For the Puppies.

FINISH HIM — December 12, 2018


Mortal Kombat X • Perform 1 Fatality in a match • 5G • 69.48% of gamers unlocked this

It used to be that fatalities were the enigma in Mortal Kombat. They were a clever sequence of buttons and combinations that would be passed on around the arcade, or in my case, the camping ground. If you were lucky, one of the few gaming magazines you were allowed to buy might have had a special on your fighter-of-choice and offered up the special combination, but even then it relied on the finesse to be able to pull off the combo while your $2 was on the line.

These days, it seems, you hold the right trigger and push the X button.

I know that there’s some more elaborate fatalities available in MKX, but really, I’m not going to bother learning any of them when the LT+X gets me the achievement all the same. I’m not an overly complex guy … I like the path of least resistance, and this is it.

I had a go at the story mode briefly, but I couldn’t see anywhere to lower the difficulty setting, so I parked that for the time being. It’s not like the story (the first few levels I played) offered overly complicated fights, but – harking back to my simplicity – I wanted an easy win. If the mood grabs me later in life I might have a go at the story, but to be honest it’s a fighting game … ten titles deep and I’m not really caring about the narrative.

Nichboy posted a tweet about his love of Ashen earlier today, which has made me even more enthusiastic to give it a go, but timing tonight just didn’t work out. Expect this to make an appearance this week, or at the latest, the weekend, for some initial thoughts.

And so, we enter the time of the year where game cleanup reigns supreme … and here I am still trying to finish the goddamn chicken mission on Idle Heroes.

Tower Kompetitor — December 11, 2018

Tower Kompetitor

Mortal Kombat X • Complete a single Tower • 10G • 37.21% of gamers unlocked this

First of all, why would you capitalise the word ‘Tower’ without the word single? Anyway, as promised, one of the latest additions to the Xbox Game Pass, Mortal Kombat X, and some delicious achievements to go along with it. At first I figure that it’d be pretty easy to get an achievement for your first win, or your first round … but no, this one actually required a bit of effort – and, to be honest, more than I was willing to give at 7am in the morning.

But, nonetheless, I persevered with a ‘Tower’, and did ten fights of two-rounds a pop (on ‘Very Easy’ difficulty) with my beloved Sub-Zero.

I don’t really talk about it because I’m generally terrible at fighter video games, but one of my earliest gaming memories is on the arcades with Mortal Kombat (and also Street Fighter). That’s why, I suspect, I fell in love with Injustice, because it offered a fresh start to the fighter genre with some characters that I’m very attached to in DC, but – naturally – time and inclination waned, and in the end, I stuck with Deathstroke and the few moves I knew I could perform with consistency for a win.

Other than the capital-T Tower, I also went through and did some Kard Kustomisation for a few other quick-and-dirty achievements. These are the same types of achievements that are in the Injustice series, and while I’d normally hold off and keep these up my sleeve for another day, the fact that I’ve opened up my options to all sorts of gaming platforms makes this a bit redundant. And so, I cracked those few extra gamerscore open!

I’ll do another look at the achievement list tonight and see what else might be achievable before I close-down MKX for the year, but I’ve still got some other titles on-the-go for the next week (or two) at least.

Let the good times roll!

Off the GRID — December 10, 2018

Off the GRID

ONRUSH • Reached Player Level 5 • 10G • 40.92% of gamers unlocked this

Sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned mindless racing game to unwind after a hard day. Today is one of those days. A full day at work, a full session at training, and an episode of The West Wing have left me fairly fatigued, and so tonight was all about the mindless racing and bashing of cars until I got to the first stop on my levelling journey on ONRUSH … Level 5.

More importantly though, I discovered a whole heap of very trendy games that have just been added to Game Pass. Ashen and Mortal Kombat X in particular just got added to my download queue, so don’t be surprised if you see these pop-up on my achievement list sometime in the next week!

And yes, then I’ll also eventually get around to South Park as well.

Unlocktopus — December 8, 2018



Airscape: The Fall of Gravity • Unlock a Containment Level

It’s Christmas Party season, so naturally that means my whole evening is hijacked with one or another party for one or another political event or social group. All that means though is that some good planning needs to be put in place – or, as is usually the case – the fortuitous overlap of a new game and an achievement in the early hours of the day.


