By Trace 0 Comments
Week 1 surprised me in that I'm actually making progress on my summer list, and not letting the Internet distract me from my Xbox 360. I'm satisfied so far! My completionist fury picks up where it left off, with...
Project Gotham Racing 4
The Boosting Session From Hell
I had a "boosting" session scheduled for July 4th with seven other players. Typically, these groups are really handy for achievements that require playing modes no one would normally even touch. In our case, the main goal was the Team Domination achievement, awarded for a whole four-person team finishing ahead of all the other team's players in a ranked team championship. Considering how difficult it is to find four people (or even one person) on the ranked playlists at any given time, gathering a group for the explicit purposes of this achievement was a must. It's not exactly how I'd like to earn these achievements, but once a game's multiplayer has been practically abandoned, what choice do you have?
Well, you could play normally and leave the achievement unearned, but that's no fun. As someone who's pretty used to badgehunting in certain MMOs, I have learned to enjoy torturous levels of tedium!
Anyways, our time for the meeting was 4 p.m., so I fired up PGR4 at 2 p.m. to try for a few unrelated achievements. Right as I'm about to join a match, the group organizer sends me an invite. OK, this seems fine, maybe he's looking to do a few achievements on the side as well.
The next two hours involve me sitting in a player lobby waiting for everyone else to join. I can barely communicate with the organizer, who appears to be from the Netherlands and speaks broken English, and I don't want to quit out for the fear he might misunderstand that I want to do something more fascinating than stare at a listing of players for two hours, and replace me with another willing participant. What's worse is that he seemed to misunderstand the concept of time zones, as I hear him muttering repeatedly about "fucking retards" not showing up when there's still an hour and a half before the set time.
So almost two hours burnt at a lobby screen waiting for people to join. There wasn't even anything interesting on TV to pass the time, being July 4th and all. Could it get any worse?
PGR4, and PGR3 for that matter, have one of the absolute worst matchmaking systems I've ever dealt with, especially when very few players are looking for a specific match. In PGR3, it took 15 minutes to match me up with two friends when we were assuredly the only people looking for a specific ranked race. I expected that the system wouldn't be any better this time around, and its ineptness did not disappoint.
Cue a ten-minute waiting session full of complaints and anger, followed by racing. Sure, we got the achievements, but man. The effort it took just to make the whole process come together was a hilarious clusterfuck in itself. There's nothing like staring at a game's matchmaking system in awe when it can't figure out that 4 + 4 = A FULL MATCH.
Sometimes boosting for achievements feels just as satisfying as struggling to earn achievements via normal means. This is one such occasion.
Zombie Wranglers How To Make a Boring Zombie Game
OK, so maybe this wasn't a good week in the fun department. If you're one of the 17 other people on Giant Bomb who's actually played Zombie Wranglers, you can sympathize with the mediocrity I had to struggle through.
I ended up winning Zombie Wranglers over Twitter, through a random guess at a certain Microsoft employee's trivia questions. I wasn't exactly gunning for it, but I was bored, put in an educated guess for the year of one of the shuttle launches, and boom. Free game. I wasn't expecting the greatest game in the world, but I also didn't think someone could screw up a zombie game this much.
Basic concept: zombies run amuck in a city, and you have to shoot them or vacuum them up while collecting items or completing side tasks. Repeat ad nauseum for twenty levels. It might've been more interesting with more fluid controls and more lenient aiming, but as it stands, half the time you're running away from zombies to get a clean shot, and the other half is shooting and hoping you don't miss due to the bad controls.
Heck, I can't even recall the storyline. There were zombies, something wacky and "hilarious" turning people into zombies, then you fight a doctor and some ending song with horrible sound levels plays. It's all rather confusing, but thankfully the single-player achievements were easy enough. After finding someone who had the multiplayer achievements, I finished this game and ran. About the only reason I'll pick it up again is if I feel like adding to its wiki or helping someone out with its achievements.
I didn't mention this game has achievements with scores that don't end in 0 or 5, did I? Yeah. That's certainly encouragement to get 200/200. It's not that I mind having an uneven gamerscore, but I sure as hell don't want to have to explain that I played this game to get all abnormal in the first place.
Scene It? Box Office Smash Scene It? I Haven't!
I finished up last week with a decent trivia game about movies. That's something, I guess.
Look, I don't know anything about movies, OK? I haven't been to a movie theater since I went to see the remake of Rollerball. I can't go back. It'd be like walking into a dark alley to be stabbed by the same crazed hobo again. It's scarred me for life. I have nightmares about that horrible 20-minute nightvision scene where LL Cool J dies.
That said, I just had to try these nifty buzzer controllers. I've been playing alone, off and on, making educated guesses about movies I've never seen. Surprisingly, this game's still mildly playable that way!
It'll take a while, but I'll get all 1250 points from Scene It? in due time. I just have to get lucky with certain topics, like knowing which of ten movies [insert actor/actress here] has been in. I'm not even sure I could name five movies any given actor or actress has been in.
Now, if only Scene It? released a game about TV trivia, I might have a chance. Then again, it'd probably be about Seinfeld, Friends, Sopranos, and all those other shows I never cared about...
Week 2 Stats
Starting Score: 16500
End of Week 1 Score: 16820
End of Week 2 Score: 17195
Weekly Gain: 375 points!
Total Gain: 695 points!
Starting Completion: 69.25%
End of Week 1 Completion: 70.01%
End of Week 2 Completion: 70.04%
Weekly Gain: 0.03%. :(
Total Gain: 0.79%!
- I get distracted by Worms 2: Armageddon!
- PGR3 is a lonely place full of nothing!
- Maybe Peggle or Crackdown stuff!