So finally it is done. 

Back in August, I set myself a target to increase my Gamerscore, which was sat ar around 41,000. I wanted to challenge myself and set the bar to reach 70,000 by the following August, safe to say that the time frame was more than generous. Hitting my target within April, I sat back to look at all the games I played through on Xbox and the list of games I’ve cleared from my backlog.

But what did I learn?

  • There is no limit to the amount of cheese I will use to get 1,000 gamerscore from a game. 

Yes, I used those cheap and easy games to boost my score a little. But anyone who cares about their Gamerscore knows how infamous The Last Air Bender Game was on the 360. We all played it for that sweet 1,000 gamerscore. Using that mentality, I would use around a game a month that was notorious for easy Gamerscore. But it did provide me with some beautiful games that I never expected would be good:

  1. What Remains of Edith Finch: Using what was at my disposal (Xbox Games Pass), I began to search the internet for games that were simple and easy… I stumbled across this gem. What Remains of Edith Finch is easily one of my favourite games that I have ever played. 
  2. Fractured Minds. For roughly under one hour of gameplay = 1,000 gamerscore, this game was a must-play. With raving reviews from achievement hunters, I picked the game upon sale. Quickly I noticed the depth to this quite short game, giving a beautiful look into mental health issues using a video game format. 
  3. Old Mans journey. Another game from Xbox Gamepass’s incredible library. For roughly one or two hours of gameplay for the full 1,000, it was fun. The game uses the environment in such a unique way for the puzzles. The story is also touching and plays on the heartstrings a little. Combined with a beautiful aesthetic, this is a must-play for anyone who enjoys a good old cry.
  4. Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons. I wrote a separate post about this game and the way that it uses the controls as an emotional payoff. A weird thing to say, but often when playing games, we forget about the control we have. Brothers use the control we have for such an impactful emotional payoff towards the end of the game, that even as I write this, I want to revisit.

Each of these games is around within the ‘Achievement hunting’ communities, and for good reasons, they are easy and quick. But they are also beautiful games, and it does sadden me that a portion of the community will only see these for the numbers they represent on their screen. (Definitely something I was going to do, but the games spoke for themselves).

I’ve finished a lot of games, 30 to be precise. There were some games that I played a little bit and couldn’t finish for one reason or another. This goal had me looking at my backlog as an opportunity rather than a monster. 

Just look at the list that I finished in this period;

  • What remains of Edith finch
  • Yoku’s Island Express
  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
  • Old Man’s Journey.
  • Assassin’s Creed 2
  • Planet of the eyes
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Jack N’ Jill DX
  • Tracks 
  • My Friend Pedro
  • Wandersong
  • Fractured Minds
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Five Nights and Freddy’s
  • STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen Order

  • Donut County
  • Megaquarium
  • Rememorised
  • North
  • Sea of Solitude
  • Storm Boy
  • Viva Pinata
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Remnant: From the Ashes
  • Control
  • Null Drifter
  • Snakeybus
  • Nier Automata: Become as God
  • Bioshock
  • Halo Reach

I am proud of the number of games that I have gone through, but I suppose this challenge also limited my range of games to play. I was almost ‘Consumed’ with the idea of completion rather than enjoying a game. One of my favourite completions from this month has to be Bioshock a game I’ve never played until now. The mix of a claustrophobic environment, supported by being underwater with some creepy people, just made for a horrifying experience.

Achievement hunting is something that I love, but setting a goal put a lot of pressure on me to finish it as quickly as possible. Now I can relax and enjoy games, as soon as I hit 70,000 I sat back and started to play Overwatch and Jurassic World Evolution again, without a worry. It was beautiful, I wasn’t worried about my Gamerscore for a moment, for all the good the challenge has done for my backlog, it has also hurt my gaming experience slightly. I would base a few of the games I was playing on the value in terms of time played/gamerscore earned. I lost that mentality towards the end, opting to play whatever I wanted instead of what I was subconsciously telling myself to play.

Have you ever been, consumed, by the thought of beating a game 100%? For me, I tend to complete the game and do some mopping up afterwards. But I never focus on 100%; I am setting a goal, however, to beat Jurassic World Evolution 100% including all achievements, so we will see how that goes. 

Thank you for sticking with me through this goal. I am happy it is complete… now what do I do? Aim for 100,000? 

Thanks for reading,

Dale

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