For Want of an Achievement
As I write this, and ongoing until a point in time I am not currently aware of, is the TrueAchievements ten year anniversary celebration. The site-wide challenge is to earn achievements whose first letters of the achievement names spell out 'Happy Birthday Trueachievements'. Seems like a fun enough challenge, as it might get you to start some games you had sitting in your backlog for a while, or to complete some games that have been sitting on your card for even longer. Either way, get out there and earn some achievements, and have fun along the way.
For the last few weeks now, I've been stuck on the letter Y. As it turns out, not only is Y one of the less-common letters in the English language, but it shows up even less frequently in achievement names as the first letter. Granted I have three un-earned achievements on my card right now that start with said letter, however two of those come from a game which is effectively on permanent hiatus until some hardware concerns can be fixed. For those of you keeping score at home, the game in question is Epic Mickey 2. The third achievement comes from Disneyland Adventures, however that game is not one that should be rushed, so it will not.
This meant taking a trip to my game drawer to see what I could possibly play that fit the bill. Here's the thing about TrueAchievements. The site can track which games you have added to your collection, be it either physical or digital and regardless of platform, however there is no method to list the achievements from games in your collection, but have not started. Basically this means there was no quick way to look at a list of achievements for games I could start. Your only option would be to bean dive all of your games and find one that worked eventually.
I did just that, trying to keep the games I was looking at initially limited to those with a quick completion time. I'm not against playing longer games, and I was seriously considering finally starting L.A. Noire on the Xbox 360 in the next week or so. Unfortunately that game did not have that which I needed, and that would have been very convenient as well. In the end I found two games which can both fit the bill nicely: Madagascar 3, a game based off the movie of the same title, and JUJU, a game I know next to nothing about but is playable via backward compatibility and I bought it probably a year ago now.
One of these games will be started asap, the other one probably not far behind it. The quest to complete this little challenge continues. We may return to searching for individual letters. For now here's a review for a lackluster game about an alien.
Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon Micro-Review: The thing about a game where you play as a classic alien, abducting and destroying humans, and generally causing extraterrestrial chaos wherever you go, is that a lot of the allure gets lost when you either leave Earth or are no longer surrounded by humans, instead being among your own kind. This was the dilemma faced on the last level of the game. Saying much more would constitute a spoiler, so I won't say more other than the story had to take a few weird leaps in logic to get you there in the first place.
The game's style of plopping you in a location, having you complete missions and side quests along the way did get somewhat old toward the end. It probably didn't help that the side missions or odd jobs boiled down to races, either in foot or in your spacecraft, or were a combination of destroying buildings and abducting people. You do enough of that in the main story missions. Crypto's voice actor and accent do get more and more grating as you go along, for what that's worth. No one else's voice work was much better, but it was generally all serviceable at worst and passable at best.
One event of note I came across though, and this may have been by accident. While in Sunnywood, aka not Los Angeles, I was doing the penultimate story mission, and destroyed a building as a part of it. Normally the police, working their way up the military show up to stop you from wreaking absolute havoc. This time, no one showed up. Either because of the mission constraint or because the game bugged out on me. I was free to destroy all of Sunnywood as I saw fit. So I did just that. Leveled every building I could and faced no repercussions for my actions.
One less-fun incident of note: after completing the main story and being ejected into the playable epilogue of the game, about 90% of the game sounds went away. This included the background music, ambience, sound effects and some people's lines. It wasn't quite playing the game on mute, but not far from it. Making and reloading a save cleared this up, so at least it wasn't permanent. The game would receive a much lower score had that been the case. The game is receiving a low score anyway, so maybe it wouldn't have mattered.
Verdict: there's a reason THQ went bankrupt. Somewhat-disappointing games like these didn't help. 5/10
Coming up on Monday: a Progress Report on a free game. No, not that one.