200k GamerScore and Beyond

Well, it's finally here. After 3.5 years of owning an Xbox 360 I finally achieved the goal of 200k GamerScore. Although most of my friends either have more than that, or are close, I figured I would celebrate it with a blog post. If you read my 100k GS and beyond post from two years ago, you already know that I got my 360 in August of 2007. Ever since November of 2007 I've been addicted to gaining achievements, and it has since led me to where we are today. I achieved the coveted 200k mark less than 2 years after I got 100k GamerScore. Not impressive by some standards, but for me it was, seeing as how it took me 2.5 years just to achieve 100k GamerScore. Although my completion % is not great, around 50%, and I've only completed 82 games, I'm still happy where I'm at. Yeah, I don't have 80% or 90% completion percentage, but that's okay by me. 200k GamerScore is a huge milestone in the Xbox 360 community, and I can finally say I reached that milestone.

The achievement that gave me 200k was:

Don't Let It Go To Your Head
Get sponsored in Legacy Mode

I figured it was an appropriate achievement for such a special occasion. After playing through some Power Gig: Rise of the Six String last night, I needed only 10 points. I did not want to go over 200k, and I wanted to get the milestone with a game that was a good game that I enjoyed playing. Fight Night Champion had just been released this past Tuesday, so I figured that would be perfect. So I went on a hunt to find a 10GS achievement, and I ran across this one. All I had to do was win my first 9 fights in Legacy Mode and that was it. I easily did that, and 200k GamerScore was mine.

Who would I like to thank? Well, it's hard to list them all, so if I miss you, please don't take offense, I definitely don't mean too. Most of you probably won't know who I'm thanking, but that's okay. You'll get to see and read about all of the nice and fantastic people I've met over the past 3.5 on Xbox Live.

ThrawnOmega - My captain for "The Hand of Thrawn" in two GSL's. And although we didn't win, we had fun gaining achievements, and just goofing off in party chat. He gave me a chance to be on his team, and tried my best not to let him down gaining over 20k during my first GSL. Thanks Thrawn, and I know you'll beat Xylo. Nobody can win a GamerScore race who can't tell a "that's what she said" joke. =P Only kidding Xylo, good luck to you as well.

BL4CK SiLv4 - Ah, the token black guy in our little group. Want to have discussion about politics, video game, or anything in general? Well, Silva is your guy. The man is hilarious, and somebody I'm glad to say I've met on Xbox Live. He was also on "The Hand of Thrawn", and was the guy who kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning. He was at one point significantly ahead of me in GamerScore, but his job got in the way of his gaming time, and I eventually passed him. However, he's only about 11k away, so I know he'll get there by the summer.

The rest of "Hand of Thrawn" - Sabre, Xylo, Derek, and even Bionik, It's been a pleasure meeting each of you. I know Sabre has been busy with the Army, but when you come back I know you'll be going full swing towards 100k GamerScore. Xylo, I have a feeling you'll pass Thrawn (sorry Thrawn).

Fraggs.net - Yes, the site I wrote for and no longer write for. This is the site that helped me put my foot in the door in the gaming industry as a writer. For that I thoroughly thank Michael, the owner of it, and the fine staff for the site and magazine for giving such an amazing opportunity. Although we left on bad terms, mainly my fault, I still plan to support the magazine, and I wish them nothing but the best with all future endeavors.

Twitter People - Yes, I joined Twitter a year ago this month. After bashing it and calling it useless, I've come to enjoy it. Yes, you get the occasional trolls, spam bots, etc., but the majority of the people I met on there are nice people. It's been a pleasure meeting, gaming, and getting to know some of you over the past year, and I expect to meet more in the next year, and on my march to 300k GamerScore.

SFX-360 - Although I've only been writing for them for just over a month now, I must say I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I've already written two reviews for the site, You Don't Know Jack and Body & Brain Connection, and a slew of news articles as well. I have to thank them for giving me the opportunity to write for them, and I look forward to the bright future ahead.

X360A - How could I forget the site that got me into achievements? I remember searching for the achievement list for Dance Dance Revolution 2. Why? I really don't remember, but I came across x360.org. I immediately signed up on the forums, and ever since then the site has helped me out tremendously. The amazing people over there, Webb, Minty, Pants, and the amazing people who write the achievement guides all deserve a pat on the back. They do an amazing job, and all I have left to say is keep up the good work.

Everyone else - StophJ, Krazie, Creech, CougarSlayer530, Dex, Wiki, Molneze, Bota, and anybody else I missed. People told me meeting intelligent gamers over Xbox Live would never happen, and yet here I am writing about them. It was a pleasure meeting you guys, and playing some crazy games with you all as well. Although we never met in person, partying it up in party chat with you guys was always fun.

