Part Six: The Grind.
It’s been a while my whoreish chums. The last article I did for the Achievements Whore series was about the mighty Two Worlds back last April. I’ve maxed out plenty of games since then but none of them have warranted a full feature. Either that or I’ve been too busy whoring more games.
My next one will be about FIFA ’09 when I finally get round to finishing the game, which is taking a while. This is because there are some frankly bollocks achievements in that game. Not hard as such, just shit and whilst I really don’t want to open the whole ‘achievements are good/gash’ can of worms I think it’s time for a feature about the bad side of achievements. The horrible ones. The ones that are either too demanding, too boring or just too badly conceived.
Here’s my run-down of the worst ones I’ve encountered and, yes, it starts with GRAW. I’ve included achieveability scores for us mere mortals. It’s just a rough guide but feel free to increase them if you’ve one-credited Ikaruga recently/are unemployed/are a robot from the future. Also in there is a chore score calculated using a simple formula, Time x Effort/Volume of Tears.
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, or GRAW to its friends, is a phenomenal game. A tense and tactical shooter with an array of brilliant multiplayer options. If you hate the run and gun of Call of Duty or Halo, this is the game for you. This game got so much right, especially if you played as a sniper. One hit, one kill. None of this emptying a clip into a fella and watching him blow your face off with a shotgun nonsense.
Unfortunately, the game made several errors with its achievements.
Firstly it is full of 8 and 12 point achievements. As any good whore knows, achievements should end in fives or, preferably, zeroes. Then there are the annoying but gettable achievements such as ‘Master of Ceremonies’ (host 1000 matches – what?!) and ‘Commited’ (play for eight hours straight in multiplayer – why?).
However, the real kicks to the testicles are the Champion achievements. World Champion (climb to the top of the world leaderboard), Solo Champion (the solo leaderboard) and Team Champion (the team leaderboard). Basically they are saying you have to be the best in the world at the game in three ways.
Unforgivable and unachievable. Thankfully, Ubisoft got their shit together for GRAW2 and did away with the need for ranked matches at all and also tracked every achievement in the game with a nice in-game system that told you your progress towards things like getting ten solo wins or 500 kills.
That game they gave away with the Halo 3 beta? That’s rubbish right? Shut up, you’re wrong. Crackdown is a sandbox masterpiece. Full of co-op joy, insane driving and cartoony ultra-violence, Crackdown was as close to being Neo as you’ll ever get (without the splinters from Keanu’s acting). From leaping onto buildings to throwing cars at people’s faces this game offered up the sort of action and fun that other games can only dream of (I’m looking at you GTA4).
Overall the achievements weren’t too awful on this game. Indeed a lot of them were fun. There were a bunch added with some premium DLC (800M$P) but the extra content was more or less worthwhile.
However, the achievements that has caused more wailing and gnashing of teeth than any others in the game are ‘Orb Hunter’ (collect 300 hidden orbs) and ‘Free Runner’ (collect 500 agility orbs). Basically, if you want this achievement you need to use a map and tick them off as you go along otherwise you’ll be in 499/500 hell. And you will never be free.
Quite why Realtime Worlds thought that collecting 800 of anything was a good idea remains a mystery but we’ll forgive them, just, because Crackdown is just so much fun.
Achievability: 6 (with map and infinite patience), 3 (without).
Chore: 10 (with map), 5 (if you find them all by just playing, until you get to 499 at which point: 10)
The war between EA’s FIFA and Konami’s Pro Evo has been fought for over a decade now. Konami had the upper hand for so long but got complacent and eventually 2008 was the year that EA came out on top. First with Euro 2008 and then with the masterful FIFA ’09 which is as complete a football game as you can imagine with a myriad of modes and features that will hopefully lead to the resignation and suicide of Seabass Tanaka (the creator of Pro Evo).
However, if there is one area in which FIFA ’09 lets itself down, it’s in the achievements. Most of them are okay, if a bit choreish (play an entire season of Manager mode without simulating a match) and some of them just require a bit of luck (score with a diving header for example). But the real bastards in the list are The Peterson (play for 50 hours) and ‘Duo-Hedgidecimal’ (play a 10 v 10 club match).
