Monday, February 28, 2011

Gamerscore Challenge: The Second Month

Regrettably, since the last Gamerscore Challenge update has turned its toes up, apparently due to a lack of support from Microsoft and increased competition from rival sites who engage in a fair bit of datamining in the process. You used to see gamercards absolutely everywhere, which is a testament to quality and appeal of the service that Mygamercard provided. Anyway, we’ll have to find a new way of displaying our progress on here, but thanks for all your hard work MGC.

Since the last update, I’ve gained 2105G. At first glance that might look like the initial cracking pace of around 1000 points per fortnight has continued, but a closer inspection reveals a worrying trend. The first 2000 or thereabouts came from just six games, two of which were incredibly short XBLA freebies. By comparison, this latest 2105G came from no fewer than 12 full size games. The search for points is becoming more wide-ranging and is demanding a greater investment of time. It breaks down like this:

Brutal Legend: 385G
You already know the drawback to this game - it’s a Heavy Metal inspired free roaming sword and sorcery adventure and a real time strategy game in one. You notice I say ‘in one’ rather than ‘combined’. Despite Double Fine’s best efforts the two parts don’t really combine, and simply sit uneasily alongside each other. They’re both pretty good, but you can’t help but feel if the effort that had been spread across both had been poured into one, it would have been brilliant. Still, I quite enjoy listening to Motorhead and smacking goats with an axe, so I’ll throw up the horns for Brutal Legend as a game, but as a source of gamerscore it demands a lot of time for very few points.

Bayonetta: 30G
I absolutely do not understand the adoration this pile of old tosh receives. Shameless pandering to chronic masturbators, ‘spank me Vicar’ dialogue that aims for arch but only manages camp, and tedious cutscenes that are visually incoherent and far, far too long. I binned it pretty swiftly, but even the limited time I played for was far too irritating for the 30G to be worth it.

Gears of War: 120G
Well, it’s Gears isn’t? Until it becomes legal to throw bricks and spiders at Katie Price, there probably isn’t a purer combination of violence, dumbness and fun. Well worth the time, although the bulk of the game’s points are in multiplayer, so I expect the gamerscore to dry up quickly.

Bioshock 2: 730G
Like its predecessor, Bioshock 2 delivers a constant drip of low level points, with some very sizeable chunks being dished out in the late stages of the game as well. It’s a five star game in its own right, but for the purposes of the Gamerscore Challenge it’s pure gold: well over a hundred points per hour of gameplay.

Conan: 500G
It may just be a low rent God of War clone, but for an uber-nerd like me, Cimmeria’s wandering son has far, far greater appeal for me than Kratos could ever manage. The game itself feels a little last-gen, and the gameplay is three-button simple and very enjoyable. Sadly, all the fun of the early levels is tainted by the atrocious design and bugginess of the last level. It’s all invisible walls and boss battles that substitute cheap shots and grind for genuine challenge. As a source of Gamerscore, 500 points for seven hours isn’t bad, but it’s a game that looks like it will dole out far more than it actually does, so ultimately it disappoints.

Fallout: New Vegas: 10G
It’s far too early to comment really, but it does feel good to be back in that irradiated slice of 1950s Americana. As a source of points I’m sure it will stink, as it demands a massive investment of time.

Borderlands: 20G
I’ve been playing this in co-op on and off for six months now, and have loved it. Have to say, there aren’t many points left in it, and even though it’s great fun, I’m bored of it after all this time.

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit: 95G
I can’t honestly say I like driving games much, but I’ll give this one a fair shake before the inevitable abandonment. As far as Gamerscore goes, I left a multiplayer race running whilst I answered the phone, and half an hour later I had 25G. Technically, that’s not a bad return, but it’s hardly a selling point, is it?

Just Cause: 85G
Just Cause 2 was cracking fun, but its predecessor lacks the gameplay fluidity, and I suspect a little further exploration will reveal that it lacks the ‘splodey bonkersness as well. Still, I fired it up, drove around recklessly for ten minutes, and I had 85G.

Assassins Creed 2: 20G
I drop in and out of AC2. I don’t enjoy it enough to dedicate myself to it, but I enjoy it too much to just abandon it. Given that each mission pays 20 or 30G and don’t take long to complete, this could turn out to be one of the better payers in the list, if I ever get off my backside and finish it.

Nail’d: 80G
Another driving game that probably won’t hold my attention for more than a day or two. Still, it dished out 80G in an hour and 13 minutes, which isn’t bad. Were I not a little OCD and playing vertically (through the first round of each tournament) rather than horizontally (a tournament at a time, end to end) I’d probably have picked up a few points for tournament completion as well.

Fallout: 20G
I’ve already had nearly 1000G out of Fallout before this year’s challenge started. Between the four unfinished quests and the possibility of picking up a few odds and sods here and there, I reckon I can dig another 100G or so out of this.

There you have it: twice as many games and three times as much effort to get roughly the same amount of points. It’s only going to get worse too, as Bojeeva attempts a little sabotage by lending out DVD box sets and notoriously time-consuming, low return games like Oblivion and Fallout.


As a shameful addendum to this list, I'm currently chasing points in Fight Night 3, and I am well and truly stuck. I won 14 fights on the trot by early rounds knockout, then won a life or death brawl by the mid rounds, now I'm bogged down on my 16th fight, getting battered, restarting, battered, restarting, battered, restarting....

Might have to abandon B-Hop and replay as Muhhamad Ali or, if he's in there, Tommy Hearns.

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I HATE Bayonetta. Ridiculously overrated. Traded it straight in after I'd wasted about 8 hours of my life on it...

also I may have some hints that will massively help you out with Fight Night 3. It's cheap but, hey, I take it you're not playing it for the sheer fun of it anyway right?

You know, I loved Fight Night 4, but FN3 doesn't have a fraction of the fluidity or depth, so yeah, I'm just trying to get through it now, any helpful hints will be much appreciated.

OK,as this is score boosting cheap tactics are allowed.

Firstly set the difficulty to easy, so obviously opponents are easier to knock out.

Secondly, go into fight options and take illegal blows OFF. This way they are allowed in fights without them getting stopped.

Then go into the fight store and buy 2 illegal blows - The elbow and the knee smash.

Finally - use a combination of these in your fights (knee is most effective). These blows will EAT your opponents health and after one or two knock outs they wont get up. You'll tear through career like this and bag the whole 1000G the easy way with minimum fuss..

Hope that helps.

Mint, cheers, I'll have a crack at that. Sounds like it will be more effective than hooking off the jab, if not quite as aesthetically pleasing. Ta.

How are you enjoying Just Cause 2?

Whoa - what's going on here??? You two conspiring to get some easy points. Dear oh Dear. (Before you mention it, yes I have bought NBA 2K7!!!)

Heh heh, I'm a boxing fan, Fight Night 3 is a legitimate game for me, not mere point-scraping. Incidentally, did I mention how much I've always wanted to drive an ambulance around a tropical island? Or how much I want some air?