Fire Hawk D's Blog - Jul to Sep 19 (48 followers)
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Sep
15
PermalinkWeek of 08 Sep 2019 - "Wake up, little trap."

Achievements Earned In:
- Just Dance 2016
- Shadow Tactics - Blades of the Shogun
- Blair Witch





Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 1
Gamerscore earned: 10
Completion: 86%

Yes, I'm still working on Just Dance 2016, but it's slow going since my knee isn't getting better and the Dance Quests can be pretty tiring. I dance now and then, getting Mojo which I need to buy all the avatars needed for that achievement. I only need about 12000 more Mojo and I'm done with that one. For the achievement this week, I did a short playlist for a workout and got an achievement. But, I'm down to only three Quests left. They're not hard, but I'm getting into the remixes, which I don't tend to play normally. Especially since you don't need to 5-star them for the completion in any of these games. I'm pretty good at reading Just Dance's iconographs, though, and will likely 5-star them anyway. Maybe I'll actually have to retry a quest finally! I haven't had to yet; I'm pretty good at these games.






Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 20
Gamerscore earned: 415
Completion: 64%

With Blair Witch more or less done, it was time to really focus on Shadow Tactics - Blades of the Shogun, which is definitely just isometric Hitman with more characters to play as. They each have different strengths and weaknesses and I have yet to play a mission where all five of them were available together. At first, the PC-to-console controls were a little tough, and they haven't gotten a WHOLE lot better. But, the speed run videos I'm using aren't ungodly in any way and usually leave me with almost 10 minutes of leeway in some missions to allow for mess-ups and general clunkiness. Then I do a second run on Normal to clean-up any miscellaneous medals I need. Honestly, it's much easier than I expected and I'm making good progress, ending the week on my second attempt at Mission 8. Only 5 more! Still a cool game...and makes me want to play Hitman.

That's one way to end a political argument.That's one way to end a political argument.







Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 3
Gamerscore earned: 325
Completion: 100%

I didn't have a whole lot left of Blair Witch, though I got into the tougher parts of a Pacifist run. Namely, this is the section outside the lumber mill, where you have to go very long stretches in pitch black darkness, lit only by your meager nightvision on the small camcorder screen. You can follow the train tracks between the main areas, but one you get there you have to follow vague dirt paths and lots of trees. I was able to get to the maintenance shed easily enough (first stop), but getting back to the tracks was annoying and I got monster'd the first time. On a Pacifist run if a monster gets on you that's more or less game over. Luckily, the checkpoints are fairly generous and I was soon into the lumber camp (second stop). This has a small maze-like area that was also tough to navigate in the dark, but after wandering in circles a bit I realized I was far enough from the monsters to safely use my flashlight and got out of these easily enough. The rest of the game is a lot like the normal run, so it's all smooth sailing and I sprinted through the rest of the game. It really is quite short once you're just getting through it and not worrying about collectibles or the story. I definitely still recommend it. A very cool movie tie-in. Between this, The Mummy Demastered, and Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious film production companies should really let developers that make good games just slap their licenses on their games.

Nothing bad has ever come from exploring the woods by way of nightvision camcorder.Nothing bad has ever come from exploring the woods by way of nightvision camcorder.






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Highest ratio: 8.61
Blair WitchSecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Blair Witch worth 1661 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement



Lowest ratio: 1.40
Shadow Tactics – Blades of the ShogunRollin'The Rollin' achievement in Shadow Tactics – Blades of the Shogun worth 21 pointsHide in the red wagon in Imai town.



As of 17:56 CDT, Sep 15 2019



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Stats for the week:
- 24 achievements (28,105)
- 750 Gamerscore (680,025)
Posted by Fire Hawk D on 15 September 19 at 23:27 | There are 4 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Sep
08
PermalinkWeek of 01 Sep 2019 - "You know chocolate is bad for you."

Achievements Earned In:
- Riverbond
- Age of Empires: Definitive Edition
- Blair Witch
- Shadow Tactics - Blades of the Shogun





Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 14
Gamerscore earned: 375
Completion: 100%

I polished off Riverbond first thing this week. With only two levels left it really didn't take long as each is very, very short. It took maybe an hour to finish up, most of that being the final level and the final boss, with the former having a couple more areas than previous levels and the latter taking FAR longer to beat. Seriously, the end boss has a shield that takes ages to whittle down (something none of the other bosses even had) and then it regenerates every 1/3 of the health bar. Besides that, it was still quite easy since there's no penalty for dying. All-in-all, this was a fun little game. If you have Game Pass, give it a shot.

Grandma, what big...everything you have.Grandma, what big...everything you have.







