MultiplayerDad

For the Puppies.

Unlocktopus — December 8, 2018

Unlocktopus

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Yuck.

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Mad world! — November 30, 2018

Mad world!

Rayman Legends • Complete the “Mariachi Madness” painting • 10G • 14.27% of gamers unlocked this

Believe it or not, I actually scored myself two achievements in Red Dead Redemption 2 today … and I got some pretty good screenshots to match! But it is this achievement, in Rayman Legends, which I’ve decided to celebrate today – for no other reason than the simple fact that I managed to setup the blog post for this one first.

It is great that a family game like this can still surprise me. My son loves to ‘play’ Rayman, but it’s inevitable that he finds a bit too hard and he passes the controller to me … to the point where I end up just playing the entire game, so as a result, I’ve started doing it exclusively on my Xbox account (can’t miss an achievement opportunity), and when (and this is unlikely) he wants to play it solo, he does so in his account. The structure of the game in that they are short, sharp levels rather than a linear experience makes this perfect for this style of play, and – so far – it’s worked well for us.

Tomorrow is a busy ‘family’ day, so it might be a quicker, easier, mobile achievement if-and-when time permits. Wait-and-see.

Gardener — November 26, 2018

Gardener

Rayman Legends • Pull 100 turnips out of the ground • 10G • 15.15% of games unlocked this

My son and I have been going through some of my old YouTube videos this week, and one of them was my attempt at the perfect run of the ‘Black Betty’ level of Rayman Legends, which, naturally, prompted a childhood urge to play it again.

Well, I can tell you now that the urge doesn’t really change between the age of five and thirty something years senior.

My first inclination was just to have a mindless romp through Rayman, but I was tempted with a look at the achievement list to see what was close, and so this one naturally stood out as being ‘nearly complete.’ And so, I did what any good achievement hunter would do … I started to grind. I knew the early levels would be a good starting place, and sure enough, the first level itself has a spot right near the start where you can grab 2-3 turnips really easily, so after a few minutes I managed to unlock this achievement, and – finally – mix up my streak a bit from the past week.

Side bonus: it’s good to be back playing Rayman.

I am away with work for the next couple of days, so I’m not sure what or where I’m going to plan in regards to an achievement – but I know I’m an innovative sort of chap, so I’ll certainly give it a red hot go!

Might be time to polish up the Vita.

Hurry Up! — October 10, 2018

Hurry Up!

Minefield • Finish the game under 10 seconds • Silver Trophy • Rarity 9.9% (Very Rare)

Today I struck while the iron was hot and grabbed a trophy before I left for work this morning. I had anticipated grabbing a trophy for one of the ‘larger’ Minefield maps, but in my haste to get a trophy and get out the door I kept … well … I kept stuffing it up.

In the end, I reverted back to a smaller map and went for broke to get a sub-10 second finish … and, like most things in my life, I got it done earlier than I needed to.

Thus ends today’s Dad joke.

I’m a bit excited tonight, because my wife has proposed another rewatch of The West Wing, which we tend to do about once every 12-18 months. I still think it’s hard to beat in terms of great television.

And it, hands down, beats contemporary real world politics.

First Victory — September 14, 2018

First Victory

Sea Battle 2 • Earned first victory

I know this sounds silly, but I still consider Battleships to be one of the ultimate military strategy games. For a long time I’ve loved strategy and the narratives that surround them – think Command and Conquer, or even something more contemporary like Company of Heroes – but Battleships is a game that is raw strategy. There’s no storyline – no ‘Axis vs Allies’ or ‘The Brotherhood of Nod’. Just pure, unadulterated gameplay.

And then, of course, some developer called Byril OOO brought it to mobile.

I like the concept. It’s pretty much hard-and-fast Battleships, with a pretty good pen-and-paper design and the option to go one player versus AI, or against an online opponent. For this achievement I just kept it simple – one game, medium AI … as much to give myself a sense of the game over anything else.

I haven’t had a good look at the achievement list yet, but I will see if there’s anything else worth picking up in the meantime. You never know when a backup iOS Achievement will come in handy!

