To Catch A Completionist
Around the studio, it's a running joke that I'm the guy who beats video games. And it's true. I love to play and beat video games. It might be a Sunday afternoon, a few days, or a month. Eventually I'll start off in our AM standup with, "Oh, I just beat ..." If there's a game coming out, chances are I'll be playing it. And by the time you've gotten around to playing it, I've beaten it. However in this post, I briefly analyze all of the video games where I have all of the achievements and try to assess why those games stood out as being "worthy" of that extra effort. These are a subset of the 100+ games that I own.
STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT ...
I wouldn't consider myself an "Achievement Hunter" or a "Cheevo Whore", but those are two terms that may come to mind as you read this blog post. None of the games I played through to completion were games I played just to get the full gamerscore.
I take that back because first game I got all the achievements on was, "Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth". One might consider it a completionist's "gateway drug". Let's face it, it takes less than 3 minutes to get all the achievements and 1000G. What do I have to say for myself for this transgression? I never inhaled.
This is the one Pac-Man game I've played from XBLA. Am I the only one who thought Ms. Pac-Man was better than the original Pac-Man in some ways? It had those intermission "cut scenes" that at least told a small story.
3 words. Doritos. Dinosaurs. Destruction. It's a shame the game isn't available from XBLA anymore.
I'm not surprised UNO translated this well into a video game. It's such a fun casual game that you can play to wind down an evening.
One of my friends on XBOX Live turned me on to this game. I guess it was developed by 3 interns at Microsoft, but is a great example of a casual co-op game.
Another game sponsored by Doritos and another easy set of achievements. Almost too easy. It's like Doritos wants to bump up your gamerscore each year. For free.
Zombies. Lots and lots of zombies. As far as a zombie game that you don't necessarily have to think about, it's fun. Although I think that the character resemblance to characters from Left 4 Dead isn't any coincidence. And apparently zombies are attracted to teddy bears. Who knew?!
My only gripe with Stacking is that it wasn't a full-fledged retail game. I loved and laughed every second I played this game. It was a treat trying to figure out what dolls you needed to discover, what combination of dolls you had to use to solve puzzles in different ways, and what "special things" you could do to other dolls. It is one of the best "short" games I've played in awhile. I really should pickup Costume Quest now.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Assassin's Creed series. I love the story. I hate the game controls. For me, I think they really hit the sweet spot with that franchise with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. I played the multiplayer in that game for about a week straight, 8+ hours a day, this past December. But, back to Assassin's Creed 2. Most of the achievements were either story-related. So it was refreshing to try for these achievements that unlocked more pieces of the Assassin's Creed story.
The Left 4 Dead series is the best video game featuring zombies I have played. Ever. Left 4 Dead was the first game I played on XBOX where I cared about the people I was playing with. It's all about teamwork. I can remember the weekend where I finished the Blood Harvest and Death Toll campaigns on expert to finish the achievement where you survive all campaigns on expert. It was a rush. I still have one of the best legitimate times on the leaderboard for survival mode on the "The Church" map (one of the hardest survival maps IMO). I'd drop any other game to play Left 4 Dead if someone asked.
I actually left the studio early on the day Left 4 Dead 2 came out to play. I played it for nearly 18 hours straight and had 34 of the 50 achievements before I had to hop on a train for a company trip to New York City. It was an awesome trip. We had one meeting in the afternoon, but before that I organized a group of folks where we went to the top of the Empire State Building, the NY Public Library for a map exhibition, the Nintendo World Store, Katz's Deli, and finally the Magnolia Bakery. All the time I thought, "I'll be OK if the zombie apocalypse hits."
I've probably played through the entire Borderlands campaign on Playthrough 1 and Playthrough 2 maybe 8 or 9 times? I've lost count all the times I've helped other folks out. All the DLCs, except for maybe Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot (which is just repetitive) are fantastic, especially The Secret Armory of General Knoxx. Ice cream soldiers anyone? Characters and character progression: awesome. Driving: awesome. Loot: awesome. Story and dialogue: awesome. Borderlands is simply fun.
Bulletstorm, for me, reinvigorated the FPS genre. It was so much fun going through the Echoes and re-playing parts of the campaigns to try and get the best score possible. All the ways in which I could use the environment and the unique skill shots make it a different game each time I play it. I played Gears of War 2 the other night on horde mode. It felt so repetitive and boring in comparison.
Dead Space may be the best survival horror game I've played. I only played Dead Space on my surround sound system in the dark. It freaked me the fuck out. Always. Once I knew Dead Space 2 was official, I felt I had to complete the game. #altmanbepraised
Dead Space 2 may have one of the hardest achievements in any game. "Hard to the Core". You only get 3 saves and if you die, you go back to your last save. #protip: After the disc swap, if you die, the game will send you back to the beginning of Disc 2 unless you turn off your XBOX or end your game. I left my XBOX on for a day. Once I got to the final fight, I psyched myself up for a good 15 minutes. It was one of the best feelings beating this game. Looking forward to Dead Space 3 if that ever becomes a thing.
BioShock is the best video game I have ever played. Ever. My reasons there are deserving of a blog post in itself. Suffice it to say, I went a little cray cray towards the end. I present to you, BioShock Notes. I took meticulous (bordering on insanity) notes during BioShock. This is the final sheet and I got to the point where each save was described by a set of acronyms as to what transpired since the last save. Once BioShock 2 was officially announced, I was actually fearful of going back to finish off the last achievements for BioShock for fear of ruining my initial experience.
I relished at the thought of being able to go back to Rapture for BioShock 2. Although not as emotionally compelling as the original BioShock IMO, it was still a fantastic game. Minerva's Den may be the geekiest DLC ever.
Video games are fun. I love to play and beat video games. You've gotten a glimpse into the video games I've wholly beaten. What video games have you beat? Why?
You can find more hilarity over on my Twitter account, @CzarneckiD.