Let me start by saying that I'm a fan of the whole achievement (and trophy) system. Just hearing the ping and seeing the little notification pop up gives me the same feeling that I imagine many of you get when you receive a text message from a loved one, or see a rival gang member trip over on a busy street (this example may not apply to everyone). Joy, maybe? Happiness? I don't know. One of the feelings.
Gems of War - Mythical Creature - 15G
The reasons why this sends me into a blind rage are myriad. Most importantly, it's because this achievement was added mere hours after I had gained 100% completion. If you look over this thread, you'll notice that this is a big deal, as it was - or would've been - the first game I'd managed to 100% that didn't have only unmissable achievements.
I attempted to gauge how long this one achievement would take to get, but the maths started to get very complicated round about the time I was working out the probability of my great-great-great-great-grandson opting to take over the family Gamertag, which had been passed down for generations. If you think it’s sexist that my great-great-great-great-granddaughter wasn’t asked to do it, then shame on you. It’s simply because she has far better things to do with her life than play this stupid little game that was invented before people had even heard of the three seashells.
Gears of War - Commando - 30G
Exploding Lambent Wretches and Berserkers with a supernatural ability to locate even the quietest of muscle bound soldiers, only served to slow us down, as we valiantly chainsawed our way through the Locust horde, filled General RAAM with lead and spilled enough blood to make the world's largest (and most disgusting) Bloody Mary.
"But Crisco," you start to wonder, "How could such a handsome man - with an unbelievable amount of wit, charm and charisma - not have enjoyed gaining this outstanding achievement? Maybe we could discuss this over a drink or two?"
Well, incredibly observant and hypothetical reader, it's because this took place before the aforementioned co-op buddy and I had Xbox Live. We don't have any proof of this, nor do we have that achievement unlocked on our profiles.
I know what some of you are thinking: Gears of War was given away free as part of the Games with Gold program and is now backwards compatible. It would be easy enough to get that achievement. It would be, but then I’m down one entry and this whole thing would seem unfinished.
That would clearly be the worst thing that has ever happened.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh, Parts 1 and 2 - Most of the achievements - up to 400G
Some of the achievements are almost too easy, completing the game with one character took me only a couple of hours, and I regularly eat out of date food just to see if I get sick (yes, yes I do). Some, however, require a Sam Sant-ian level of skill that I do not possess. For example, flawlessly pulling off all eight of your character’s combos in 1 minute, which necessitates being in a place with enough enemies to withstand a monumental beating, but not enough to overwhelm you.
All of this would be fine if it wasn't for the Gamerscore you are 'awarded' for most of them - 8's, 11's and 36's threaten to ruin your profile unless you can get the full set.
No more will my Gamerscore end in a pleasing 0 or 5, which, I'm sure we all agree, would be the new worst thing that has ever happened.
Red Dead Redemption - Dastardly - 5G
Dastardly, as an achievement, fits perfectly. It's an incredibly old-timey Western thing to do. You hog-tie a woman, gently place her on the nearest train tracks and watch as the speeding locomotive turns her into a fine, red mist.
Don’t get me wrong, I'm not one of those who believe that violent games make people violent -the same way I don't believe that playing Minecraft makes you an architect - but the fact that Dastardly is a secret achievement means everyone knows that I wasn't doing that for a virtual high-five and some imaginary points. It was simply for my own sick amusement.
I love the game, I love the achievement, but I hate that it shows me to be the sort of person who will commit the most sickening acts if they think no-one is watching.
At least I wasn't one of the many people who admitted to sacrificing a nun just for the measly 5G...
Now, how about that drink you were talking about? Share your achievement/trophy woes with us in the forums, or leave them in a comment below.
It's that time of year again - E3 has been and gone, so we've had our fill of news, whilst publishers are too afraid to release big games, as apparently some people prefer to go outside during the summer?!
If that wasn't already enough, one of the losing team's members happened to be HaloFollower, a Halo dedicated YouTube channel with just shy of 430,000 subscribers.
