My 100% Club – God Of War Added
I want to clarify this right away: I’m not an achievement or trophy junkie. I don’t care how many I have, and I don’t get an adrenaline rush from the distinctive sounds the play when they unlock. Given those facts, it may seem strange that I sometimes go to absurd lengths to hit 100 percent in certain games by unlocking every trophy or achievement. Here’s the reason I do it: I’m always looking for fresh goals and objectives that will give me an excuse to spend more time with games I love. Getting a platinum trophy or racking up 1000 achievement points is mainly of symbolic importance; it means I’ve seen the parts of the experience that the developer thought were important. I don’t do this with every game I play (that would be a chore), so the members of my 100% Club are the standouts that inspired such obsessive loyalty from me that I was compelled to explore their every nook and cranny. This list runs down all the games I’ve gotten 100 percent in (according to trophies and achievements), with updates when a new title is added to the club.
God of War (Update 4/19/18)
This trophy is a first for me in a few ways. It’s the first platinum I’ve gotten in the God of War series, for one thing. For another, it’s the first platinum I’ve gotten before the game has even officially released. The thing is, I love this God of War. Even after I finished the story, I just didn’t want to stop playing…so during the course of my review, I decided to go for all of the trophies as I checked out the post-game content. The thing I appreciate most about this God of War is how it plays the long game; instead of expecting you play through the whole experience again (either on a higher difficulty or on new game+), this entry encourages you to continue with your game already in progress. I know that may be disappointing for players who love an incentive to tackle harder modes, but I prefer the new approach. God of War’s post-game gives you fresh and interesting challenges – like extra bosses and new zones – rather than repeating familiar scenarios but making them more difficult. The trophies are tailored for this direction, too; they all revolve around a single thorough playthrough, with tasks like finding collectibles, upgrading gear, and so forth. Of course, even with the platinum trophy already acquired, I think there’s probably a hard-mode playthrough in my future.
Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (Update 2/9/18)
When it first released on PS2, I was obsessed with Final Fantasy X. In the years since, I would look back on it fondly, assuming my love for the game was clouded by a bit of nostalgia. But when I recently started playing the remaster (switching between PS4 and Vita thanks to cross-save), I was surprised by how well the experience holds up. The story and world are among the best in the series, and the combat system (which revolves around an action queue) is a great twist on traditional turn-based mechanics. Anyway, I got hooked all over again, especially since this version has several post-game bosses that I never got to fight in the original release. Those fights aren't necessarily hard with the right stats, weapons, and armor (I was expecting Penance to be a more brutal and less repetitive encounter), but getting those stats, weapons, and armor is a long and grindy process. Factor in the trophies for finishing the entire sphere grid with every character – including filling empty nodes with new stat spheres – and this is definitely one of my most time-intensive 100-percent accomplishments. I could have done without the chocobo racing and lightning dodging, but even so, Final Fantasy X remains one of my favorite games of all time.
Life is Strange: Before the Storm (Update 1/4/18)
I loved the original Life is Strange, and I was more than happy to revisit that universe with this prequel. However, like The Sexy Brutale, this was a platinum trophy that just kind of happened without any planning or intent. After finishing the main story, I saw that I was missing some graffiti locations, so I went to grab them while another game was installing on my PS4. Then – surprise! – I got the platinum trophy. Completing the game and getting all of the graffiti are the only requirements to hit 100 percent on this one; that’s not much work, but I’ll take the reward.
The Sexy Brutale (Update 6/5/17)
Well, I did not see this one coming. The Sexy Brutale is an interesting little game (read our review), and though I had a good time, it did not inspire the sort of passion that usually drives me to reach for the platinum trophy. I just played normally, and then at the end, I saw that you can unlock additional character information and an alternate ending by grabbing certain collectibles. I kind of wanted to try out some late-game powers (like one that lets you walk into mirrors), so I just pulled up a guide online and did a sweep of the mansion to pick up stuff I missed. Near the end of that process, I accidentally got the platinum trophy. The Sexy Brutale may not be one of my favorite games of all time (many other titles in my 100% Club are), but I got the platinum, so it gets added to the list.
