8 Year Anniversary of My Gamercard
Today marks the eight year anniversary of my current and final Xbox LIVE gamercard, Endar of NTA. That being said, I'd like to take today to share the highlights of my gaming experiences during the last year, since my last post.
Highlights since 2016.4.4:
-Beating the story and most side missions in Grand Theft Auto V. Such a funny and enjoyable experience.
-100% completing Mirror's Edge for the second time, after not playing it for a long time. Definitely one of my favourite games.
-Completing Gears of War 2, 3, and 4 on Insane with Relix (and Party & Vennom for 3). 4 was very long and hard.
-100% completing Crackdown yet again, with Relix.
-Completing the PS1 game Vigilante 8 (after so many years), played with my friend Sean.
-Playing through Pokemon Alpha Sapphire with my girlfriend. Very cool remake of Sapphire which I played a long time ago.
-Playing through Mirror's Edge Catalyst. Great controls and art. Fun game.
-Playing Destiny Rise of Iron. The game was made even better and the new story and setting was pretty cool. Had fun with my mates Relix and Vennom.
-100% completing the story of Assassin's Creed (1), this time with my girlfriend.
-Playing through Pokemon Moon with my girlfriend, and building teams to compete with online. Very good game, and loved the setting.
-Playing through Dead Rising 4. Fun to have a story about Frank West (the best DR character!) again finally.
-100% completing Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex for PS2 with my friend Sean. We raced, and I beat him by a bit. Lots of fun and challenge.
-100% completing both The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Very hard games. Glad to finally be started on the Zelda series properly. Zelda II was the most frustrating game I've ever played.
It's been a fun year of gaming, but my focus has been more on other aspects of my life. I moved to a new city and trained a lot in Taekwondo and am now helping to teach. I still play a fair amount of games though. I'm currently working on The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (playing in Japanese), Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Destiny Age of Triumph. The games I'm most excited for this year that haven't been released yet are Crackdown 3, Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, and Destiny 2. Should be a lot of fun.
Posted by Endar of NTA
on 04 April 17 at 16:21
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7 Year Anniversary of My Gamercard
Today marks the seven year anniversary of my current and final Xbox LIVE gamercard, Endar of NTA. That being said, I'd like to take today to share the history of the gamercard, how the way I play games has changed throughout the years, and discuss all of the games I've played to this point on the card. Not only that but essentially any games since 2009.4.4, as that's when my current style of gaming was first born, and evolved ever since.
Just to touch on the beginning a bit, I first began gaming when I was 6 years of age. I started with the PlayStation, favouring games in the Spyro and Crash Bandicoot series. Spyro I could handle, but there was no way I'd complete any of the first 5 Crash Bandicoot games 100% when I was just learning how to play games. My first handheld I got also when I was 6 or 7 years of age, the lime green Game Boy Color. I played mainly the first two generations of Pokemon games on the Color, before I would get more games on the Game Boy Advance. Prior to 2009 I also got an N64, PlayStation 2, Dreamcast, Gamecube, Xbox, and Xbox 360. I currently have a separate text I'm writing for my gaming history as a whole. So those are all stories for another time.
I first joined Xbox LIVE with my first gamercard NTAJTD, to play Halo 2 in November of 2004. I am a fan of the Halo series and have played it since the first one. I mainly played only Halo 2 for the original Xbox, as there weren't as many high quality LIVE titles out back then. I got my Xbox 360 at the end of February 2006. They were really tough to find at the time, and was surprised one day after coming home from school. I got Xbox LIVE working on it on 2006.3.1, continuing to play on my NTAJTD gamercard. Quickly after seeing a number of “Achievement Unlocked” notifications, I was intrigued by the achievement system. I often made checklists of things to do in games to make sure I wouldn't miss things and would fully complete a game. The achievement lists gave me definitive goals to work towards, so I enjoyed it. I first only went for gamerscore, randomly and in many different games. This is when I started completing games less than I used to. Not only that, I learned of the world of boosting, where people let other people win for rankings or achievements. Essentially cheating and not properly earning the end result. I boosted a bit at the time, mainly to just blow through more games in a shorter time. At this point I was playing games a lot, more than ever in my life. Hardcore, everyday, with much of my free time. Eventually during late 2006 or 2007 I changed my gamercard to adopt my name within. It became NTAEndar. I used to be called JTD, but three letters is somewhat strange of a name, and I prefer Endar anyhow. During this time my first major gaming achievement was attained, unlocking Wave 100 for Joust. I was I believe the 7th person ever, and the youngest as well, to do so. I did this on 2006.10.8. In the end I have 36,469 gamerscore and 1,879 achievements on that gamercard.
