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.

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Back in the Slammer

Marvel’s Spider-Man • Take down each Prisoner Camp • Silver Trophy • Rarity 28.7% (Rare)

Today I actually earned a small handful of 0G achievements from Forza Horizon 3 (the Australian one, not the recent one, FH4, set in the UK) identified as being a part of #Forzathon (sic), but given that I can’t actually pinpoint whether this is a real thing that’s happening at the moment or rather it’s part of a glitch (as it seems to have been in the past), I felt it safe to stick with one of my Spider-Man trophies that I earned as part of the ongoing trophy clean-up.

As part of my clean-up, I only actually had one Prisoner stronghold left to complete, and by now I’ve gotten the combat down to a fairly good art, so this didn’t take too long. In the past 48 hours I think I’ve successfully managed to clear-out the R&D labs, taken down Taskmaster, and the rest of the base-style achievements.

Not bad for a day’s work.

There are a couple of ‘hidden’ trophies which I’m hoping will form part of the side missions – of which I have hardly completed any, so I’m slowly going to start grinding my way through them now. Perhaps my biggest worry on this front is that the trophies are going to require ‘perfection’ in some of the bigger challenges – all of which I can do ‘OK’, but I typically fall short of earning three-stars … so soon enough it’s going to be a case of comparing complete trophy lists with the ones I have already earned.

Talk about a first-world problem.

Right now though, I have a new Xbox controller for use with my PC, so I’ve downloaded a couple of games that work with the controller to give it a spin. The backup Logitech wired PC controller has been relegated to the bottom drawer – while it’s functional, it’s far from comfortable … and I’m not getting any younger! Of course, I’ve been a console gamer for so long it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to use a controller on PC if-and-when that opportunity presents itself.

Borderlands, however is one game that does. It has just finished downloading, so with that in mind – I think it’s a good place to start.

End Game

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Marvel’s Spider-Man • Complete Act 3 • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 46.8% (Rare)

What. An. Ending. My goodness, I know I love a good narrative game, but everything from the final battle to the emotional roller-coaster of a conclusion was just … wow. It’s funny, how in light of the Telltale closure(s) over the past few weeks, the only real people I’ve seen hustling for jobs have been the writers – perhaps because it’s such a crowded market and opportunities are already thin-on-the-ground, but when you see stories deliver like Spider-Man, or any of the Telltale series, really, you often don’t think about how well written the damn thing is.

The PS4 Spider-Man writing staff at Insomniac should be very proud to include this on their CV.

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There was a short warning, as there often is in these kind of games, warning that there would be no final chances to upgrade gear before the final battle, but it seemed like my general understanding of the combat mechanics and basic moves was enough to get me through in the end. Learning how to throw, duck and punch is really the three basics of the final battle, but having a sense of traversal doesn’t go astray for keeping your health up as well.

Spoilers follow …
Continue reading

Grounded

Marvel’s Spider-Man • Defeat Electro and Vulture • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 54.4% (Common)

I won’t lie: I’ve played quite a bit of Spider-Man this evening. I feel like I’m on the home straight with the game, having defeated four out of the six main bosses – and, much like this trophy, they seem to come two-at-a-time … so I’ll see whether that plays out the same as I barrel towards end-game.

But moreso than story progress, I have to say – I think I am more than a little addicted to photo mode. Much like Uncharted 4, I think I have doubled the playtime length getting through the game, as I pause to take what I think are excellent shots. Only in the last 24 hours though, have I discovered ‘stickers’ … which are a bit unnecessary in an otherwise awesome game … but I can see how an astute digital artist might be able to have a bit of fun with them. Perhaps I’ll flex those particular muscles post-game.

Right now I’ve taken a spare ten minutes out of my day to write up this blog entry, but I’m so close to the end I’m really just itching to get back to it. On that note, allow me to ‘thwip‘ out of here!