Airscape was one of the few Steam games kicking around in my library that looked ‘OK’, and it had some achievements in it so I downloaded it without too much resistance. I was pleased to see this was fairly family friendly little puzzler, given it took about two minutes from me starting the game for my kids to come running into my study, wanting to sit on my knee, and either wanting to have a turn of the game, or make me start an episode of Peppa Pig on my second monitor.


The premise is essentially: you are an octopus, you need to solve a few puzzles to rescue other octopus. The end. There might be more to it than that, but I doubt it … even by the end of the first section the levels were getting fairly complex, so I suspect that it’s a matter of riding the steep learning curve for the duration of the game. And you know what? For a mindless little puzzler that’s OK to play with my kids – I might just do that.


I have high hopes of wrapping up these parties early, going home and playing some uninhibited Red Dead Redemption 2. I have high hopes – but not so high on getting an achievement, so it’s nice to get this out of the way early.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and be social.


Congrats! — December 7, 2018



AIDEN • Quest 1 Completed

I don’t know what it is about the use of small, young girls in video games to invoke a sense of terror. I suspect it has something to do with The Shining, the Grady Daughters and their impact on the horror genre, but in any case – I can say with some authority that being the dad of a small, young girl … I think they earn the moniker of being utterly terrifying.

I don’t know what AIDEN is about. I just don’t know. It seems to be a puzzle-lite game, but the motivation behind the protagonist needing to escape, what looks to be a school, is really left up to one’s imagination, at least in the early stages. There is a note in the first room that gives you a brief overview of someone escaping, but that’s it really. I don’t really know, but I suspect this is more of a student project than a genuine indie release. The ‘first puzzle’ involves finding something crowbar-esque and then opening a door to find a key. Once you leave this room, you then find yourself confronted with the aforementioned terrifying girl, who says something about the thing at the back of the class not agreeing (or something like that), and when you turn to see the end of the school hallway, you are promptly killed by … a thing.


I suspect that the low number of achievements in this game account for what should be a series of short, sharp puzzles designed for completion in a single playthrough. It seems like multiple deaths to uncover the ‘perfect’ run is where this game slots itself in terms of game mechanics, and that’s fine – I look forward to the challenge of 100%’ing it – but I certainly won’t be bending over backwards to recommend it as a source of AAA-level quality.

As I say: Every game is an experience.

Breakout — December 6, 2018


Red Dead Redemption 2 (2)

Red Dead Redemption 2 • Red Dead Online: You completed the Intro • 5G • 32.93% of gamers unlocked this

I actually broke ground on the Epilogue Part II tonight, but there was no achievement unlock for it, so I don’t know whether I did things in the wrong order, whether there’s simply no achievement for it, or if there’s a glitch. In any event, it seemed like I only had to do one thing – open my player menu – in Red Dead Online before I unlocked the first achievement from the online side … so after an hour and a half tidying up John Marston’s time as a farm-hand, I ventured into Blackwater and did what the menu told me to do.


Red Dead Redemption 2

Once again, I’ve left my gaming far too late in the evening – well, there’s that, plus the achievements aren’t exactly flowing at this late stage in the game, which is all part of the fun of the challenge I guess. Tomorrow is the beginning of a much-needed weekend, so I’m hoping that I polish off the main story sometime over the next few days, and then can move to achievement cleanup and … hopefully … maybe even another game?

Or, heck, even a sleep might be nice?

Four’s a Party — December 5, 2018

Four’s a Party

Brawlhalla • Played 3 games in the Free-for-All matchmaking queue • 15G • 25.18% of gamers unlocked this

I played some Brawhalla earlier this year when visiting in-laws, and it looked like a fun free-to-play game for mainstream console owners who missed the frenzied combat of Super Smash Bros. It was easy enough for my son to play, largely attributable to its simple controls of move, jump and attack, and some slight variations on those themes, and I like to set him as the benchmark for what he should and shouldn’t be in the lounge room watching the TV for.

I got another achievement essentially just for logging in, so I figured that a few games wouldn’t go astray. In the space of three games I managed to come last, second last and then second! There’s certainly room for growth!

Right now though, I’m falling asleep writing this entry – so I that makes a brilliant idea.