Xpovos' Blog - Jul to Sep 19 (119 followers)

PermalinkAs the Crow Dies - Volume 14
  • Weekly Stats

For 2019-08-07 to 2019-08-13:

860 GS.

One Completion: Xpovos' achievements in Graveyard Keeper

Completing Graveyard Keeper not only gave me a ton of TA and TAD for the GTASC, but I was able to finish the game before it leaves GamePass, shortly. I very much enjoyed my time playing the game.
It's a solid title and well worth the time I sunk into it. I hope to play similar games, such as another GamePass title: My Time at Portia Achievements soon. Last week I completed a GamePass game.

One Start: Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park is yet another GamePass game, so clearly something is up with GamePass and my game time schedule these days. I'll try to have more on that later this week.

  • Stream Games

Last week, after some technical difficulties brought on by a Microsoft service outage which prohibited me from playing any game I owned on Xbox One, I eventually played Slay the Spire. Slay the Spire is in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (for PC) but will be coming to console later this week (tomorrow as I write this) and I'm very excited about that. It's a pretty amazing game, but not a great one for the stream that Des and I run on Tuesday nights. I ended up in-the-tank a bit too much, and Des and I couldn't really play to our strengths.

Tonight, we'll try again what we started to do last week, if Xbox will cooperate.

  • Significant Games

Achievements are usually enough to tell me what games are significantly consuming my game time.
This week shows that it's not always the case. I earned achievements in only six games all week.

Graveyard Keeper for the completion, of course.
Prominence Poker for a stackable achievement for the GTASC bonus, an achievement that I'd preloaded ages ago, and essentially forgotten about until the need for it came up.
Fable Fortune I've called poker a game that is is something to do with your hands while you chat with buddies. Fable Fortune was basically the same thing.
Beach Buggy Racing Achievements As I work to grind out a "daily" achievement that is among the hardest that any set of daily achievements might be.
Killer Instinct Helping out by being a body to be beaten up for a bit, but I snagged a random achievement too.
and newcomer: Thimbleweed Park as I mentioned.

I started this list with "only" three. Then it grew. Basically, I kept finding games in my list that I played and actually earned an achievement in. But the time I spent in those games was often unimpressive. Where the time was actually spent, which was the point of this story, was on some hidden games.

Despite having the completion of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition long since past, I continue to play this game extensively, even now. The 17th period of seasonal content is coming to a close next Sunday, so it's time for me to make sure all my seasonal ducks are in a row. This season I've been focusing on some stuff I haven't done as much of with Diablo 3. Certainly not as much as I did with Diablo 2, back in the day. That will also set me up in a much better position to help people who aren't quite as fanatical about the game as me. If you just want the achievements in this game, let me know. I can help.

I'm modest by nature, but there is such a thing as false modesty.  And I won't stand for that.  By all means, hit me up for Diablo help.  I'm this much of a badass.I'm modest by nature, but there is such a thing as false modesty. And I won't stand for that. By all means, hit me up for Diablo help. I'm this much of a badass.

I also spent a lot of time in another ARPG, Realms of Ancient War Achievements, or "RAW." RAW is nowhere as good as Diablo 3, but it does have some achievements left. Unfortunately for me, most of the achievements require me to play through the whole game twice more. But I want it done, and RTDL is telling me to get it done, so I've been plugging away at it. I've gotten it down to about ten minutes per level, but that's still 4 hours per playthrough, give or take.

I've included an image of the inventory screen rather than the actual gameplay, because this is prettier.  RAW is a very basic ARPG, and passable, but it doesn't look great.I've included an image of the inventory screen rather than the actual gameplay, because this is prettier. RAW is a very basic ARPG, and passable, but it doesn't look great.

  • Prime Story

I didn't grow up playing adventure games the way that a lot of my cohort did. I came to them a bit late. But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ones I did play. Some of my favorites were the Lucas Arts classics. Sam & Max Hit the Road and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis in the early 90s. Fate of Atlantis is actually one of my all-time favorite games, particularly of this genre. I'm happy to own multiple copies of it, and if it made its way to console, I'd quite happily buy it all over again.

Today's prime story comes about because of another game that knows its roots is those classic Lucas Arts games: Thimbleweed Park.