Not too shabby, Mr Rook!
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that Jason leading the project was a contributing factor in my anticipating For Honor.
In another bit of news that parallels Tippy's - stop drinking now if you are, lest you spew your beverage in horror - we saw a win from Plasma wing to end his long streak of fails. Just as I warned you of the impending shock, Plas eased me into the news that he somehow managed to not only complete Dark Souls, but to get all of the achievements as well.
I still can't quite believe the news, but I'm truly happy he finally got to experience the endorphin rush that comes with success.
Liking the snazzy SmartGlass-to-Xbox app update that was snuck out recently, though it does give away a few of my friends list favourites, a couple of which (Metalrodent and Decent Jam) managed to break the physics in Grand Theft Auto V.
Nice to see they've improved their system since the infamous Grand Theft Auto IV swing glitch...
Some familiar faces joined us in the forum this week, Captain Chao5 and BAMozzy returning from hiatus. If you want to talk tech, BAM is your man.
For the forum-averse that don't fancy following suit, you may have spotted that we've recently enabled article comments, which opens up a whole new avenue of community interaction. Be sure to leave your thoughts on any relevant article for another chance to feature in future round-ups.
Sonic turned 25 this week, so it's a celebratory retro classic for the jukebox. Whilst there are masses of great tracks in the blue hedgehog's past, a personal favourite is Sonic 3's Ice Cap Zone theme, on which you can feast your ears below.
After all the excitement of E3, we had a few thoughts, so we've recorded our first ever podcast for your listening pleasure, complete with not one, not two, but three staff members - James, Chris and Sam.
If podcasts on YouTube aren't your speed, then you can always listen or download to the audio version on SoundCloud below:
Would you like to hear more rambling thoughts from us in the form of a podcast? Let us know in the comments and give your ideas for what you might like to hear about, and we'll see what we can do.
E3 2016 has sadly concluded, so let's take a look at the moments that had us lovingly holding our consoles like Norman Reedus and his Norman Fetus, as well as those that just made us pull that face.
Bethesda took the stage afterwards for a reasonable showing that didn't quite match last year's effort - again, catch up here if you missed it. Unfortunately, I neglected to screenshot any highlights from the chat thanks to being preoccupied with live tweeting. Then there was the fact it started at an exhausting 3am, as well. Thanks to everyone that stayed up late with us regardless.
Monday opened with the big one for our community in Microsoft's Xbox conference. It was perhaps underwhelming on the software front, whilst showcasing some exciting new hardware and direction, all of which you can read up on here.
The arrival of Dan brought some loving pedantry from Plas, while ImmaturityRules was meanwhile more concerned that the new club feature might lead to some unwanted solicitation - not that Johnbhoy69 would mind.
We seem to have a lot of crossover with Tinder, Dan expressing his joy at an Xbox equivalent above and John spending some time on there after swiping left on the Forza Horizon 3 reveal.
They didn't win anyone's attention back with the Minecraft segment that wasn't only cringe-worthy, but belonged nowhere near an E3 stage.
Final Fantasy XV wasn't exactly well met, either.
In fact, live chat found the hand Microsoft dealt to be pretty underwhelming on the whole.
You know something's wrong when just a few parting sentiments are; "I'm annoyed I got excited for this", "Wow, that was shite" and "A TV spot for Ice Age 5 in the other room was probably the biggest reveal for me".
The forum folk that didn't catch it live with us were a little more favourable, Metalrodent, Timmeh and Confused Johnny holding positive sentiments in the E3 thread.
The biggest talking point was undoubtedly Project Scorpio, which split the forum between those for and against the continued generational and proposed itterational console cycles. Many plan to pick it up day one, whilst others refuse to if only on principle.
Ubisoft stepped up next - you know the deal, all the details here - providing what was probably the strongest third-party showing. That said, their opening didn't really set the tone.
Once again I didn't capture any of the positive comments, because those are far less entertaining as we all know. Skipping all the juicy middle, we'll hop to the other end of the presser and take a look at the reaction to the underwhelming reveal of Steep.