A few of my friends and I discussed starting new gamercards and making sure that we would unlock every achievement for each game that we started on the card. Thus Xx NTAEndar xX was born. My first completion account. I still boosted games, wasting my ample free time I enjoyed then. I didn't do it too much, and my clan, NTA, had a no boosting Gears of War rule. During this era I accomplished two major achievements, Wave 100 for Robotron: 2084 and Seriously... for Gears of War. I unlocked Wave 100 for Robotron on 2008.6.8. It was a great way to start a summer break. I was I believe the 6th person to unlock it, and again the youngest. I went on to get either the 1st or 2nd highest co-op score with my mate AFireInsideXX, who taught me about Robotron a lot when I was still beginning and pushing for 100. We got to Wave 50, which is quite tough due to one person moving and one person shooting in the co-op mode of the game. Serious teamwork is required. Later on 2009.1.31 I unlocked Seriously... at 18,367 kills. Way over the amount it says, and those are the kills that recorded to the leaderboards. Back then games frequently didn't, so I probably had over 20,000. It took many, many hours of playing, and was an enjoyable and exciting moment. Many of my best friends were playing with me at the time. In the end I wanted to start a new completion gamercard, with new, stricter rules. The card has 36,710 gamerscore and 1,604 achievements unlocked.
I grew tired of being fake, having said I completed a game but boosted to unlock some of the achievements. Now this was only the case for some games on my Xx NTAEndar xX card, but I wanted a fresh, clean, perfect new beginning. I made my new gamercard, the current one on 2009.4.4. My new gamercard had some new rules to it. 1. Complete all games started on it (as before). 2. No boosting allowed. All achievements had to be earned in earnest. This means no in game cheats or glitches either. 3. Unlock the achievements in the perfect order. 4. Get high ranks for all leaderboards of each game started (attaining a certain level of mastery of each part of the game). 5. Fully complete games, beyond just the achievements. So my new gamercard Yx DPEndar xY. This new naming created confusion though, and soon changed it to Yx NTAEndar xY, to continue to reflect my clan in my name. This went well for the first few games I played. I managed to even get very tough and random achievements in Halo 3, like Two For One, Killtacular, and Have Fun Respawning. These are quite rare achievements and most people boost them. Yet I managed it, and had a great start to my new gamercard. After the first 5 games of so I wanted to play more games without necessarily ranking super high on the leaderboards first. So I dropped that rule. I also unlocked achievements in an order like single player>co-op>multiplayer and in the order that would make most sense. Like Easy>Normal>Hard, etc. Eventually, after a good while actually, I just focused on unlocking all of the achievements, in any order. Otherwise glitched ones like Veteran Gear on Gears of War 2 unlocking early would have bothered me. I was also always weary of glitched games, where certain achievements would not unlock, like Smash TV. Last summer in 2015 I changed my gamertag from Yx NTAEndar xY to Endar of NTA. It's easier to read and to the point, not that the Yx xY doesn't look cool.
Games starting being delisted from the marketplace and some games' servers began shutting down, which was an issue for that playstyle. This posed a major issue of the achievement system. It's flawed, and uncontrollable by the player. Not only this, but some games, even ones that used to be played a lot like Gears of War, become underpopulated, and in the case of Gears of War the population is filled with quitters and glitchers, making these achievements overly time consuming and frustrating to go for. The truth is, I like completing games. There are so many games I want to play though that there isn't time to complete all of them. More and more I'm favouring perhaps just playing through some games, or completing the majority and leaving out ridiculous things that wouldn't be worth the time. First instance, I want to play Call of Duty World At War again, but there is no way I would ever get 10th prestige, even if it wasn't filled with hackers. These hundreds of hours multiplayer achievements are no good. Games with dead multiplayer lobbies are not possible to complete either without cheating your way there. So I can't complete games like Assassin's Creed Brotherhood & Revelations, and Gears of War is seriously a struggle now, and unless I get groups of 6 people together it is ridiculous. I am at 8,400+ kills though, so I'm not that far away, and I've already put so much into it, so I may finish it.
So the question is, am I done with achievement completion? Not entirely. I'm just going to leave out ones I don't care for, and these would only be really time consuming ones, glitched ones, and ones that are multiplayer and too rare to have the chance at. I can't be bothered to complete goals set by others. I set my own goals. Developers making achievements is hit and miss. I'm not going to let that dictate how I play games like I used to back in my Xx NTAEndar xX days. Some games are worth completing, and some aren't. But some of those are worth playing some. With less time I use for gaming now, I don't have time for nonsense like boosting or overly time consuming nonsense. I want great experiences every time I play a game. Something rewarding and interesting, something that fills me with excitement. I do enough boring things outside of my free time to be wasting my free time these days.