I need to find a way to give a cat a moustacheI need to find a way to give a cat a moustache

Thimbleweed Park respects its elders, paying them homage over and over, while also poking a bit of fun at the limitations of those games and satirizing them slightly, while still being much the same kind of game. The game is available in GamePass and is pretty quick. I only started it on Sunday and am nearly done with it. It's been a nice ride in the land of nostalgia, and one I'm happy to recommend, particularly if you've got GamePass and are looking for something to do.

I don't think it's as good as either of the classics I mentioned above it, but it's better--far better--than the Telltale remakes of the Sam & Max franchies that were on Xbox. And a game like Thimbleweed Park shows that there is still room for the occasional oddball adventure game like this to flourish. But it needs robust characters. Ransome is going to steal the show most of the time, but there rest of the cast is engaging enough to make sure that your time in this sleepy little town is not easily forgotten.
Posted by Xpovos on 13 August 19 at 22:15 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkAs the Crow Dies - Volume 13
  • Weekly Stats

For 2019-07-31 to 2019-08-06:

2069 GS. Since I'm writing these on Tuesdays, typically, they coincide closely with the GTASC periods, but not exactly. The GTASC bonus was for 2019 GS in the week. I hit that, so this is close, and also explains the non mod(5) value.

There'll probably be a few more points tonight from the stream game, but the period summary I'm writing doesn't include that here, and it won't be caught in next week's either. So it's 2069+ a small bit, probably.

One Completion:
A very large chunk of my points this week comes from Tacoma, a walking/floating sim in GamePass. I completed it because the RTDL told me to. It took me a bit longer to complete than the TA site estimate, because I actually got engrossed in the story. I listened to all of the audio, rather than fast forwarding, and took my time exploring. As a result, I think I had a better time than someone just going for GamerScore gains. But I didn't take that much longer. Instead of a 1-2 hour experience, I had a 3-5 hour experience.

  • Stream Games

Last week, I "played" Madden NFL 19 while Des and I covered the Democratic debate. This week we're going to go back to our roots. It's time to return to the Backward Compatibility sale games.

  • Significant Games

With Graveyard Keeper leaving GamePass soon, it's time to get the game finished. I'm fortunate that I spent so much time two months ago really digging in. The endgame is playing out more slowly than I expected, in large part because each step seems to take a week for me to advance, even though I have everything I need. So I've spent a lot of time dealing with the mundane remaining achievements. Grinding out alchemy, fishing, and related activities during the week, while hitting my quest actions on the appropriate day.
I get 16 faith per week now.  It's all spent as soon as I earn it.  I live faith-check to faith-check.I get 16 faith per week now. It's all spent as soon as I earn it. I live faith-check to faith-check.

Oh, and never ever failing to preach on Sunday. Even at this late stage, I still can't get enough Faith.

I returned to Magic 2015 - Duels of the Planeswalkers, initially for an RTDL achievement, but then also because I had some easy cleanup that made sense for my quest to hit 2019 GS for the GTASC week exactly. I needed 90 more, and Duels 2015 had a bunch of easy ones (or easy for me with my collection) that were all worth 30 each, and which I could safely hit without fear of hitting anything else along the way. It was fun to get back into it a bit and reminds me of my goal to climb the CCG leaderboard some more. It's time to get one that.

I also spent a significant time on Sunday playing Disney Pixar Brave: The Video Game with my kids. Previously, I'd been playing is solo, but my kids wanted to play something, and I needed to play Brave, so we loaded up the co-op wisp feature. I spent all of the money we earned upgrading it and they took turns as we went through some levels. It actually made the game a bit easier, which is good because we're playing on "Brave" difficulty for that difficulty-based achievement. But not significantly easier, which got them frustrated. Still, it was a good experience for everyone.

I also had a chane to hang out with Proulx for a bit and help him to get his needed achivements in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious. We took that time to also get achievements for us both in Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. There's something pretty awesome about local gaming.

  • Prime Story

The story of Tacoma is not super long or super complicated, but it does hit some interesting points an it was done well enough to be engaging. This definitely felt like a much smaller game than it could have been. Even other walking sims tend to be deeper, with extra layers of meaning that can be found if you choose to dig deeply enough. Those layers here were, IMO, fairly shallow. I'll forgive it because maybe that isn't the experience everyone has. As a native-born in the sci-fi genre, some of the elements that were obvious to me might not have been to others.

