UHH 2 - Knock Out
Sadly, this will be my final UHH blog this time around for my own progress. I couldn't overcome Big Ell
's great effort. It was an excellent competition for the week and while I'm disappointed to be on the losing side, I'm going to take the loss with grace and dignity, proud of my own efforts in the week, and in the Group Stage. I'd much rather lose in a competitive race than win on a technicality or have a blow-out in either direction. This past week was definitely the best of the UHH 2 for me.
Mama Said to Knock You Out
I'll add a preface here that a lot of what I'm going to write next will sound like excuses. It shouldn't be read as such. I don't want anything to take away from the fact that Ell snagged 14 achievements from a brutal list and beat me fair and square. Everyone has stuff going on, and Ell had to overcome his own--including figuring out when to sleep in order to beat me. He earned his win and my loss is not due to these "excuses," I just want to talk about the why and how of the week some, since some of the missing achievements look "easy."
One of the things that both Ell and I noticed by the end was that our list, though tough overall, was full of odd bits of symmetry. We had the achievement for freeing Maw from containment in Splosion Man
while also having one from The Maw
. We had achievements in Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight
and Freefall Racers
. We also had these two which amused me:
Overall it was a very eclectic mix of achievements.
Action-Adventure: 6 including 2 from the Sandbox sub-genre.
RTS: 2.5 (I'm giving Brutal Legend a half here)
And Puzzle, Role Playing, Sports (Health and Fitness) and Card and Board all came in with one. This reflects the wide range of games Ell and I have both played. We were definitely good matchups in the algorithm.
I actually had the advantage going in, which makes Ell's work even more impressive. I had clear story-progress advantages in The Simpsons Game
, The Maw
, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes
, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
and Freefall Racers
. He caught up on all of them except LEGO and Freefall Racers, and possibly even with Freefall Racers, though neither of us got that achievement. It wasn't for lack of trying on my part, at least.
I had at least thirty runs at this one with Nutasha, and dozens more with other characters just to try them out.
Not only is the achievement hard, it's phenomenally luck based since the power ups you and the various AI get impact the race so much. I had scores in the "winning score" range noted in the solution. I got second once, but even there I was two seconds behind the winner.
Through the week Ell caught up to me everywhere it mattered and any advantages he might have had at the start seemed pretty minimal. None of the catch-up jobs were as impressive as earning this one, though.
A lesson I learned about this game ages ago was that it requires tremendous patience. It's not a typical Hack and Slash in that the fodder enemies have a lot of health and don't respond well to button mashing. Also because the levels are so long conserving your health becomes critical. It is easily an hour to beat a single level even if you do not need to restart. The long levels and likely frequent need to restart for those unfamiliar with the game had me expecting him not to achieve here. But not only did he get it, he got it before I did grinding through the majority of the game in a single session by the looks of things. He told me that the achievement level itself took him 2 or more hours and "100 tries". The 100 tries is probably exaggeration, but the 2+ hours almost certainly isn't. It took me well over an hour without any retries or significant setbacks.
Ah, the "excuses" phase. While I had the progress advantage to start, I also had a "higher priority" target to start the week.
The challenge was ending during this week and I needed about a million more fitness points. So a large part of my gaming time early in the week was dedicated to workouts. This included a monster stretch Thursday night into Friday morning where I earned about 500K of those points in one extended session.
This alternate focus early on let Ell take the early lead, and he held it all the way through. When I'd get some free time to bang out some easy achievements, he'd take the time to get something bigger. We ended up on Sunday with him still having as many as a 3-achievement lead and both of us running out of obtainable targets.
Two more achievements where I have a significant progress advantage, but which were for all intents and purposes not on the list.
Neither of us were going to glitch this. And obtaining legitimately in the time period was impossible.
RPGs are notorious for this kind of achievement. I'm far deeper in the story than Ell was, but that didn't matter because this is ridiculously deep. I don't think I could have won this if it was the only achievement in the week.
So, really, it was a race to 18, and Ell got 14.
Having stayed up very late for several nights for Xbox Fitness, family reasons and to progress in my challenge with Ell, I was tired Sunday afternoon. I had a chance, though. If Ell sat on 14, which he did, but he might not have if I tried for more, I could win.
My path to victory likely included Frozen Freefall (which I started grinding while watching gridiron), Splosion Man and then one of: Viva Pinata, Viva Pinata TIP or Disney Infinity
. I was ruling out Freefall Racers as just too luck based with the time remaining.
So I went and got Splosion Man first. Thanks to Backwards compatibility, I was able to get some video.
This first one is a sequence on the level prior to the achievement. This is only about the last two-thirds of the sequence, and it shows, I think, why this game is considered hard. Lots of precision timing on the jumps is required.
The second is the actual achievement.
After that it was down to the rest and it just didn't seem like it was going to work out. Those who have followed my UHH progress so far will see a trend in the Viva Pinata achievements. Three weeks in a row I've had one, and I haven't earned any, despite them being fairly simple. This is of course because my copy of Viva Pinata is AWOL. Stuff has been being moved around in my house and that game has just gone missing temporarily. Bad timing. And of course, it keeps turning up on the lists I get because it's a fairly common game, particularly with Rare Replay
. Viva Pinata TIP was digital, so that was no problem, but the steps required for it seemed problematic for other reasons. Also I really didn't want to grind out Frozen Freefall. I'd played 20+ matches while watching football, and it was tedious. Fatigue was setting in. But the nail in the coffin was Disney Infinity. I'd been looking for it all week because I wanted to play it for the Z2Z challenge as well, but it also was AWOL. Two missing discs, two unobtainable, a stupid luck-based achievement, and a push for a fitness challenge. It was all too much for me.
Reviewing the situation and the likelihood that Viva Pinata would come up again, or that Disney Infinity would, or that something else equally unfortunate would easily happen, I decided late last night to bow out on a strong performance rather than collapse in a heap in two weeks when I have zero gaming time due to the election.
I'll miss not getting this next list, but it was the right choice.
Congratulations again to Big Ell
. It was a shame we had to be matched up and one of us had to go down. But down I did go and now I'll be on the sideline rooting for ya. And sleeping. And probably cleaning up some of these games I've been reminded are on my card. Without the time pressure, maybe I'll even get some luck and get that achievement in Freefall Racers.
Posted by Xpovos
on 24 October 16 at 14:21
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