Thursday, April 16, 2009

Resolute

Some of you may be aware already that I am a big fan of G.I. Joe. As a kid, the 3"3/4' scale Joe action figures made up the vast bulk of my toy collection, aided by the fact that both myself and my brother collected them religiously. Birthdays, Christmas', Communions, any excuse we could find was channelled into the Joes. I still have my first two Joe figures, General Hawk and Lifeline. Back then they were called Action Force over here, but while they started differently, they quickly became the same thing. We had the best comics as well. While Marvel produced the superb GI Joe monthly comic by legendary Joe writer Larry Hama, Britain, and thus Ireland too, got a weekly series with a bunch of extra material to make up the page-count, and even got an awesome black'n'white 2000AD styled series, Battle Action Force.

My memories of the G.I. Joe cartoon as a child however are non-existent, as my first experience with it was in my late teens. Cheesy, flashy and simplistic in every way, the cartoons were the usual 80's stuff, fantastic when you were a kid, but absolutely dreadful now. The animated movie, released around the same time as the animated Transformers movie was marginally better, benefiting from a larger production budget and increased freedom with its plot.

In August of this year, just a few short months away already, we'll have GI Joe's first run at a live-action movie. I personally can't wait, but admit to my huge love as a strong bias for enjoying anything with the name G.I. Joe. That said, the trailer looks awesome!


But before that, we have what prompted me to write this late night meandering waffle of a love letter to a childhood toy line. G.I. Joe: Resolute is the newest effort at an animated G.I. Joe in recent years. Prior to this we had the poorly received animé inspired G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, which was probably still better than the 80's version but I'm older and wiser now and have no nostalgia for it. Also, it starred characters with the same names as the toys I played with, but with very little resemblance beyond that, either in design or attitude. Resolute on the other hand is clearly made for fans of the old series and toy line. No, this doesn't mean that Cobra will be pulling the Arora Borealis down to earth to melt the polar icecaps and flood the world (actual episode plot! "Haul Down the Heavens", episode 115, circa 1985). It's written for the fans that grew up with these characters, and are now all my age! Thus, it has cool technology, kick-ass ninjas, action, adventure, violence, and all the stuff we did in our games but never saw on TV! And it's written by Internet Jesus himself, Warren Ellis! In fact, he seems to be as excited about it as I am, which is fantastic!

Looks awesome. But will it have the same opening theme? My heart can only hope!

I'm Real!

Thank goodness for that. I was beginning to feel very much like an artificial construct designed to aid an organic sentience in its interactions within a virtual environment. Now, thanks to Xbox.com, I know that I'm just a Real projecting my personality onto an Avatar. Phew. This short presentation may help clear things up for all you other Reals suffering the same confusion.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Achievement Unlocked!

In case any of my readers missed it, in my last post I included a link to a nifty, fun toy I found online, but put it on an image, so not everyone might catch it.

Technology Ninja's Achievement Unlocked Generator provides hours of entertainment as you create hilarious Xbox Gamerscore styled images to send to friends and family.

What Achievements would you unlock?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

1,000 Going Once! 1,000 Going Twice!

As you may know, I have become rather addicted to Burnout Paradise since getting my Gold Xbox Membership and discovering a whole new world of fun with thousands of potential players.

What you may not know is that I have clocked up an incredible 137 hours of play on the game! 137! That is easily the most time I've ever spent on any one game. In the process, I inched my way forward through the Achievements that Paradise has to offer to increase my Gamertag status. And last night, while racing seven others drivers, I reached the magical 1,000 Gamerscore. Paradise is the first game I've ever gotten to the 1,000G mark in. The next highest is Mass Effect with 510. I'm certain that the Gamerscore for Gears of War 2 will beat that once I get through the campaign, but for now, that's how the ranking stands.

Basking in the glory of my 1,000G, I wandered into town today and found Avatar: The Legend of Aang: The Burning Earth. A:TLA:TBE is infamous among Xbox 360 fans as having the easiest 1,000G in any game ever! A video on YouTube shows someone starting up the game, flashing past the menu screens and cutscenes and getting 1,000G in under two and a half minutes! I managed it in less than five minutes, first time out! I can't say I'm not ashamed for bumping up my Gamerscore in such a low fashion. I am ashamed. It was cheap, and completely unsatisfying. But then, so was the game! Ha!

Before going Gold, I never had any interest in Gamerscore. I played games to play games, not to earn Achievements. Sure, if I realised a particular Achievement was easy to get, or close to completion, I might take actions towards the requirements, but I never went back to play a game just for the Achievements. I never considered the possibility of the 1,000G mark, as many of the games I enjoyed had online only Achievements. Earning the 1,000G in Burnout was incredibly satisfying, though. I managed it all by just playing and enjoying the game. I never went out of my way to earn any, and I never sacrificed my enjoyment of the game in order to gain Achievements. I glad that this was the game I earned my first 1,000G in. It was always fun, never a chore, and I'll remembered it fondly, even when they eventually replace it with a sequel.

Not that I'm anywhere near finished playing Paradise. I still love to just jump online and run races, or get in some challenges. I've only done around 285 of the 490 available challenges, so I have a while to go yet. I've made a bunch of friends through the game, and recently despaired that there is a 100 Friend limit on the 360. I'm quickly approaching that, and I've been online for less than 6 months. Soon I'll have to start weeding out the people I don't game with just to free up space.

Based on the fact that I am using it as a social experience and making a lot of new friends, I don't feel I quite deserve this t-shirt just yet. That said, I could post it to one of the people on my Friends List. He has a Gamerscore of over 68,000G! Crazy!