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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What's next?

Last night, I finally managed to finish off four more achievements in BioShock. This leaves just one achievement left to beat: complete the game on the hardest difficulty setting (Seriously Good At This). I was contemplating making a second run through BioShock right away to pick up that last achievement. I've decided to hold off, however, thanks in part to some rumours concerning downloadable content for BioShock.

According to Kotaku and Joystiq, Ken Levine has said that he likes the idea of using downloadable content to enhance gameplay. New plasmids? New splicers? An extra mission or two perhaps? In any case, I'll hold off on visiting Rapture again until I hear more about BioShock and some possible DLC. Why play through a second time for 40 gamerpoints when I could do it for 290 gamerpoints with bigger and better plasmids?

The question I now have before me is: what to play next?

Although my original goal when starting to focus in on the Xbox 360's achievement points was to finish off each and every game out there, my current familial circumstance does not afford me the time necessary to accomplish so lofty a task. And truth be told, I don't really have patience, reflexes, or mad skillz required either. Instead, I've decided to do my utmost to ensure that I earn more gamerpoints per game than the average gamer out there.

By comparing my the number of achievements and gamerscore that I earn per game against the Xbox Live database averages (courtesy of My 360 Stats), I know exactly where I stand in regards to other gamers.

There are some games where I find myself below the average and unable to improve upon my score. I'm pretty cheap when it comes to picking up games, so I tend to trade in titles that I no longer feel I'll play enough to warrant keeping around the house. The unfortunate casualties of my gaming frugality are as follow:


  • Gears of War: It was a great game! And I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the single player campaign. However, I took the opportunity to trade the game in while it still held a lot of trade value. For this reason, I'll have to resign myself to holding 10 fewer achievements and 180 fewer gamerpoints than the average Gears of War player. Oh, the shame...

  • Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged: From Geometry Wars to Hardwood Backgammon, I never gave these poor Live Arcade games a chance. I purchased the Xbox Live Arcade disc before realizing how many great games existed for the 360. I'll also admit that I was a little anxious to give the Texas Hold'em poker game a shot (FYI: compared to the real money play of online poker, it sucked). Wik: Fable of Souls and Bejeweled 2 round out the arcade games for which I will never earn another achievement.

  • Quake 4: I borrowed this from a friend (Asdjazz) and never really got into it. I blame the fact that I also borrowed Marvel Ultimate Alliance at the same time. MUA was great; Quake 4 was so-so. Oh well, at least I managed to earn 1 achievement worth 15 gamerpoints in Quake 4, both of which are well below the Xbox Live averages of 8 achievements and 140 gamerpoints.

  • Project Gotham Racing 3: I'm just not that big a fan of racing games...unless they feature big crashes and explosions à la Burnout Revenge. The one achievement I did pick up in PGR 3 (Rank 10 worth 20 gamerpoints) does little to compare to the Xbox Live average (8 achievements worth 284 gamerpoints).

  • NHL 2K7: Both PGR3 and NHL 2K7 came included with my Xbox 360 when I bought it. I knew nothing about achievements. Rather than keep NHL 2K7, I traded it in for next to nothing at EB Games. I managed to grab 2 achievements before kissing the game goodbye; unfortunately, most people averaged 4 achievements...
I think I'll be able to manage to beat the Xbox Live database averages with most of the other games I own.

The exceptions to the rule will come in the form of Xbox 360 games where many of the achievements can only be cleared via online multiplayer (e.g. Gears of War is a prime example of a game where co-op and deathmatch play accoutns for a large number of achievements possible). The only other possible exception that I can think of might be Aegis Wing. I've played this free Live Arcade title a number of times and I stink at it. It's hard, it's fast, and I keep getting pwned. I just took a look at the achievements possible and I may be able to match the Xbox Live average numbers. Then again, maybe I should just never play this hellishly difficult game ever again...?

So what we're we talkign about again? Oh yeah, the next game I'll focus on. Since GTA IV was originally slated to be released yesterday, I've decided to play the next best thing: Saints Row. I've barely scratched the surface of this well-reviewed game but I look forward to the next 20-30 hours that I'll spend wandering Stilwater in search of money and respect. Although a large portion of Saints Row's achievements involve an online multiplayer element, I should be able to clear the 10 achievements and 240 gamerpoints averaged by other gamers. If the game's as good as some say it is, I may end up picking up all the single-player achievements: 31 achievements worth a total of 730 gamerpoints.

If this post seems a little disjointed, please forgive me. I'm still running on very little sleep thanks to my new son who's decided to forego sleep in exchange for a little more screaming bonding time. Tired or not though, I'm really starting to feel the pull of video games yet again. Why must every hobby that I have be so cripplingly addictive?

See ya...

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