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How not playing GTAIV for a month was the best thing to happen to my Achievements in May


If you've got me on your XBox Live Friend List, then you would have seen for the better part of this past month that I've been playing a lot of skate. I started playing it back in January, but I remember stopping because I had hit a wall and I couldn't do any more of the challenges. I picked it up again, and somehow I was better than when I quit four months ago. After taking a look at the Achievements, I decided that I would be able to get 1000/1000 in it. It would be my third game now (with Halo 3 being the first and Call of Duty 4 being the second).

All in all, it wasn't really that difficult. Aside from spending three hours careening down a hill into oncoming traffic in order to break both of my femurs ten times each, it wasn't even that tedious. About halfway through the month, I unlocked with my last skate. Achievement: the annoying "get twenty people to rate your footage" Achievement. It required playing online and actually talking to a mostly antisocial group; skate. players won't shout obscenities at you like most shooter fans on XBox Live, they just won't say anything to you.

Still, I got that last Achievement, and it inspired me to do more. If you can see up near the top of my game list, I've got The Orange Box, with 97 out of 99 Achievements unlocked. I am pretty confident I can get the 98th one (silvers on all the Portal challenges), but that last one may haunt me, because as I've said before, gold medals on all of the Portal challenges might just be impossible with a dual analog setup.

Of course, my second and third run-throughs of Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 and 2 to pick up all of the remaining Achievements on them were punctuated by the release of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 1. I downloaded it, played through it once, but missed the Pack Rat (get all of the collectibles), Immortal (finish the game without dying), and Silent but Deadly (kill the final boss without using healing items) Achievements. I originally planned to do three play-throughs, since killing the final boss without using any healing items or dying seemed impossible. Once I tried it out though, I decided I could manage them all in just one play-through. It took me probably ten tries, but I was finally able to get the timing down to counter his attacks.

And it turned out I only missed one thing on my first play through for Pack Rat.

So that's all I accomplished with the free time I've had without Grand Theft Auto IV. I actually was hoping to dig back into Bioshock, because I think I can manage 1100/1100 Gamerscore on it. Who knows, maybe I'll put off on GTAIV for a little while longer to finish off The Orange Box and Bioshock.

But then again, looking at this month's challenges, maybe those will have to wait until July.
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About Darren Nakamuraone of us since 2:29 AM on 11.06.2006

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011.

While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in independent games. He produced the Zero Cool Podcast for about four years, and he plays board games quite a bit when he can find willing companions.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Darren Nakamura knows several people in the video game industry, most of whom are Destructoid alumni. These include:

Anthony Burch, former writer for Gearbox Software
Ashly Burch, notable voice actor
Nick Chester, publicist for Harmonix Music Systems
Chad Concelmo, writer for Golin Harris
Aaron Linde, writer for Gearbox Software
Jayson Napolitano, publicist for Scarlet Moon Productions
Brad Nicholson, former publicist for Uber Entertainment
Alex Ryan, publicist for Kalypso Media
Jim Sterling, notable voice actor

Darren backs a lot of Kickstarter campaigns! If you want to see what he has backed, you can go here. If he ever reviews a game that he backed, that will be explicitly disclosed in the review.

Darren invested in Psychonauts 2 on Fig.
Xbox LIVE:Dexter345
PSN ID:Dexter345
Steam ID:http://steamcommunity.com/profil
Mii code:1257 7687 3747 6405


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