Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Christmas Chronicles


Before going out to spend Christmas Eve with my Mom's side of the family and go to church, I spent the majority of my morning and early afternoon working through Eternal Sonata, and finished my first playthrough with 340 points, which is a perfect score for the first play.

I have no complaints about gifts this year. I received what I asked for, and my brother and parents loved what I gave them, so everyone was happy. Gaming-related gifts included a used copy of Dynasty Warriors 6 (I told them where to get a copy for cheap) and a 1600 Microsoft Points card. Those were also the only gaming items I asked for, since I'd already purchased GoW2 and L4D. I needed DW6 for Operation Jedi, and I like the DW games, I just didn't want to spend $40+ for it, but the used copy was $20, so it's all good there. The points will probably be used on the Fallout 3 DLC, and that's one heck of a Christmas present.


It's tradition on the morning of Christmas to check out our stockings to see what "Santa" (aka my parents) got for us. Stocking stuffers are traditionally things that we are going to use, and not necessarily things for entertainment (that's been the trend since I was about 16-17, I think). This year's gifts included a set of pajama pants and two pairs of boxers, all decked out with various Xbox 360 logos. I wish I could upload pics of them, but I'm having SD reader issues at the moment. They're really pretty awesome.

My gaming time in the morning was devoted to Dynasty Warriors 6, where I picked up a few achievements to get me above the horrendous 10/1000 I previously had on my card. I might have dabbled in starting the 2nd play of Eternal Sonata, but I didn't get very far. Then it was off to have a blast with my father's side of the family (Gillick family Christmas parties are AMAZING), and that was it for gaming that day.


Went to Gamestop to take advantage of their trade-in offers and got rid of some crap I've 1k'ed, never want to play again, and felt wouldn't sell for anything on EBAY. Surprisingly, I got $55 for the 6 games I traded (including just over $15 for Bolt!), which allowed me to pick up Lego Star Wars: TCS on credit and still have $35 to go toward Resident Evil 5 when that comes out. Hurray for recycling! The Lego game will probably remain on the shelf until I get close to the full 1k in Lego Star Wars II.

Today I spent too much time in another depressing Warriors Orochi 2 grind (that game will be the subject of an upcoming rant). I did the math and realized that 260 of the game's points require the massive Proficiency grind to unlock the last dream mode level, and that level requires you to pretty much max out 55 characters! I counted up all the characters I've maxed out so far, and came up with 36. The fact that I've been working on this game off and on for close to four months now, and I still need to max out 19 more characters just to unlock a level, made me die a little inside. Koei needs to go to hell and never, ever make an achievement list like this again. If I managed to grind out 60 levels an hour, it would still take 45 hours to finish that grind! Insanity! Dynasty Warriors 6 is easy compared to that.

To break up the monotony, I loaded up Prey nearly two years to the day from when it first appeared on my card, and started the game over, picking up the arcade achievements and making it through the ten chapters of the game, before reaching the point where I'd have enough of it for the day. The game's pretty good, surely worth the $7.50 I paid for it (we'll call Superman Returns a total freebie).

I believe that will cover it for the last three days. Here's a forecast for the next five days of blogs, so you'll know when you want to tune in.

Saturday: Short post, maybe a witty tangent. I'll be out partying with friends all night.
Sunday: Open. Achievement and Op. Jedi updates, maybe something else.
Monday: The Famous Warriors Orochi 2 rant (four months in the making)
Tuesday: Best, Worst, and most Under-appreciated games of 2008.
Wednesday: The 2009 forecast (full of hilarious wishful thinking. Stay tuned!)

Next week's blogs will be fun. I have to end the year strong =)


  1. Just want to say that your writing in this blog is quite good and enjoyable to read. You discussing Achievements certainly helps that cause but even so your general grammar and punctuation are fantastic and a nice change from some of the other Achievement rubbish that I read.

    Good luck with Eternal Sonata's second playthrough too. I did it recently and found it to be a massive chore, although granted I was trying to rush it at the time to get it done before the end of year onslaught of games.

  2. Thanks man! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far, and I've had a great time writing it.

    I'm hoping I can find ways to make Round 2 of Eternal Sonata too much of a chore, but we'll see. I've heard other opinions like yours about the 2nd play, so I'm a bit anxious about it.

  3. I think it is the fact that it is harder the second time around that makes it a chore. I mean I like the idea of it challenging you but for someone like me (and you too, I'd imagine), once I have played the game and experienced the story I don't really want or need to play through it again. Going through the story is justified because of the Achievements, but having to fight pretty much every battle there is just to be strong enough to progress throughout that second playthrough is where it starts to push the limits of patience. I am sure that hardcore RPG fans love the idea of the challenge and because of that, I appreciate that it was included but for me I found it hard to find the motivation to do it again. I guess the actual Achievements themselves are the problem, rather than the game.