A good sci-fi book cover never has anything to do with the plot, but captures the prospective reader's attention and ideally shows off some characters from the story. Here we have Amy and ODIN.  Their interactions are nothing like what you would be lead to believe by this artwork.A good sci-fi book cover never has anything to do with the plot, but captures the prospective reader's attention and ideally shows off some characters from the story. Here we have Amy and ODIN. Their interactions are nothing like what you would be lead to believe by this artwork.

I did enjoy my time with the game and would recommend it to others. My daughters came in at one point while I was playing, and my eldest asked, "what's the rating?" This is a genuine curiosity, and also usually code for, "this looks interesting, can I play?" The game is rated M, for "Sexual Themes, Strong Language." The sexual themes bit interested me the most because I can't deny the language, though it didn't surprise or shock me. The language all seemed reasonable and spot-on. The sexuality in this game is interesting. And it's perhaps more interesting because of the previous game the company made: Gone Home: Console Edition. That game got a lot of attention for its portrayal of a teen's coming-to-terms with, and her family's failure to come to terms with, her sexual identity. In Tacoma, there are more of these themes, but because it's science fiction set seventy years in the future, rather than 20 years in the past, they apply none of the stigma. That makes it less interesting from a narrative perspective, of course, but is more interesting sociologically. Two of your six crew members are a couple, and this is where the "sexual themes" seems to play out the strongest, but in honesty, the themes are so minor as to be bland. Had this been a heterosexual relationship, I can't imagine the same content getting an M rating.

That might be appropriate. And there were additional sexual themes, though those were usually buried deeper in the sub-plots, and easily missed by a casual play--but we've seen that the ESRB doesn't necessarily care about what will be seen, but about what could be seen. Still, I found myself, at the end, wondering if this is a game I would restrict my kids from playing. It'd be a hard sell. There are things that would require conversation, but the messaging in the game is not at all what one might expect from a game with an M rating for sexual themes and language. But people will always find some reason to get upset about our behaviors in video games.

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Posted by Xpovos on 06 August 19 at 18:28 | There are no comments on this blog - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkAs the Crow Dies - Volume 12
  • Weekly Stats

For 2019-07-24 to 2019-07-30:

1325 GS. It's hard to track ratio on a weekly basis, but my ratio this week was quite high, as I hit some high ratio games.

Two Starts:
I bought Farm Together because my girls were interested in playing it. There must be something to these farm games, as they've all spent a ton of time playing Hay Day over the years, too. Turns out to have been a solid purchase. I've enjoyed my limited time playing it, well enough, but the kids are into it and playing it even when I'm not about. The gameplay seems to be largely grindy and monotonous, but there's some potential for world-building, I guess. It's a long completion, I know, so I'm glad the kids are actually liking it so far.

Death Squared was a Game with Gold, back when that program was a bit stronger. I hadn't started it yet, but it has the GwG inflated ratio, and because it's a puzzle game, it's up my alley. I'd tried to start it earlier, but despite being a co-op game, it's local co-op only, like Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, which is frustrating, because it's probably too complex for my kids, and because I wanted to stream it with Des. The nice ratio makes it a good choice to play for GTADC, though, so I added it to my collection of games to pick from randomly for the RTDL (see below) and sure enough this one showed up, with a very easy early achievement, so I popped that this week.

  • Stream Games

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Last week, I mentioned we've been playing a lot of Cinders, and we might still be, but we might also give up and completely go off the "games" rails for streaming, as there's a debate tonight, and Des and I are both interested in spending some time mocking politicians. Maybe we'll do both. Maybe we'll come to our senses and just play games. Maybe it won't even be a visual novel.

  • Significant Games

I love old-school turn-based RPGs, but even I shied away from Faery: Legends of Avalon after playing the demo many years ago. However, it kept coming up in sales for under $2, so that eventually I bought it. And honestly, for that price, I'm not going to complain. I'll get my $2 worth out of it. But the game is weak. Combat is mediocre, the quests are trivial, the characters are unimpressive, and the production quality is all-around lacklustre. But, hey, soon enough I'll have another RPG and XBLA title completed. So, it's not all bad.

