Angry Robot How To: Kickass Gamerscores
Yes, it’s true; I have fallen for Microsoft’s new little marketing strategy. I am head over heels in love with these little digital merit badges, and I’m not ashamed to say it. There are few things I enjoy more than seeing that “achievement unlocked” message pop up while I’m gaming. In fact, I like seeing it so much I will actively seek out games in which I’m sure I can get most or all of the available achievements. Some people lovingly call this “achievement whoring.” I call it “selling my soul for a few meaningless virtual trophies, whose only real effect is to show the world how nerdy I truly am,” and I want to thank the person who came up with this idea. I have completed more games since the launch of the 360 than I had in all the years preceding its launch combined.
And I have achievements to thank.
Before achievements? I dropped those half-finished games without a second thought. Now? I find it nearly impossible to put down a game, knowing that if I just press on a little further I’m going to nab myself a cool 100 points. It’s really quite satisfying to look at my list of played games and see a nice even 1,000 points. You know, some of those 1,000 pointers are games I would never have played in the first place if there were no achievements –- and there are some real gems in there if you go at it with an open mind. I’ve even gone back and replayed some of these (Surf’s Up for one… boo-ya!) just because they were a whole lotta fun to play. There’s nothing better than going through a game that’s a load of fun and coming out the other side with a big stack of ‘chievies (that’s my new word for today).
It has been brought to my attention that some people are feeling like their Gamerscore is a little underdeveloped. Myself, I feel that I’ve cultivated a nice, well-rounded Gamerscore; one that I can take a little nerdy pride in, and maybe I can help some of you along in your quest for a more fulfilling score. All you have to do is follow my easy 12 step program!
Step One: Drop that silly gamer pride and resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to be playing some games that will be considered “uncool” by your peers. Just remember, your peers are nerds too, and sucks to their assmar if they have a problem.
Step Two: Play King Kong straight through. One of the first games for the system, one of the easiest 1k you’ll get and it’ll take you less than a day. It’s a good warm-up, and with that nice thousand point base, you’re off to a great start!
Step Three: Visit a site like Achieve360Points and browse through the achievement lists. Look for games with a short list of achievements, and if the site lists them, a low difficulty rating. Pick one that looks interesting, and get to playing. Tip: Games based on films are usually a good place to start.
Steps Four through Twelve: Have fun! The key is to pick games you’re likely to enjoy, because that’s the whole point of gaming. If you find you’ve picked a game and it just feels like you’re grinding your way through just for the ‘chievies, give it up. Your response to the statement “I can’t believe you played all the way through that game” should never be: “I really can’t believe it myself… I feel kinda dirty… but I got these shiny achievement things at least! Right? Guys? Where’re you going? Guys!?”
That’s just the wrong way to be.
When someone says to me: “TMNT? Seriously? WTF, man?”
I say: “Solid graphics, concise story and damn if it isn’t a blast running around a 3D obstacle course as a bipedal turtle!”
There you have it.
Four Twelve easy steps and you’re on your way to a healthier, more robust Gamerscore. I really can’t stress the having fun part enough though. I got myself some of those 2K6 sports game ‘chievies (yeah, that word actually sucks, so, I’m going to stop using it now), and honestly, it felt a little bit like dying at the time.
Well, my profile is done migrating, and I’m pretty much done here for now anyway, so before I go, here are a couple games to get you started:
GigerHR’s Happy Fun-Time Easy Achievement List:
Surf’s Up – maybe I’m biased ‘cause I loved the movie, but this was great fun
TMNT – see above
Lego Star Wars II – yes, I’m 60pts short, but it’s a kickass game nonetheless
Need For Speed Most Wanted – beat the game, get 1k points, and it’s not a “kid’s game”
Viva Piñata – fun, relaxed pace and only heartless evil demons don’t love the Galagoogoo!