Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bioshock Blitz

I enjoy Bioshock 2's multiplayer, but the community of people who play it has already shrunk to the extent that it can be hard to get a full room of six people together. Realizing this, I'm making a concentrated effort to reach rank 40 before the only way to do so is rope at least six people together for a boosting session. Therefore, every night (except the nights HOTBA boosts BlackSite) I will be playing Bioshock's multiplayer until I hit rank 40. Anyone who wants to play with me along the way is welcome to. The more the merrier; it'll be more fun, and we'll fill rooms up more quickly (yay for less waiting!!!)

Last night was a dominating night. I played with my bro, a friend of his, and Marx0r, and we just creamed everyone. We won 10 games of Capture the Sister, lost NONE, and only tied once. We outcaptured our opponents about 25-30 captures to 1 (ONE!) over the course of the night. It was epic.

Today can be considered Night 2 in the Quest for Rank 40. When the Quest began, I was rank 26. Tonight I play without the benefit of friends, so the Adam isn't as good, not is it as much fun. Capture the Sister remains the mode of choise, because it's the most fun and I seem to make the most Adam in it. The Bionik Kommando Effect is in full play tonight - that is, I just can't seem to win a game without him in the party... Oh, and randoms never talk, so I haven't even bothered to don the headset.

End of Night 2-
Rank: 29

97,000 Adam needed for Rank 40.

Tomorrow HOTBA starts BlackSite boosting, and it looks to be our most well attended event yet. I'll have the report on how well we do as it happens.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Deadly Premonition Down, New Targets in Sight

At long last, the agony of playing Deadly Premonition is over for good. I completed my 3rd playthrough, doing them in reverse order of difficulty, so as I got sicker of the game, it obligingly became easier. The information you may read about the game taking 60+ hours is wholly incorrect. I beat the game, on Hard, while going for every card, in 35 hours, and I was WRITNG the guide while doing it. Those with the benefit of guide will do it faster. The last two playthroughs take 7-8 hours if you press start to skip all dialogue and only do story missions. So, 40-50 hours is probably accurate, 60+ is not. Oh, and you very likely won't enjoy any of it.

At least I can take pride in adding another obscure completion to my tag... one that is worth almost 3,000 TrueAchievement points LOL.

With that junk behind me and added to the TIT pile (stands for Trade-In Trash, but I'm sure Silva will love the acronym) I'm turning my sights to polishing off Bioshock and Blacksite. In Blacksite, I've spend some time kill grinding, and now have the achievements for 100 and 200 kills with every weapon. I know I'm over 400 kills with the Assault Rifle and Scatter Gun, so I have just 4 guns to go. Kill grinding is every bit as boring as you'd imagine it to be and I'm looking forward to being done with that. HOTBA starts boosting the game this Thursday, which I'm looking forward to as it'll be quicker and more point-rewarding than Fracture was.

This afternoon I spent 40 minutes trying to get into a match of Bioshock without success. 40 minutes! Clearly the community of players for this game has already died down so far that it's going to be very hard to get to rank 40 legit anymore, so I've been calling out to everyone I can to join with me to fill up a room. I want to finish off the MP so I know a full 1k is achieveable for me before running through the game again on Easy to pick up what achievements I missed when I played on Hard.

In between those games, I've been working on FFXIII, which my brother has to give me crap about every time he sees me playing it. At first it was, "You won't finish FFXIII before FFXIV comes out." (It should really be FFXV that counts, as XIV is going to be an MMO.) Today, it was "You won't 1k that game before Duke Nuke'em Forever comes out." Harsh bro, harsh. And we'll just see about that.

Currently at 4 completions for the year, on pace for Bronze.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blacksite Boosting Script

So, I thought I'd write up a game plan for how I plan on running our blacksite boosting, and this could also be used as a template for any other groups who run it. This way, everyone's on the same page on what we're doing, and will have something to refer back to.

Thursday, April 1st, 8:30pm CST, we'll form one Live party, but two boosting teams. Keeping rooms to the minimum of 4 in two sessions will help us move through faster.

