Monday, July 6, 2015

Achievement Report - Bean Dive 2015

It's that time of year again!  The time when gamers rejoice and play all the games in their backlog just long enough to pop a single achievement.

That's right, this weekend marks the beginning of the annual Bean Dive over at TrueAchievements.  Check out my report on last year's dive to read some of my thoughts on why I enjoy this particular event.

My Dive
Rather than waste any time, I'll get straight to the summary.  I'll list each game that I played this weekend, followed by an approximate amount of time I played it while going for the first achievement, and some brief thoughts about the game.

As I now have an Xbox One, I'll split the games by console for easier parsing.

Windows 8 (7 Games):

Age of Sparta - <5 minutes - Another in the long line of free-to-play empire building games where you have to wait inordinate amounts of time to do anything unless you pay for things with real cash money.  Meh.  I guess I could see this being a mild distraction from time to time.

Dragon Mania Legends - 5 minutes - Looks just like Age of Sparta, except that you're training dragons instead of Greek troops.

Dungeon Hunter 5 - 15 minutes - This looks like a surprisingly good action RPG for a free game.  Not groundbreaking, for sure, but it should be decently fun.

Make it Rain - <5 minutes - Oh, what have I done?  This is one of those games where the only point is to click or swipe repeatedly.  It was free, though, so I downloaded it.  Like a chump.  At least I'll be able to write a scathing review of it at some point...

Modern Combat 5: Blackout - 5 minutes - This game actually seems pretty cool.  While the graphics are pretty low quality, it might be an enjoyable first-person shooter with reasonably high production value.  I'm amazed that I'm almost excited to play a few Windows 8 game, but hey, here we are.

Overkill 3 - 10 minutes - This game could be a neat rail-shooter, but the controls are atrocious.  It seems like it was designed for touch devices, but I have to play with a mouse and keyboard. Maybe I'll be able to blaze through it sometime soon.

Tiny Troopers - <5 minutes - I only played the tutorial, but it seems like a nice little point-and-click combat game.  Could be fun, but I'm not expecting a whole lot out of it.

Xbox 360 (24 Games):

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW - <5 minutes - The first achievement popped part way through the tutorial, so I didn't get to see much of the game.  The basic 2D Zelda-esque mechanics seems decent enough, but seeing as I was pretty disappointed with a later Adventure Time game, I worry that this one will be a big letdown.

Angry Birds: Star Wars - 10 minutes - I didn't really play this game; there's an achievement for watching the credits, so I started that text scroll and let it run while I did other things.  No thoughts here, obviously.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel - 10 minutes - You get an achievement at the end of the tutorial, so this one was pretty quick.  It seems like a pretty good coop third-person shooter, especially so if you're playing alone, as there appear to be some useful commands for managing your AI-controlled partner.  Of all the shooters I've played in the last few days, this one is probably the most exciting.

Assassin's Creed IV - 15 minutes - This game might actually be fun...  I have grown tired of the repetitive nature of the Assassin's Creed games, so I skipped AC3 entirely.  This one was available for free with Games for Gold, so I downloaded it anyway.  It's nice to see an Assassin's Creed game out in the jungle instead of even more featureless alleyways.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 - 20 minutes - It's been a while since I've played an FPS set in World War II, so this might be fun to get into.  I'm not overly excited about it, though.

Dark Souls II - <5 minutes - All I had to do is die; that's pretty easy in a Dark Souls game...  I know exactly what I'm getting into with this one.  I've recently had renewed interest in the Dark Souls franchise, so I'll have to get back to this one once I finally play through the first.

Destiny - 15 minutes - I only completed the tutorial mission, but Destiny certainly like a fun loot-based shooter.  I can definitely see it getting repetitive as I know some people complained shortly after release, but I think I'll have fun with it, at least for a while.

The Evil Within - 45 minutes - Survival horror games always make a good impression on me, and this one is no different.  There are a few aspects of the introductory chapters that remind me of Deadly Premonition, which I love, so I'm looking forward to playing this one.

F1 2013 - <5 minutes - The first tutorial task (accelerating and stopping) can earn you an achievement, so I didn't even try turning my vehicle.  It seems like a relatively straightforward racing game, though.

Gears of War: Judgment - 5 minutes - Simply put, this is a Gears of War game.  A third-person shooter where enemies are bullet sponges and a heavy emphasis on use of cover.  It's about what you'd expect from the franchise.

Just Cause 2 - 5 minutes - Yet another game that didn't wait long to give me an achievement, so I don't have much of an impression here.  I've never played a Just Cause game before, but I might be able to get into this one.