Platform: Windows
Achievements unlocked: 44
Gamerscore earned: 1250
Completion: 100%

As a part of Game Pass Ultimate, you also get Xbox Game Pass for PC. I hadn't really given that part of it much of a look because the one game I knew was a part of it was Abzu, which I own so I'm not gonna play right now. I'm also not used to having a PC that can actually play games of a good quality, so it just didn't really occur to me I could even consider playing these. Well, I took a look this week and remembered Age of Empires: Definitive Edition was supposed to be really easy thanks to console commands/cheats. I knocked out the hours-long campaign in about 10 minutes, then moved to the miscellaneous stuff with a combination of custom maps of my own design and some from the community. It took much longer than I'd expected (I spent most of my Labor Day on this), but it was very easy. I probably could have streamlined the process a little, but it's okay. Easy peasy completion and that's all I wanted.






Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 22
Gamerscore earned: 675
Completion: 88%

Now, I really wanted to play Blair Witch almost as soon as it was announced. I'd already played Bloober Team's other game >observer_ and had watched videos of Layers of Fear, so I knew their work was good at being creepy and unsettling. Like, >observer_ was just uncomfortable to play and had such a good creepy atmosphere to its world. With the movie property behind it, I figured this would be pretty good too and, after my first playthrough, I can safely say I was correct! I would have started this the day it came out the week prior, but I was worried about the different endings and collectibles so I thought I'd wait for a guide. It didn't take long before they started popping up on here and YouTube, so I decided to start it on Tuesday after work. I also played this on the big TV since my spouse wanted to watch me play it, allowing me to use the surround sound system and really listen to the great sound design. I bet with headphones this game would be really creepy, because it has binaural audio (like their other games). The Witch also whispers a lot and the various nightmares in the woods growl, so I'm sure that would be unnerving as heck! It's also a very short game; if not for the collectibles being like looking for a needle in a haystack it wouldn't have taken long at all. Seriously, I was often just wandering in the woods looking for the specific worn dirt path that would take me to the particular tree with the collectible near it. This kind of got frustrating at times. I actually missed a couple pieces of garbage following the "Not A Walkthrough" here on the site that I picked up on my second run. You need two playthroughs for the achievements, and I can't imagine my second one taking long as even after playing only about 30 minutes I blew through the first 4 chapters. The real meat of the game is at the end.

Psychotic witch neighbors are the worst.Psychotic witch neighbors are the worst.







Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 7
Gamerscore earned: 105
Completion: 17%

I also started Shadow Tactics - Blades of the Shogun on Wednesday, which is something I don't tend to do. I usually try to focus on one game at a time but, before choosing Blair Witch I had checked this game out. Not only did it seem fun and reminiscent of Tenchu, but it's also kinda tough and I just felt compelled to try it out. I've been playing it when we first get home from work while everyone winds down and watch some TV, before taking over to play Blair Witch. I didn't make it far as each level has a number of medals to obtain. Most are easy like killing a few guards with an environmental hazard or something. But, every level has a "beat the mission on Hardcore" medal and a speed-run medal. These require a little more effort, especially the speed run. Hardcore isn't terrible, just a bit challenging. The name is a little misleading, as usually "hardcore" is a difficulty above "hard" or something and tends to have tough restrictions. This game's hardcore IS its hard and just has slightly more aware guards. I had to make many attempts on each level to get the speed-run time and only made it to mission 3 (of 13). This was usually me trying a part of the level, saving, trying the next, saving if I made it quickly or reloading to try again, then just starting the whole level over again if I wasn't making good time. I wouldn't say it's hard, but it definitely would be easier on PC with a mouse. Sadly, while the game is available with Xbox Game Pass for PC, it's not LIVE-enabled (yet). And, even if it did get LIVE functionality that means it'd be a separate achievement list and not Play Anywhere. Would I do this a second time? Not sure yet. Guess we'll see how I feel about this in a week.





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Highest ratio: 11.73
Blair WitchPicture perfectThe Picture perfect achievement in Blair Witch worth 423 pointsCollect all victim's photos.



Lowest ratio: 1.02
Blair WitchThe idolThe The idol achievement in Blair Witch worth 15 pointsCollect the first wooden doll.



As of 16:25 CDT, Sep 08 2019



_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stats for the week:
- 87 achievements (28,081)
- 2,405 Gamerscore (679,275)
Posted by Fire Hawk D on 08 September 19 at 21:31 | Last edited on 08 September 19 at 21:32 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Sep
02
PermalinkWeek of 25 Aug 2019 - "Everybody get your tan on!"

