Battery Powered

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Unium • Solve “Battery” by overlapping the line twice

I felt a bit bad continuing to play a lot of ‘new’ puzzle games, without necessarily going back to some of the other games that I’d started in order to grab the quick-and-dirty achievements, and so I made a commitment to start revisiting some of these titles that have nothing mechanically wrong with them, but I’ve never really had the time or inclination to finish them.

First cab-off-the-rank was Unium, the strange fill-in-the-blanks game that resembles the love child of Snake and any Maze ever. I didn’t just want to grab a ‘progress’ achievement (which I did, but it was simply called ‘Easy’ which felt a bit cheap for today’s post), so I reviewed the achievement list to see what other opportunities there were for a quick achievement that had a bit more ‘meat’ to it.

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Part of the Unium achievement list is a whole raft of levels that require some special completion requirements. Most of the levels from what I could tell seemed to be based in the later, harder stages, but the Battery level was conveniently placed in the ‘Easy’ list, which I had been steadily working my way through – so by virtue of convenience, this achievement was first.

Look, I’ll be honest, this is not a matter of just whipping out a quick win … there is actually some effort required in order to meet the requirements of this achievement – which is why I placed some stock in it more than the aforementioned ‘complete 10 easy levels’ one. There is genuinely some ‘meat on the bone’ of this one.

Tonight, well, you’ve probably guessed by now … more Destiny 2. I finally got a chance to complete the first level with my new PC Warlock last night – boosted to Level 30 thanks to the free character boost thrown in with the new expansion … it has helped me build a nice character portfolio that I can chip away at milestones and the other in-game achievements with slowly but surely. I haven’t quite forgotten my Xbox career either, but I’m very much hoping that the executive sway of the likes of Mike Ybarra can make some magic happen when it comes to cross-save and/or cross-play.

If wishing could make it so …

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Taste of hometown

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21 Days • eat Halal food

Back to the grind this week after a sensational weekend away playing esports and … oh, yes, I’m banging on again about that, aren’t I? Well, today is the first time I haven’t been about to fall asleep while I’m writing (or gaming!) and I decided to venture back to 21 Days to grab some low-hanging fruit of an achievement, not just because I’m getting snowed-under at work, but also because it’s nice to chip away at a game with a story from time-to-time and not just abandon it like 99.9% of my Steam game library!

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This achievement was easy enough. One of the key survival indicators on the game is a ‘hunger’ field, which needs to be treated in order to keep your protagonist kicking along. The in-game cafe has a few different food choices to balance out your cash-to-hunger ratio, but – if I’m perfectly honest – I went by what I’d like to eat, and being a big fan of kebabs, I felt like eating four of them hit the sweet-spot.

Tonight is a training night, so I’ll be out-and-about for a little while, but I’m also continuing my Destiny 2 grind for a little longer in anticipation of Forsaken.

For the record: still no regrets about PC gaming.

Death Dealer

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Darksiders • Meet Vulgrim

As it turns out, I did have time for another achievement tonight – a ‘proper’ achievement for purists, I suppose. It’s been a while since I’ve sat down for a proper session of Darksiders – heck, I can’t even remember if I ever finished the game properly, but I certainly know that I’ve played it on PlayStation, and then again I dabbled in the Definitive (Death-initive?) Edition on Xbox … and finally, after all these years, I’m diving into a PC playthrough.

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This achievement is actually likely to be the first that you’ll come across in terms of progression. It seems a lot of the non-story achievements are actually tied to using certain moves, which all come along ‘later’ in the game. That’s fine … I’m really just doing a story run through because I feel like it’s timely, given the release of Darksiders III coming up later this year, so it’ll be very much a ‘work in progress’ for 2018.

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One of the things I noticed quickly was that the game very much wanted you to play it with a controller. I don’t know if that was deliberate, or whether I bumped the controller and all-of-a-sudden the button-prompts were flashing on the screen. There’s a few things I’m still to work out about PC gaming, and I feel like this is one of them. Next cab off-the-rank will be how to use my gaming mouse properly (I feel like the secret here is to utilise the side-buttons).

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And so, I met Vulgrim. Essentially, your ‘dealer’ for the game … where you unlock content from and – at times – progress the story. He is a brilliantly developed character from what I’ve experienced across my few playthroughs, so it’s nice to see him getting ‘some’ recognition.

On that note, it’s time for another semi-early night. The daily grind is seriously hampering my free gaming time!

Well, that … plus a 40-odd GB update to Destiny 2 tonight!

