Dan's Three-Pointer (Episode Two)

Points! Achievement Points! Microsoft Points! Experience Points! Every gamer loves points! Here's three of my own! Exclamation marks ceasing now! 
 
...Ahem. 
 

I Got 800 Free Microsoft Points... 

 How appopriate, you fight like a cow... wait, what?
...which came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I didn't actually remember spending a lot of MSP in October. Although, looking back at it, there was Super Meat Boy, Sonic 4: Episode One, and the Undead Nightmare pack for Red Dead Redemption, so I guess I was a bit generous with my Points last month. Anyway, I noticed this pleasant surprise this morning, and dove into the Xbox LIVE Marketplace to sniff out something to buy. Here I was once again pleasantly surprised - this time by the Black Friday deals currently underway on the Marketplace. I parted with 560 Points in exchange for 'Splosion Man and Monkey Island 2: SE. I haven't had a chance to play either yet, on account of having to work this morning, but they're both downloaded to my 360 and ready to go. After Super Meat Boy, I think 'Splosion Man could prove to be another entertaining platforming diversion from other titles. As for Monkey Island 2, I played the first at the start of this year and loved it, so providing the adventuring and humour are intact, I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much. This leaves me with 490 Points sitting in my account (I already had 250 Points floating around before the 800 free MSP appeared), which I think I'll sit on and see if any other deals get thrown up tomorrow. In the meantime, I have two brand new XBLA titles to check out. Awesome on all fronts, I think. 
 

I Recently Bought Call Of Duty 4... 

 Short version - shooting dudes in the face is pretty fun
...once again proving how I'm always one to move with the times within this industry. To be fair, CoD4 has had me intrigued for some time now. Not in a "lets see what this franchise is all about" sort of way, but in a "let's see why this specific game was (and still is) held in such high esteem" sort of way. Reactions so far are kind of mixed. At about six missions into the single player, there have been moments that are really incredible. Bullets flying all around you, tearing your cover apart and pinning your squad down, those intense moments feel less like a video game and more like you're actually in a warzone. In most FPS games I've played, I'm not worried about getting caught in a hail of bullets, usually because there isn't one. Enemies fire at you one at a time, so you can pick them off one at a time and make steady progress. By comparison, CoD4's campaign sees me almost perpetually crouching because I'm that concerned about getting caught in the crossfire. It's pretty exhilarating. It's not all incredible, of course. The story seems stale and uninspired thusfar, although I suppose there's still room for a couple of twists to save it. The graphics have also left me underwhelmed, nowhere more so than in the 'Crew Expendable' mission on the approach to the tanker. It's cool and cinematic, I know, but it just looks fake. Metal Gear Solid 2 did a better job of believably realising a tanker in a torrential downpour, and that was six years earlier, on drastically inferior hardware. 
 
I've also dabbled a little with the multiplayer, and I can see why it's attracted such a huge following. The constant promise of unlocks and level-ups is a pretty compelling motivation to keep playing, and the curiosity to discover what unlocks will improve my custom class is sure to hold my attention in the coming weeks. Thankfully, the 360 version of the game still seems to have a lot of players active, so I don't think I'll be short of competition while I work my way up the ranks. I was initially worried about going into CoD4's multiplayer, especially given that most of the active players are probably die-hards who've been playing this title for over three years now, but I've been playing Free-for-All matches and so far I've been able to hold my own. On the off-chance anybody here on Giant Bomb is still rocking Call of Duty 4 on the 360 and doesn't mind playing with somebody just finding their feet in the world of online multiplayer FPSes, feel free to hit me up - my Gamertag is dankempster. 
 

I S-Ranked Just Cause 2 This Week... 

 No offence, Rico, but I'll be happy if I don't see you again for quite some time
...and boy, what a pain in the arse that was! When I first finished the game back in May, I'd earned 40 of the game's 50 Achievements and was quite happy to leave it at that. A few weeks ago, though, I decided on a whim to play more of Just Cause 2, perhaps with a view to earning the ten remaining Achievements. I'm not an Achievement whore by any means, but those outstanding emblems on my gamer profile seemed like a good incentive to go back to Panau and cause some more Chaos. About half of those Achievements fell quickly and painlessly - from picking up my 50% complete save, it didn't take me long to find 1000 resource items, locate 150 faction items, complete 1000 sabotages and assassinate 25 Colonels. After this initial wave of unlocks came the really hard grind - pushing for 75% completion while hunting down all of the game's vehicles and going for that bloody Wrecking Ball Achievement. All those hours in Panau paid off when I unlocked the last Achievement on Tuesday, making Just Cause 2 my second Giant Bomb S-Rank (my other is Fallout 3). Now Just Cause 2 has been put to rest, and I've finished Assassin's Creed, I can put more time into Mass Effect 2. With any luck, I'll wrap that up before the year is out, just in time to consider my own personal Game of the Year awards. 
 