Just Dance 2014 - <5 minutes - I had unreasonable amounts of fun playing the dance sequences in Kinect Star Wars, so I picked this one up hoping for more of the same.  It's not quite as ridiculous as the Star Wars dancing, and the moves seem more complex, but I think it should be fun.

LEGO Movie Videogame - 5 minutes - I've been getting a little burned out on LEGO games in the last few years - the original LEGO Star Wars was phenomenal, but the franchise has been run into the ground more recently.  I got this one (on sale, of course) because of how cute the LEGO Movie was; I figured it was worth giving LEGO games another chance.  I only played the prologue stage, so I don't have a very good impression of it, but it'll probably be one of the first games I go back to in the coming weeks.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood - 5 minutes - Seems like a cute, simple platformer.  Should be fun.

Metal Gear Solid HD Edition - 30 minutes - Games with clunky controls aren't usually very good.  Stealth games provide even less leeway with imprecise movement and awkward interactions than your average game.  Stealth games with clunky controls are miserable.  I'm not looking forward to playing this one again.

Metro: Last Light - 5 minutes - There wasn't much of an impression for this game as the first achievement popped very quickly.  The opening sequence really reminds me that I need to brush up on the Metro 2033 storyline, confirming my need to replay Metro 2033 before diving into this one.

Mini Ninjas - 5 minutes - I barely progressed into the tutorial for this game, though it seems like it could be a cute little action-adventure game.

MX vs. ATV Alive - 5 minutes - A racing game.  There doesn't seem to be anything particularly exciting about this one.  It is a little weird to run a race without a minimap somewhere; maybe I've been spoiled by recent racing games.

Silent Hill HD - 2 hours - It took a while to get to the first achievement in Silent Hill 2, so this was one the longest for my dive.  When it came time to declare allegiances, I was always a Resident Evil fan, so I've barely played anything in the Silent Hill franchise.  So far, I like what I see, and I'm excited to run through a couple of the first Silent Hill games.  The one downside?  The game lagged like crazy when I earned that achievement.  I hope that's not a persistent trend...

Sniper Elite V2 - 10 minutes - I have worries about this one because one part of the tutorial was totally opaque to me.  I actually had to look up a guide to figure out what I had to do, so I fear that the whole game will be unnecessarily confusing.  I guess we'll see.

South Park: The Stick of Truth - 5 minutes - It's been a while since I've watched South Park, but I've already seen bits and pieces of this game in other places.  I think I'm going to enjoy the combination of South Park humor and what seems to be a pretty solid RPG.

Thief - 15 minutes - I recall thinking that the mix of stealth and special arrows formed a cool basis for a game back when the original Thief games were released 15 years ago.  This one doesn't seem like it plays quite as smoothly as I remember from its predecessors (though to be fair, I'm probably misremembering that anyway), but it definitely seems good enough, at least from the introductory mission.

Two Worlds II - 15 minutes - Seems like one of the many Elder Scrolls style RPGs that have glutted the market in the last several years.  It doesn't seem terrible like some of them, though.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - 15 minutes - Unsurprisingly, this seems like a solid RPG.  I'm looking forward to giving it a go at some point.

Xbox One (24 Games):

AirMech Arena - <5 minutes - It didn't take long to earn an achievement in this one, but I've also played the 360 version, so I know what I'm getting into.

Assassin's Creed IV - 10 minutes - For someone who really doesn't like the Assassin's Creed franchise, I sure play a lot of the games...  I got this for the same reason I got the 360 version - it was free, so why not?  Maybe I'll eventually complete it twice?

Blue Estate - 20 minutes - I may be one of the only people in the world who gets excited about a good rail shooter.  This seems like a good one.  It reminds me a bit of House of the Dead: Overkill in that the story is way over the top.  I'm really looking forward to this one.

Castle Storm: Definitive Edition -<5 minutes - I've already played the 360 version of this one, and it was a decent amount of fun.  I got this version for free from Games with Gold, and I can't say no to a free game (see my collection of Win 8 games for evidence of that...).

Chariot - 5 minutes - A friend challenged me to earn all the achievements in this game because it's apparently quite hard.  Obviously I couldn't pass up a challenge like that!  It seems like it'll be a cute little platformer, so I'm excited to get deeper into it!

Costume Quest 2 - 2 hours - It's a turn-based RPG just like its predecessor.  I'm sure it will also be a little quirky along the way.

Dance Central: Spotlight - 5 minutes - Another dancing game, though this one came for free with the Xbox One Kinect.  It seems more like what I was hoping for with Just Dance, so I think I'll be happy with this one.

