Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I finally achieved perfection!

Well, I finally did it.  I perfected an Xbox 360 retail game.  Now, I've perfected several Arcade titles, but those games don't usually require the time and effort commitment to getting all the achievements that a full retail game does.  Retail games are also a lot more gamerscore than Arcade titles (at least they were).  It's so much more fulfilling to see 1,000 in gamerscore next to a game instead of 200.

Now, technically I've "finished" several retail titles.  Meaning I've finished the story and gotten to the end credits.  But I've never perfected the achievements in a retail game before.  Now, I did it in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.  And it's the third time I've played the game.

The first time I played that game I completed it with my brother, dain bramage, in co-op on the Playstation 2.  We completed all the Lego Star Wars games together on the PS2 and when we found out those games were out for the Xbox 360 we doubled up and got those games again for the achievements.  We knew what we were in for since we had already played the game and thought it would be a piece of cake to play those games again and get that allusive 1,000 perfect gamerscore.

So, for a second time I started playing the game.  This time we were working mostly on our own.  We did get together to play the arcade mini-game so we could get that achievement.  Other than that I've been playing the game alone.  And I don't remember it being that hard to complete.  Unfortunately some jackass(es) broke in to my house about 6 years ago and stole all my games . . . and more importantly my game saves and memory cards.  They stole a lot of items, but they also stole hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of my life in game saves.

At the time I was robbed I only had 2 achievements left to earn.  The one for collecting all Gold Bricks and the one for completing the game to 100%.  The last achievement I had earned was to get all the Mini-kits, which I had earned about a month or so before I was robbed.  I was that close to finishing the game.  But once I got all my stuff back, I had to decide if I was going to start the game over for a third time just for those last 2 achievements.  I had to make that decision for several games (Lost Odyssey being one I was about 4 hours away from finishing based on friend's estimates).

I didn't make that decision right away because just the thought of it overwhelmed me.  All those game saves lost.  Pieces of time ripped right out of my life with no hope of ever getting those moments back.  Did I want to do it all over again?  For every game?  Was it worth it?

I've always wanted to perfect a game and I figured that Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga would probably be my best bet.  So I restarted the game . . . for a third time.  I would play the game when I was interested so there were times when I didn't pick up the game for months.  When I finally get all my shit together to start recording gameplay and posting to YouTube I made a decision that I would use that medium to motivate me to finish the game and finally perfect it.  It worked.

Even when I didn't want to play the game anymore I knew I had to make a video to post online.  So I took out the game and played it.  There are times in the videos that you can probably tell how frustrated I was getting with the game.  A lot of that came from the fact that I was replaying it for the 3rd time and I thought it would be easier.  It wasn't sometimes.  And that made it more frustrating for me.  But on Sunday night I finally finished the last missions and the game showed me 100% completion.  Except the achievement didn't pop right away.

The same thing happened when I "earned" the achievement for getting all the Gold Bricks.  The game showed I had all the Gold Bricks (160 of them) and it let me build the fountain, but didn't give me the achievement.  I had to go in and complete a level before the achievement would pop.  The 100% achievement did the same thing.  Can I tell you how anti-climatic that is?  You work really hard and play the game for over 60 hours (for a third time), finally earn the final achievement but the game doesn't give it to you unless you do something else instead.  And you couldn't just jump in a level and jump out.  No. You had to play and complete the level.  Just give me my damn achievement!  I earned it.

I played the extra level and finally got the achievement to pop.  Woohoo!!!  I did it.  I perfected the game.  Below is a breakout of the levels you have to play to complete the game.  Since I didn't do very well in some of the levels I had to replay some of them multiple times.  That hellish Into the Deathstar blue barrels flight mission was the worst.  I think I played that level more than 20 times before I could get all the barrels in the time limit.

36 Story based levels (6 per movie)
36 Freeplay based levels (6 per movie)
36 blue barrel levels (6 per movie)
12 extra movie based levels (2 per movie)
36 "Super Story" based levels
6 extra game based levels (including revised levels, Lego City and New Town)

That's a total of 162 unique levels to play.  You can't say the game doesn't offer up enough content.  Even if it's the same 36 levels over and over and over and over again.  But at least it's done.  In the Lego Star Wars II game the only achievements I haven't earned are to play the vehicle missions without dying (and you can't have any extras turned on).  I think I'll wait on working on those achievements until sometime later.  I'm a little burned out on Lego Star Wars right now.  (But if any of my friends would like to jump in to my game save and see if all my achievements will pop up for them in their game, let me know.  It will cost you an hour of multiplayer game play in a game of your choosing [provided that I own that game]).

The closer I got to finishing the game the more I decided to set myself a goal and reward.  I would finish the game by the end of July (actually finished it August 2nd) and reward myself with finally buying an Xbox One.  I refused to buy and Xbox One until I had completed, or perfected, a game on the Xbox 360.  Now that I've accomplished that, I can finally get my XBO.  I get paid on Friday so look for me online this weekend on my new system.  I earned it.

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