--- 
 
Three points, done and dusted. Thanks very much for reading, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan 
 
--- 
 
Currently playing - Mass Effect 2 (X360)
13 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by dankempster

Points! Achievement Points! Microsoft Points! Experience Points! Every gamer loves points! Here's three of my own! Exclamation marks ceasing now! 
 
...Ahem. 
 

I Got 800 Free Microsoft Points... 

 How appopriate, you fight like a cow... wait, what?
...which came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I didn't actually remember spending a lot of MSP in October. Although, looking back at it, there was Super Meat Boy, Sonic 4: Episode One, and the Undead Nightmare pack for Red Dead Redemption, so I guess I was a bit generous with my Points last month. Anyway, I noticed this pleasant surprise this morning, and dove into the Xbox LIVE Marketplace to sniff out something to buy. Here I was once again pleasantly surprised - this time by the Black Friday deals currently underway on the Marketplace. I parted with 560 Points in exchange for 'Splosion Man and Monkey Island 2: SE. I haven't had a chance to play either yet, on account of having to work this morning, but they're both downloaded to my 360 and ready to go. After Super Meat Boy, I think 'Splosion Man could prove to be another entertaining platforming diversion from other titles. As for Monkey Island 2, I played the first at the start of this year and loved it, so providing the adventuring and humour are intact, I'm sure I'll enjoy it just as much. This leaves me with 490 Points sitting in my account (I already had 250 Points floating around before the 800 free MSP appeared), which I think I'll sit on and see if any other deals get thrown up tomorrow. In the meantime, I have two brand new XBLA titles to check out. Awesome on all fronts, I think. 
 

I Recently Bought Call Of Duty 4... 

 Short version - shooting dudes in the face is pretty fun
...once again proving how I'm always one to move with the times within this industry. To be fair, CoD4 has had me intrigued for some time now. Not in a "lets see what this franchise is all about" sort of way, but in a "let's see why this specific game was (and still is) held in such high esteem" sort of way. Reactions so far are kind of mixed. At about six missions into the single player, there have been moments that are really incredible. Bullets flying all around you, tearing your cover apart and pinning your squad down, those intense moments feel less like a video game and more like you're actually in a warzone. In most FPS games I've played, I'm not worried about getting caught in a hail of bullets, usually because there isn't one. Enemies fire at you one at a time, so you can pick them off one at a time and make steady progress. By comparison, CoD4's campaign sees me almost perpetually crouching because I'm that concerned about getting caught in the crossfire. It's pretty exhilarating. It's not all incredible, of course. The story seems stale and uninspired thusfar, although I suppose there's still room for a couple of twists to save it. The graphics have also left me underwhelmed, nowhere more so than in the 'Crew Expendable' mission on the approach to the tanker. It's cool and cinematic, I know, but it just looks fake. Metal Gear Solid 2 did a better job of believably realising a tanker in a torrential downpour, and that was six years earlier, on drastically inferior hardware. 
 
I've also dabbled a little with the multiplayer, and I can see why it's attracted such a huge following. The constant promise of unlocks and level-ups is a pretty compelling motivation to keep playing, and the curiosity to discover what unlocks will improve my custom class is sure to hold my attention in the coming weeks. Thankfully, the 360 version of the game still seems to have a lot of players active, so I don't think I'll be short of competition while I work my way up the ranks. I was initially worried about going into CoD4's multiplayer, especially given that most of the active players are probably die-hards who've been playing this title for over three years now, but I've been playing Free-for-All matches and so far I've been able to hold my own. On the off-chance anybody here on Giant Bomb is still rocking Call of Duty 4 on the 360 and doesn't mind playing with somebody just finding their feet in the world of online multiplayer FPSes, feel free to hit me up - my Gamertag is dankempster. 
 

I S-Ranked Just Cause 2 This Week... 

 No offence, Rico, but I'll be happy if I don't see you again for quite some time
...and boy, what a pain in the arse that was! When I first finished the game back in May, I'd earned 40 of the game's 50 Achievements and was quite happy to leave it at that. A few weeks ago, though, I decided on a whim to play more of Just Cause 2, perhaps with a view to earning the ten remaining Achievements. I'm not an Achievement whore by any means, but those outstanding emblems on my gamer profile seemed like a good incentive to go back to Panau and cause some more Chaos. About half of those Achievements fell quickly and painlessly - from picking up my 50% complete save, it didn't take me long to find 1000 resource items, locate 150 faction items, complete 1000 sabotages and assassinate 25 Colonels. After this initial wave of unlocks came the really hard grind - pushing for 75% completion while hunting down all of the game's vehicles and going for that bloody Wrecking Ball Achievement. All those hours in Panau paid off when I unlocked the last Achievement on Tuesday, making Just Cause 2 my second Giant Bomb S-Rank (my other is Fallout 3). Now Just Cause 2 has been put to rest, and I've finished Assassin's Creed, I can put more time into Mass Effect 2. With any luck, I'll wrap that up before the year is out, just in time to consider my own personal Game of the Year awards. 
 
