Victory At 3AM: How A Gamer In Japan Saved My Achievements Quest

wartech.jpgIn the immortal words of Thomas Falsetta “Sleep's for babies, gamers play all night,” and, in my journey to 10,000 achievement points before “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” comes out, it seems to be more of a reality week after week.

I think I’m actually forming an addiction to getting achievement points. The symptoms are becoming more and more obvious. For example, if, for some crazy reason I don’t get any points on a given day, I actually lay awake in bed at night, and, in some cases actually have to get out of bed and play, or else I can’t fall asleep.

Nighttime gaming has generally been my preference for many years now, and I’ve learned the hard way not to pick up a game in the morning if I actually have to be somewhere before noon (like school, or, more importantly, work). However, it has only been a rare case that I’ve actually been kept awake by a game, much less by something as unimportant as achievement points. This week that's what happened.

And it actually paid off: 895 points for me this week, bringing my total to 3,115 (which is taking into account a slight mathematical error of an extra 30 points from last week’s post – sorry about that), and my overall Gamer Score to 24,070, the vast majority of these points coming after 12 A.M.

I spent a lot time in space this week (maybe I just have a thing for the dark). After throwing a little bit of time to completely finish off the career mode in “DiRT” at the beginning of the week “WarTech: Senko no Ronde,” became my game of “choice.” Most of you probably haven’t heard of “WarTech” (neither had I), but over 500 of its achievement points were pretty mindless, and easy to get, so I gave it a shot. I can’t tell you anything about the plot, except that it has something to do with “formation shells” and flying around fighting people. It reminded me of a cross between a fighter and a shmup.

The highlight of my "WarTech" session came late Friday night (or early Saturday morning) as I scored the trickiest "easy" 100 points ever. Before I had actually started “WarTech,” I checked out the achievements in advance (as I do with all my games), and upon scoping them out I thought that it would offer me the easiest 100 points possible. All I had to do was complete a ranked match on Xbox Live. That’s it, and 100 points would be mine. Well, apparently when you have a game that isn’t really that great, and came out a few months ago, not a lot of people are still playing it online. After trying to get into a match 10 – 15 times over the course of 4 days I had pretty much given up.Last Friday night, after dinner out with my girlfriend and watching “Casino Royale,” 1:30 A.M. rolled around and off to bed I went. I had not turned on my Xbox 360 that day. Well, the addiction kicked in. After lying in bed for an hour, I got back up, fired up the system, and went right after those 100 points. Lo and behold, someone from Japan (coincidentally, the “Land of the Rising Sun”) was actually online [Gamertag withheld], where it was daytime, and looking to play. With 2900 matches under his belt, I was pretty sure I was going to lose. I did. But at almost 3 A.M. I finally got my 100 points. Take that, “Wartech.”

My late night exhaustion/yearning also lead me to the purchase of XBLA classic “Galaga.” It’s the same “Galaga” you know and love from when you were growing up. The only difference is that, this time around, there are achievement points. In fact, there are 200 of the easiest achievement points possible. In about an hour and a half of gameplay time, I had cleared out all 200 points, making it the first game I have played to achievement completion so far.

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The rest of the week was pretty uneventful as I eventually gave up on “WarTech” and “DiRT” and started in a new direction with “Skate.” It looks like it might be a bit of a haul for a lot of the points, but I’m going to give it a shot this week anyways. Check out my Xbox Live profile any time to see how I'm doing.