The mauling wasn't done yet.
Sony wrapped things up with a hideous 2am start - just like Bethesda I was tired and tasked with live tweeting the thing, so screen caps fell somewhat by the wayside. Sorry, I'm only human. Please accept this round-up of the event by my fair hand as compensation.
It was undoubtedly the best of the bunch if you ask me, and I just told you anyway if you don't.
We'll just skip Nintendo's awful Treehouse coverage, which managed to make Zelda look boring and viewers tune out rather than deal with annoying presenters. The game's sure to be amazing, but they didn't do it any favours.
Overall, this year's E3 was hardly the most innovative - just when you thought zombies were on their way out, Dead Rising 4, State of Decay 2 and Days Gone rear their heads - but regardless of that there are a lot of fantastic games on the horizon. Some great hardware as well; I'll be indulging in VR come October, the most powerful console ever towards the end of next year, and perhaps a Nintendo NX if only for Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It's a great time to be a gamer and exciting for us to share it with a growing audience, having gained hundreds of Twitter followers over the course of E3. As the audience grows, we aim to provide more ways to keep them entertained, which brings us to this week's jukebox entry.
It's a bit of a cheat, but it fits the premise in being something you should listen to, so shush. Presenting: the first PTC podcast, featuring myself, James and Chris dissecting E3.
The lush loveliness above is Watch_Dogs 2, sequel to a game that "entirely underwhelmed" MrkDhn and featured a protagonist with "the personality of a potato" according to Jaime Rodriguez. Personally, I can't wait to gauge how badly its visuals have been downgraded come release in November.
Injustice 2's existence was confirmed, but sadly ImmaturityRules' wish wasn't granted - no starring role for Aquaman - the heathens didn't even put him in the trailer! That said, there was no sign of Lex Poothor, so it isn't all bad.
When it was leaked that Bethesda would unveil a remaster at their E3 press conference, everyone pretty much knew it was going to be Skyrim. That didn't stop some wishing for earlier games in the Elder Scrolls series instead; Metalrodent wanted "a good game" like Morrowind or Oblivion (burn!), whilst ImmaturityRules laments the fact Skyrim on his PC likely already runs better than a console remaster would.
On the other hand, MrkDhn is happy to revisit the game just for the addition of mods, as is Max, provided the price is right. Unfortunately, it looks to be wrong.
E3 aims to "inspire new worlds" with a preview of gaming's future, which prompted the following wit from Mr. Rodriguez.
Bethesda better break out the Sudocrem for these burns!
XCOM 2's console reveal was met with a lot of love: Plas, crippyd, Max, SkinnerChinner and Confused Johnny are all excited. Perhaps more interesting than the reveal itself was Johnny's choice of soldier names in the original. Following a 'favourite things' method of selection, his campaigns featured rugby players, wrestlers and... Thomas the Tank Engine characters? He can backtrack and blame it on his son all he wants, but we all know the truth.
Yet another game announcement garnered discussion as Heavyarms_Kai shared news of the Final Fantasy XII HD Remaster. Fond memories make it a must for Johnbhoy, but Plas isn't happy that there's been no mention of an Xbox One release so far.
"Well when about five people in total will pick it up on the XB1 it's not surprising really."
Plas' opinion doesn't matter and I can confirm, as a primary Xbox One user, that I wouldn't touch Final Fantasy with a barge pole - Kai might be on to something here...
Wednesday's Overwatch recording wasn't without its technical issues, but James managed to amass enough footage to work with. Those who left early, I regret to inform you that the video evidence of us steamrolling the opposition has been lost. Whilst not good for the ego, people do at least seem to enjoy watching people fail; take Plas as an example.
You might not hear it in the upcoming let's play, so I'll prescribe a dose of Overwatch's epic Victory Theme in this week's jukebox entry.
It sounds slightly off without the rat-a-tat of a Bastion Play of the Game over the top, doesn't it?