Persona 5 (Update 4/14/17)
Sometimes trophies are good for prompting players to dig deeper into games that don’t otherwise demand much investment. Persona 5 is not one of those games; after spending 100 hours playing the game for review, I still couldn’t get enough of this fantastic RPG, and decided to prolong my time with it by shooting for the platinum. Instead of a bunch of busywork trophies, most of the harder tasks in Persona 5 are things I really wanted to do. Max out all confidants? Beat the secret superboss (which I did with help from this persona)? Finish every Mementos quest? I was excited to tackle all of those challenges. The only one that made me a bit anxious was “Passionate Listener,” which involves hearing 250 lines of navigation dialogue. A similar trophy in Persona 4 Golden sounded like an absolute nightmare and scared me off of the platinum in that game, but it’s not so bad here (I got it near the end of the sixth palace). Other than that, delving into new game+ for a handful of leftover trophies was a great excuse to spend a little more time in this stylish, captivating world.
Mass Effect: Andromeda (Update 4/4/17)
If you look through my whole 100 Percent Club, you’ll see that completing Mass Effect games is a bit of a tradition (obsession?) for me. Though I fully acknowledge its problems, I think Andromeda is a fun game, and I enjoyed the extended time I spent with it. This time around, I was surprised to find that getting the trophy for the Insanity playthrough wasn’t the hardest part; thanks to new game+ and better encounter design, the extra layer of difficulty only presented problems for me during the final fight. The bigger hassles are the trophies that steer you toward specific techniques in combat, like killing enemies while hovering, or having your constructs defeat a certain number of foes. I understand the desire to drive players toward powers and methods that they might not otherwise use, but the number of kills required for these trophies is a bit high, and completing them felt less like experimenting and more like being forced into gameplay styles I wasn’t interested in. After finishing one, I would always just switch back to the Adept profile I know and love. The trophy requiring the completion of three different romances was also a bit weird for me, but that’s mainly because I didn’t find one of the romances compelling, much less three of them. However, I enjoyed striving for full viability on all of the planets, completing companion missions, and racking up kills with biotic combos – and even with the platinum trophy, I still think I have plenty of Mass Effect multiplayer in my future.
Final Fantasy XV (Update 1/5/17)
I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time, so when I finally got the opportunity to play it, I really settled in for the long haul. I knew that I was going to go for the platinum trophy from the start, so I took my time, methodically finishing sidequests and optimizing my experience points. I have an obsessive streak, so this wasn’t really a problem – but it did leave me over-leveled for most of the game. As a result, none of the trophies presented much difficulty; even the Adamantoise (which is apparently supposed to be a grueling endurance fight) went down without incident. For me, the most annoying one to get involved raising Noctis’ fishing skill to 10. The other characters’ skills (photography, cooking, and survival) level up naturally through the course of the game, but you need to actively choose to do a fishing minigame to raise Noctis’ skill. It’s not too hard, and you can grind through it, but it still means spending time doing something that isn’t much fun. My other complaint is the lack of trophies for later feats, like doing Randolph’s weapon quests, killing the Menaces, and finishing the Pitioss Ruins. These are among the most difficult accomplishments in the game, and not having a badge of honor for them seems strange – though fun and challenging end-game content is a reward by itself.
Odin Sphere Leifthrasir (Update 6/30/16)
I played (and reviewed) Odin Sphere when it originally released on PS2, but I always told myself that I’d go back and revisit it someday. I never did, which is why Leifthrasir is a perfect opportunity; this remaster has all of the stuff I loved about the original Odin Sphere, but fixes practically everything that bothered me. Because I was reviewing this game before it officially came out, I couldn’t connect to the servers and check out the trophies early. When they were finally available, I saw I had already obtained a lot of them through the course of my normal playthrough (since many of them are story and exploration-based). With most of the hard work already done, I decided to dive back in for a few hours for some trophy clean-up. The biggest pain is making sure you eat all of the recipes in the traveling restaurant – don’t even try for that one until you beat the game and are able to share items among all the characters. Plus, the recipes you have eaten aren’t tracked well, which also complicates getting the trophy. Another tricky feat is getting the best ending, which requires you to play through the final encounters multiple times using multiple characters; since no trophies are difficulty-dependent, I just dialed it down to easy for this portion of the game. I did the same thing to get the trophy for beating the lengthy boss gauntlet area that opens up after you finish the game. I always enjoy when a good game provides you with reasons to keep playing, and Leifthrasir’s selection of compelling (but not overwhelming) post-game tasks felt like a perfect fit.
