visibility is also low, since there is no way to stack points in this game, so it can remain hidden away in your game library until needed.

What the guides don't tell you: The guides and achievements say "Zones", but the game chapter select says "Areas". It may have been common sense and I may have missed it, but the two are not the same thing. Zones are divided into several Areas and Zone Two does not actually start until AREA 5. If you read around, there are tons of people still having issues telling the difference.

This is why this information is important. The, "Survivor" achievement has ongoing issues being unlocked in Zone 1. I was one of them, and despite reading and re-reading all available guides, the achievement did not properly unlock until I took some other advice and earned it in Zone 2 instead of Zone 1. Popping that one was three years in the making, since I started the game in July of 2008.

Lair Slayer can be done solo, but it is not recommended at all. Things to know about this achievement is that all four underground lairs must be done in one game. If one of you dies, you must restart the game. You can start in Area 3 and you both can die all you want when you're not in the underground lairs. The game always starts both of you with 10 grenades and 3 nukes every zone so just use em if you got em. The camera will move but you can move at your own pace to recover health whenever you get damaged, and the players shouldn't take chances with their health when you only got one shot at it. Have the more confident player take lead while the second player focuses from behind. Blow up all barrels from a distance. Save yourself some grief on Lair 3 and sparingly use your nukes in the open circular arenas.

Two things will catch you off guard when you're going for this achievement. The camera WILL get you killed by the lasers if the angle changes. I was standing a fair distance away from one recovering my health when the camera moved forward and caused me to die, despite not changing my own position. Give the laser its due respect and give it some real space.

At the end of the final lair, there will be two turrets. You and your partner will most likely retreat back a little to avoid being hit, but the game spawns enemies from the hidden lower doors when you do, putting you in a great position to die, fail and restart the entire process. Whenever you come across an reverse L shaped intersection in Lair 4, have your backup watch the lower wall for incoming enemies. Failure this far along would be a waste of the other 30 minutes you spent doing the other three lairs.

Rocket Riot

When considering games for GSL, it would be foolish to rule out any game, regardless of how small the point potential can be. GSL rounds have been won and lost by double point margins when the competitive format was designed around three day weekends rather than the current marathon runs that are trending nowadays.

Game speed completion: 9-10 hours of game time. Fifty single player levels will take 6 to 7 hours solo, and expect controller throwing moments during every boss round, which occurs every 10 rounds. Endurance mode can be solo played with a minimum of 2.5 hours. The methods I used to complete the game as fast as possible will be explained below.

GSL Potential:  Fair, for an arcade game. Game is designed for achievement progression through normal play, so in the hour of gameplay, the player can potentially gain 90 points if they can find someone to play a single online game with. The rest of the achievements can't be expected to be unlocked until all 80 single player rounds are completed and endurance mode is done up until level 50, which is 5-6 hours later. Rocket Riot can be hidden from the gamecard until ready to play since all the initial achievements expected to pop all come from the first hour of gameplay.

If the game is in a player's backlog, it might be useful for a quick 90 point punch in the gut when the game stack is running low. If your teammate has a completionist complex, they'll have to get over their hangups and come back to the game later.

What the guides don't tell you: The boss fights can be hard, but it's even harder when they don't give you any particular way to fight them. Strangely enough, the same strategy can be used on all bosses, with a little variance to cater to the particular boss.

When fighting bosses, the ideal powerups are Ghost, Homing, Rapid and Triple Rocket. The ghost powerup actually creates a land barrier that spaces the player away from not only the boss, but the projectiles and any surrounding minions. They can't shoot through terrain, but you can with the power up. Flying and attacking while you're hidden within the game terrain helps preserve your life while keeping you within firing distance to properly attack the boss, who generally cant reach you until he shoots through the pixels. I have used this to safely whittle away at the health of the boss until getting more direct damage powerups.

Still. Expect to die. The game likes to tease you, then remind you of this gameplay mechanic called, "Replay value" in which you die and get to enjoy the level again.

Although it has been mentioned in other guides out there, a fast way to get through elimination and endurance stages is to blow out a corner, (I preferred the upper left.) and shoot out towards all incoming enemies which will all come towards you. It's not a totally foolproof plan, but it's consistent enough to be relied on to speed up the completion process.