Now you’d think that a game that requires you to play a 10 v 10 club match would allow you to challenge another team directly or at least filter your opponents by the number of human players they have. NO! Instead you get matched up with team after team of pointless pricks in their little three man clubs. Eventually, after much persistance, you MIGHT get to face off against the other team that you are trying to get the achievement with.
At this point everyone has to pick a position on the field or the game doesn’t give you the achievement. Helpfully, EA have left the default option as ‘ANY’. If one person leaves it on any, no-one gets the achievement. EA are cunts. Then you’ve got to hope that EA’s woeful servers actually let all ten of you into the match. HNGGGGG! Also, at some point you’ll get ‘search failed’ and everyone in your team will have to turn of their consoles. If at this point you still have twenty players with enough patience, you MIGHT get the achievement. An achievement which can fuck off.
Achievability: 3 (it just requires that you find nineteen people on Live who aren’t twats).
Chore: 3 (takes up to an hour to nail, a few hours planning)
Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe
Hopes were high when Midway announced their MK vs DC Comics crossover title. Scorpion vs Batman? Sign me up for that action. Unfortunately, the game was dogshit because, as any good fight fan knows, MORTAL KOMBAT IS SHIT IN 3D! The game was let down by unbalanced characters, rubbish game modes and some of the worst controls ever.
The achievements were a disgrace also. The gettable ones often didn’t unlock (to this day I have an achievement for beating level five but not the one for beating level three) and the rest were awfully thought out. The Kombo Challenge achievements (complete all the combos for each character) were horrendous due to the terrible controls and Nazi timing of the movements but the absolute shit in the pie was ‘Online Champion’ which required you to win 25 ranked matches…. IN A FUCKING ROW.
So somehow you are meant to win 25 matches in a game where everyone picks the same cheap characters and you are liable to lag out at a moment’s notice. Also if someone quits on you you lose your streak (which is guaranteed once in a while thanks to the shower of utter cunts that make up the MK community). I’m not kidding. I’m fucking glad Midway are going under. I hope their dev team dies in front of their children.
As v_thorne’s guide on Xbox360Achievements.org says;
“Just like it says… win 25 Ranked Matches in a row. Again, disconnects do not count towards this achievement and will also cancel your streak. Example: You’ve won 20 matches and on match 21 the opponent disconnects, you have to restart from 1. Your skill level will determine how easy or hard this achievement will be, there’s not really much to do to cheat around it.“.
Chore? Paint the fucking fence, Daniel-san.
Ubisoft’s free-running murder simulator may have provoked a lot of negative reviews, and some suspiciously glowing ones (kerching!), but I somehow persisted with two entire playthroughs and then a third run for the collection achievements.
Most of the achievements in this game are easily gotten with a little planning and forethought (also a look at MY GUIDE might help you out) but the worst achievements relate to collecting all the flags. There are 400 of them in total and they are mostly black and often hidden. Sometimes you can barely see them even if you are looking in their direction.
Much like Crackdown this is another map/checklist job and so isn’t too difficult but be warned, it takes HOURS to do. Almost twenty infact. *SOB*! One of the choriest achievements on this list.
Achievability: 8/10 (needs map)
Chore: 9/10 (needs tablets)
Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting
Many old-school gamers were pretty excited when Street Fighter 2 came to Xbox Live Arcade. Until they played it.
For those of us raised on the SNES version the increased speed, horrific d-pad controls and community of cheap and nasty wankers made this game a bit of a lemon. The worst thing by a mile though was the difficulty. Ranging from zero to seven stars, you’d think there would be a difficulty setting for everyone.
Wrong. Zero stars may as well be called ‘fucking horrible’. It may be the easiest setting but the AI will still bounce you off the walls until you vow to never play the game again. So it’s pretty odd that the game has achievements for winning the tournament without losing a match and, even worse, one for not losing a round! Suffice to say that Street Fighter 2 can literally fuck off.
Chore: 8/10 (takes minutes to do, months to learn how to do)
So that’s your lot. I hope to return soon with a less negative ‘Whore article for you but grinding out choreish achievements is all part of the fun (he says attempting to get 5000EXP out of Skate 2 at a maximum of 30 points per match). Until next time, fellow whores.