Final Fantasy VII (Update 5/10/16)
I’ve put a ridiculous amount of time into Final Fantasy VII over the years, but I picked it up again for two reasons: for our GI Game Club, and to prepare myself for the Final Fantasy VII Remake. Because of the exhaustively thorough effort I put into previous playthroughs, I didn’t have any qualms about using the PS4 version’s built-in cheats to help me earn the platinum trophy. Sure, certain battles didn’t convey the same satisfaction, but the trophies provided me with other interesting challenges. For instance, one of the trophies involves going on the Gold Saucer date with Barret – something that requires a surprising amount of effort to pull off. You need to do specific things and choose unconventional dialogue options that snub Aeris and/or Tifa in order to tip the affection scales in his favor. The payoff isn’t really worth it, but it’s a fun little part of the game I hadn’t seen before. Trophies for feats like amassing 100 million gil and reaching level 99 require a lot of grinding, and that’s where cheat codes are most handy – especially speeding up time. The cheats also enabled me to bypass chocobo breeding this playthrough; despite its bad reputation, I actually love that side activity, but I just didn’t want to invest the necessary time. Plus, it breaks up the late-game momentum, and I was eager to see the ending again – and it was just as cool as I remembered.
The Witness (Update 5/10/16)
With one exception, all of the trophies for The Witness are straightforward. They revolve around solving increasingly difficult puzzles to activate lasers at the end of the 11 different areas. Each zone you complete earns a trophy, and then you get another one for finishing the game. The process isn’t exactly easy, but you do play a game like this unless you enjoy the difficulty. However, the one outlier trophy takes that difficulty and ratchets it up several more notches. To obtain it, you need to complete a timed challenge that involves a solving series of randomly generated puzzles. Normally, the puzzles and solutions in The Witness don’t change, so every player is solving the same puzzles – but that isn’t the case for this part. The puzzles change for each attempt at the challenge, and that means that you couldn’t cheat your way to the trophy even if you wanted to since you can’t search for solutions online. So, that leaves you frantically assessing puzzles and looking for solutions while a piece of Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” plays in the background. Once the music is done, your time is up, which leaves you with very little room for thought and error – only about seven minutes. The tension got ridiculous in the thunderous final seconds of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” as I was desperately drawing a line across a column, only to succeed miraculously as the final notes played. Encouraging players to act quickly without thinking about the puzzles isn’t really what The Witness is about, which makes this final challenge feel out of place in the context of the larger game. Regardless, finishing this gauntlet is one of my proudest gaming moments.