Far Cry 4 - 1.5 hours - Far Cry 4 feels very similar to Far Cry 3 (here's my review for that), so I expect it to be a very similar experience - reasonably fun for a while but awfully repetitive by the end.  Even worse, the storyline doesn't seem to have the same charm as its predecessor, so it's probably going to be a less enjoyable game overall.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - 5 minutes - I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one.  It strikes me as a spiritual successor to Resonance of Fate, which was a pretty good, unique game, but it had a steep learning curve (so it was really hard to get into it).  I'll have to give it more of a shot before drawing any real conclusions.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - 1 hour - It's a collection of all the Halo games.  I'm sure you know what that means.  However, I tried to get the achievement for completing a multiplayer match, but in waiting for about 15 minutes at two different times, I could never get a match started.  After that, it took about 20 minutes to get an achievement in one of the single player campaigns.  That multiplayer difficulty worries me a bit (a lot), but the campaigns should be as good as the originals.

Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition - 5 minutes - Man, many of these games seem really sweet!  This one strikes me as an interesting exploration/survival game.  I'm looking forward to playing it, though it's probably not one of my favorites in this list.

Massive Chalice - 5 minutes - I've long been a fan of turn-based strategy games, and this one seems to fit that bill perfectly.  A freebie from Games with Gold; I think I'll have a fun time playing it.

Metro 2033 Redux - 1.5 hours - I first played Metro 2033 years ago, and I've never played the sequel.  I kind of wanted to play the first once more before tackling Last Light, plus they were both on sale recently, so here we are.

Metro: Last Light Redux - <5 minutes - Same deal as the 360 version.  I got this version on sale a while back, not realizing I already had it on the 360...  I guess that's what happens when you have a big backlog of games.

Ori and the Blind Forest - <5 minutes - It didn't take long to pop an achievement, but from what I hear, this game is a wonderful little Metroidvania title.  It looks and sounds fantastic, too, so I'm really looking forward to it!

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare - 10 minutes - I completed a single multiplayer match, getting two kills (and one achievement) in the process.  It seems like this one will be similar to last year's Gotham City Imposters - a cute, fun team shooter that gets kind of stale once you've sunk a fair number of hours into it.

Pneuma: Breath of Life - 5 minutes - I just made it through the prologue, and this one seems like an adventure/puzzle game.  I've been a big sucker for adventure games since The Longest Journey charmed me.  I haven't found another game that has lived up to the standard that The Longest Journey set, so maybe this one will.

Pool Nation FX - 20 minutes - Pool video games are always a bit weird in my book.  It's really tough to capture the precision in both cue position and viewing angles that you use when playing the physical game.  I spent some time playing a versus match before realizing I could nab an achievement much sooner in a different way.  What I saw basically confirmed my fears - the control scheme, while reasonably complex, still feels awfully clunky.  I'm not sure this'll be much fun.

Project Spark - <5 minutes - Welp. I barely had to start this one to pop an achievement because it seems to be synced with my progress in the Win 8 version.  It's a cool outlet for creative types, allowing players to design epic levels and whatnot, so my experience is mostly going to depend on what other people do with it.  Still, there may be some cool things to do whenever I decide to go back to it.

Shovel Knight - 10 minutes - I was really excited about this game the first time I learned about it, both for its nostalgic factor (it's very reminiscent of old school Mega Man games) and because it seems like an awesome platformer (it's very reminiscent of old school Mega Man games).  The first stage didn't disappoint, and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition - 1 hour - Another game I've already played on a different platform (you can read my review of the 360 version here).  I wanted to play through this game one more time in preparation for Rise of the Tomb Raider.  I expect it to be as awesome on the One as it was on the 360.

Warframe - 20 minutes - This game seems pretty sweet.  I always love a good coop multiplayer game, and from what I could tell by completing the tutorial and one mission, this will be a good one.  Plus it's gorgeous.  I'm excited!

Watch_Dogs - <5 minutes - The first achievement in this game pops very shortly after you first get control.  I know there was some drama about this game when it was first released (though I don't remember what that drama was), but I don't have any sort of impression about this game yet.  No real commentary here.

Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition - 5 minutes - I've already played this game before (you can read my review of the Xbox 360 version here), so I know what I'm getting into with this version.  It still looks like it'll be good for some mindless arcade action, so it'll be nice to pick this one up every once in a while.

My dive included 55 games and nearly took the entire weekend and dropped my overall completion percent by an astounding 8.65%.  There are a few other games that I would have included, but I played each of them for a few hours and didn't come close to unlocking an achievement, so I decided to call it done.

The Best of the Bunch
I wanted to narrow this field down to 6 that I'm most interested in playing, so here they are:

Blue Estate
Modern Combat 5: Blackout
Ori and the Blind Forest
Shovel Knight
South Park: The Stick of Truth

And there you have it, this year's exciting Bean Dive.  You can probably expect reviews of some of these games in the coming weeks!

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