Friday, September 28, 2012

Microsoft Store canceled my pre-order

No, not my Halo 4 pre-order — although this experience makes me rather nervous about that.

Link to other blog post

In a nutshell, I placed a pre-order game to take advantage of some very nice incentives, only to find out that my pre-order was canceled without any notification or indication of a problem; and, because of this, the incentives are long gone.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Geezer Gamers Community Cast #91


CyberKnight, Devastator, Dukie1993, and Solstice01 gather 'round the studio mics for this week's episode of the Geezer Gamers Community Cast. Now that we know about the Wii U, is it worth a purchase? What is Sony thinking with the new PS3 "super-slim"? Plus some info about the upcoming XCOM reboot, some first impressions about Borderlands 2, and more!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Achievement Unlocked: Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Time for a new feature that will give me some reason to write, outside of game reviews that I never seem to get around to and reposts of the podcasts I've hosted or been involved in. Achievement Unlocked tells the more interesting stories of achievements I've earned.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game tile

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron includes three achievements of the kind I absolutely hate: multiplayer achievements that require you to dominate the entire scoreboard, and the worst of those achievements mean your domination includes those players on your own team. Not only are these achievements insanely difficult for anyone to get legitimately (unless they're the kind of player that can truly dominate — which I am quite definitely not), but they can take a team game and make it into a free-for-all, where every player is your enemy, coercing you to engage in unsportsmanlike conduct like team-killing or interfering with them accomplishing the objective.

Which brings me to the three qualifying achievements in Fall of Cybertron.

Heavy Metal War achievement picture

First up is Heavy Metal War. This one does not require you to interfere with your teammates' progress. In fact, it's easily possible for multiple players on the same (and even opposing) teams to get the achievement simultaneously. The achievement requires you to kill six different players on the opposing team in one deathmatch. The things that make this a little more difficult is: (1) you have to get in a match with six people on the other team (which can be a challenge unto itself some nights), (2) you have to be able to find and kill each of those six people (there is almost always one or two players on the opposite team that, no matter what I do, I just can't seem to kill), and (3) you have to score these six kills before either team gets to the winning score of 40 (which is often just a little too fast).

I ended up getting this achievement when I happened into a game that was 5-on-5. The players on my team were pretty good at engaging the enemy, which meant I could fly around as a jet mostly ignored and pick off enemies retreating or hiding. I wasn't really keeping track, but I thought I managed to get each one of the enemy five once. As the game was coming to a close, I saw a notification that someone joined the game on the enemy team. As the voice of Optimus Prime announced there were five kills remaining, I boosted over to the enemy spawn area as the sixth opposing player spawned in. Unfortunately, my first attempt at taking him out didn't go so well, but I was able to respawn, jet over to him, and finish him off just before the game ended.

Ultimate Menasor achievement picture

Second, Ultimate Menasor, requires you to personally capture three flags in a public multiplayer capture the flag game. Since the game goes to a score of three, that means you have to capture all three flags, without any of your teammates scoring even one. This is easily the most annoying and unsportsmanlike achievement in the bunch, since, in order to get the achievement, no one else on your team can score.

Some fellow Geezers got this achievement on a night I happened to not be online. By letting Hyperdive, "the Geezer from Australia," host the match (setting matchmaking preferences to "regional", and it being the middle of the Australian day instead of gaming prime time), they managed to create rooms with very low instances of other people joining. We were trying that method again, but with a party of only three, we weren't able to secure a room all to ourselves.

Duck grabbed the first flag and brought it back to me, and I waited at our base with Duck covering me until the rest of our team secured our flag and I could score. Then the enemy flag was again snagged by our team, but this time by one of our random teammates. I figured this would kill my achievement attempt. The enemy likewise grabbed our flag, and we were in another standoff. Again, I waited by our base, hoping against hope that maybe the enemy would come in for a flag rescue, kill my teammate, and be weak enough that I could kill him and grab the flag for myself.

Then the strangest thing happened. Our flag-carrying teammate came up to me, transformed into his vehicle form (automatically dropping the flag), and drove away. Was this a mistake? Did he not realize that you had to stay in robot mode to carry the flag? I wasn't too sure at that point, but after I scored the flag and the battle for the third score started, he came back and did it again. Completely unbidden, this random player going by the gamertag EMFULZ gave me the achievement.

As soon as the game was over, I left him some positive feedback. I only looked up his profile later and noticed he also needed the achievement, so my intent this week is to hopefully get the Geezers together again, find him online, and return the favor.

Ballistic Energon Goodie achievement picture

Later the same night, I decided to lone wolf it into some headhunter games and see if I could pick up the third achievement: Ballistic Energon Goodie. To get this achievement, you have to play a game of headhunter and score five "sparks" (heads) in one shot. It's another one I didn't think I would get without a lot of orchestrated help, as it requires staying alive long enough to nab five sparks and then score them — although more than one Geezer said they managed to get lucky by playing as a jet, flying into the aftermath of large battles, and scooping up enough sparks to score. After dying over and over again without ever touching a spark, I figured it was a lost cause. Then, I happened to get a glimpse of an enemy jet carrying four sparks. I figured it was worth a shot. I held my boosters down and chased him down a long corridor. At one point, he flew into a room where the rest of his team was congregated, and I started taking fire. I think my missile lock must have had the other jet spooked, as he just kept flying, and I just kept following him. Once he started down another hallway, I started firing, and I killed him out of site of the rest of his team. I scooped up the four sparks he was carrying plus his.

Now, I had five sparks. I was also low on health, not that far from his team, on a map I wasn't too familiar with, and a healthy distance from the score points. I flew in the general direction of one of the score points and what I hoped was friendly territory (bumping into unexpected walls and turns all along the way). Amazingly, I found my way to a score point and swooped through it, scoring the sparks and the achievement. Before I could turn around and get back into the fray, a teammate scored the final points and ended the game.

With the most outrageous achievements out of the way, the rest are just a matter of time, patience, and walkthroughs (for the "collectibles").

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Geezer Gamers Community Cast #89


Join CyberKnight and the Geezer Gamers as we talk about all things gaming. This week, we chat with a special guest, Patrick Koepke, a.k.a. Solstice01, whose new fantasy novel, Shadow of the Hunter, is on sale now for all Kindle devices and apps.

From the Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii, to upcoming consoles like the Wii U and Ouya, to announcements and rumors of the Durango and the Orbis. Put the kids to bed and be a part of the show!

Another thank-you to Palette-Swap Ninja for allowing us to play their music!