Team Thrawn:
Sabre x360a

Team Bishop:


Molneze will go into a group to fill a spot if someone does not show, or be added to Team Bishop if attendance is perfect. (Assuming, of course, he joins and participates, which is still pending). If we have less than 8, we all play as 1 session, it'll just take TWICE as long (hence my emphasis on attendance).

Team leaders will host a ranked deathmatch, which their squad will join. Team leader wins the game. Leader will unlock Home FIeld Advantage and Always Remember Your First. Everyone will unlock Boot Camp and I fear the Reaper. Then we go down the list, with the next person hosting and winning until everyone has done it and unlocked Homefield and Remember your First.

If you are winning, try to get 20 kills without dying for Skulls of the Vanquished.

By the time this rotation has finished, everyone will have Exposed and Blacksite Virus Carrier (the original host will get this last one on the next rotation).

Next, we will rotate in the same order (but one stable host) through every other game type, with people winning a match of each type in the order listed. This will get everyone the achievements for completing a match of each type, culminating in the King of the Block achievement (everyone winning on every type).

At this point, we will pair off into player matches to boost 50 flag captures a person.

Last, teams will reform for 4 vs. 4 Team Deathmatch, trading wins until we all hit 50 wins for Vae Victus. There you go, we just got 425 achievement points!

I encourage people whose turn it is to win to work on kills with any gun but the Assault Rilfe (very easy to work on during campaign) to make progress on "Look on my Works and Despair"

This won't happen in one night, but this is the game plan for how I see us running through Blacksite. Questions?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boosting Alliance Expanding

The Hand of Thrawn Boosting Alliance is throwing out feelers for another few members. If you're a good guy or gal who can do your part in our boosting sessions, is willing to boost one game a month (choosen on a rotating basis by group members), and will demonstrate good attendance to our sessions, you're welcome to join. We're looking to get more regular in our boosting times, though there can still be impromptu sessions.

In joining this group, you agree to help the group boost the game we've chosen, even if you have already done it before. The group will allow individuals to opt out of a game they've already done if there are enough people doing it that we can complete it without them. For example, I got a pass on Frontlines because Silva had enough people to run it without me. If they had needed me, I'd have picked up the game, even though I would not be gaining any points.

I should note we're all currently US based. Gamers outside North American timezones may be considered if they're able to boost within our time frames.

Any new members we recruit are in on a temporary basis to see how they do before assuming a permanent role in thr group. If you're interested, let me know by comment or Xbox Live message. We'd be happy to have a couple more cool people join our ranks.

Serious applicants should know April's game is Blacksite: Area 51, and our first session of that will be on April 1st.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CDS (Completion Deficiency Syndrome)

I grow impatient to pop off my next completion. I've been awful this year about getting games close to completion but not topping them off. I sit at three completions here in late March, which keeps me on track for Bronze, which was the absolute minimum standard I set for myself. Let's look at what I've "achieved" so far in my medaling mission:

Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway: All I did was insert the disc in my tray often enough to unlock the last achievement. No real talent of effort required. This one was practically done already.

NBA Live 07: I logged in when there were 1000 people online. Wowzers. Considering the community effort necessary to obtain that achievement, I guess it should count for something.

Magna Carta 2: I'm happy about having another JRPG completion, and since this took about 48 hours to complete, I'm quite happy about this one. Of my three completions this year, it's the only one I feel a measure of pride in.

I find it hard to believe, but we're almost a quarter of the way through 2010 already. I feel I need to complete something, anything, soon to have much of a shot at getting to the more impressive completion totals without resorting to renting the really easy fare to inflate my total.

Metro 2033 I beat on Monday, and will have the review done tomorrow barring some unforseen misfortune. I'll have to play it again to get the large amount of achievements I missed, but some of those achievements are such a pain in the ass I'm going to wait until the achievement guide is 100% finalized before playing it again.

Tomorrow night I think I'll waste some time in PSU to see if I can find anyone to help me kill Dark Falz 2 for that completion. During the day, I'll work Deadly Premonition to advance one of my remaining two playthroughs (I really wish this crappy game had stacking difficulties).

I'm very close to done with all things single player in Blacksite, so I'm incredibly eager to get to boosting that baby. It really doesn't seem to be a tough completion at all if you're willing to put the time into it. I'll be riding the team a little to get cracking on this one early. If possible, I'd like to see us finish it within the first half of April, leaving the last half of the month as free time to go back to Fracture or Turning Point where possible.