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Update 3/16/15)
When Inquisition first came out, I couldn't stop playing it. I did a full playthrough for my review, and then another one once it actually released. I was obsessively thorough on that second run, completing every area and performing every companion quest. This led to me getting most of the trophies as a matter of course. However, I didn't play on a high difficulty, so I decided to revisit Game Informers 2014 game of the year while playing on Nightmare, the hardest setting. For me, the most interesting thing about this playthrough was the lopsided way the challenge was balanced. The early fights – from the first Pride demon to the incidental encounters around the Hinterlands – were brutal. Low-level characters don't have a lot of options in combat, and I loved the thrill of surviving every fight by the skin of my teeth. I was even forced to use the tactical view to manage my characters' positions and abilities, something that was never necessary on lower settings. However, the further I got, the easier things became. Once you earn more abilities and invest in some high-quality weapon and armor schematics, battle doesn't have the same lethal edge. Later, once I had my specialization class, even my fights against dragons and the final boss were downright trivial; I actually had to check the menus to make sure the difficulty hadn't dropped somehow. While I enjoyed the punishing nature of those early hours, I wasn't too disappointed when the challenge was less severe. I love this game for many reasons, but the way it pushes my skills as a gamer is not one of them. As a side note, this is actually my first platinum trophy! I hadn't intentionally avoided them up until now, but I tended to play multi-platform titles on 360 last generation. This generation, I'm leaning toward PS4, so hopefully this is just the first of several platinum trophies.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Update: 3/10/14)
After reviewing Lightning Returns, I was excited to get my hands on the retail version and play through it again – which is weird, since the game isn't very good. Here's the thing: Lightning Returns is more enjoyable if you already know exactly what to do, who to talk to, and which quests to focus on. With one playthrough already under my belt, all of the experimentation and head-scratching was gone, leaving me to focus on optimization. Plus, the whole game is essentially one giant quest checklist, which I inexplicably love (as I've mentioned in this feature before). Even though this game has a lot of content, the achievements are not challenging to get. None of them are difficulty-dependent, so you can blow through on the "easy" setting the whole time. You don't even need to venture far off the beaten path for most of them; the two biggest pains are getting the elixir (which requires farming 100 soul seeds) and upgrading 30 accessories (which can only be done after the first playthrough). Other than that, the achievements come pretty easily with only minor detours, like fighting in the arena multiple times or beating the disappointing "ultimate" monster. I wish some of the achievements rewarded more post-game content (like Final Fantasy XIII-2 did), driving players to complete every quest, experiment more with weapon customization, and play on the higher difficulties. Then again, that would mean I'd need to spend even more time with Lightning Returns, and even though I had fun, right now I'm feeling pretty good about being done with the Final Fantasy XIII saga.
Dragon's Dogma (Update: 6/3/13)
I played a lot of Dragon's Dogma over the holiday season, but stalled out for reasons I don't even remember. When Dark Arisen came out, the hype gave me new jolt of enthusiasm and reminded me how much fun I was having, so I bought Dark Arisen and loaded up my old save. I had been playing with the 1000 points in mind from the start, so I had already meticulously been completing every quest (which is necessary for the time-consuming "The Hero" achievement). I was already practically at the end of the game when I stopped playing the first time, so I beat the dragon and spent a ton of time doing post-game stuff. I plowed through the Everfall, got a bunch of loot, and beat Dark Arisen...even though you don't get achievements for it. Then I did the (crazy!) true ending for the game and started up my new game+. By the time I was on my second playthrough, I only had a couple clean-up achievements left. However, I can't stress this enough: You need to get the Eternal Ferrystone (a reward in Dark Arisen for having an original Dragon's Dogma save), because it drastically cuts down on the annoyance of having to hoof it everywhere all the time.
Devil May Cry (Update: 3/25/13)
To get the full 1000 in DMC, you need to be okay with playing through the whole game six times. There are achievements for playing on Nephilim, Son of Sparda, Dante Must Die, Heaven or Hell, and Hell and Hell difficulty. You have to play each of them because they unlock sequentially; there's no "beat one and the earn the achievements for the lower levels." Plus, there's an achievement for getting all SSS rankings on Nephilim, which means you'll probably have to play through all of those missions again to ace them. During the course of all those playthroughs, you'll almost certainly rack up all the other achievements without a problem. For me, the hardest parts were beating the final boss on Dante Must Die mode and getting SSS on Mission 17 (The Furnace of Souls). Apart from those roadblocks, a bit of skill and persistence generally get the job done.