Both The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II and The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III got played a fair amount, and I do love this style of game. I'm interested in finishing off this series, though, it's starting to wear on me a bit. The gameplay is just not as tight as Diablo, and the humor isn't enough. The first game had less of the end-game content so it didn't wear out the welcome. Both 2 and 3 have a lot more endgame stuff to do for achievements and it's starting to feel old. But, all things considered, I can't complain. This is my jam.

I am so happy to be done with Beach Buggy Racing for a while, at least. The game is not as bad as I've made it out to be, but for achievement-hunting purposes, there's a lot of frustration here, in dealing with cheating AI and other unfair mechanics. The game itself is actually a reasonable kart-racer with a solid arcade feel. It's still not great, even if you're not an achievement hunter because a lot of content is still locked behind those same unfair mechanics, but there are a large number of much worse games in this style around.

I finished the second episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne. I'd played the 360 version previously, and recently, so on this playthrough, I'm trying to make sure I'm selecting some different choices. It doesn't matter, because it's TellTale, but at least it's a slightly different experience. There are some good moments in this game, but it's definitely not one of the stronger TT games.

Legendary Eleven is a FIFA game for people who don't want to support EA or FIFA. That makes it a great fit for me. Association Football is a fun game and it translates to video games very well. There's very little wrong with Legendary Eleven, except production values, and the occasional glitch. Except... the achievement hunting is a grindy. You'll play a lot of footie to get all of the achievements. The list is even grindier than it looks because the "earn all stickers" achievement has sub-requirements that are themselves very grindy.

But everyone loves videos of glitches.

The game tried to award me a corner and a penalty kick at the same time. To comedic effect.

  • Prime Story

It's time for me to really talk about the Random To-Do List (RTDL) some more. RTDL was originally a conception of Facial La Fleur for the Achievement Hounds Podcast. You'd get 100 different achievements picked out for you and you've had a year to go after them. I found out about the idea and played around with it some on my own. I've blogged about it as an idea previously. Be careful with those links. Some of them will cause massive browser timeouts because I embedded over 2000 TA links in one blog, and the site reprocesses those every time the page loads, rather than keeping a static cache.

But that was the past. More recently, the Zed to Zed podcast took the idea and refined it. With some programming help from zzUrbanSpaceman and some refinement of the idea from Freamwhole they converted it into a shorter contest that looked at 25 achievements, rather than 100, and gave you a month instead. It borrowed from a lot of the ideas of UHH as well in helping to ensure that the achievements you got were of varied ratios and, therefore, presumably, difficulties. Zed to Zed refined that contest idea several more times over the months and years. Now, the contest continues to exist, but in a kind of no-mans land where it's not officially linked to any podcast, though ChinDocta effectively runs it on behalf of the spaceman, and their Real Gamerscore Podcast but the contest itself is podcast agnostic.

Last month a new iteration on the idea was created. Teams. This is not a new idea, but actually getting it working has been an effort. Captains were chosen and players were drafted, based on how well the captains expected people to perform, based on their historical output. I believe that I mentioned that my team, last month, captained by Big Ell did quite well, winning, or coming second, depending on which score metrics you used. Because the trial month was quite a success, they've moved onto a full quarter of the contest. A fifth team was added, and the teams shrunk to get a better "Free Agent" pool for people to move around as time passes in the contest. Big Ell couldn't keep the whole team together, so I was drafted by the new team, captained by Freamwhole. I was the last player drafted.

I'm happy to say that I've made that pick pay off for FreamwholeI'm happy to say that I've made that pick pay off for Freamwhole

I don't want to get too much into it, because I could easily write a long blog about just my experience this month, but I did want to mention it at least. This is the first time I've ever earned all 25 achievements in a single month. Even in UHH, I never did all 20 in a week. I've always had that competitive edge to me, though, and with the team format giving me extra incentive, including extra incentive to get all 25, I went for it and I'm really proud that I was able to do it. My list, which is below, is not the easiest list in the world. My points total indicates that I got higher ratio achievements than the average player, and while we know Ratio != Difficulty my list was not quick and easy. In particular, I had a significant number of 'grindy' style achievements. Those happen to be the ones I'm best at, though, and I had the time to work at it this month, so it was a perfect confluence.