And for the sake of completion, the player is probably going to be missing one person for, "The things I've seen" achievement. He'll be on level 8, called "That's no cannonball."

Also, shoutout to Stoph for following along. Also a writer, he maintains his own blog at Go check it out. StophJ was ranked 13th in the US for Gamerscore according to the late and now is a team member of, which tracks the progress of the current world record holder Stallion83.  Although I'm plugging his buddy, the shoutout is for Stoph. "I think StophJ is a pretty cool guy. eh gets gamerscorez and doesnt afraid of anything."

Thanks Stoph.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lord of the Rings Battle for Mid-Earth 2

This game put me as #1 in California for strategy games according to as of April 25, 2011.

Game speed completion: 20 hrs for single player. may have been harder for me than others because I was so dead set on getting it done as fast as possible that I rushed and made mistakes, resulting in sitting in the load screen more than I would have liked to. Multiplayer is now unobtainable due to the closure of the game servers in 2010. (Reference No longer a fully completable game.

GSL material: Although not completable, potential point stacking can include the completion of both good and evil campaigns and one skirmish game for a total of 275 points. To ensure that full point stacking potential is achieved, the player has to ensure that they did not lose any heroes during the campaign. Hero deaths will be announced by the game, and what isn't mentioned is that summoned creatures are also included as heroes, such as Eagles and Wyrmriders. Not a game to be played during a GSL, but has stacking potential for a participant for someone who doesn't care about their completion percentage. Game visibility can go in two directions: it will be pretty obvious a player is stacking if both campaigns were completed up until campaign seven, unless they purposely did not complete all bonus objectives in the first seven. In that case, the entire game can be removed from the playlist if the player does not pop the "Istari Power" achievement and be a hidden 280 point boost for GSL purposes. (An additional 5 points for the "Istari Power" achievement.)

What the guides don't tell you: Save yourself lots of grief in Evil campaigns 3, 7 and 8 by setting up tons on towers and upgrading them with fire arrows before triggering particular events. 

Wyrmtounge spawns after the last house of power is destroyed in the southeast. If everything is cleared out prior, the player has time to set up heavy fire arrow tower defenses all along where they enter the map, wiping them out and saving the player the trouble of even defending against them when the final house is destroyed.

Setting up sets of five towers around three choke points on the seventh evil campaign will keep the constant flow of bad guys away as you build your army. But leave behind two battle trolls to counter-attack against the "surprise enforcements" of dwarf towers that will appear when you are attacking within the fortress.

In the final evil campaign, set up heavy tower defenses in the right side of your starting point and across the bridge off on the west side of the map. To the right is where the brotherhood will spawn and with at least 6-7 towers it will save you the trouble of running your army back to save your camp. The first tower setup that will be built across the bridge will assist in killing the elf queen and all the eagles that will come shortly after, saving your wyrmriders from having to fight at all and leaving them at full health. (You can't let them die because they are also considered hero material.)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Game: Endwar
Faction: USA

Battles won:
Assault in Capathia: 3+ min
Assault in USS Regan SeaBase: 3+ min
Assault in Albyn: 3+ min

Total Observed Battles: 6
Observed battle type for current war:
Assault: 3

Someone posted an interesting thought the other day on the Ubisoft forums...

My guess, is that when UBI modified the Victory Conditions inf the Theater Of War(no more 3 capitals at once), its Unlikely, that they changed them in the Trophy Criteria. (Referenced April 23, 2011)

This change did happen after the first or second war. The criteria for victory was once 3 capitols instead of 2. So when UbiShanghai changed prerequisites, the achievement may have been affected adversely by it as well.

I see this as very possible. But I'll continue testing my final theory until I can disprove it as impossible.

I'm going to assume that this is a new war since it's on turn 52.

No Achievements.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Gamer Analysis revisit and redesign.

Supposedly when you add a new Label, it gives you a new option to start a new tab on the blogger. I need a new tab. Lets give it a try.

No whammies no whammies no whammies..... Stop.

Well, I figured it out, and it wasn't exactly how I expected it to be, but the problem solver in me got from point A to point B as always. I used this reference to create the categories for direct linking the tabs to my labels. I actually used the information on the comments to get the results I wanted. If you like the design, check it out.

