Thursday, April 10, 2008

I finished a game!

Yeah I finished a game! Okay, when I tell you it was Uno are you going to be disappointed that I got your hopes up? That makes four Xbox Live Arcade games that I've finished: Carcassonne, Backgammon, Jewel Quest and now Uno.

Yes, I know there really isn't an "end" to Uno. It's not like you get the great dramatic moment and then you get to see the credits roll. But I've finished the achievements. Now I can play the game without those hanging over my head.

I'm only two achievements short of "finishing" Catan. All I need are 500 Victory points and 1,000 Victory points. I really like that game. Unfortunately my internet connection at my place doesn't. I always lag out of the game. It use to be right after the initial placements then WHAM I'm staring at three AI faces. Now I usually make it a little longer in the game (maybe a round or two) before I lose connection. I had to stop playing it for awhile because my reputation was taking a beating from all the "quitting" feedback I was getting. I went from 98% to 80% in the matter of about a two week period. The funny thing is I can take my system over to my parent's house and play just fine. It's only my internet the game doesn't like.

With Uno there was a time when I didn't think I would ever get those 40 wins. When ever I played a four player game (all humans) it would seem to take forever for anyone to play their cards. Playing a game to 250 points could take two and half hours. I didn't want to invest that much time in something that I would probably lose anyway. When I started hosting matches with a point limit at 100 I thought would speed things up a bit. The problem was I couldn't keep four players in the room. I finally got the achievement for winning 10 four player games when I had 17 total multiplayer wins. I got my 40 win achievement when I had 38 multiplayer wins . . . but then I realized it's 40 total wins and I have some wins for ranked matches.

Now that Uno is complete I'm going to have to pick another Arcade game to work on for achievements. I know it's not as much fun playing for achievements as just playing the game. But when I pick a game I just try to play it normally but I keep in mind what achievements I might be in line to pick up. Kind of like the "don't hit any obstacles through the first 20 levels" in Crystal Quest. I know about the achievement and I try to play the game so I can get it but always around levels 13-15 I run into something and now I can't get the achievement. I could just restart the game and try again but I continue to play to see how far I can get and there might be another achievement I could pick up instead. I like having a goal to work towards. Maybe that's why I never liked Grand Theft Auto III when I owned it (rather briefly I might add).

I've been "auditioning" games for my next big focused attack. They are AstroPop, Bejeweled 2 (although I completely lost my saved game of 33 levels when I got dumped from Xbox Live when the new Call of Duty maps were released), Boogie Bunnies (lost a save on that one but I've since earned it back), Hexic HD & Hexic 2 (can't decide which one I like more), Poker Smash (gets a little boring after playing for a long time), Luxor 2 (I'm finally at a point in the game where it's getting difficult) and Texas Hold 'Em (although last time I made a push to get a $100,000 bankroll I got up to $80,000+ when the leaderboards were reset because of cheaters and I lost everything).

I like having a "go to" game I can play on my own. Something to take the edge off of a bad day. Or maybe just to kill time before I have to really get up and start doing something with my life (as my mother would say). And although I try to play it every day there's no way I'm going to make Brain Challenge the game I grind in. It's taking all my brain power just to get a rating of 19% on the daily tests. If I ever make it to 100% it would be a miracle. So that's one game I won't be finishing anytime soon.

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