25 up. 25 down.25 up. 25 down.

That list explains a lot of why I was playing the games I was playing all through July, really.

I wanted to take a moment and also pay respect to NBA Kirkland. He's the guy ahead of me on that leaderboard image. Not only did he also get all of his achievements, he has a total ratio higher than mine. And he does this regularly. This isn't just a first occurance for him. He's almost always near the top of this leaderboard, and has more "full complete" lists than anyone. He did it again this week, with the noted higher ratios, and he did it a lot faster than I did. I'm very, very proud of my second place, and I know how much effort I put into it. He nailed first place and it's not even a big deal for him. That deserves some props.
Posted by Xpovos on 30 July 19 at 20:04 | There are 7 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkAs the Crow Dies - Volume 11 - AchievementFest!
  • Weekly Stats

For 2019-07-17 to 2019-07-23:

3575 GS. With 3500 of that coming from AchievementFest, my week was all about Achievement Fest.

Five Starts:
Clash is a delisted quick-1000 GS game. Fortunately, I knew people at AchievementFest who had it available, and with some new friends, we banged it out together. Death Dealers, JJ Buggz and I worked to get the completion, with some idle help from Whtthfgg's controller and console. In addition to being a quite quick-1000 GS, it was actually pretty fun playing and achievement hunting in a community setting. That's a story that repeated throughout my time at AchievementFest. So often, our hunting is done solo. Just us, a controller, a game, and maybe a guide. Doing it as part of a group and socializing made the whole experience more fun than it would have been otherwise. Games like Clash are supposed to be played in MP, it's their whole reason for existing, and when we just bang through the GS with four controllers that we controll all of, it's going to feel a bit boring. Certainly like less than the game could have been. Clash has a 2.3 star rating here at TA, but I think it could be higher elsewhere, where people are playing it as intended. It lacks depth, with no variations in styles or attacks, and has limited maps and game modes, but the core functionality was quite solid.

The ship. The ship.  The ship is on fire.The ship. The ship. The ship is on fire.

Planet RIX-13 is an adventure game where you have to escape a planet that you've crash-landed on, but most of the achievements, it seems, are for dying in the many different ways that you can on the planet. Despite having a significant number of missable achievements, and in fact, despite missing one myself, the total time I spent on this game was well under two hours. It's not particularly hard, but is reasonably enjoyable, if you're looking for a quick and easy exploratory/puzzle adventure game.

Mr. Pumpkin Adventure is a well-known game in the achievement community, because it has that 0-1 hour completion estimate. This is actually the second time I've played it, having previously beaten the original version in considerably more than 1 hour, as I puzzled through the puzzles largely on my own, because I tend to enjoy bashing my brain against nonsense for a few hours. This time, though, I got to play the Chinese (Canadian!) stack. That was because Death and Glory brought his Chinese Xbox One with the game loaded and was kind enough to let people borrow it at Achievement Fest. There were other games I was interested in to, but even getting one of these rare games played is quite the accomplishment. I took a bit longer than my 0-1 hours again, as well, because I was trying to be hasty, in following the guide, and I missed some of the collectibles, which required a second run through. Still, it was like an hour and a half...

Playing a stack of a quick game is a bit interesting, I've historically not done a ton of stacking, or at least had really good reasons for why I did it. In this case, the reason was: it's really hard to do it unless I do it right now, so let's get it done.

Only downloads on Win8 devicesOnly downloads on Win8 devices

Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Win 8) is a game that I bought initially for $0.10 during the Windows 10 cent sale, but the DLC was always more expensive. Plus, the game is only for Windows 8. Somehow, I managed to find a workaround and get it installed on my Windows 10 machine, but I can't remember how I did it. Over the years I earned some achievements and played it with my daughters, and it was a fine time. The game has a few annoying achievements, but nothing all that bad. It's overall quite simple, and a bit pricey, and weirdly OS locked, but does exactly what you'd want for a game to play with girls from the ages of 6-10.