With the time I currently have on my hands, I think it's time to start developing my skills on web presence. It has never been in my personality to announce anything at all, but my ability for creative writing needs an outlet. And if there is anything I learned from my experience from my Master's Degree capstone, it is if you have an idea of what you'll be doing for your doctoral dissertation, I better start building my portfolio now.

What's my idea? The dedicated collection of academic level writing focused on the social, philosophical, economical and technological aspects within the gaming industry. Just starting with my own writing for now, but if I can become a truly legit accredited source for video game academic writing, then I've found my niche in the market.

My gamerscore was always a testament to myself and nothing else. An establishment of the tenacity and dedication to the metagame of minor accomplishments for the bigger picture. Along the way I've had the privilege to play and meet some excellent people, gamers and otherwise. So it would be a waste if I was to keep all that experience to myself, would it not?

I have to give my respects to those who write; to the ones who dare to put their soul on display for others to criticize and condemn. But in order to teach, you have to express your opinion, which I usually keep to myself. Mastering the sweet science of communication nowadays is what will separate the supposed men from the boys, and now I have to learn a whole new electronic language in which people who shouldn't have the ability to express themselves do on a regular basis and make the collective world look worse off than it actually is. I don't want to be one of those people, and I have no intentions to be.

There's probably more to say, but I'll save that for some other time. I'm actually making some decent progress on the redesign. Shout out to MajinFro for the little tidbits of advice that got the ball rolling on this thing again. Follow him on Twitter. Shoot, follow ME on twitter. Don't worry, I like to think that I limit my messages to worthwhile, meaningful messages. If there is one thing that I do, it's show appreciation to those who support me. I swear, appreciation is a lost art in this day and age of entitlement. I don't promise much, but I do promise to always give credit when credit is due. You got video game blogs and you write? I'll follow you. Just let me know.

This blog will integrate my original, "1 Million Soft Blocks Bombed and Other Monotonous Tasks," Blog under, The Crucibles. This tab will follow all the tedious games that I am willing to tackle on my own and includes Tom Clancy's End War, Bomberman Retail and Armored Core: For Answer. Although there are people who have completed the games, there isn't anyone that has documented the effort required to achieve those goals. I will probably add Rumble Roses XX to the list sooner or later. I guess that's my small contribution I will make to the gaming community.

In addition to the academic analysis's I will be writing, I will also be adding my personal gaming experiences, which will include my thoughts on gamerscore earning potential for played games, (which may become useful reference material for future Gamerscore League Participants.) With my background in operations, finding the most efficient way to complete a game is just as important to me as enjoying it. The gamerscore metagame has always been the most important to me as an Xbox gamer, so thats where my gaming discipline will focus. So my reviews will be coming from a very different angle; catering to a very different type of gamer. It hasn't been done yet; it should be a fresh angle.

I knew 2011 would be a year of change, and so far, some of it has been PRETTY UNCOMFORTABLE. But you know what? There is nothing a little analysis couldn't solve. The site is still a work in progress, so expect changes and updates as time passes and writing is completed. But thanks to you who took the time to get this far. I might even move to my own domain as well and all this writing would have been for nothing. Screw it. Pursue it. For me, actions always speak louder than words. It shows in my gamertag, it shows in my efforts in my final GSL performance. And as I now apply it to the real life endeavors, it's time to bare my soul and show it here as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Adding other monotonous games to the blog

Rather than start a separate blog for each game I play, I'll just stick to consolidating all information here. After all, I can only handle one redundant game at a time I think. So I will start including Tom Clancy's Endwar. In which I am still testing out one final theory where I can possibly pop the Dog of War achievement.

After trying other methods with the help of the x360a community, I am testing the final theory that the DLC would effect the ability to earn this achievement. To do that, since my main account is already tagged with the DLC is to allow my alt account to win against me through at least three wars. This will take a few months as well. So what I will be recording will be the battles that have lasted at least 3 minutes that my alt account has won against me. If the achievement does not pop after meeting the supposed requirements, then I can scratch another theory off the blackboard. This will also scratch any other possibility that the achievement can be earned, making it effectively unobtainable.

Game: Endwar
Faction: USA

Battles won:
Conquest in Paris: 3+ min
Raid in LeCito: 3+ min
Conquest in Palmico: 3+ min

Total Battles: 3
Conquest: 2
Raid: 1

No Achievements.