Two weeks in and things are not going as well as I had expected.
I completely understand that 10,000 achievement points in twelve weeks is a bit of a lofty goal, but I figured I’d be able to squeak out about 1,000 points a week for the first 10 weeks, and then be done with a fortnight to spare. It’s not looking like that’s going to happen. But, really, what difference does that make? You’re playing "Halo 3."
I’ve spent the last two weeks working my way through "BioShock." While it is easily one of the best games that I’ve played this year, it took me about a week longer than I expected to finish, and I didn’t even get the full 1,000 points, finishing with a respectable 950. I also chalked up a small handful of extra points from the Genesis classic, "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," and I ended the week with a meagerly fruitful hour or so of "Halo 3."
My total for the week clocks in at 690, and over the past two weeks I have a total of 1,250 points, which is clearly under my 2,000 point expectation, and which is resulting in me being forced reexamine my gameplay plan for the next 10 weeks.
These are the strategies I used:
I played through "BioShock" on the hardest difficulty setting for an extra 40 points, but I’m pretty sure that 40 points cost me an extra 2 – 3 days playing the game. Multiplayer’s fearless leader was able to finish the game in a weekend, (and then spend more time writing to N’Gai about it than actually playing it) [Editor's note: Cip, you're fired.] and Multiplayer’s other Jason was able to clear the game in about a week. So, was it worth it? I’m pretty sure I could have run through most of "Stranglehold" in those extra couple of days, or at least made a dent in "Dirt." I probably left about 700 points on the table.
"Halo 3" offers the same option, except the pay-off is more significant, receiving a total of 375 points for clearing it Legendary (250 of those points are inclusive of the easier levels), and a measly 125 for Normal. I’m going to play through this one on Normal and see if it works to my advantage down the road, allowing me to play more games. From here on out, I am going to have to make a concerted effort to try to read some game reviews for upcoming games and find out if I can get an idea of how long it will take to rack up points in each. Otherwise, there’s pretty much no way I am going to be able to score 10,000 before December 4th.
"Halo 3" will most likely stay on the list (especially since I’m already about 3 hours in), but I’m really hoping "Call of Duty 4" won’t be off, since all of the achievements come from the single player campaign. I’m going to have to start making some hard choices coming up, balancing out my available time, with the amount of points I can get, while factoring in whether or not trying to get more points by playing on the harder difficulty is worth it. In the past this hasn’t been much of a problem with games like "Call of Duty 2," "Gears of War" and "Earth Defense Force" offering extra points for more challenging gameplay, but I wasn’t on such a time crunch when I was playing those.
The "Smash Bros." updates on the Dojo this week have included two of the most important announcements yet, confirming Wi-fi play, and reaffirming that Snake will be appearing in the game. It really just gets better day after day, and it’s shaping up to be one of the best games of all time. I really hope I’m going to be able to play it when it comes out.
My Achievements Forecast: It looks like I’ll be working on finishing the fight (a fight which, honestly, I never really started) later this week with "Halo 3," and maybe mixing in something that isnt quite a first person shooter, since I’m getting a little tired of them. Hopefully, XBLA will hold something fun for me this week. Again, for up to the minute updates, check out my Xbox Live profile.
Thanks to everyone that messaged me with suggestions last week. They were very helpful, and a hello to all my new friends.