For the Puppies.

Welcome to the club buddy — December 1, 2018

Welcome to the club buddy


Africa Hunting • Start the game

I can’t work out if this game, Africa Hunting, is supposed to be racist, funny, or a little from both column A and B … but in either event, the game was a 9MB download that had eight achievements – all of which I earned at exactly 1.17pm. I think that probably tells you all you need to know about the complexity of this game.


Still, I’m thankful for games like this, because it offers me twenty minutes of escapism, gives me some achievements, isn’t a huge download and it allows me to tick off my achievement for today. Everybody wins! Tonight is our local Carols by Candlelight, so there’s a good chance that I’ll be home too late to play a game and write a blog entry, so I’m pleased that I was able to lock-in this one today.

Ho, ho, ho.

Settling Feuds — November 18, 2018

Settling Feuds

Red Dead Redemption 2 • You completed Chapter 3 • 20G • 32.15% of gamers unlocked this

For a blog that is all about gaming as a dad, RDR2 really is the least child-friendly game on the market at the moment. Even Hitman 2 can be played, fundamentally, without ever seeing a body drop to the ground or any blood … but RDR2 … boy, nothing quite like a bullet drilling a hole through a cowboy’s head to make you sit up and pay attention.

Full disclosure: I’m not actually sitting there playing this with my kids around – and this is pretty much the reason why!


Today, my efforts to chip-away at the main story line have earned me another achievement, bringing the tale of Arthur and Dutch (and Marston) into Chapter 4, and their arrival at the Rockstar version of ye olde New Orleans (or what was going to be New Bordeaux before the 2016 leak). The previous chapter culiminated in a delicious fire-fight in both a town and a homestead, and both were equally satisfying. I’m starting to get a good handle on my weaponry (or there is a stat I’m not sure about that is making my aim improve), and I’m getting good headshots when I can line them up and have a decent second or two to time my shot.


For now, though, I’m in the early days of the chapter, so unless I can find somewhere to play Blackjack (which I think is the last of the table games I have to play), then there’s probably not another RDR2 achievement for a few weeks. Slow and steady wins the race … and at a 30% clearance rate for this achievement alone, well, I’m fairly certain I’m not the one winning it.

Locked and Loaded — November 8, 2018

Locked and Loaded

Red Dead Redemption 2 • You upgraded each available component for a single sidearm or longarm weapon • 10G • 27.48% of gamers unlocked this

Pearl hilt, gold metal and beautiful engraved with dark steel inlay … this, ladies and gentlemen, is a serious gun for a serious cowboy.

It’s also enough to grab one of the easiest achievements in RDR2, so that accounts for today’s efforts. I very nearly have accidentally earned this achievement a couple of times before, so I’m glad I got to earn it while crafting a gun that I can actually feel – and this sounds strange – ‘close’ to. I’m not even close to being a gun lover – I don’t have them in my house and I have no intention of having them – but in a game about cowboys and the Wild West, well, it seems apt to have a nice gun.

Now to put it to good use!

Disassembled — November 1, 2018


Livelock • Destroy 10 Upgraded enemies • 25G • 24.50% of gamers unlocked this

Things looked a bit touch-and-go there for a bit tonight. I had planned on making some headway on RDR2, but of course the Xbox decided that today’s thirty-degree weather wasn’t going to work for it anymore, and it shut itself down – twice – with the emergency cooldown sequence. For ‘the most powerful console ever made’, you would think that it could handle a ‘bit’ of heat (it’s not even that hot!), so I was a touch miffed tonight, and I jumped onto my PlayStation instead.

Then – wait for it – it decided to lock up as well! Playing, of all things, the Minesweeper knock-off!

Insert generic cry-of-dismay here.

I figured that the Xbox had enough ‘cool down’ time after playing the PlayStation … all of five minutes … and so I gave it a proper reboot and instead of going with the graphical titan of RDR2, I figured a smaller digital game might help ‘ease’ it back into service. Enter Livelock and a couple of levels to see what I could grab before bed.

As it turns out, I managed to grab this collectable achievement for killing ten ‘bigger’ baddies, and then after playing around on the home screen for a few seconds I also unlocked an additional four achievements for – well, ‘dressing up.’ I thought there might be an achievement for customising your mech (or whatever it is), but didn’t realise there’d be one for each customisable part, and then another one for having done ‘all three.’

Man, talk about a quick-and-dirty achievement. They would have been perfect to save for a rainy day!

Anyway, I’ve got them now, and I’ve turned the Xbox off for the evening to give it a much-needed rest. Look out tomorrow though, very little can get in between a gaming dad and his console on a Friday night!