Welcome to Your Horizon — September 1, 2018

Welcome to Your Horizon

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Forza Horizon 3 • Celebrate opening your Horizon Festival site by putting on a spectacular Showcase • 10G • 79.02% of gamers unlocked this

It’s been a long-time coming, but finally, finally, I’ve been able to play Horizon 3 … and on my PC as well! I have a lot of both stock and faith in the Xbox-on-PC model … remembering that I was one of the early champions of the unpopular Games for Windows Live, this finally feels like a step in the right direction – and we should all take our hats off to Phil Spencer for driving a lot of this innovation in Microsoft.

In Phil We Trust.

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Before I started playing, I had to go through a bit of a setup process, which was strange considering most games I’ve been playing on PC lately are – with the exception of a minor installation screen – pretty much click-and-go. Horizon went through a lengthy PC optimisation cycle before I could start, which is fine I suppose, but doesn’t really tell me what it’s doing as far as ‘optimisation’. I thought, perhaps, that if I’d chosen a higher resolution, this might be the time it downloads better visuals, but it’s speculation from a man who – in the end – really just wanted to play himself a video game.

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The game starts off much the same as the Horizons before it. Your player character is driving to the festival in any one of an assortment of gorgeous sports cars, before launching the festival with a farcical, Top Gear-style race – this time around against a Jeep being transported by a chinook for most of the way.

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Fun fact – I actually grew up close to the Great Ocean Road and worked it for many years, so for me – this is home. While I know that one doesn’t make a quick turn to get from the Daintree to the Twelve Apostles, I actually think Turn 10 have done a good job of building transitions into the races – in this instance, a cave network that immediately gave me echoes of the cave at Loch Ard Gorge.

And so, thus concludes the opening volley of Forza Horizon 3. This is an up-late achievement on account of me being on-the-road much of this weekend for the Melbourne Esports Open (which I’ve mentioned every day for the last few days!), so we’ll see if this has sharpened my Forza skills up enough to win a game or two on the tournament floor … stranger things have happened!

Crystal Relic Collector — August 4, 2018

Crystal Relic Collector

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Knack • Acquired a Crystal Relic • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 62.9% (Common)

It’s the freakin’ weekend, and do you know what that means? If you guessed housework, and a day out-and-about, then you’re absolutely correct; but if your guess ventured into something about having to entertain the kids when they’ve had a full day of the aforementioned ‘out-and-about’, and they’re eyes are hanging out of their head … then I’m happy to give you a silver medal as well.

What does this all mean? Why, time to fire up the closest friendly family game, of course – and Knack fit the bill. While we’re pretty much tag-teaming the game for the most part, it really is a case of my son playing for a bit, getting killed, and then me having to go back and get through the next chunk until he feels like playing again. Repeat, ad nauseum.

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Even though he still falls over along the way, he’s certainly got the grasp of the game, and he knows when to look in side doors or areas where chests might be. Even though he breezes past a lot of these things while he’s playing, it pleases me that he’s getting a good grasp of side quests. I’ll turn him into a professional gamer yet!

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This trophy is simply for unlocking a particular type of collectible, or ‘relic’ as the game labels them. I noticed that collecting the full set of these crystals appears to be the requirement for unlocking ‘Vampire Knack’, which – perhaps most importantly – is necessary for another trophy entirely! I can’t see myself in the likely multiple playthroughs needed to obtain the full set, but by the same token, I said that a lot about Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, and then I had to keep going back to it to cater to my son’s obsession, and used the time to 100% it. Silver lining and all that.

Tomorrow is pretty much a dedicated family day, so I’m not sure where I’m going to land when it comes to achievements. I still have many of my quick-and-dirty achievements on Steam there to work my way through, which might be a nice change from the more ‘meaty’ stuff I’ve been working on lately. Final Fantasy VII, in particular, is proving particularly taxing on the mind.

I’m not sure if that reflects the game, the twenty years since it’s been out or … more troubling … my mind!