So what can you take away from this? Think about why you play games, and if they are a valuable part of your life. If they aren't, go and test new things to do. This world is huge and filled with many, many unique experiences. Getting stuck playing games all the times just isn't worth it. Nothing is. There are too many enjoyable things to miss by focusing on just one thing. Is completing every achievement at the will of developers who are sometimes rubbish at picking them worth it? I won't answer that question for you, but I'm sure you understand where I'm going with this. Is boosting worth it? Does it bring value to your life, making your life better? How can it? The notion non-gamers have of games being a waste of time certainly has some truth behind it if you don't play games that are truly valuable for you. Seek games that change your perspective, challenge your abilities or mentality, and bring an enjoyable experience for you. You should never feel or say things about hating a game that you're playing or not wanting to play it. If you don't want to play it, then don't! Nobody is forcing you to. Yes sometimes playing a sub-par game with a friend would be worth it if they want you you too. But that shouldn't be the normal. Games are generally made for enjoyment and entertainment. Keep it that way. Well those are my suggestions. All in all, just think deeply about why you play games and if you should change the way or amount that you play.
Here are the highlights of my gaming experiences since 2009.4.4.
-Completed the original Spyro The Dragon trilogy for PS1, speedrunning the first two, and completing the 2nd twice, a normal run and a speedrun.
-Completed all 5 Crash Bandicoot games for PS1, each a great challenge.
-Playing Assassin's Creed, II, Brotherhood, and Revelations. Amazing story, gameplay, and world.
-Playing the Mass Effect trilogy on Insanity difficulty as a paragon male. So excited to play this series again.
-Played Halo CE, 2, 3, 3:ODST, CEA, and CEA LASO on MCC with Relix co-op.
-Played Gears of War 1-3 & UE co-op with Relix.
-Survived 16 Days 13 Hours on Dead Rising survival mode.
-Unlocked Wave 100 in Joust and Robotron again numerous times.
-18 million co-op score with Psych on Joust, #1 score.
-99 Million score in Robotron, ranking 2 on the leaderboard.
-Within the last 400 people to play Halo 2 on the original Xbox when the server shut down in 2010.
-General achievement (1 million score in classic) on Battlezone, 2012.5.17
-BioShock 1, 2, & Infinite on Hard difficulty.
-Once again 100% on Crackdown.
-Two playthroughs of Dying Light, Normal and Hard+ complete on Hard 100%.
-Max score 99,990 on Frogger, high co-op score.
-8,400 kills on Gears of War in addition to my previous 20,000+.
-Gears of War, 2, most of 3, and UE completed on Insane solo.
-Halo 2 (PC) completed twice, one time doing Legendary solo in one day.
-Halo CE, 2, 3, 3: ODST, Reach, CEA, 4, 5:Guardians, CEA on MCC x2 Legendary difficulty solo.
-#1 score on Jet Crush for Grind Square on Jet Set Radio, and many high scores.
-Life Is Strange, The Walking Dead Season One x2, Season Two, and The Wolf Among Us playthroughs.
-Mega Man 9 completed with one continue.
-Missile Command General (50,000 points classic).
-#1 for Robotron on Midway Arcade Origins.
-Insane difficulty completed on Outlast.
-100% Sonic Adventure.
-Master on Super Contra (complete game with 1 credit).
-User on Tron (get to level 12) on 2010.1.8.
-1 VS 1 after much training on Pokemon Soul Silver against my mate Noob.
-Story of Pokemon Y.
-Expert campaigns of Left 4 Dead and Nothing Special (take no special damage in a campaign).
-Many PS1 games complete that I've wanted to for many years, including WarGames Defcon 1 with Party, and Um Jammer Lammy.
-PS1 gaming with my mate Sean (Crash Bandicoot games, Spyro The Dragon games, Gex, MediEvil, Ape Escape, Tomb Raider, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 & 2).
-Dismantling and cleaning PS1 controllers, PS2 controllers, Pokemon Red (replaced battery), N64, and N64 controller.
-Building my game collection by quite a bit.
-Last but not least, a much needed break from gaming during my first three years of university life where I explored relationships, the minds of girls, the minds of people from numerous other countries, and Japan itself. Also made many, many friends, began my Taekwondo training, and began my singing quest.
If you like what you read, know that this is but a taste of my full book I'm working on. This book will detail all of the games I've played and my thoughts about them, as well as the history of my gaming clan NTA, and details on all of the friends and rivals I've met from playing games. The release date it to be determined.
Posted by Endar of NTA
on 04 April 16 at 20:18
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