Lego Lord of the Rings (Update: 2/11/13)
I was worried about this one. I played Lego Lord of the Rings for review, and nearly got to 100 percent completion. Because I was so close, I decided to keep playing after the review went up to hit the 1000 points. Unfortunately, I hit a bizarre glitch along the way that caused my treasure counter in the Tracking Hobbits level to be reset to zero. Basically, that meant that I wasn't awarded my final mithril brick for that level, which left me permanently one block short of being able to build all of the mithril items. Stuck at 99.2 percent completion with no way to fix the problem, I put the game down for a while. Yes, I was frustrated, but I had loved the game up to that point, so I was still happy with the time I spent with it. Fast forward to this morning: I asked myself "I wonder if they patched that glitch yet?" so I dug out Lego Lord of the Rings and put it in. Sure enough, I get a patch notification, and just minutes later, I polish off the last few achievements. Of course, I knew I had done everything important, but getting those final few fractions of a percent was still satisfying.
Mass Effect 3 (Update: 4/24/12)
I wasn't sure if I was going to shoot for 100 percent in Mass Effect 3, even though I did for the series' two installments. The game has a multiplayer-only achievement, which I normally have no interest in. However, I got completely hooked on ME 3's multiplayer mode, so a lot of achievements that would have required tons of single-player came naturally during the course of my online matches. Things like Pyromaniac (set 100 enemies on fire) and Overload Specialist (overload 100 shields) are easy to get with the waves of multiplayer enemies, and the ease of switching classes means that you don't need to do several full playthroughs of the campaign as different characters. As usual, beating the game on Insanity was the most challenging achievement, though I found it far more manageable than it was in Mass Effect 2. The only fight that really gave me trouble was the final duel with Kai Leng. I certainly died in other encounters, but none of them required nearly the number of retries as that one. The relative ease of the Insanity achievement has a lot to do with better design, but also with the weapon that comes with the From Ashes DLC, the particle rifle. It uses a cooldown system (like ME 1) rather than the limited ammunition of ME 2 and 3, so I didn't have to scrounge for thermal clips during the tough fights.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Update: 2/27/12)
After I finished Final Fantasy XIII-2 for review, I couldn't wait to start playing again. I know that may sound strange (especially considering my complaints in the review), but I mean it when I say it's one of my favorite RPGs in some ways (read: not the story). I didn't have a guide or anything when I played it the first time, so I was flying blind. However, I love optimization and being a completionist, so I was determined to do everything right on my second playthrough. Monster infusion, character development, fragment collection – I did it all, and the game has some great post-game rewards for people who keep playing. The achievements aren't really difficult, but they are time-intensive. For instance, you need to kill every monster in the game, including the high-end superbosses. You also need to spend way too much time (like, hours) with the truly awful slot machine minigame in the casino. My favorite part of the process was the Paradox Endings. These non-canonical "what-if" endings are reminiscent of those in the classic Chrono Trigger. Once you beat the game, you can go back to fight certain bosses that were previously undefeatable, and your reward is a brief scene outlining the (usually catastrophic) consequences. I just wish there were more than eight of them. Another highlight of the second playthrough is that because I already knew how terrible the story was going to be, I had no expectations, and had a much easier time ignoring it and focusing on the awesome mechanics. I hope they don't change to much on the gameplay front if/when another sequel comes out.
Saints Row: The Third (Update: 01/23/12)
I was having such a blast with Saints Row: The Third that I was already most of the way done with the achievements by the time I decided to shoot for the full 1000 points. As you progress through the game, you constantly see updates about your progress toward various challenges and achievements, giving you the sense that you're making headway right from the start, and most of the things are fun to do anyway. For instance, I don't need any extra incentive to nail enemies in the nuts or jump into cars Dukes of Hazzard-style; I'm just going to do that for the fun of it. Getting every achievement isn't all fun, though, since a few of them are poorly explained or designed. Taunting gang members is a part of two achievements, but it's never clearly explained that it needs to be done to non-hostile gang members (taunting in combat doesn't count). The worst achievement of the lot is the one for doing all of the vehicle thefts. These are the weakest tasks you can do in the whole game, since they just involve picking up a vehicle and then driving across town to drop it off. The catch is that you need to pick up a specific target vehicle; if the job requires you to steal a cement mixer, you can't just take any cement mixer. You need to grab it from the designated area on the other side of the city. I'm complaining now because the vehicle thefts were the last thing I did and was just ready to be done, but the other 45 hours I spent in Saints Row: The Third were fantastic.
