X3F Achievements 101: All Hallow's Achieve

Welcome to another wonderful edition of X3F Achievements 101. Today's topics of discussion include Major Nelson's warning about gamesaving, sludging through the online multiplayer Achievements of Fuzion Frenzy 2, my experience thus far with Project Gotham Racing 4, and the rather annoying list of Achievements found in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Anyway, all the goodness that you've come to expect is included after the break.

Well, the first thing that should be brought up is Major's post on Gamesaving and Gamertag sharing to inflate one's Gamerscore. He even went so far to say that offenders may have their Gamerscore zeroed out, and in turn unable to unlock the Achievements again. You've only ever been able to unlock a given Achievement once, so it's obvious that they're not deleting those games from your gamercard. I've mentioned on previous columns that I think Gamesaving is a pretty low level to stoop to, and am happy to see Microsoft take further action.

This isn't the first time they've addressed gaming saving. In last year's (Northern Hemispherically) Fall Update, Microsoft drew a line in the proverbial sand by making the vast majority of gamesaves available at the time obsolete and unable to be played. This year's Fall Update is just around the corner and we're getting a warning from Major Nelson to not partake in the current means of illegitimately unlocking Achievements. It sounds like there's going to be penalized gamers who have been engaging in these activities after the Update rolls out, but that's just speculation at this point. We'll just have to wait and see, but perhaps the first five pages or so of MyGamercard's Leaderboard will have entirely new faces as cheaters get the scores reset.

As per the invite from the last Achievements 101, Geoff and I played Fuzion Frenzy 2 with a reader or two, and cleared off most of the online Achievements. I'm on my last one, requiring me to win 10 Mini-Game Frenzies online. That will only take another 15 or 20 minutes of play, depending on wins. A startling discovery was made when playing our first tournament: cutscenes can't be skipped. Now, I've had the Announcer volume muted in the settings since pretty much the get go. If you do end up playing this online, I recommend playing with people you know who have a good sense of humor, that way you can mindlessly play and shoot the breeze, or mock the game together and share in the misery. If someone wants to finish up the mini-games with me, my contact info is below, just shoot me a message on Xbox Live and we'll set things up.

I'm playing Project Gotham Raining Racing 4, and its Gotham Career mode and really enjoying it. I started out on the Hardcore difficulty, which I could definitely handle. It was pretty challenging, about par with the Platinum requirements for PGR 2. I later checked to see if any Achievements were associated with the difficulty played, and then found that there weren't, so when I came to a few Hot Lap races that I was barely missing the time requirements for, I scaled it back to Normal. While I'm breezing through the events now, I'm still having a lot of fun. So far the Achievements for progressing are pretty steady as long as you keep winning. One thing to note, that actually had me confused, was that the "I <3 PGR" Achievement is a little misleading. It mentions either buying everything in the PGR shop or completion of PGR 3 and getting to Rank #1. I completed PGR 3 way back in 2005 and got to Rank #1 in that as well. Perhaps one needs to complete PGR 3 and get Rank #1 in PGR 4, either way, I'll let you know how that one works for me.

I got my full 1000 in Halo 3 over the weekend, ending with "We're in for some Chop" in Tsavo Highway in campaign. Today is probably a great day for people to finish off some multiplayer Achievements. Richard got his Two for One Achievement in an Infection game, from the Halloween playlist. I'd highly recommend that those looking for their Overkills and Triple Sword kills to spend some quality time either hunting for brains or preserving your own, as it should help your odds in picking up those stragglers.

This weekend also marked the release of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, which has a wider variety of Achievements than its predecessor, but not in a good way. I touched on this in the fancast with a rant about some of the absolutely stupid Achievements in the game. Beat the Hard or Expert Career with a standard controller? Beat an Expert song with all the sound settings to zero? Win 500 ranked Online Matches? Seriously, Neversoft, Achievements are supposed to be fun challenges, not stupid chores. Playing a career left flip is fine, because it's not difficulty dependent. Some of the "challenges" are pretty cool, like I'm working on getting 200k on Cult of Personality without using Star Power, and I think I can pull it off on Hard, as I got about 185k but messed up on the second solo, which isn't that difficult, especially with the neutered Hammer Ons and Pull Offs. Thankfully, the Co-Op Achievements (outside of Career ones) can be done online. Another thing that needs to be cleared up is the point requirement for "Now That's Impressive", it's either 750K or 1 Mil, as the text and the Achievement picture contradict eachother. We'll have to wait and see. Either way, I find Rock Band's Achievement list to be far more appealing, less focus on completely making the game your bitch and more on being well rounded, while still proficient and challenging.

That covers this edition of Achievements 101. I just wanted to thank all the support from the X3F readers regarding the streak who left comments and sent in congratulatory emails. Incidentally, I haven't missed a day since the 5th, but I'm not really holding myself to anything now. As always, you're welcome to contact me through the means listed below, or in the comments section. I try to reply when possible to keep the conversation going. Anyway, take care and we'll see you next time.

Email: david [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com | Subject: Achievements
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This article was originally published on Joystiq.