Over the course of the last year of owning an Xbox 360 my Gamerscore has been steadily climbing, although I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's impressive. My score is exactly 11,715, which I suppose is a decent number for only a year of gaming. According to the new "Achievement Progress" tab on my 360's dashboard I have a potential Gamerscore of 51,640. This is, of course, made much higher by games that I popped in for only a second before never playing them again (Spiderman 3, Fable 2, Too Human, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Prototype, Flock, Need for Speed Carbon, and many others among them), but I've also only gotten 100% in one game in all of my hours playing the 360 over the course of the last year, that game being the original Banjo-Kazooie for XBLA.
Needless to say, I've gone for 100% in many of my other games, but with no success. Several achievements for Left 4 Dead alluded me due to the necessity of having a great team to acquire them (Safety First and Nothing Special come to mind), and I put over 100 hours in Tales of Vesperia before deciding halfway through my second playthrough that I simply did not have the time to go for the full 1000. Despite my lack of success at getting all the achievements in each game I played, I often spent hours grinding away at games that I otherwise would have put down much sooner; I did this all for the sake of getting something extra tacked onto the big flashing number that greets me whenever I turn on my console.
While going for the insanely difficult "Manbearpig" achievement in the surprisingly fun XBLA release, South Park Tower Defense, I had a bit of an epiphany. As I restarted the level for the 10th time due to the drunkeness and overall inability to do anything correctly of my teammates, it hit me that I was not having fun. I had performed a meaningless task in a game that would have otherwise been enjoyable for hours, with no reward to myself. Even if I had gotten the achievement, I still could've spent those hours of my time doing something interesting instead of just tacking on another 20 points to my Gamerscore. What other games could I have been experiencing for the first time if I had chosen to spend my time with them instead? Mass Effect and The Orange Box are sitting unplayed in my library, and I know that once I dive into those games I'll enjoy them a lot, so why would I waste my time going for achievements in games that I have already played to the point of souring them?
Take for instance the "Smile" achievement in Geometry Wars 2, where players not only have to beat the ridiculously difficult "Sequence" mode, but they have to intentionally fail on some parts of it in order to make the sequence board look like a smiley face. That's not fun! I had to spend hours just to beat sequence in the first place; beating the mode while intentionally doing badly on the 2nd, 4th, 11th, 15th, 17th, 18th, and 19th levels of it (as the "smile" achievement requires) would likely take an entire day, and the reward of getting 25 meaningless achievement points would simply not be worth it.
I'd love to hear from someone who got the "Light Seeds Master" achievement in Prince of Persia. Tell me, was that fun for you? I bet following around the predetermined paths and revisiting all of the environments more than twice, all for the mindless collection of over 1,000 of those God-forsaken light seeds was just a blast. How about it, those of you who found every flag in Assassin's Creed? Were those few points really worth the hours upon hours that you spent holding down the trigger button and running laps around the cities?
For me, I think that while achievements are often fun little distractions that can add on significantly to the amount of time (and ultimately value) that players get out games, really hard achievements that require repetitive action, grinding, or otherwise boring activities that wouldn't be considered fun should be completely ignored in favor of spending gaming time with something new. Instead, it might be better to just enjoy games for what they are, playing through the campaign and, if necessary, letting that stand as the experience that was had with the game.
Despite my rather staunch stance on the fact that a Gamerscore isn't worth anything and shouldn't be pursued with too much of a person's time, I do believe that achievements are a great way to get more out of a game in an interesting and fun way. The best achievements are ones that can be acquired through cooperative play, as getting in other people on a challenge can make for a fun experience. I eventually got the "Manbearpig" achievement in South Park TD by playing the game locally with friends, and explaining the game's mechanics and successfully completing the challenge was pretty enjoyable, but I don't think that I'll ever return to the game to go for the other two achievements that I'm missing. As gamers, we should always get our money's worth out of games, but we should also know when to put a game down and go do something else, regardless of whether or not we've wrung all the silly achievement points from it. There are too many fantastic games available on the 360 to only experience a few, so go ahead, rent some random games that you think might be fun to just play through one time. Dig into the back catalog for your game system and just have fun.
In a teamxbox report that hit today you will find one hell of a long list of DLC that will be making its way to Live, in all we are looking at around 18 packs in all for you to download so with that said lets get down to this massive list of content and all it will offer you in your gaming experience.
Below is the description and price for each downloadable content:
Content: Free Gel Set
Description: An introductory free download. A set of Gels that will come in handy during early stages of the game. *This can only be purchased once.
Content: Trial Skill Pack: Estelle
Description: Skills for Estelle. Will learn: Defend, Resist, Recover, Item Thrower, Backstep and EXP Share.
Content: Trial Skill Pack: Yuri
Description: Skills for Yuri. Will learn: Strength, Vitality, Recover, Item Thrower, Backstep and EXP Share.
Content: Trial Synthesis Kit
Description: A pack with synthesis material. This is a trial package. (Medical Herb, Soul Grass, Gel Base, Magic Resin) x 10 *This can only be purchased once.