Unfortunately for me, I recently upgraded my computer, and whatever workaround I'd used to get Disney Fairies working on my Win10 machine had escaped my memory, and it was no longer working. I was without my game, and therefore, without access to my last 8 achievements in the game. Fortunately, at AchievementFest there were numerous people with Windows 8 devices willing to loan them out for me to get what I needed done. One of them was my travel-mate, Proulx. I started with his Windows 8 laptop and got 7 of the 8 pretty quickly. The last, though, didn't pop, even though I'd competed the requirements. This started a several-hour adventure where I re-downloaded the game, and ended up replaying most of the fifth chapter to get the achievement to pop. When I finally felt it might, the game crashed back to the desktop and when it reloaded, insisted that none of the content had been installed, and refused to download it again.

This time I got help from Elem3ntal80 who lent me his Windows 8 surface device. I loaded up the game after downloading it yet again, beat the required level and *pop*

Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Win 8)Game On!XpovosThe Game On! achievement in Disney Fairies Hidden Treasures (Win 8) worth 13 pointsEarn three stars in every location in The Pixie Hollow Games.

This achievement got me the full completion, and the full completion got me my first "pretty!!" from pTartTX, in person no less.

Finally, I was also able to borrow Frawstfever's console of awesomeness to play and complete the Ticket to Ride DLC. That's over ten years from start to finish because of overpriced DLC, but still not as bad as poor SpeleoFool has had it. I was thinking of you as I did it!

Planet Rix-13, Clash and Mr. Pumpkin (China) were all start and completes. I also started up two new games that I didn't finish this week:

New Rally-X is a kind of racing game, that ultimately feels a lot more like a Pac-Man clone. I'm down to one achievement, for earning 100,000 in a single run, and I know I can do it, but I didn't want to take the time to earn that last achievement while at AF, when I had more pressing games to get to.

But a particularly fun story was starting Hydro Thunder Hurricane. I got the game as Games With Gold, long after Oddworld X made it a meme here at TA. The game has an achievement that is a delightful design, but a miserable experience for hunters:

Hydro Thunder HurricaneHumans GoooodXpovosThe Humans Gooood achievement in Hydro Thunder Hurricane worth 53 pointsPlay a 4 way local Multiplayer race in which all the humans beat all the AI.

So this can only be done locally, and requires both four controllers and four human players. Additionally, those players have to be good enough at video games, and racing games in particular, to be able to beat the AI, and dedicated enough to make multiple attempts, because of course it's going to take several tries. Where on earth can you find all of the right equipment and have enough people of skill and determination to make an achievement like this happen? Definitely, AchievementFest.

It was Death Dealers who started this one, and after a few false starts getting the right profiles downloaded and ready to go--because OF COURSE backward compatibility freaks out about having four local profiles signed in to both the Xbox One part and the Xbox 360 emulation all at the same time. After what has to have been about and hour and a half or two hours of prep time, we've finally got a team of four ready to go and get to racing. The first race goes exactly as you'd expect. We got smoked. I think we got 3rd, 5th, 6th and 8th. Time to resrart, and honestly, it only looks marginally better, except, at the VERY end as we cross the finish line, the humans are all pulling past the AI somehow. I jumped from 6th to 3rd in a matter of a few hundred meters and somehow, all four of the AI were behind us. Death Dealers got her achievement, and so did Death and Glory and myself. JJ Buggz was our fourth, but he was playing on a local alt, having already earned the achievement.

As a result of earning this, and only this achievement in Hydro Thunder Hurricane, it is now my 2nd-best game for achievement ratio.

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At least, temporarily.

  • Stream Games

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Last week, we started streaming the choose-your-own fairy tale visual novel: Cinders. We continued that last night, and despite promises that the game is under four hours, we're still not done. Apparently, Des and I go off on too many digressions about Elon Musk and his sister's new erotica venture, where she's directly enticing to women erotic movies/TV series for her new brand of Netflix. I'm sure that'll work out well. Probably better than "Low Expectuesdays."

Next week we'll be back, either with more Cinders, to actually finish it off this time. Probably. Maybe. Or we'll move on to someone else. I can't be sure. That's why we caution you not to get your hopes up. We're professionals!

  • Significant Games

The starts and completions covere the most significant games due to the completion and fast play focus I had for AchievementFest, but naturally, I still spent some time in other titles.