Before signing off, I'll take a moment to congratulate Metalrodent on his World of Tanks team giving the world champions a run for their money. They did take a 3-2 loss, but it was an admirable effort none the less.
E3 kicks off tomorrow, as do the associated festivities! Check our schedule for an idea of what to expect from us, as well as a rundown of the live stream times; after picking which you'd like to see, head over to the E3 Hub at the appropriate time to watch and chat with us live.
Why not get involved by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, and having your say in the forums and E3 Hub live chat. You might feature in a future instalment as a result.
Overwatch is my type of game, and currently, it’s my absolute jam. I love just about everything Blizzard have produced, yet something’s dragging the experience down...
It’d make me immeasurably happy if these players made conscious decisions to synergise with their team, but doing that would likely involve playing support on occasion. Nobody wants to, which is baffling when a good support usually garners the most praise post-game. If you play with random teammates online, expect to be the healer very frequently.
In addition to selecting a hero to complement your team and counter the opposition, the given map, game mode and your position as attacker or defender also needs to be taken into account. Overwatch is an objective-based game in which your focus must be playing the objective, yet so many simply chase kills. Whilst eliminations are of relevance, the team with the most doesn't necessarily win, making it dismaying when objectives are freely given away in exchange.
It’s incredibly frustrating to get lumbered with teammates that ensure your repeated defeat despite routinely valiant personal performances, but all players aren’t to be maligned. Some are genuinely fantastic to work with and totally selfless, yet for every match you meet those players there are, unfortunately, many where you don’t.
Blizzard aren’t getting out of this scot-free, as whilst they can’t be held entirely accountable for the actions of their player base, they can be held accountable for having a crap tutorial. The simplistic affair unnecessarily teaches players how to move and shoot, but does nothing to teach different roles, team compositions, counters, game modes and more. Whilst this crucial information is eked out in part by written tips, they clearly aren’t obvious enough.
Have you been experiencing similar issues? Join our forum to take part in community game nights and combat them. You can join us this Wednesday, 8 June, for a few rounds that'll be recorded for the third part in our Overwatch let's play series.
Why not also check out our Overwatch review for official verdict on the game.
Me and Plas played a lot of Platinum's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan co-op this week, finishing the campaign on normal and making a good start on hard mode. Maybe it's a result of going in with incredibly low expectations, but for a game that's been critically panned, we've been having a blast!
You can see how much he contributed to the Karai boss battle, as well.
Raphael's dancing rather than helping his three brothers with the Yorkshire baker in control, but the behaviour seems to have stuck. After Plas fittingly switched to Michelangelo, Raphael's AI caused a glitch that impeded progress before he proceeded to gloat with a celebratory dance.
What a bastard.
Outside of Turtles co-op, community game nights have covered Overwatch, Payday 2 and old favourite Grand Theft Auto V. I was quite proud of securing a Zenyatta Play of the Game in the former, my performance granting a whopping ten votes from the twelve players present!
Admittedly the play wasn't anything spectacular, but I haven't seen anyone come close to ten votes before or since (well, other than the next round where the same bunch gave me nine votes). Timmeh was impressed and inquired as to what the spoils of such a feat were - the answer? Diddly-squat...
Payday 2 wasn't without its memorable moments, either, as Metalrodent shot this guy so hard he burrowed into the wall.
His posture pretty much conveys his final thoughts, I'm sure.
The Witcher 3's Blood and Wine expansion arrived this week, causing Johnbhoy and ImmaturityRules to fall back in love with Geralt's latest adventure. As well as enjoying the new content, both have been impressed by the patch support and resultantly improved systems since they last played. Sounds like there's never been a better time to jump in, but I'm still holding out hope for an encompassing Game of the Year Edition.
Elsewhere, forum moderator Max shared the rumour that NetherRealm may be working on a sequel to DC beat-'em-up Injustice: Gods Among Us. What does he want to see from the potential new entry? A "more competitive" SHAZAM, "more characters" and "better net code".
"Expecting better netcode from Netherrealm is pretty close to the definition of insanity."