Scrap Heap — October 20, 2018

Scrap Heap

Livelock • Destroy 100 enemies • 10G • 49.48% of gamers unlocked this

There must be a bit of a trend for top-down twin-stick shooters at the moment … well at least that style when I think of Diablo, Victor Vran and now, Livelock. This was a Games with Gold title in September, but you could forgive me for thinking that this was actually a free-to-play game, considering it’s published by Perfect World, but for a fully-featured title, I’m somewhat happy with its quality (and even happier that I got it as part of Xbox Live Gold).

The concepts in these early levels are fairly standard. Point your gun at the bad guys and shoot. Even the ‘evolved’ bosses at this stage are defeatable through regular ol’ gunfire, but I suspect the range of unlockables and character builds available mean that there is going to be a mixture of character build and strategy to contend with in later levels.

Look … I’m enjoying this game, but let’s be honest. We’re a week away from Red Dead Redemption 2, not much further from Fallout 76 I got myself a new contract this week, and I’m probably going to have to move to an office without the luxury of wi-fi and lunchtime gaming. All is not lost … thank goodness I got the Vita fired back up again … but the truth is, I’m not likely to be dedicating a lot of time to Livelock throughout November. This is undoubtedly going to be a title that I have to ‘come back to’ between now and never, as the slow drip-feed of Christmas releases starts to flow, and then it’s the new year.

Pretty soon, it’ll be time for E3 2019.

Kill Boxer 01 — October 9, 2018

Kill Boxer 01


BanHammer • Kill Boxer 01

This post didn’t publish properly for some reason … I have tried again.

Time for something a bit different today after a lengthy stint of Spider-Man (which I haven’t finished yet, but I’m working on it!), I lashed out with something a bit different today, seeking out a smaller title in my Steam library in the way of BanHammer.


The premise seems to be ‘kill poachers’ + ‘save the animals’, but I think it’s going to take a bit more game time before I fully appreciate the nuance associated with BanHammer. In either event, I made my way to what looked to be the ‘easiest’ of the ‘big bosses’ and pretty much just laid into him with my automatic weapons. One dead boss.

If only ending poaching in the real world was this easy.

Stay On Target — June 16, 2018

Stay On Target

theHunter: Call of the Wild • Find 50 tracks from the same animal • 10G • 35.08% of gamers unlocked this

I thought I would do the right thing and try something a bit different today – after all, I ostensibly had all afternoon to play video games, and while I still had a few other little backups up-my-sleeve, I thought that this was a great opportunity to test the waters of some of Game Pass’ latest offerings.

First I started with The Technomancer, which I suppose is best described as a poor man’s Red Faction? Or perhaps in the over-the-shoulder style of God of War, but with the production budget of … say … Every Which Way But Loose? I speak in hyperbole, of course – the game is fine, not something that I probably ever would have bought with my own money, but in my mind, this is part of what Game Pass is all about – trying out different things, and finding the occasional diamond among the rough.

The second game I found was theHunter [sic], little T, no space. The stylisation annoys me, only because the Xbox App has allowed that to slip through the cracks (remember my long-standing hate of incorrect capitalisation), and now we not only have a capitalisation issue, but a punctuation one as well? I know that this is by design, but is the English language been rendered so insignificant that we can just willy-nilly ourselves a little ‘the’ to start a title? What a time to be alive.

(… again, that’s hyperbole for those who think I’m genuinely loosing sleep over these things. They annoy me, but not really this much …)

Not only am I so against ‘hunting’ for sport, I am also the world’s biggest scardy cat. The other week I crashed the car into the shed trying to kill a mouse because I thought it was the most humane way to kill it. $1600 and new doors, bumper and various other little repairs have taught me a valuable lesson: let the mouse go next time.

Yep. It’s not a religious or a spiritual basis that I make that call, I’m just not very good at ‘killing’. For most of my developing years, I had my head buried in a screen, so rather than make me into a violent, gun-toting redneck, (much like the media would have you believe these days), I really am quite the pacifist. Killing in theHunter was a secondary consideration for me, as I went about seeing what I could unlock without firing a shot (spoiler: I did actually try and shoot a deer in the end – seemingly unsuccessfully). In the end, the ‘went about’ bit turned into one achievement for walking a mile, and this one popped for pretty much clicking on every track and droppings marker I could find. And they say we’ve evolved past our primal hunting skills.

I don’t see myself jumping back into theHunter any time soon. I’m sure it has fantastic appeal for the American market who all voted for Trump and who continue to argue passionately for their need to possess an assault rifle, but for me, I’m not a ‘kill a creature, track its blood drops and then finish it off’ kind of guy.

But I do love a good walk. And on that note, Avalanche delivered.

Staring at Animal excrement, not so much – but hey, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone, right?