I mentioned Beach Buggy Racing two weeks ago, and it's remained in my queue of games I'm working my way through. I hit a hard wall for a bit, though, as the boss racer for the level I was working on, Roxie Roller, is just ridiculously cheap.
She gets as many uses of her special as she seems to want, whereas I get one. Her car is better tuned than mine, despite the fact that I'm at max, and she collects more and better weapons.
It seems that to win this race you need to keep playing until you get a good run where you can stay close to her to near the end and then get a lucky drop or two to incapacitate her twice in the home stretch--which is exactly what happened Monday night. That opened up the last circuit I need to unlock the next boss diver and then once I've got him, hopefully I can earn my achievement.
The races continue to be a mess of RNG and patience testing mechanics, but I'm making slow progress.

Three seconds better than one of the best gamers in the business and not good enough.  Because B'Zorp cheats and sneaks in a .04 second lead. So much RNG!Three seconds better than one of the best gamers in the business and not good enough. Because B'Zorp cheats and sneaks in a .04 second lead. So much RNG!

I also played The Metronomicon: Slay the Dance Floor for a while, and had a blast doing it. This really is a fun game, but I'm still in the "easy enough" phase. It probably will get more skill-testing later. The songs I was working on in this play through started adding eighth notes and it was both a bit surprising to see them for the first time and very enjoyable. Once we get to 16th-notes I'll be in trouble, though.

I managed to get both my targeted achievement for RTDL and a few more besides, including the one for hitting a 300-note streak. I got a little too excited as I saw it coming and then once I hit it, I sort of fell apart. Still, I took a nice little video of that accomplishment.

  • Prime Story

It's all about AchievementFest this week. I went, and I had a blast. I'm going to do my best to promote it, because I want it to suceed and grow bigger, and because I think it's one of those things that most everyone in the community can really enjoy, and I'd like to go back and get to know more of you.


Registration for next year is, of course, not up. But plan it out. Look and see if you can make it.
I wanted to go last year but I had things come up and couldn't. This year, even when things came up again, I was able to go because I'd done my planning early enough.

If you want to stay in touch with the AF folks more directly, or get some questions answered, check out the Discord they've set up: https://discord.gg/rubQfh

That link is only good for about 24 hours, though, so if you're late to the blog and it doesn't work, that's why. But don't worry. Let me know and I'll get you a new invite.

We had something like 50 people there this year.

Among the attendees are many children.  I hope to bring mine next year as well, but am still figuring it out with my wife.Among the attendees are many children. I hope to bring mine next year as well, but am still figuring it out with my wife.

AchievmentFest, for me, was an experience where I got to meet, in person, people that I've gamed with for years, or known from the community for just as long. I met long-time blog followers. I met brand new blog followers, and even got new ones while there. I got introduced to new friendly gamers willing, or even eager, to share their bounty so that I too could play some eclectic game that appealed to me.

If we got an even bigger crowd next year, we could make it so that we shut down the entire store just for achievement hunting. Then it could be a real party. But even if we don't get that many people scheduled, it'll be fun to go back and socialize once more with people who understand what the achievement-hunting life is like, and a little bit about why we do it. I'm incredibly blessed to have a supportive and understanding wife. She quite readily let me go and took the kids to NYC for the weekend instead. But even as understanding as she is, she just doesn't care about the accomplishments, and doesn't really want to get involved herself. At AchievementFest there were dozens of others who shared the passion.

Come join us in 2020.
Posted by Xpovos on 24 July 19 at 18:13 | There are 7 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkAs the Crow Dies - Volume 10
  • Weekly Stats

For 2019-07-10 to 2019-07-16:

1100 GS. A return to the ~1000GS per week that is probably going to be my typical average, though we're moving into a non-typical setting.

No completions, but one unfortunate start:

<a href=">Attack of the Toy Tanks AchievementsXpovos' achievements in Attack of the Toy Tanks

I started Attack of the Toy Tanks for reasons I'll get into below. I knew it was bad. But I needed something quick to hit some GS for me. I ended up getting 640 GS pretty quickly, but it wasn't fun. This game is going to get a lot of bad press, and much of it deserved, so I need to avoid just piling on. It's not good, but it's really not a bad game. As long as what you're looking for is very narrow. There's not much here, but it functions adequately. The AI pathing is terrible, but that may be one of the best features of the game, given the rest of the functionality. At least, in terms of having fun. Despite a very low ratio, Attack of the Toy Tanks is a skill-testing game.