Achievements Earned In:
- Thimbleweed Park
- Bridge Constructor Portal
- Riverbond





Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 13
Gamerscore earned: 340
Completion: 100%

By the end of the week prior, I was at the end of Chapter 3 of my first/Hard playthrough of Thimbleweed Park and I was enjoying every minute of it! The writing is top-notch and funny and the playthrough would have gone much quicker if I hadn't been reading all of it. But, it's actually interesting and I had a blast. Chapter 3 contains the end of the miscellaneous achievements so after that, following the guide, it becomes so quick, even watching the dialogue. I finished my first playthrough on Sunday, started my second/Easy run, and finished THAT and therefore the whole game on Monday. The second playthrough is even easier. First, I skipped all the dialogue. That cuts SO much time. Second, Easy makes the puzzles far less involved. In Hard, to refill a printer cartridge I had to find an empty ink bottle, find gasoline, find hot sauce, find a log, put log into fireplace, drink hot sauce to shoot fire out of my mouth and incinerate log, then scoop up ashes and mix with gasoline in ink bottle. Meanwhile in Easy, you find the ink bottle pre-filled. How did people play these types of games before easily-accessible guides and the internet? This would have taken me AGES without a guide. But, you know what would have taken me even longer?






Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 16
Gamerscore earned: 1000
Completion: 100%

My next game was even more so a "not sure how I'd finish this without a guide" game with
Bridge Constructor Portal. In fact, I would not have played this without a guide. I've played games similar to this back on the GBA and such (maybe even the same franchise) and they can be annoying to get right even WITH a guide. This one in particular, many times I'd look at the monstrosity the guide had me build, tweak it until it worked correctly, and wonder how the heck I'd ever have figured this out. I suppose engineers or people with a mind for such things can do this, but this is not my forte. But, I did indeed have a guide from over on Steam's community page for the game and it made this not too painful. I can tell the game tries to use a grid system to allow exact placement, perhaps even while using a reference pic from someone else, but it's just still not precise enough. I'd have to move one platform pixel by pixel until the little carts used in the game went to their intended target. Such a bore. The game had a little of the Portal charm and humor in Ellen McLain's reprisal of her passive-aggressive GLADoS character. Again, I don't know if I would ever have played this without a guide, but I'm glad I did in this reality where we have guides and don't actually have to try in our games.

This is just the best. No, *beeping* seriously.This is just the best. No, *beeping* seriously.







Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 38
Gamerscore earned: 625
Completion: 73%

With my last game getting completed pretty early Saturday, I didn't want to stop there. Figured I should move on, so I started Riverbond, a game I knew was really short and easy. And, yeah, sure enough by the time the spouse and I went out for some late-night bar-hopping I'd almost completed the whole game. It's also indeed easy, as there's generous checkpoints and zero penalties for dying. This was all expected. What took me by surprise was how much fun I was having. It's by no means a work of art; it's more-or-less The Legend of Zelda, but linear and not as good. But it's cute and fun. I'm quite enjoying it, but I have maybe an hour left or so. This'll be done quite shortly after I'm done with this here blog entry.

Which has taken too long because it inadvertently got erased and I had to start over twice!





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Highest ratio: 3.05
Bridge Constructor Portal0% Non-DeliveryThe 0% Non-Delivery achievement in Bridge Constructor Portal worth 214 points60 convoys delivered



Lowest ratio: 1.00
Bridge Constructor PortalExtended Testing OpportunityThe Extended Testing Opportunity achievement in Bridge Constructor Portal worth 50 pointsFinish every test chamber in Chapter 1



As of 20:54 CDT, Sep 01 2019



_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stats for the week:
- 67 achievements (27,994)
- 1,965 Gamerscore (676,870)
Posted by Fire Hawk D on 02 September 19 at 02:05 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Aug
25
PermalinkWeek of 18 Aug 2019 - "The signals are very strong tonight."

Achievements Earned In:
- Shenmue II
- Shenmue I & II
- Thimbleweed Park





Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 5
Gamerscore earned: 210
Completion: 100%

I didn't have a whole lot left in Shenmue II when the week began, though it felt like forever. So, in the first game, the end of the game was taken up with physical labor at the docks. For this game, you're first making your way through The Raid (starring Iko Uwais) and then taking an hour-or-so stroll through the forest with some woman. It's so, so boring and I just don't see why this is beloved. The main problem I faced was, for some reason, the final QTEs while fighting the end boss just wouldn't register for me. The boss already is annoying to beat, so I got to fight him around 5 times! FUN! Ugh. Anyway, soon it was over and...I immediately jumped into the game again.

Whoa...someone has a big head.Whoa...someone has a big head.







Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 27
Gamerscore earned: 1000
Completion: 100%

So, unlike the week prior I had very few social engagements and was home most of the week, which meant getting through Shenmue II again in the Shenmue I & II compilation took far less time. And, I even watched the story more this time, which was mostly funny to watch Ryo be a freaking automaton. I just don't get what they were going for with the acting direction for voice actor's Masaya Matsukaze and (especially) Corey Marshall. They come off so wooden and stiff in their delivery. The Japanese VO is a little better, but only slightly. Maybe they were going for stoicism? Maybe the limitations of the technology? Everyone around Ryo has emotion...so odd. Besides the unintentional hilarity, it was the same as last time except I knew where everything was and blew through it fairly quickly. I've now been playing Shenmue for almost exactly a month and I was so happy to have it uninstalled. Maybe if the third one ever comes to Xbox LIVE I'll play it. Maybe I'd replay with a port to Scarlett. But, otherwise, screw these games.






Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 20
Gamerscore earned: 660
Completion: 61%

With the Tale of Shenmue finally behind me, I was excited to go back to the list of Game Pass games and pick a new one to play. Thimbleweed Park rose to the top of the list quickly, having been added at the same time as Shenmue so I didn't get a chance to get to it. I always had an interest in Maniac Mansion and Day of the Tentacle, and this is a spiritual successor and so extremely similar so I can finally experience them in a way. I've gotten through about half of my first playthrough and the game Is so well-written! It's not like the obtuse writing in Shenmue; the writing is clever and funny and engaging. It's a murder mystery and I'm legitimately interested to see the outcome. Like any point-and-click, following a guide makes this a breeze. Honestly, it may have taken a good while without one since, like those older games, the solutions to puzzles can sometimes be a little complicated or esoteric.

This is just the best. No, *beeping* seriously.This is just the best. No, *beeping* seriously.






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Highest ratio: 3.03
Shenmue I & II (Win 10)Shenmue II: To Be This Good Takes AgesThe Shenmue II: To Be This Good Takes Ages achievement in Shenmue I & II (Win 10) worth 122 pointsPlay all 4 arcade games



Lowest ratio: 1.00
Thimbleweed ParkPart 1The Part 1 achievement in Thimbleweed Park worth 15 pointsBegin Part One.



As of 16:10 CDT, Aug 25 2019



_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stats for the week:
- 52 achievements (27,927)
- 1,870 Gamerscore (674,905)
Posted by Fire Hawk D on 25 August 19 at 21:17 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Aug
18
PermalinkWeek of 11 Aug 2019 - "You have much kung fu."

Achievements Earned In:
- Shenmue II
- Dead Rising 2





Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 22
Gamerscore earned: 790
Completion: 81%

Well, with the Shenmue I part of the Windows compilation out of the way, I went back to the Xbox One for Shenmue II almost immediately afterward. I'd heard this one isn't quite as bad as the first game with all the standing around, so I was looking forward to more doing! But...yes, this game doesn't have anywhere near as much sitting around waiting for time to pass. But, wow, the maps are WAY more confusing (especially Kowloon) and the fights are harder. Not a LOT harder, but more challenging than the cake walk of the previous game nonetheless. I also have found my social life increasing quite a bit this week, making it so for three days out of the week I didn't even get to really work on the game, making it take longer than it probably would have any other week. I only have four achievements left, so I can't be far from the end. There are also WAY more missable achievements, but following a guide makes that manageable. The funniest part of these games that continues in this one is how robotic Ryo acts. He says "Really" or "Really..." an insane amount of times in response to just about anything. Heck, watching him interact with anyone is unintentionally hilarious even in the native Japanese as the English voice cast is noteworthy for sounding incredibly wooden. All-in-all, after getting through most of the second game along with the first twice, I'm not seeing why this series is so beloved. Or even liked. It's quirky, sure, but a cult classic? Eh.

And in no time, Ryo was back to his old ways in Hong Kong.And in no time, Ryo was back to his old ways in Hong Kong.







Platform: Xbox One
Achievements unlocked: 2
Gamerscore earned: 40
Completion: 46%

Still played very little of Dead Rising 2 this week. Played it on Monday to get an achievement in case I needed it for my streak, and then again on Thursday as some daddy-daughter gaming time. She really liked it! She has good taste. That's all on this one for now.





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Highest ratio: 2.11
Dead Rising 2TK's FavoriteThe TK's Favorite achievement in Dead Rising 2 worth 85 pointsPlay and win in all 9 TIR events.



Lowest ratio: 1.00
Shenmue IIMoney For NothingThe Money For Nothing achievement in Shenmue II worth 20 pointsGive money to the musicians at the beginning of the game



As of 16:53 CDT, Aug 18 2019



_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stats for the week:
- 24 achievements (27,875)
- 830 Gamerscore (673,025)
Posted by Fire Hawk D on 18 August 19 at 21:55 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.