Returns other game coulld happen. Regardless, I think FFXIII will be largely tabled until I think I've made some better progress on my goal.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Here you go jackanape. I got a medal extra special for you =)

Out of curiosity, I did look at what it takes to get real medals custom made, but didn't dig too much further when I saw virtually every place requires a 50 piece minimum. I don't need 50 medals lol. If I made a random dumb award for myself, I think I'm better off going for a trophy LOL.

Finished my first playthrough of Blacksite earlier today, but I'll have to go back for the difficulty achievements and I missed 19 dossiers. Note to HOTBA: This game needs 4 people to boost, meaning at least half of us must show up to do it. There's 425 points here EXCLUSIVE to multiplayer, so it'll be a nice haul if we can manage it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Train of Thought

Here we go again folks. I enjoyed the last post, so I'm going at it again. It's been an interesting 3-day off stretch so far, that's for certain. Went to get my taxes done on Tuesday... which took forever. Problem was, I had to file a Wisconsin return for some of the grant work I did there. I came out as neutral. I get no money from them, they get nothing from me. Yet when the paperwork printed, it said I owed WI the obsurd sum of $650, which made absolutely no sense. They got that fixed, but I had to wander around for over an hour and a half before that was done.

The tax return is going to be good. Good enough that I purchased Metro 2033 without feeling guilty about it. I'll be reviewing the game once I finish it. At this point, I'm not far enough in to offer any reasonable opinion on how good or bad the game is.

I'm also shopping around for LED TVs and new sound systems. Let's just say I'm smelling some significant upgrades on the horizon.

Tuesday night, I had my friend Tim over, and we went and saw Green Zone. It's not as awesome as the commercials hype it to be, but it's still a pretty good movie. It's worth seeing in theaters or renting, though I probably wouldn't buy the DVD.

We've also been doing something my brother and I used to do in the pre-internet gaming days, and back when few games had worthwile coop. What we'd do is take a single player game and keep seapping back and forth who plays it. We decided to play some Black Site: Area 5q, since it'd be a surprise to both of us what happens. Since we're not paying attention to the collectables guide, I'll have to play through a second time, but I don't really mind that. The game is much better than Turning Point or Fracture, the last games HOTBA have worked. I'm kind of interested to see who will be the first in our rotation to pick a game to boost that ISN'T a shooter LOL.

The "games I'm working" list is starting to get insane. Here's the list of games I'm honestly consider myself currently working on:

-Black Site
-Deadly Premonition
-Metro 2033
-Phantasy Star Universe
-Perfect Dark

On the backburner, but not forgotten:
-Bioshock 2

That's right. Heaven help me, I'm trying to juggle NINE games at once. If I don't complete a couple of these soon, things are really going to get out of hand. PSU and Deadly Premonition are easy enough to do, I just need to put the time in. Black Site will work itself out. I'm not worried about that one. Metro and FFXIII are really new additions, so those will take some time, as will Fracture. I'm still on pace for Bronze this year, with three completions and we're in the 3rd month of 2010. However, if I want to do any better than a lowly bronze, I need to get my game on.

I might, MIGHT have a slight break in April, as there doesn't seem to be much coming that month that I can't wait to pluck from the bargain bin. May seems heavy though, if GameStop's release dates for Prince of Persia, Lost Planet 2, Alan Wake, and Red Dead Redemption are accurate...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

SCAVENGER HUNT: You have found the original post I wrote with absolutely no prior plan. As per the clue, the third clue number is 3.

CLUE #4: You will find the next number in the post where I show that I'm not immune to the problem that has faced so many Xbox owners.

This is probably a bad idea. I sit here boosting with the usual crew after a long and frankly terrible day at work. Everyone has bad days from time to time... well this one was particularly crappy, so the usual stupid banter of the group (and making fun of Silva) was a welcome change of pace. I've been in the session for over two hours now, and we've logged less than 100 matches while I've been here. Seriously, 1500 games is going to take forever. I could probably read through Atlas Shrugged before we're done, if I started now (1000+ pages, small type, dense philosophy).