I actually started up some other games to try to grab the remaining GS, but nothing else popped quickly, so I avoided having to add them here, in my moment of shame.

  • Stream Games

Last week, Des and celebrated Bastille Day a bit early by loading up Assassin's Creed Unity. That didn't go amazingly well, so I doubt we'll return. The game feels very off, and a lot of design choices are ones that I'm concerned about because that's not the kind of game I want to play. I knew coming in that Unity had been a buggy mess, but I also "knew" that most of the worst of the bugs had been patched out. That turns out not to have been the case. The whole experience was largely annoying, as I spent most of the stream time doing nothing, effectively, hitting several glitches, and having very little properly explained. I'm not going to blame the game for all of that. I'm streaming, which means, only about a third of my brain can actually go to paying attention to the game, so it could have told me what I needed to do, and probably did repeatedly, but I didn't notice, so I couldn't really progress, and the game isn't good enough, or dumbed down enough (or both) for me to be able to figure it out with what remains of my attention. It looks like they brought back some of the pre-requisites for assassination missions, at least in a soft way, which I conceptually like. It also looks like they jammed in some unnecessary MP all over the place, which I hate. Ultimately, though, for me, AC games are about climbing and scenery, so I got to do a bit of that, while Des and I talked, so it was fine. But I don't think we'll return anytime soon. It wasn't amazing stream content.

As for tonight? It's Des' choice again, so we'll be back on PC, playing something of interest to her.
External image

  • Significant Games

I've played a fair bit of Minion Masters over the past week. One of the most interesting moments playing the game came when I managed to get one of the trickiest achievements by pure luck. I was getting wrecked early, and went down to 50 HP, but there is an achievement for winning with fewer than 100 HP remaining, so now I was very motivated. I made some adjustments to my gameplan and ended up taking the win, as you can see below.

The thing is, four times in just that video he fires a fireball spell at my troops. If any of those had been aimed at my tower, he wins. It really is better to be lucky than good. I'll take the nearly freebie achievement.

I also played a significant chunk of Tumblestone and I have to say I really appreciate the puzzle design in this game. It's tough and fair. I can't fully understand why this game has such poor ratings. There's nothing wrong with it. Maybe it's not quite as compelling a battle-puzzle games as Panel de Pon, or Puyo Puyo, but it's very satisfying. The story campaign is where I've really been spending my time, though, because my goal is to finish the fourth world, and like any puzzle game it's good to take a break when you get to one that stumps you for a while, so I've been in and out of it as I make my way through the worlds.

Once again, another source of late-night grinding has been Sacred Citadel. I've played this off and on for the past few weeks and this week I finally cleared out the last of the challenges which is an achievement that isn't all that hard, but boasts a 4.1 ratio. Gotta love deep achievements in GwG. I still have more to do here, but I'm also getting close to just finishing off the game, so I might try to get the completion here ASAP.

  • Prime Story

Sadly, this week, my Prime Story is a bad one. For GTASC, we were going for the bonus. We had good communication and at the end of it, it was on me to score 20 points more. I had lots of time and I had an easy 20 in sight. Finish the Prologue on LEGO Jurassic World. This game had been accidentally dived when my kids were playing it while I was logged in, so I got credit for a later level.
Unfortunately, my kids playing means that they didn't get me the achievement for finishing a single level as "True" whatever that LEGO game has, but I've played so many LEGO games, that getting True everything is just kind of second nature. So I went with it. Which meant that instead of popping one achievement for 20 GS, I popped two. For 40 GS. Panic time to try to find another 980 GS in short order, but with only about an hour left it became problematic.

I have too many studs!I have too many studs!

That's why I started Attack of the Toy Tanks, which turned out to be not quite enough. If I'd had some more time, I could've made it work. But really, it just came down to not paying enough attention, and my GTASC team suffers for it.
Posted by Xpovos on 16 July 19 at 20:45 | There is 1 comment on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.