Pineapple Taco's Blog - Jul to Sep 19 (1 follower)
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Sep
13
PermalinkToo Many Achievements, Too Little Time
So I'm not going to be able to complete as many games as I had hoped by the end of the year. I honestly have an embarrassment of riches with games going on discount, Game Pass and free games from Games with Gold. Now we've added Gears 5 and the impending Modern Warfare, and my multiplayer itch is getting scratched along with the achievement scratch. It truly is a first world problem.

That has made me realize that my big plans for boosting my achievement score, completion percentage, and completed games is going to stretch into 2020. Again that isn't a bad thing; I'm just a goal oriented person so seeing those goals pushed back with the promise of greater rewards is bittersweet.

With that said, I'm still on track to earn some 1,900 achievements this year, which is certainly a boost to my completion percentage. I've completed a number of games and have a dozen more lined up to knock down at some point. My ratio has increased ever so slightly and I've had the opportunity to play some old games I've always wanted to. Have you played Spec Ops: The Line? It is amazing.

Anyway, I'm back to work while I daydream about rushing home and playing more Gears 5.
Posted by Pineapple Taco on 13 September 19 at 16:51 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Aug
20
PermalinkThe Perils of Pounding Points In Particular Products
So I went and made August grind month like an idiot, so here I am on the 20th having accomplished...eh. Don't get me wrong, 76 achievements isn't exactly a bad month, especially since they are all backlog games or stackable through character sharing. That's pretty nice, but I expected to be a bit further along than I am.

The biggest issue I've run into is probably fatigue. I have mentioned before that I'm not exactly in love with the Borderlands series, but that I don't mind it because of the lack of brain power needed to get those achievements. I didn't anticipate the lack of mental stimulation would wear on me. The gameplay loop of travelling to a junkyard and shooting Fat Jason Voorhees or Midget Jason Voorhees became so rote that the rate at which I earned achievements needed to pick up to keep me engaged. Once I made it through the main story and started on the DLC, the time sink per achievement became higher, throwing the cost per reward ratio out of whack.

There are legitimate reasons to grind a game; achievements, the sense of accomplishment from doing something really hard, to see your enemies driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women...you get the idea.

For me, it is harder to motivate myself on the Borderlands front. The gap in time between achievements is longer than I would like, the game isn't really hard, and Suicidal Jason Voorhees didn't have a significant other so I didn't get to hear cries of anguish from the Voorhees family. So after all this, I am not invested in the Borderlands universe, I don't feel challenged as a player, and I don't have the PVP aspect to satisfy my bloodlust.

But I still want those achievements to earn that fabled 100%.

So I started hunting for people to play with to deal with raid bosses to pick up the pace of game completion. I'm sure the people I've talked to are lovely individuals with easy access to my thoughts via this blog, but it still means I have to talk to people. I'm as comfortable meeting new people as I am with wearing tight, white pants after a Taco Bell buffet.
Posted by Pineapple Taco on 20 August 19 at 22:26 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Aug
09
PermalinkThe Good, The Bad, The Meh
I've hit another lull at work, so why not find a topic to write about. And what is easier to write than a haphazardly slapped together list? So without further ado, here are my favorite, least favorite and blah completed games I have on my account.

The Good

Battlefield: Bad Company 2: I remember spending hours blowing up buildings to try for destruction kills - line the walls with C4, walk away while putting on sunglasses, and watching the kill feed light up destruction 2.0 kills. Speaking of this game, why the fuck doesn't EA remaster games? They'd punch your mom if they thought it would make you buy another loot box, but they won't remaster games? That can't really be more work than updating the roster in Madden every year.

Gears of War 2: Full disclosure, the achievements are fine and the game itself is fine. But while working on Seriously 2.0, I rode a stationary bike and lost 10 pounds, so I'm going to put Gears 2 in the good category.

Mass Effect 2: I love this game, even with it's human reaper ending weirdness. The characters were awesome, the Illusive Man was phenomenal, and there was a grit to the whole affair that elevated the stakes without resorting to a "everyone in the universe best kiss they ass goodbye" story. Mass Effect 2 also has the distinction of being the last good BioWare game. Anyone who argues on behalf of Mass Effect 3 also thinks essential oils will cure their child of measles.

The Bad

Turning Point: Fall of Liberty: Holy shit this is game is bad. I don't know why the younger me got 2,500 ranked kills. I would punch younger me, but my time machine is powered by hope for humanity's future, so I guess I'm stuck in the present.