Content: Recipe Set: Parameter Boost
Price: 100 Microsoft Points
Description: If you need to boost your parameters, why don't you try these dishes? They come with the ingredients too. (Salisbury Steak, Pork Stew, Kebab Sandwich, Sukiyaki, Fish with Miso Sauce, Sashimi, Seafood Bowl, Sushi, Fried Chicken and Fries, Scottish Egg, Croquette, Okonomiyaki, Tempura, Minestrone Soup, Miso Soup, Clam Chowder, Vichyssoise, Pork Miso Soup, Salad, Japanese Stew, Vegetable Stir Fry, Soup Noodles) *Can also be obtained in the game.
Content: Camping Kit
Price: 100 Microsoft Points
Description: A pack of camping items. It doesn't only recover your health but...?! *Can also be obtained in the game. *This can only be purchased once.
Select read more to see the full list of DLC for this game.
Now thats a title you wouldn't think you would see but in fact the sales of the 360 went sky high with the release of the RPG Tales of Vesperia, and that was all it took to get the edge in Japans console market, here is the full report put out by edge-online.com.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has sold out across the whole of Japan, the platform holder has announced.
The news follows a week of almost unparalleled sales success for the system in which it sold just shy of 25,000 units, more than Sony’s PS3 and PS2 combined.
“Currently, the Xbox 360 is sold out, and retailers are unable to restock their supply,” reads a statement on the Japanese Xbox site, translated by Kotaku. “This is a result of our own sales targets being exceeded by the actual customer sales.”
Microsoft’s failure to anticipate a significant jump in Xbox 360 sales following the release of Namco Bandai’s Tales of Vesperia, which debuted at No4 in the software chart after selling 108,000 copies, will likely prove costly as the company isn’t expecting to have systems back in stock until next month.
“Here at Microsoft, we are moving forward quickly with console production, and plan to ship the standard Xbox 360 model out this September. Furthermore, we will sequentially be shipping out the Elite and the Arcade models. We ask that you please patiently wait until the console is shipped.”
The Xbox 360 is finally picking up momentum in Japan. which is exactly what Microsoft needs.
Meet the new boss. It's the same as the old boss, as the Nintendo DS reclaims its top spot on the Japanese hardware charts, dethroning the long-standing king of handheld sales, Sony's PSP. That's not the biggest news from this week's Media Create chart, as you can probably determine from that key lime green slice of pie chart. The Xbox 360 rocketed out of last place on the charts, thanks to the new release of Tales of Vesperia in Japan.
Can Microsoft keep the momentum up overseas? Will next month's release of Infinite Undiscovery keep the JRPG passion burning?! Oh, the excitement!
* Nintendo DS - 60,434
* PSP - 58,501
* Wii - 38,506
* Xbox 360 - 24,962
* PlayStation 3 - 9,673
* PlayStation 2- 8,503
It is nothing new to sat that Japan has not given the XBOX the warmest welcome in the world or that the XBOX sales are more then lacking for that side of the world but Microsoft has made a dent in the Japanese market with a single game and Kotaku has the details of this small victorie.
Kotaku said: Check Hell, because we think it's official frozen over. That right there was the line at the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera earlier this morning for Xbox 360 exclusive Tales of Vesperia. It was over a hundred people — small potatoes for, say, a Poké launch, but shocking for an Xbox 360 title in Japan. The game and an Xbox 360 went on sale, and there was a stage event with the game's creative producer Yoshito Higuchi and producer Tsutomu Gouda, telling fans how that they created a beautiful looking Tales for the Xbox 360. Joked Gouda:
Even though the Olympics are starting, everyone please enjoy playing Tales of Versperia.
Pro wrestler Wataru Sakata, who is married to Wii Fit spokesperson Eiko Koike, was also on hand to help promote the game and do the countdown to game's sales launch. Reader Jamie, who emailed us from the event, puts it in better prospective: "Queues are small but they're selling a steady stream of consoles."
Price drop for the XBOX 360 Arcade comming to a store near you:
This picture is confirmation of the earlier Ars Technica article from an informant stating that the Xbox 360 would drop it's price in September to $199.99 for the Core, $299.99 for the 60GB model, and $399.99 for the 120GB Elite model. This picture shows nearly irrefutable proof that those rumors are substantiated, and are set to happen in just over a month.
Calculating the Impact of the $199.99 Price Point
Microsoft has been no stranger to the $199.99 price point. In interviews, high brass officials from Microsoft have stated they are 'very aware' that the $199.99 is the sweet spot for console sales. Earlier this year, a weakening Xbox 360 had it's price re-vamped to the 199 Euro price point in February. According to VGChartz.com tracking information, this price drop has allowed the Xbox 360 to gain traction, and sell 100% more units in the February-July timeframe - From an estimated 750,00 to 1,750,000 units in the 6 month timeframe.
Could a similar boost happen in the United States? It is entirely possible: Such a price point will leave the Xbox 360 as the lowest priced Next-Gen console on the market ($50 below the Wii's $249.99 price point), and digging ever-closer to the Playstation 2's pricepoint of $129.99
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