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X3F Achievements 101: The First One!

Welcome to X3F Achievements 101, a new column here at Xbox 360 Fanboy, where I get to discuss one of my favorite Xbox 360 features: Achievements, and the whoring found therein. Each week I'll be bringing you my take on the latest Achievement news, as well as my quest in both my Achievement streak, and any specific Achievements I'm working on. Not only that, but you get to participate, as I'll be giving you a means to contact me, so we can work together on getting Achievements. So read on, as I start off by taking a look at one of the coolest Achievements to come out of a personal favorite, Shadowrun.

First off, not everyone here may know what I mean when I say "Achievement Streak". Simply put, using my "Knuckles Dawson" gamertag, I have unlocked at least one Achievement every single calendar day since the Xbox 360 launched on November 22nd, 2005. Yeah, that's a little crazy when you think about it starting 564 days ago. It started back in that first week as just a question I posed to myself to see how long I could do it. Apparently, I've answered that question with a resounding "As long as I want." Either way, with that current project under my belt, I have a deep appreciation for the Achievement and Gamerscore system. But enough on that, let's take a look at the life of an Achievement Whore for the week of May 28th.

Back on our 15th episode of the Fancast, we had Mitch Gitelmen of FASA on the show, and we talked extensively about, well, Shadowrun. You might recall him mentioning a special feature that he was including more or less as a gift to the beta testers, since we thought it was a kicking idea. It would be a viral Achievement, which has been done before, in games like Need for Speed: Carbon, G.R.A.W., and Small Arms, among others. But this one was special, this one involved an activity near and dear to every FPS multiplayer fan: teabagging.

Shadowrun Fever is worth 25 Gamerscore, and has a simple description of "Catch it!" It is a viral, or rather, infectious, Achievement awarded for teabagging an infected player. The developers of FASA initially had it, then, on launch day, passed it around to the beta testers, and now it's starting to spread across the Shadowrun community like wildfire. The official means of getting this Achievement are rather simple: in a game with at least 4 players on each team, and at least one opponent with the Achievement, you must kill the infected player and teabag them three times. Pretty straightforward in concept, but it is still absolutely badass nonetheless.

The release of Shadowrun also allowed for some breathing room in terms of my Achievement streak, as is the case any time I pick up a new retail game. Not only does it have six "safeties", found in the Training Mission Achievements, but also the pace at which you can get the in-game Achievements is spread out evenly. I noticed something in Shadowrun when getting multiple Achievements at once, and this ties in directly with the recent features added to the (northern hemispherical) Spring '07 Update. If you get more than one Achievement at the same time, rather than having "Achievement Unlocked - Example - 15G" appear one after the other, it condenses it into one notification, saying "Achievement Unlocked – 2 for 30G", I think it's pretty nifty, and cuts down the clutter on screen should you get multiple Achievements.

Other than having a blast in Shadowrun, I played some Big Bumpin' with some friends from the SR beta. They were starting out fresh, and I had all but two more on my checklist: Striker, awarded for scoring 100 total goals in the hockey gametype, and Knockout King, awarded for getting 100 Knockouts. Fortunately, Striker is unlocked in "real time" in that the Achievement is given out upon your 100th goal, as opposed to some other Achievements that are awarded at the end of the match. I helped the others get some other hockey based Achievements. Though for whatever reason, Hat Trick was being given out to one individual, but not the others when we replicated the scenario, and neither of them were host.

A thing to note about Knockout King is that you actually have to do the opposite of what the description says, due to a mistake made in the coding by the developers. "Awarded when the winning total of Knockouts (counting both online and offline) reaches 100" would lead you to believe that it is you who has to perform the Knockouts, when in fact, it has to be the AI knocking you out. The recommended procedure is have the settings of Hard AI, no pickups or hazards, and 100 health, then hit a wall to drain your energy and make sure the AI does the finishing move. Hopefully that will help out those of you looking to finish off your "BK Lounge" Achievements.

As you can see, being an Achievement Whore is a time consuming task, especially when you take into account some of the other endeavours that I'm currently pursuing. So, I need your help, and you get to be a part of this column to boot. You can write in to david [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com with the subject heading "Achievements 101", and offer your assistance on various games that I own and still need Achievements for, or you can simply suggest some of the easier games to rent and complete. Also, don't hesitate to leave some feedback in the comments section, or filling out the comments form. Each week I'll be chronicling my progress, touching on any related discussion on Achievements, as well as the fellow Achievement Whores I played games with to get them, which could easily be you.

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