As we go, I thought I'd blog about something, but no topic came to mind, and I'm too tired to really research anything. Instead, I'm going Stream of Consciousness and writing as thoughts come to me. The text scrolling across the page reading as close to my spoken style of voice as you're likely to get without chilling with me in a party chat. Maybe something interesting will come from this, maybe people will read to this point and simply stop. Bonus points for whoever follows along to the end, I guess. Let's call it an experiment. What we're testing and what the point is I do now know, so the "journey" is a surprise to all of us.

Since this is a gaming blog, I guess I should at least try to focus my thoughts on gaming. So, allow me to start with the dudes I spend so much time gaming with. I must say that while I'll probably not do another Gamerscore League (seriously Bishop), I'm greatful for the ones I did. Without 6, I wouldn't have found Silva, Ducky, Buck, or Derek (Ducky and Buck have been very MIA of late). Without 7, I would not have been introduced to Sabre or Dark, or had the opportunity to game with Bishop (I already kind of knew who he was). It's fantastic to have found some people who not only had the right attitude and approach to a competition that can send people into unbelievable fits of nerd rage, but are also a blast to chill with both when hunting for points and when playing for fun. I hope most of us are in for some Perfect Dark XBLA action, probably on Thursday (I'm going to try to go out and be social on St. Patty's... a shocker I know).

I can't wait for the rerelease of PD. The original was a freaking classic, but it's practically unplayable in the modern age of dual sticks. I'm looking forward to modern shooting controls and a stable framerate. Oh, and fragging Silva's ass with the Laptop Gun. Repeatedly. I fondly remember group cooperative matches where we faced off against hordes of bots, either for the joy of slaughter or to see how long we could hold out against tough competition. I remember the campaign fondly, but this purchase will be strongly motivated by the desire for some old-school multiplayer action.

The other purchase I think I'll make (though I'm not sure) is Metro 2033 tomorrow. I need to get back in the review game, after not completing anything for General Knoxx (I just haven't been able to get together with my bro enough to complete it in a timely fashion), and I've been dragging ass on Deadly Premonition (minor game and it is quite bad), so I think I need to buckle down and push out a review that shows I've still got it. Not that anyone has actually doubted, but I'm feeling rusty and that doesn't jive with the high standards I set for myself in every writing endeavor (except this blog post). Metro 2033 is largely and unknown entity to me. The one review I read, from a website whose reputation I don't put too much stock in (and the review wasn't that well written... the cliche "story" introduction rubbed me worst of all) said it's awesomely moody, but the shooting isn't that great. Compairing the game in relation to know heavyweights like Bioshock and Halflife helped me imagine the gameplay, but that review spent a little too much time on comparison for my taste. For an engaging story and immersive setting, I'm more than willing to forgive some so-so shooting action, so we'll see. I'm getting my taxes done tomorrow, so my purchase decision may be influenced in part by the size of my return.

Of course, adding Metro 2033 means yet another incomplete game on my tag. I've given up completion percentage; that has not changed, but I want to do well in my medaling challenge for the year. There are several games I'm within striking distance of completing, and actually want to play, but they're falling unintentionally onto the backburner as new stuff comes out. I need to kill Dark Falz 2 (help needed) in PSU for that chore of a completion. I need to run through Bioshock 2 on easy to pick up a few missing achievements, and play the multiplayer some more. Deadly Premonition I need to speedrun on Normal and then again on Easy and that 1k is on ice. With Borderlands, I just need to find a day where my bro and I are both free and play the hell out of it. Of course, I'm also working on Fracture with the HOTBA, and FFXIII because I want to, and it falls under J-Quest. Plus, my bro, the cheeky bastard, doesn't think I can finish FFXIII before FFXIV comes out. =) I know my reputation with JRPGs isn't legendary, but COME ON. Given Square Enix's development time on the last few, you're basically wagering that it will take me at least 5 years to finish the game. I think not.

ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: COmpleted 250 multiplayer games in Fracture

Still reading? Your one dedicated blog reader! I'd kind of like to have another contest of some sort for my blog readers, though I'm not sure what kind of contest it would be or what the prize should be. As Silva can attest, I deliver my prizes. He didn't think I was serious about that 1600 microsoft points for the Banner Contest a while back. Oh! I know! Perhaps a design your own achievement list contest? That could be fun. I need to think of rules and a prize though... we'll see.

If you haven't, go check out the blogs of Dark, Bishop, and Sabre (and Silva when he decides to update). They all need to post more often lol =P Each feels like a developing blog, where they haven't quite hit on the head what they want to do with it, but each is innovating and trying something new achieve a new and more solid identity. I look forward to seeing what they try and the results it brings them.

This blog innovated for a while, but I have to admit I've stalled lately. Content is still fairly consistent, and I take great pride in that (over 200 posts and counting), but I haven't delivered much for what I consider "heavy hitting" posts of late. It's been a while since I did any special topics, longer still since I wrote a serious editorial piece. Segments like "ThrawnOmega Predicts the Future" are sure to continue, and I absolutely love the video blogs. So far, the reception on those seems to be good, but I haven't heard that much about them one way or the other. They take about 10x as long to do as a simply types post, but they are quite fun to do. Over the coming months, I definitely want to look into some more serious posts to sprinkle in amongst the common "here's what I'm doing in the world of achievements posts." While the common posts are good, and the meat of this blog, I think the other stuff is what helps this blog stand out and keep it unique. Any suggestions on what you think of the blog or what you'd like to see more of would be appreciated, if you have any thoughts.

Oh, and while my 300th post is still 77 posts away, I'll go ahead and say this now: It's going to be EPIC. It will also likely be rather lengthy (like the post you still seem to be reading), so go into it fully prepared to spend a fair amount of time on the blog on that particular day.

Bishop, if you've read this far, I like the wierd news/story idea. The more bizarre, outlandish, or obsure, the better =P I'm amazed Webb responded back about the interview... he never returns my PMs LOL! (Well, he does return the review related ones ^-^)

Sabre, if you're reading this, your blog is called "Sabre x360a Military Gamer." If you're cool with it, I'd love to hear more about your military experiences, current or past experiences. Combat or day to day routines. It's one thing you could use to help your blog stand out and be unique if you decide to expand your audience. You know things most of the gaming community does not. The military aspect seemed important enough for you to make it part of the title of your blog, so why not use it more?

Dark, I have a crazy notion for you. Fancy catching a Twins game at Target Field sometime this season? We actually live in the same state, so meeting in person isn't out of the question. I've love to share a beer or two with Sabre, Silva, and Bishop (we'll make him a 'McLovin' ID), but I don't think I'll be stopping by Texas, New York, of Louisiana any time soon. Us catching a Twins game is totally withing the realm of plausability, if we plan for it. Let me know if you'd be interested.

All right, I'm calling this quits for tonight. I feel like I've been typing FOREVER.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things I Learned Boosting Fracture

Boosting can be great times. Random conversations to pass the boredom are the best. You learn interesting things with the people you boost with. Here's some of the things I learned while boosting Fracture:

(note: I'll take this post down if the parties mentioned object to it)

Sabre wakes up at 5am almost every morning for drills/execrises. I won't copy all the details, but Sabre is a real life badass lol. Don't think otherwise. =P

Sabre makes his wife mow the lawn.

Wisconsin has more bars than grocery stores. They probably drink more than anyone else too.

Silva has no idea what people do on a daily basis in states that aren't New York or California. Seriously, it's sorta hilarious =P Apparently, New Yorkers live in their own little world.

We debated what is more pathetic, making the world's longest gum wrapper chain, or grown men boosting achievements. Considering the wrapper chain is 12 miles long and was started over 30 years ago, we feel Mr. Gum Wrapper wins.

A prom in Mississippi was cancelled because a lesbain girl wanted to go with her partner. (My brother relayed this bit of news)

Russian hackers jam traffic with porn video: reports
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Drivers in the Russian capital, Moscow, were given an unexpected show courtesy of a 30-by-20 foot electronic highway billboard when an explicit pornographic video was played for nearly twenty minutes in place of the paid advertisement clips that are usually shown. The incident happened near the entrance into Serpukovskiy tunnel on Sadovoe Ring Road, about 2 kilometers south of the Kremlin.