My apologies to everyone if I rambled on, or if this made absolutely no sense to some of you, but I didn't make a big post when I hit 100k GamerScore, so I figured I would for the 200k mark. If I forgot to thank you, I sincerely apologize. It's been a crazy 3.5 years on Xbox Live. It's been a pleasure meeting some of you guys/gals. Hopefully this time next year I'll be celebrating some of you getting 100k Gamerscore (Sabre, DarkTharen), and maybe even a few 200k as well, (Silva, Thrawn, Xylo). Either way thanks for the great 3.5 years, and 200k GamerScore, and I hope to see you all at the 300k mark.    

Looking forward to 2011 in video game land

Now that the big holiday season for video games has pretty much slowed down, and every major game has now been released, it's time to look ahead to the next year in gaming. Of course some of these games release dates are subject to change, but most of the one's I mention will come out in 2011. We'll also surely get some game announcements at the SPIKE Video Game Awards in December, but until then these are the games I know will be released in 2011 and the ones that are due for success, in my opinion. This is also a discussion on retail games, we don't usually know when Arcade games are due for release on Xbox Live and Playstation Network, so I can't comment on them. Without even looking at the below list you should already know that just like in 2010 in the first four months of 2011 big AAA games are due for release. I'll let you look at the list below, and then you can read what I think about the games of 2011 and which one's I think are sleepers, and which ones are due for success and failure.

*Every game below takes you to their Gamestop page

Batman: Arkham City
Call of Duty (Not announced what it will be but it's a yearly series)
Child of Eden (Can be played with Kinect or controller)
Crysis 2
Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon
Days of Thunder
De Blob 2
Dead Space 2
Deep Black
Deus Ex Human Revolution
Dragon Age II
Driver: San Francisco
Duke Nukem Forever
Dungeon Siege III
F.E.A.R. 3
Final Fantasy XIV
Gears of War 3
Ghost Recon Future Soldier
Heroes on the Move
Hunted: Demon's Forge
Infamous 2
Killzone 3
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Knight's Contract
LA Noire
Little Big Planet 2
Madden NFL 12 (Not yet announced, but it's a yearly franchise)
Major League Baseball 2K11
Mass Effect 2 (Playstation 3)
Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Max Payne 3
Metal Gear Solid Rising
Michael Jackson The Experience (Kinect)
Mortal Kombat
MotorStorm Apocalypse
NASCAR 2011: The Game
NBA 2K12 (Not yet announced, but it's a yearly franchise)
Operation Flashpoint: Red River
Portal 2
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
Resistance 3
Shadows of the Damned
Spec Ops: The Line
Test Drive Unlimited 2
The Cursed Crusade
Top Gun Hybrid
Top Spin 4
True Crime
Twisted Metal
Two Worlds II
Warriors: Legends of Troy
WWE All-Stars
WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2012 (Not yet announced, but it's a yearly franchise)
Yakuza 4
You Don't Know Jack

I must first say that, for the time being, 2011 is the year for Sony and the Playstation 3. All in all, as of right now, they have 13 exclusive games set to be released in 2011. If you're a Playstation 3 fan and that doesn't get you excite for the year to come, then I don't know what will. Twisted Metal returns for the first time on the next-gen system, with the surprise announcement they had at E3, and fans are eagerly awaiting the return of that franchise. Killzone 3, Resistance 3, and SOCOM 4 are their big games for the next year and will more than likely be their three highest selling games. Shooters are in right now, as they have been for years, and those franchises have huge followings, and they always due good in sales. Of course families will have their fair share of games as well with a new Ratchet & Clank game, Sorcery, Heroes on the Move, and Little Big Planet 2. Out of those games you have to say all of them will do well, but Little Big Planet 2 has to be the front runner in the pack. The success of the first one, and the fact that the sequel will give you the ability to make almost any game you want, from a racer to a shooter, it will add more original content to the game. Although the Xbox 360 will have it's fair share of games, there is no way it will have the exclusive games that the Playstation 3 will. Before you post in the comments, "oh my gawd, fanboy alertz", No I'm not a fanboy, I own both and Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. While I do play my 360 more, within the next year I will surely be playing my PS3 more. Fans of the PS3 felt left out with hardly any exclusive games in 2010 with all of them being delayed until 2011, but you can't deny Sony and with them providing great games for their fans. Oh and let's not forget Infamous 2, the sequel to the highly praised Infamous, which was both a game loved by fans and critics, and the fact the PS3 gamers are finally getting the Bioware Mass Effect series.

