The Holidays Vs. My Achievements Quest

rayman_281×211.jpgA month off from writing about Achievements, and what do I have to show for it? Not a whole lot.

Unfortunately my anticipated time off over the holidays did not translate into as much gaming as I had hoped, and I was only able to make small steps towards my overall goal of 20,000 points before "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" comes out.

I was only able to get 2,510 points over the course of four weeks, a number that I've surpassed in just one week during this quest (during Week 6, where I got 2,530 points). The past four weeks of effort really only translates into approximately 628 points per week, a number that I should be ashamed of considering the amount of time I had off from work. However, it was the holidays that got in the way, again. The parties, the traveling, the spending time with family (a state away from my Xbox) were all obstacles, restraining me to only a few prolonged gaming sessions – not the day or two long gaming binges that I had looked forward to. Alas, I didn’t even get to one of the "good" games that I was hoping to in my last post. But, on the plus side, I did get some games out of my way forever.

I started out my break clearing out the easiest thousand points possible, by getting all 1,000 points and finishing "Avatar: The Last Airbender" in less time than it took me to boot up the game. Things went downhill from there.

I spent most of my vacation jumping back and forth between retail and arcade games, both good and (mostly) bad in both cases. On the retail side I played as much as I could of "Beowulf," "Rayman: Raving Rabbids," "The Darkness," "Scene It," and "Viva Piñata: Party Animals." (Notice how none of those games made any "Best of" lists for 2007.) Xbox Live afforded me playables from all ends of the gaming spectrum. "Yaris" and "Heavy Weapon" provided me a much needed mental vacation from regular gaming. "Totemball" was great, if you truly believe the old adage: You get what you pay for. It did however yield me 10 points with my new Xbox Vision Camera (which I bought only because you can get 50 points in "Rayman" for playing any game with the camera). The amazing "Puzzle Quest" rounded out my XBLA selection; it gave me my proudest Achievement of the break which was 35 points for beating Lord Bane, which is the final boss in the game.

I think my fatal flaw was spreading the love around. Had I focused on one game at a time, I could have easily scored more points. I was able to focus on "Rayman" and "The Darkness," but I haphazardly jumped back and forth between everything else. This was coupled with the fact that I was too lazy to get up and change the disk in my tray on more than one occasion, forcing me to turn to XBLA games. Normally, this isn't a bad thing, but there really isn't the wealth of points to be found in those games.

The overall total for my quest now rests at 16,860, well past three quarters of the way there, but I still have a ways to go. With the release of "Smash Bros." starting to loom ominously ahead, I'd really like to finish off the last 3,140 points soon, and put a nail in this coffin in the next couple weeks; I don’t want to be down to the wire come the beginning of February. If you would like follow along and see how close I am getting (remember the magic number for my GamerScore is 40,955), feel free to check out my Xbox profile: jaded cynic.

Movie & TV Awards 2018