Welcome back to another edition of X3F Achievements 101, where we take a look at the last 7 days in Achievement whoring of yours truly and any observations or interesting tidbits that got discovered along the way. This week saw a good jump in Gamerscore, as I plowed through a couple of mediocre games with some straightforward Achievements, along with others that require special attention to obtain. So, we'll take a look at Superman Returns, Eragon, and touch on a teensy bit of Shadowrun.
Well, at the end of last week's column, I pointed out that I was pretty close to 40,000 Gamerscore, and I intended on landing right on the money. Hitting Gamerscore Milestones was something I tended to do early on in my Achievement whoring career, with the first one I actually tried for being 12345. Now, I was all set to go for 40,000, but, unfortunately on the 11th, I had some clan matches in Shadowrun to participate in. Over the course of 2 matches across 4 maps, I got Resurrector, Popgun, Dwarf Player, and Heavy Smoker, for grand total of 50 GS, pushing me over the edge. Oh well, there's still 44,444 and 45,000.
For the remainder of the work week, I pretty much stuck with Shadowrun and Pac-Man C.E. The latter of the two is incredibly fun, and I've beaten all the modes except for Challenge Mode 2, and still need to eat the Crown and amass 400,000 points. My best scores are 369,800 for Challenge Mode 1, and 325,360 for Extra Mode 3, I'm pretty sure with proper power pellet combos and fruit consumption, I should be able to break 400k on one of those two. Column reader Little Lee also recommended I use Extra Mode 3 as a means to eat the crown.
On Friday, I rented Superman Returns, as I got recommendations on it from you guys, as well as a seeing most of those on my friends list who played it usually had a 1000 on it. Now, while I did essentially beat the game in around 8 hours, there were two other Achievements that required serious time investments, both directly and indirectly. I'm going to do you a favor and tell you the most efficient way of completing this game whilst saving the 0 GS Achievement for last. "Not so Super" is unlocked by entering a cheat code, and I wanted to show I beat the game without the use of cheats, since it was easy enough and didn't require them. I was actually tempted to not get the Achievement at all, as all it does is lower my Gamerscore per Achievement ratio, but for completions sake, I finished it off.
The four "extra-curricular" Achievements are Roadside Assistance, Heavy Lifting, Frequent Flyer and The Greatest Day. All of these can be tracked in the Statistics section of the pause menu. Roadside Assistance is simple enough, just lift 100 vehicles, or the same vehicle 100 times, whichever you prefer. That'll take 5 or so minutes to top off after playing through most of the campaign. Heavy Lifting, where you must lift 10,000 tons, requires special attention. The heaviest objects in Metropolis weigh roughly 11,000 pounds, or 5.5 tons, which means a lot of lifting, dropping, lathering, rinsing and repeating.
There is a quicker way, though. The second level takes place on Warworld, and has huge disc like objects that weigh 60,000 lbs. So, the best thing to do would be to pick up, drop etc. some of those discs while ignoring the first gladiator you fight, Plahtune. Should you "fail" the fight due to inactivity or taking too many hits, hit retry and your lifting stats will continue without a hitch. This will save you having to start a new game to get the Achievement easier, and the time will go towards your twelve hour Achievement, The Greatest Day.
Frequent Flyer is equally a nuisance: Fly 10,000 miles. I received the 100% Achievement, with only 95% done, at 2,000 miles flown. Now, Superman flies at speeds of 800 miles per hour when you hold the right bumper. The popular means to acquire this is to use a pair of rubber bands on your right thumbstick and right bumper to have Supes fly in a circle overnight. This could be done at sea level beside the eastern most island, and you can either do this last, or during your first night with the game. I'd recommend either plugging in a Play n' Charge Kit or using a wired 360 controller, as it'll turn off otherwise.
For the mini-games, there are scans available for the locations of the Bizarro missions, races, and all 100 kittens. One thing to note about the races, is that they appear sequentially, so in order to see #2, you have to complete the first one, etc. Also, the 96th kitten on the map is actually one block northeast of its location of the guide. It's on the same street, but runs northeast/southwest. Once you get a rhythm for hunting down the felines, you should be able to sniff them out like catnip.
So, upon completion of Superman Returns, I traded in my rental for Eragon, which has 37 Achievements, one for each of the levels on normal and hard, and one for collecting a "secret egg" in each of the levels. While I'm only getting started in it, I expect to have it done in the next few days. Unfortunately, I have to play each level twice as the Achievements aren't retroactive, but you'll notice that I'm doing the hard difficulty first, just to get it out of the way. So far the game is somewhat tedious, but it's not terrible.
That pretty much sums up my week. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or offerings of assistance, you can direct those to david [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com, with the subject line 'Achievements 101". You can also add me to MSN which is email@example.com, and is linked to my gamertag. Hopefully I can get enough response to organize game sessions, be it Gears of War, Saints Row, Battlefield 2, or other games we can help each other. I'll be back next week with more on Eragon and perhaps some sports titles I plan on tackling.