It’s a bit of a snowpacalypse outside my house today, which makes me wish it was summertime. A time when you can ride bikes in T shirts, or complain about the glare coming in through the window at your TV. Summer also means E3, the annual electronics entertainment expo where all the major gaming companies come together to show off their new toys.
Sony’s press conference last year had an added bonus of having their TV spokesperson, VP of seemingly everything, Kevin Butler. The best part about it was, even though KB is the poster boy for the PS3, he made his speech about what it means to be a gamer of any kind, or system.
“Gaming is having a ridiculously big TV in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment.” or my favourite “Gaming is staying up all night to earn a trophy that isn’t even real … but IS.” It’s that statement that gets me the most. It’s almost embarrassing (ok, IS embarrassing) How much time I’ve put into getting some particular achievements.
So naturally I’m going to have rank them. Here’s my top 5 most memorable achievements based or difficulty, satisfaction for completion, and overall nerdiness of the journey.
A Monument to all your Sins
Game: Halo Reach
This first achievement is the most recent one on the list. It requires beating the excellent, and sometimes devilishly hard campaign on Legendary difficulty by your self. It also holds a special place for me becuase this was the last Halo game made by Bungie. So they made sure to go out with a bang and created one of my favourite campaigns in any shooter I’ve played. It was tough, frustrating, and wholly worth it by the time I destroyed that covenant carrier and allowed the Pillar of Autumn to escape planet Reach with Humanity’s last hope aboard (Nerd Alert!)
Game: Left 4 Dead
This one has a little bit of background. This achievement is a nod to another zombie game, Dead Rising. That game challenged you to take down 53,594 zombies in one play through. The guys at Valve, not to be outdone, tasked you with taking down 53,595 undead ghouls in the course of your zombie splaying career. It took some commitment, a lot of pipe bombs and untold machine gun rounds to put em all down. But it was totally worth it.
Save this Film
Game: Halo 3
“Save this Film” holds a special place for me for two reasons. First, a perfection in Halo 3 is getting at least 15 kills, and not dying once in a slayer game. So it’s hard enough to begin with, making this unlock all the more satisfying. However, this was also the last achievement I needed before getting 100% completion. Keep in mind, I got this game when I got my xbox two years ago. I finally heard that beautiful “achievement unlocked” pop just a few days before Halo: Reach came out. It was a nice way to end one game jsut before the final chapter was about to be released.
What are you trying to Prove?
Game: Left 4 Dead
Heading back to L4D for a minute, this little gem asks you to beat every mission in the game on the hardest difficulty. The difficulty where even the lowly infected zombies can massacre all four survivors in a matter of seconds in you loose your concentration for just a second. That’s not even taking into account the boss infected, it all adds up to some tough missions. It also kind of reverses the dynamic of the game. On easier difficulties, it’s the four of you slaying zombies, but on Expert difficulty, you feel like the prey. Unlocking this required a lot of help from my roommate and fellow zombies slayer Jeff, as well as literally leaving some survivors behind as I raced to rescue. not my proudest moment, but c’mon, when the chopper’s here, it’s every man for him self.
Mile High Club
Game: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The Mile High Club is more than just a dirty joke in CoD 4, it’s a bonus level that was invented to punish anyone who tried to play it. It tasks you and your team of SAS counter terrorists to clear out an airplane filled to the teets with terrorists in sixty seconds. And did I mention all these terrorists have it out for you, as in they will only shoot you in the face and never miss. Once you’ve murdered everyone in sight, you still have to carefully head shot one last terrorist holding a hostage, before parachuting out of the plane just as it explodes. It was punishing, frustrating and unfair, but once I heard that pop, it felt good to know I was one of the 2.8% of players who actually got this one done.