All-Pro 2K8: Copy paste the the previous paragraph here, but with 50 online wins. Playing with Joe Montana was cool though.

Condemned: Criminal Origins: This game is really good. So good I wish SEGA would make a single player focused third entry in the series, but here it finds itself in the bad category. Why? 970/970 gamerscore? Who the hell decided 970 gamerscore was a logical stopping point? I don't know, but he probably voted for Donald Trump.

The Meh

Terminator Salvation: It is a walking simulator with a shotgun.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: At least you felt like a bad ass force user, even if you had to do it while playing as Starkiller. You know Starkiller - the guy who drew his personality based on that jazz scene in Spider-Man 3.

Nascar 09: This game is grindy as hell, but I did this after Gears 2 and lost another 10 pounds.
Posted by Pineapple Taco on 09 August 19 at 16:49 | Last edited on 09 August 19 at 16:50 | There are 3 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Aug
06
PermalinkAugust is Grinding Month
In my last blog, I mentioned a list of games I want to 100%. Interested readers, who only exist in my head after a few rum and cokes, wanted to know what I would be working on, so I decided I could go into a few details.

August is going to be grind month for me. My targets for this month are both versions of Borderlands 2 and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. These games are connected by achievements that are mostly grindy-fare, but have a couple of twists that have earned my interest. For Borderlands 2, I like that I am in a two-for-one scenario. I can do a majority of the work on the 360 version, selectively upload that character to the XBONE version, and get matching achievements. I've been doing that for leveling, story missions, side missions since I stumbled upon a thread and gave it thought during a long bathroom break at work. So far in August, I have earned the same achievements across both copies of the game even though I've spent 30 minutes playing the XBONE version. This benefit has really helped my interest in the series, and I expect I will be able to get a lot done on weekends.

For Wolfenstein: Youngblood, I genuinely like the game. The characters are well-written and there is an almost orgasmic joy when a Nazi takes a throwing axe to the balls. The game is grindy and I am not looking forward to the collectible hunts or leveling up some of those weapons, but overall I enjoy it. I do wish we go back to the style of The New Order, but I can't work myself up into a frenzy over it.

So yeah, grind month. I suppose Mass Effect 3 on insanity is also a grind, as is Madden 11's Madden Moments mode, but maybe I'll save those for another time. Or maybe I'll get drunk and binge them.
Posted by Pineapple Taco on 06 August 19 at 22:39 | Last edited on 07 August 19 at 21:53 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
Jul
25
PermalinkCompleting Games & The Pressure of My Backlog
Because my job involves a lot of writing, Excel spreadsheets, and crunch periods of work followed by a more relaxed setting, I decided to involve all of those things into creating a master list of games I currently own and want to get achievements for. The two statistics that I enjoy the most are completed games and completion percentage, and so I sorted my spreadsheet with games I can reasonably expect to complete and ones I can pick up miscellaneous achievements. Both lists are long and hold appeal in different ways. Both lists have an estimate of the number of achievements I can get in the game and the time I think it will take to hit that mark.

Obviously for the completed games, the interest is self-explanatory. That list has 14 games, and I admit I am skeptical that all 14 will be completed, whether this year or in general. However, they are they are the kinds of games that don't rely on extraordinary skill or a multiplayer focus. I do think I could knock out 7 of them before the year is up. This category does have a couple new games that are in the mail, but it's the Borderlands series, i.e. just a time sink more than difficulty.

The miscellaneous category is a longer list, 25 games in total. The appeal here is the opportunity to up my completion percentage without taking on new games. This area really hits the backlog, but none will be completed either because I can't be assed to do it or the presence of mutliplayer on long dead games will prevent me from even trying to go for those. This list will help that completion percentage increase.

Small tangent: I boosted multiplayer Turning Point: Fall of Liberty and I will not do it again for another game. Multiplayer achievements are going to have to come organically.

The lists did bring two overwhelming factors once the challenge was laid before me. First, that is a lot of games and although I may avoid human contact the same way a vampire shuns a crucifix drenched in holy water and made out of garlic cloves, I am still married. I suppose I am fortunate to be married to an airline pilot which leaves a lot of time on my hands. The second factor is that my completion percentage is almost certain to take repeated, significant hits once I add Modern Warfare, Gears 5, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Modern Warfare and Gears in particular are going to suck away a lot of time because the multiplayer in those games put a smile on my face whenever I ruin someone else's day.

Well, here's to a challenge.
Posted by Pineapple Taco on 25 July 19 at 22:59 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.