One game that is due for huge success? Well, of course Gears of War 3 is near the top of that list. Even though the 360 has very few exclusive games next year, Gears of War 3 is highly anticipated by most gamers. I say most gamers, as some people, including me, had differing opinions on Gears of War 2, the campaign was great, but the online was laggy and unbalanced. Although Epic has stated they fixed all of that, until the game does get released, we won't know that for sure, but with the inclusion of Beast Mode, new characters, and the news that they have tweaked the multiplayer tremendously, it's definitely a game most people are looking forward to. It's a shame really that Microsoft is putting almost all of their eggs in either the Kinect or Gears of War 3 bag, but hopefully either at the SPIKE Video Game Awards or at E3 next year we'll get some new games announced for the 360. Until then, it's all Kinect of Gears of War 3 for Xbox fans.

Which games do I think will be the biggest of the year? Of course the new Call of Duty game will be big, as it is every year, but I have to say Duke Nukem Forever and Batman: Arkham City. Duke Nukem Forever has been in development for over a decade, and even though it can never live up to expectations, fans still want to play the game. Will it be the biggest game of 2011? I don't think so, but out of the list above I think it will easily be one of the top selling games of 2011. Gearbox knows what they're doing when it comes to developing games, just take a look at Borderlands and it's success. They don't fail very often, and I know fans should love the new Duke Nukem game. Now, when it comes to Batman: Arkham City, there is no doubt in my mind it will do VERY well once it releases. Even though we've seen hardly any footage of the game, the direct sequel form Batman Arkham Asylum will easily be on of the best selling games next year. Of course, we'll take what I say with a grain of salt since we've have not seen the game in action yet. However, for anybody who played Batman Arkham Asylum, you know how good that game was and you also probably know that the sequel will be just as good, if not better. I'm highly anticipating both Duke Nukem Forever and Batman: Arkham City so that might be why I say all of this, but there is no question how many gamers are awaiting those two games.

You have games like Dead Space 2, Dragon Age 2, BulletStorm, Deus Ex Human Revolution, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Portal 2, and Crysis 2 are all due for success, but which ones will do better than others? I personally think that the big heavy hitters out of those games are Portal 2, Crysis 2, and Dragon Age 2, with Portal 2 having the best success out of those. BulletStorm looks good, but we've seen so little of the story. The gameplay looks fun, but how long will the campaign last, and will the game include multipalyer or co-op? Marvel vs Capcom 3 will be huge for the fighting fans, but outside of that I'm not so sure. Dead Space 2 will do great as well as the story looks to continue from the original Dead Space, but the included multiplayer that had a beta, and granted it was a beta, was not that good, so that's why I'm hesitant on the game. Deus Ex is one of those games I want to see do good as I love the franchise. I just don't know how many gamers even know what that franchise has done for video games, or if they have even heard of it, which would be unfortunate. Portal 2 is so hyped by Valve, and so wanted by fans, that there is no way it's not a runaway hit, and it should be. The original was so good that it was included in The Orange Box, and even had it's own Xbox Live Arcade game. All of those games mentioned above will probably sell well over 1 million copies, so I'm not putting down any of the games above, however, some will obviously do better than others, and that's what I'm pointing out.

With success we always have failure, and some of the games in the list above will have some. Test Drive Unlimited 2, racing games are in a severe decline, and I'm not sure this game can save it. Do I think it will be a good game? Yes, but the fact that the racing genre is doing bad does not bode well for the game. Two Worlds II was originally set for release back in October but was delayed just weeks beforehand. Unfortunately I think that will make the game lose sales. The number of games coming out in Q1 of 2011 and the fact that it was delayed, it could under perform. Also, don't be too surprised if it gets delayed again, I have a feeling it might get pushed to fall of 2011. 505 Games has a few games set to be released next year. They're the developer that brought us Naughty Bear and Backbreaker. In 2011, they have such games as Day of Thunder, Top Gun, and Deep Black as just a few of their releases. Do I think any of them will do good? No, but who really does. These aren't AAA games, but they're games that don't think have a shining chance at doing good, even if Day of Thunder and Top Gun are only $29.99. Most of the AAA games posted above I think will do well so I don't have too many on the failure list, but I'm sure as we get closer to the release's of all the games that list will grow.

Obviously we've seen very little from all of these games, but what good is video games without differing opinions from gamers? There were games I didn't mention, that's due to the fact that this post would have had 10 or so paragraphs if I did. If I talk about your favorite game my apologies, but I reserved my thoughts for some of the biggest games of 2011. Although some of you might disagree with the games I think will succeed or fail, it is my personal opinion and that can very well change in the coming weeks and months. Please, feel free to leave you comments below about which games you're looking forward too, and what games you think will do good or bad. It's your opinion, so let it be heard. 2011 is definitely going to continue right where 2010 left off as the first four months of the year will be huge for gamers. Let's just hope that our wallets can handle all of the games being released.