The End of Korlasz

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Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition • Dealt with Korlasz, the last follower of Sarevok

I’m not sure if I’ve said it before – but it’s the truth so I don’t mind saying it again: I love Baldur’s Gate. For a game that so monumentally introduced me to what Dungeons and Dragons is/was (growing up in a rural area didn’t really allow for face-to-face RP, and other than ‘cutting-my-teeth’ on MU*’s like Elendor, I’d never really had a proper RPG experience), it still absolutely stands alone as perhaps the single-most influential content to colour my D&D experience.

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While I cut my teeth on good ol’ fashioned ‘classic’ BG, today I took a different approach and started the Siege of Dragonspear campaign. From what I understand, it’s a standalone campaign that takes place between BG1 and BG2, and already I’m loving the substance of the world, the character-building and the story … this game truly is putting the enhanced in ‘Enhanced Edition’.

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This achievement is a progress achievement, and is essentially where the story from BG1 ends. Korlasz is the last of Saravok’s followers, and killing her (or at least tracking her down) ends Saravok’s influence as a matyr and wraps up the PC’s involvement (so far) with Minsc, Khalid, Jaheira et. al. The story then appears to change beat, and opens up with an attack on a castle (where you’re staying with BG1 stalwart, Imoen), and this is where I put a pin in my Siege of Dragonspear progress.

So far, so good. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey!

The Clocks were Striking Thirteen

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Orwell • Complete Episode One

Today is a bit of a quick achievement, because the political world is crumbling down and – to be honest – I am a die-hard political junkie. Not only here in Australia has our heavily conservative Parliament essentially imploded, but over in America, the first fruit of the Robert Mueller inquiry has started to drop.

So, naturally, it’s a good time to play a game about an authoritarian regime that spies on its citizens in the name of national security.

Did I mention Peter Dutton – the catalyst for much of the Australian political instability – used to head up an intelligence super-agency?

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I’m not sure that I made the right decisions on this chapter of Orwell, but given that the game let me progress, it seems like it’s not the end-of-the-world in terms of achievement collecting. I’m certain that there is a ‘proper’ ending I should be working towards, but – to be honest – I’ll just be happy to tap out at the end of earning the progress achievements.

Now if you’ll excuse me … I have some politics to watch …

Complete Area 8

Angry Birds Pop • Beat all levels in area 8

There’s something really quite cathartic about a bubble pop game – either Angry Birds Pop or any one of a number of variations on the theme. Sure, they are absolutely geared towards sucking down some microtransactional goodness, but if you can resist the urge to spend a few bucks and stomach the undoubtedly skewed gameplay that tries to tempt you into parting with your money, then even a bad level can be rewarding.

I’ve been steadily working my way through Angry Birds Pop for a while now. One day I had the urge to play a bubble pop game, and because my son has been on a bit of an Angry Birds kick lately (he’s playing a variation of a turn-based combat game where the titular birds fight with swords against stick-wielding pigs), it just sort of ‘ended up’ being the one I chose.

There’s not really a lot of substance to add around this game. It is what it is – a progress achievement – and I’ll probably keep playing it for a bit yet before I get bored and move onto something else.

… I can promise you one thing, I will get bored.

Bounty: Lagomorph of Caerbannog

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Clicker Heroes • Defeat Lagomorph of Caerbannog

In the 298 hours I have on-record for Clicker Heroes on Steam, I have never been able to break through the psychological barrier of Level 1000. Much like achieving 666 of every item in AdVenture Capitalist, this is a long, slow burn that experienced people could probably smash through quickly, but most people – like me – are probably going to struggle with as they ‘learn the ropes’ of the game, clicker mechanics, heroes, gilding, and levelling return-on-investment.

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Well, today I broke clean through level 1000, and I am now onward and upward towards my next stop. From what I can tell on my achievement list, level 1000 – and the Lagomorph of Caerbannog – appear to be the last of the ‘bounty’ achievements, with the next cab-off-the-rank coming at zone 1200 for the ‘Zone Pwn’ achievement.

The Monty Python reference in this boss, or achievement name, hasn’t escaped me either. Lagomorph – or rabbit – of Caerbannog, is a nice play on the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The team at Playsaurus get two thumbs up for that alone.

Life should – touch wood – return a little more to normal now, so I look forward to a bit of standard gaming tomorrow … of course, now the problem is what to play. I have ended up in the (un)enviable position of too many games and no idea what to start, so life could take me anywhere.

Watch this space.