Bayonetta (Update: 4/06/10)
Unlike some other titles in this genre, all of the achievements in Bayonetta are attainable by just about any reasonably skilled player. The time investment is pretty steep (it took me about 29 hours), because it takes at least three complete playthroughs on different difficulty settings – one on normal, one on hard, and one on “non-stop infinite climax.” That sounds daunting, but there's one thing that makes it possible for anyone: the Climax Brace. When equipped, this accessory transforms all of your attacks into their boss-mode versions, which basically means they are all powerful wicked weaves with a huge range. Of course, this absolutely wrecks most enemies in seconds (even on harder settings), so using the Climax Brace makes your scores ineligible for the leader boards. While tracking stats like combo score and completion time is disabled, using the Climax Brace still allows you to unlock achievements. I should stress, though, that this ruins the game's natural difficulty curve (and your personal skill progression), so don't do it on your first playthrough; do yourself a favor and experience this awesome game as it was meant to be played at least once. Once you're ready to shoot for the 1000 points (play it on 360, since the PS3 version has technical issues), do some Internet research on how to obtain the Climax Brace, but don’t forget to check out the other late-game items. One of the great things about Bayonetta is how these tools continue to open up new strategies. Beating the game is just the beginning; the combat system keeps ramping up and getting more intricate the more you unlock, there's still plenty of incentive to keep playing.
Mass Effect II (Update: 3/05/10)
Mass Effect 2 is an improvement over the first in every way, and that includes the achievements. Instead of requiring several playthroughs, you could theoretically get all 1000 points in a single go-round. It took two for me – one playthrough on the normal difficulty in which I didn't pay attention to the achievements at all, and a second on Insanity where I was careful to use every opportunity to nab them. Most of the non-story achievements are super-easy, requiring you to use different abilities in particular situations a set number of times. The only rough one is Insanity, which requires a full playthrough on the Insanity difficulty setting. If you're interested in giving that a try, let me give you a piece of advice so you can avoid making the same mistake I made: do NOT use your new game+ character on your Insanity run. Start over from scratch by re-importing your ME1 Shepard. See, when you do new game+ with your old character, you retain your level (it was 30 for me) and weapons, but you lose all of the upgrades, research, and minerals from your previous playthrough. So, while you're technically a high-level character, you are actually weaker than you were at the end of your first playthrough. This is a problem because encounters are balanced according to your level...so you'll be fighting high-level enemies without your array of weapon upgrades, which will make the first half of the game more brutal than it needs to be (I found things evened out after Horizon). By starting fresh, combat will be more manageable from the start, and you'll actually have a leg up on the competition because of the money/mineral bonuses. Once I got past the early sections, which were frustrating, I found Insanity very enjoyable. There's actually an element of risk and danger to the encounters, and though it's challenging, it only feels cheap in a few places.
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Oblivion came out pretty close to the 360’s launch, and developers were still getting handle on effective ways to implement achievements. This resulted in a fairly unimaginative loadout for Oblivion; all of the achievements are tied to the main story, the guilds, and the arena. It isn’t difficult to score all 1000 point if you’re willing to put in the time, and thankfully Oblivion is worth every second you put into it. I loved the huge world to explore, and the Dark Brotherhood is one of my favorite quest lines in gaming, period. Still, I did a lot of awesome periphery stuff in Oblivion unrelated to the plot and guilds, and it would have been cool to see those things recognized through achievements.
I reviewed this game when it first game out, so when I found myself coming back to it last year for another playthrough, I wanted to make sure that I saw everything Rapture had to offer. I wanted to listen to every recording and understand all of the twisted stories in Andrew Ryan’s underwater utopia. So, I sat down with a checklist detailing the locations of every audio log and weapon upgrade stations, set the difficulty to Hard, and dove back in. Going for the achievements gave me something new to do in a familiar world, and was a fantastic excuse to replay one of my favorite games.