Quipped ImmaturityRules in reply, who would like to see more equality both in costume distribution and the roles characters play in the story mode. Whilst it's fair enough not to want Batman and Superman forced down your throat again, his proposed replacements seem questionable.
"Aquaman is clearly the best choice, because he's pure awesomeness. A speaking role for Boris the shark is a must, too."
Things are relatively quiet presently as we occupy the calm before the impending E3 storm, but a couple of weeks from now it's party time! Myself, James, Plas and Timmeh have gone as far as to book time off for the festivities, whilst Max doesn't have exams for the first time and is looking forward to giving the expo his undivided attention. Everyone else is excited too, at least in part thanks to the prospect of a PTC podcast relating to the event. Rodent was ever so slightly cynical in hoping we'd "slag off the new tat being flogged at us", but I'll let it slide as he also said we have "lovely voices", unlike James last week.
The earlier talk of fighting games has me thinking of Mick Gordon's Killer Instinct soundtrack, specifically Maya's theme, so there's only one option for this week's jukebox entry.
That's the complete dynamic theme, which sounds even better in the context of the game, evolving to complement the action perfectly.
Just one more round-up before the E3 special!
Why not get involved by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and having your say in the forums. You might even feature in a future instalment as a result.
The recent Battlefield 1 reveal has been met with an almost overwhelmingly positive reception. In a market currently dominated by modern and future set shooters - a trend Call of Duty is continuing with the recently announced Infinite Warfare - DICE’s plan to take the Battlefield series further back than ever before, to WWI specifically, comes as a breath of fresh air that sets it firmly apart.
Comments such as: “it's cool to take people down with a bayonet charge” - made by DICE producer Aleks Grondal shortly after the reveal event in an interview with Eurogamer - probably don't help the argument for.
I personally think Battlefield 1 could be an opportunity for many to learn a few things about a time in history that has hardly been touched upon by game developers. Verdun and Valiant Hearts: The Great War both featured a WWI setting long before Battlefield 1 was revealed, but in all honesty, they didn't have the same reach as DICE’s franchise.
If it’s handled in the right way, the campaign’s narrative could be a powerful, intriguing and educational experience. DICE have already said it will take players across the various battlefronts on which the war was fought, from the Arabian Desert to the Italian Alps. It could help show people that there was conflict beyond British and German forces battling it out in the trenches, which is the image most will muster at the mention of the First World War.
I’m not saying educating players on the intricacies of the war should be DICE’s main focus, who should of course prioritise making a solid and enjoyable FPS, but seeing as they have picked the era to build a game around, why not take the opportunity to distribute a little knowledge as well? That tank you just took out - here’s when and why it was invented. The map you just played - a real battle was fought there, here are the statistics.
Games these days like to pack themselves with extra lore and backstory for players to uncover should they wish to, but usually it’s all sci-fi or fantasy fluff to help flesh out a fictional universe. Rarely does a developer have the chance to add meaningful historical facts detailing weapons, vehicles, battles, technologies, and most importantly, people.
I find history quite interesting, so when I saw that certain editions of Battlefield 1 came with the Harlem Hellfighter pack, I researched the name further and was surprised by what I discovered. According to Wikipedia (bad source, I know, all the more reason to include this stuff), the Harlem Hellfighter pack refers to a regiment made up of African-American and Puerto Rican soldiers who fought in the American forces sent to France during WWI. This was the first time an African-American regiment had served as part of an American Expeditionary Force, and the nickname “Hell Fighters” was given to them by German soldiers who noted their resoluteness in battle.
Had it not been for Battlefield 1, I may never have heard of the Harlem Hellfighters. EA and DICE have a real platform to bring some lesser known parts of history to a wider audience; parts which may otherwise remain consigned to pages. My own curiosity led me to find out more about them, but it’d certainly be much more accommodating and encouraging to have the information easily accessible from within the game itself. People could pick up a few facts about the time period, and honour a few memories, whilst enjoying what could be an excellent entry in the Battlefield series. That’d be a winning combination in my view.