--- 
 
Three points, done and dusted. Thanks very much for reading, guys. I'll see you around. 
 
 
Dan 
 
--- 
 
Currently playing - Mass Effect 2 (X360)
Posted by BulletproofMonk

Monkey Island 2 is one of the funniest games ever made, so I'm sure you'll like it.

Posted by JJWeatherman

Ahh, the good ole days of CoD4. That game is indeed fun. I sold mine a while ago though. That was before I decided to stop selling my games.  :( 
 
Hey, I'm currently playing Mass Effect 2 too! Which part are you on? Or, how many crew members have you gathered so far? No giant spoilers.  :P

Posted by dankempster
@JJWeatherman: I'm about twelve hours in and still assembling the crew. I only have the Krogan left to recruit now. Don't worry about spoilers, I don't think I'm in a position to provide any - this is my first playthrough of the game.
Posted by JJWeatherman
@dankempster said:
" @JJWeatherman: I'm about twelve hours in and still assembling the crew. I only have the Krogan left to recruit now. Don't worry about spoilers, I don't think I'm in a position to provide any - this is my first playthrough of the game. "
I'm 16 hours in and I still have to recruit probably two or three more crew members. I've been doing a bunch of side missions and loyalty missions, so it's taking me a while. I just completed the Krogan loyalty mission, which had some exciting points. I've been mining a ton of planets for materials to upgrade too. I don't know about you, but I can't pass an unexplored planet anymore without mining every last mineral from it. I guess that's just my OCD shining through a bit. 
 
I'm gonna be sad when I beat the story, but I'll probably just start over and play through again.
Posted by Claude

I liked Mass Effect 2 so much, after I beat it on my Xbox 360, I bought it for my PC. I love being able to download saves and import them into the game. Awesome game indeed.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Good choice.  Monkey Island 2 is hilarious, provided you don't go for the "rush through" achievement your first playthrough and take the time to examine, touch, and do everything you possibly can in the world.  The ending leaves a bit to be desired, but if you can handle the end of a Monty Python movie, this isn't so bad.

Moderator
Posted by natetodamax

How did you manage to drive 104 different vehicles in JC2? I'm at 103 I think and the last one I need is a damn boat that never spawns. So frustrating. 
 
Ugh, I think I'm done with that game. A few months ago I played it for a disgusting amount of hours, just weeks on end, trying to get 100% in 100 locations and collecting items and resources and crap. I looked at the box today and instantly felt exhausted.

Edited by TheSeductiveMoose

They really nailed the Monkey Island remakes, everything feels true to the original games and the voice acting fits the games perfectly. I hope you enjoy it :D

Posted by dankempster
@Sparky_Buzzsaw: You're only selling it more by comparing it to Python. It's just been bumped straight to the top of my list of priorities.
 
@natetodamax: I was majorly struggling too, until I discovered that DLC vehicles count towards the total. After that I just downloaded the free Tuk Tuk and ice cream truck, and the monster truck, and snagged the Achievement that way. Saved potentially hours of frustration. I'm definitely done with the game too, now. Shooting for 75% completion in a Hardcore difficulty game might not have been advisable.
Posted by natetodamax

There's two free DLC vehicles? Huh, didn't know that. I only have the Ice Cream truck. I'll have to check it out.

Posted by dankempster
@natetodamax: Yeah, I believe it's called the Tuk Tuk Boom Boom - it's a black Tuk Tuk with a rocket launcher attached. The Monster Truck isn't free, though - I was simply foolish enough to drop 80MSP on it back when the game launched.
Edited by TheSeductiveMoose
@Claude said:

" I liked Mass Effect 2 so much, after I beat it on my Xbox 360, I bought it for my PC. I love being able to download saves and import them into the game. Awesome game indeed. "

I also did this, I'm contemplating getting 3 for PC only and just importing a save which made the same decisions as my old one, it was really nice having the option of going through the game as a complete asshole.
 
Also, the guy who made Piss Christ really needs to start drinking more water.
Posted by natetodamax

Hey, thanks for the info on Tuk Tuk Boom Boom. Downloaded it today and got the achievement!