I probably spent more time in pursuit of achievements in Mass Effect than with any other game on this list. The first thing you need to know is that I adore Mass Effect. I’ve read the novels and the comic books, and I can’t get enough of the universe BioWare created for Commander Shepard and company. With that being said, I only needed the faintest of reasons to replay this game five (maybe six?) times in order to get all of the achievements for weapon kills, biotic powers, engineer abilities, difficulty levels, and completing the majority of the game with specific allies. One of the great things about Mass Effect’s achievements is that they encourage you to try out all of classes and everything at their disposal, which means that each playthrough was a slightly different experience.
Bully: Scholarship Edition
Few games use achievements as well as Bully. Instead of doling them out solely for story missions or impossibly difficult tasks, the team at Rockstar made sure that the achievements in Bully: Scholarship Edition encourages you to explore multiple avenues of mischief. It’s easy to miss (or forget about) some of the fun stuff this game allows you to do, like egging cars, taunting foes, and popping wheelies. Since the game included achievements for a modest amount of participation in these hijinks, I was inspired to try out activities that I may have otherwise ignored, and found that I enjoyed them more than I thought I would. The other great thing about this kind of achievement structure is this: Every wedgie you give and every punk you beat up counts toward getting an achievement, which makes you feel like you’re making progress no matter what you’re doing.
Avatar: The Burning Earth
For all of my bluster about how much I don’t care about my gamerscore or trophies, there’s no way to dance around the reality of this one. I played this game solely for the easy 1000 points. It came into the office, and pretty much every editor in the bullpen borrowed it for a night and spent the requisite three minutes to grab every achievement. I can only offer the weakest of excuses: Everyone was doing it, and I’m sorry.
One of the great things about Braid is that it is a one-of-a-kind game. On the other hand, that means that when I completed it, there was no other game even remotely similar that could satisfy my voracious hunger for more. So, in the absence of additional games like Braid, I just played Braid again. And again. The speed run achievement is the real monster here (completing the whole game in 45 minutes or less), since it requires a lot of memorization, precision, and practice. But it gave me something to shoot for as I obsessively replayed Jonathan Blow’s remarkable game. Technically, Braid doesn’t fit in the 1000 Club because Xbox Live Arcade titles only have a maximum gamerscore of 200, but it fills the conceptual requirement of me playing a game into the ground to get all the achievements, so I say it makes the list.
Assassin’s Creed II
This is another example of me looking for ways to spice up a second playthrough of a game. Unlike the first Assassin’s Creed, which had a bunch of achievements for collecting worthless flags, the sequel actually gives you fun stuff to try that you might have missed. I got a big kick out of pickpocketing chumps and throwing unconscious thugs into the hay, which I didn’t do much when I played the game for review. For the second time through, I approached the collecting in the same way I did for BioShock: printing out a checklist of locations and diligently going around and gathering feathers, glyphs, statues, and seals. Completing virtual chores may seem hollow to some, but I love it. I can’t quite explain it, but there is something very satisfying about having a list of tasks, and then methodically checking them off one by one.
Dragon Age: Origins
I beat this game on PC for the original review, so when I sat down to play it on console, I already knew all of the major story points and decisions. So, in addition to gaining all of the achievements, I gave myself an additional challenge: do it all in one playthrough. Now, I found out that this is literally impossible, but I got pretty close. Whenever I reached a critical decision point, I saved my game, made one choice to get the associated achievement, then re-loaded and went down the other path (I should stress that this is a terrible way to play the game your first time through). This will land you many of the achievements that seem to be mutually exclusive for one playthrough, but a few will still be left for subsequent characters. You’ll need to start a new game to pick up one romantic interest (either Morrigan or Alistair, depending on your gender), play through all of the unexplored origin stories, and you’ll also need to get two other characters up to level 20. Don’t too worry about the leveling one too much; just do some online searching for the Ostagar leveling glitch and you’ll have it done in no time – especially since you’ll be playing through additional origin stories to get that achievement anyway.
That’s it for my current list. Feel free to share your thoughts and 100% accomplishments in the comments below!