 

 

Quest Completed

Sparkle 2 • Complete your quest • Silver Trophy • Rarity 29.1% (Rare)

I am unapologetic in my love of mindless little puzzle games on the PlayStation Vita. Handheld gaming in general is a huge boon for someone like me. In fact, if the Nintendo Switch had a half-decent achievement system, I could say with some certainty that this would soon be my platform-of-choice.

However, it doesn’t, and it’s not … and so I am left working through some titles from Sony’s “legacy” system … which, after all these years is still going strong.

A little after midnight, I pushed through to finish the “campaign” of the bubble-come-puzzler, Sparkle 2, that felt a need to try and map some kind of story to the overall journey. I suppose it’s a good a goal as any, albeit unnecessary – the journey itself was never a real driver to finish … if I knew there was a set 100 levels, then I would just work towards that goal. Nonetheless, I’m not a game developer, nor am I particularly creative, and so I play the games as-they-come.

Look … I’m not ashamed to say I bloody loved this game. For all of its whimsy, it has solid mechanics and cuts-away any ‘fluff’. It has just the right balance of tension and reward, and it is well-paced in terms of difficulty curve. Something like Sparkle 2 is a good example of what can be achieved when you stop trying to over-engineer a title and just perfect the basics. You won’t find any Call of Duty-style arguments about the length of the campaign here … it is a game about combining small, colourful balls … and that’s it.

Well done to 10 Ton for having the balls to stick with a good concept and doing it well.

There is a challenge mode that seems to be seperate to the main ‘campaign’ which I might be able to have a go at over the weekend – but for now, I’m happy that I got to the end, and I plan to enjoy the catharsis that comes with ‘finishing’ a game.

The Six Assemble

Marvel’s Spider-Man • Complete Act 2 • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 59.2% (Common)

Wow. I’ve been enjoying Spider-Man, like really enjoying it, and then Insomniac, in the space of one mission, essentially blow open the whole game and make me love it. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but to see so many characters from Spider-Man’s universe converge in a short space of time, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Out-bloody-standing.

I’ve actually made a lot of progress in Spider-Man today, or at least it feels like a lot. My campaign completion is showing at 73%, so I don’t know if that’s just story or the total completion rate, but in either case, I feel like I made a ‘dent’ in my progress today. And that, on its own, feels good.

I don’t want to labour the point here today on the blog, as I’d rather get back into it (gotta catch another pigeon), but whoever you are, and whatever you’re doing – if you have the slightest hint of joy from the character of Spider-Man … you need to stop whatever you are doing and play this game.

Tiny Size

Minefield • Finish the game in small size • Bronze Trophy • Rarity 36.3% (Rare)

I had a free five minutes this morning, so rather than launch into a full session of Spider-Man or something of more substance, I mindlessly clicked on one of the few arcade-style games that were somehow installed on my PS4 homescreen. I suspect that these were PlayStation Plus games somewhere along the way, and they were small enough that they could fit on my HDD, but for the most part, they have been little more than a shadowy presence on my home screen.

This title, Minefield, is essentially a re-labelled Minesweeper. Normally the rip-off would bring about a chortle and some derision, but I actually found it quite handy in terms of picking up the mechanics of the game and running with them. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing … normally – but here, it just helped me smash through a quick game in 24 seconds.

Overnight, I downloaded Destiny 2 to my PlayStation 4 because there was some issues with the old download needing the disc (it was free with last month’s PlayStation Plus), so I figured the purely digital copy would be better to have on-disk. I’m still dubious about having a third console and collection of Destiny 2 characters (bring on cross-save) but I am curious to see if, like the other previous instances, there is console exclusive maps to play or even some unique modes.

That being said, I still love my PC instance.

Tonight is a training night, and I’m already fairly exhausted after a busy week, so I’m not sure whether there’ll be much time for Spidey, or even Destiny 2 tonight, but much like dessert, I often find that there’s ‘always room’ to fit in some gaming.

We’ll see whether it’s a full McFlurry or just a $0.50 soft-serve cone.