"Within three minutes we found it out, and within fifteen minutes the screen was shut off," the deputy head of the Moscow city advertising committee, Alexander Menchuk, said in a statement to Interfax. A passerby told the Associated Press that she was "so shocked that I couldn't even shoot video or take a picture of it."

The display screen's owner, the Three Stars Advertising Agency of, said that computer hackers attempting to execute a practical joke were likely to blame. Viktor Laptev, commercial director for the firm said, "They were either acting out of hooliganism or were from a rival company."

Although a city official has been quoted as telling local media that Moscow would increase security of data transmission in light of what happened, local police say they have yet to receive a single complaint about the incident, and thereby have not opened an investigation. Nudity on television is officially banned in Russia.

Information from: Wikinews,

Silva lost his socks. He didn't want to go find another pair. His level of frustration was hilarious.

Another bizarre story for you:

Woman charged in breast milk assault on jailer
Sun Mar 7, 1:04 pm ET
OWENSBORO, Ky. – A woman in jail for public intoxication was accused of assaulting a jailer by squirting breast milk at her. WYMT-TV reported that a 31-year-old woman was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. But as she was changing into an inmate uniform, she squirted breast milk into the face of a female deputy who was with her.

The woman now faces a felony charge of third degree assault on a police officer. Her bond was set at $10,000.

Olympic organizers have been providing free condoms to athletes since the Barcelona Olympics of 1992.

Apparently a hybrid mixture of Bud Lite Lime and Red Bull is amazing.

Thrawn ran out of Bacardi Razz.

Bishop doesn't care about Tim Tebow after he's left Florida.

Minnesota has hockey. WIN. (duh)

Like Thrawn, Silva works on salary. Unfortunately for Silva, he seems to be getting abused for that more often.

A man set himself on fire because he was smoking while using gasoline as a cleaning agent. He was from WISCONSIN lol. is a great site to read from to everyone during a boosting session. Great way generate group lolz.

Thrawn really doesn't like staying up past his bed time to boost when he has a 12 hour shift the next morning...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Operation Hell Grind a Success!

Oh. My. God. I feel like a could roll over and die right now, but it's all (almost) over. I spent the vast majority of my day turbogrinding in PSU, in my bid to hit level 90 before the end of the MAG+ event. After all the hours of grinding away while watching TV to make it tolerable, I've finally hit the magic number, and just in time, as MAG+ will go bye bye in just a few short hours.

The insanity of this grindathon is second only to Warriors Orochi 2, but at least that game was worth 1000 total points. I'm at 49 hours of playtime to get to 90, and I still need to find a helper to take out Dark Falz 2 to actually get my achievement. That's a LOT of time to invest in hunting down 250 points...

I now have my copy of Fracture in hand, so I'll be getting down to that nonsense tomorrow with the HOTBA. How far will we get on those achievements? Given our track record, I'll probably have to finish it off by boosting myself at some future date, but we'll see. I think we need to find some word games or topics of conversation to pass the time... Turning Point was a little too quiet, and Fracture will take much longer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grinding Hell

I must suffer for my procrastination, it seems. The MAG+ event for Phantasy Star Universe ends tomorrow, with me still 20 levels (when the day started) from the promised land of level 90, the minimum level needed for access to the last achievement boss. Despite FFXIII in my possession, I spent the bulk of my morning and early afternoon grinding levels in PSU on one screen while watching TV on the other. At least I got to watch The Price is Right (it's the one advantage of those weekday days off). At about level 76, I couldn't take it anymore, so I popped in FFXIII for a spin. I'm now on an afternoon food and Netflix break, then it'll be some more FFXIII before returning to another long evening session of PSU when more interesting prime time shows are on. I'm going to plan my grinding tonight around TV schedules... sigh. The things I do for another JRPG completion.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

RE5: Desperate Escape

The review can be found here. Just wanted to let you all know since I'm thinking it got buried in the recent rush of news.

That's all... I'm off to enjoy some FFXIII before I have to start what I'll be blogging about tomorrow.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Video Episode 3

Best episode yet for random banter, crazy shenanigans, and grown men making asses of themselves.