“True” Achievements

As I’ve stated before, I love achievements. They’re a great idea, and they’ve contributed a lot to the gaming world. However, there have been several games that have handed their points out way too generously. When I can get all 1,000 points within a minute while playing Avatar, there’s a problem. So when I see someone bragging about their gamerscore, I get mad when half of their points are from games that require little to no skill to play. If you feel the same way, then I have the perfect website for you!

I found this site a while back, and I checked the other day to see if they were still around, and to my surprise, they were! The site is called trueachievements.com, and their goal is to show gamers how hard each achievement is to unlock, and then alter the original reward for that achievement accordingly. So beating a game on easy might only deserve 20 true achievement points when the actual game rewards you with 50, while beating it on it’s “insanity mode” or whatever it might be called, deserves 200 points when you only actually get 100. This is to show the gamer not only how much they’ve played, but also if they’ve truly earned the gamerscore they have.

If you’d like to figure out your own “true” gamerscore, create an account on their site, give them your gamertag, and they will sort through every achievement you’ve unlocked and send you an email when they’re all done. When they finish, they will present you with a score that reflects how much gamerscore you’ve actually earned. I was curious as to what my true gamerscore was, so I created an account and had them tell me what I’ve earned. I currently have 52,380 gamerscore, but my true gamerscore is 73,724!!!

I was quite pleased by the way they set up their website, and I definitely recommend all Xbox users check it out.┬áIf you do end up creating an account, post your gamerscores in the comment section below (actual vs. “true”). Let’s see who has the most!

Getting Hacked Is Not Fun!

I tried to log into my Xbox Live account today, and I got an odd error message. It basically said that my account was invalid and that I needed to get a valid one or download the account again. I thought this was odd, but I figured maybe the Xbox was just being weird, so I tried redownloading the account. I then got another message. My account was unable to be downloaded and it gave me an error code. I immediately looked it up online, and whaddya know, it looked like I was hacked. I was going through some forums and I found a correlation between all of them. First off, this is happening to a LOT of people. Second, there seems to be a recurring theme. Seemingly every person that was hacked had a mysterious achievement pop up on their account at some random time way before they noticed any strange transactions. They all noticed that a couple achievements for FIFA 12 randomly popped up on their account. As weird as it sounds (Microsoft still doesn’t know how it works), they somehow hack your account by giving you these achievements. This happened to me a while back. I saw the achievements, but I at the time, I didn’t think twice. I live with a roommate, and so I figured that maybe he played FIFA on my Xbox or something.

Well as soon as I figured this out, I started to freak out. After all, my credit card is linked to my account, and I’d really rather keep that information private. So, I went online, and I tried to access my account. I reset my password, set everything up again, and then looked at the damage by going to my recent download history. There were two strange downloads. One was called “Premium Gold Pack” and the other was “Premium Gold Jumbo.” I had no idea what those were, so I looked at more of my account and I realized that over 2000 Microsoft Points (For anyone who don’t know what these are, they’re basically Xbox’s digital currency) were taken off of my account! I immediately figured that these hackers were waiting for me to get Microsoft points! After all, I had just added some to my account a day or two before so that I could buy Trials Evolution!

After seeing all of this, I immediately called Microsoft. Their customer support was actually a lot better than I expected. They walked me right through the steps and I told them everything I just told you. They said that it was a known problem, and as of right now, they have no idea how the hackers do it. All they know is that the FIFA achievements are almost a sure sign that your account is hacked. So they took my info, made an account investigation report, and submitted it so that my account could be reviewed. They said my account will be down for up to a couple days, and then they’ll send me an email when they’re done. I should get my points back and everything! Besides the fact that I’m dying to play Trials, I’m extremely happy that they fixed the problem. Also, it doesn’t look like anybody used my card either, which is fantastic news.

So my message to every Xbox user out there is to watch out for that FIFA achievement! If you get it, contact Microsoft and/or change your passwords, because nobody likes getting their stuff stolen…

Life Achievements

I thought it would be a fun post to think of a couple “life achievements.” You know, things that you do in real life that could earn you gamerscore in a game (they don’t have to be game-related though). A lot of places have already done this, but I think it’s still fun to do. Now obviously I could just name off a bunch of the common ones like, “go to school,” or “get a car,” but those aren’t as exciting. I’ve gone to a couple websites for inspiration, so I’ve used some of theirs, as well as some of my own. I’ll list some up here, but I’d love to hear what others can think of. I’m sure there’s a bunch of hilarious ones that I totally missed, but that’s why I have you! Just submit your own in the comments section! I’m excited to see what some of you can whip up.

1. Fight in a war.
2. Parkour your way across your city.
3. Play video games for 24 hours straight.
4. Get struck by lightning (and survive).
5. Choose to go live in another country for a whole year for no particular reason.
6. Guess on every question on a test and pass (or better yet, get an A).
7. Marry a gamer.
8. Finding out that your kids love video games too.
9. Punch someone in the face.
10. Get on a game show (and win).

Achievement Unlocked!

I recently got my gamerscore above 50,000, and it feels like quite an accomplishment. There’s just something about the idea of achievements that I love. Achievements have caused me to play games in ways that I never have before. I purposely try to get every last achievement if it’s a good enough game, but I don’t know why. Why is it that I feel like I have some sort of obligation to get as many achievements as I can? After all, the points don’t really do anything. The only thing they do is show how much you play, but that’s not even what drives me. The concept of setting goals and completing them is exciting, and has kept me playing many games for a lot longer than I would have if I didn’t have achievements to unlock. However, I know a lot of people don’t feel the same way. Some don’t care at all about achievements. They think it’s stupid to “find all the hidden artifacts,” or whatever the goal might be within a given game. I think it might have to do with competitiveness. I’m a very competitive person, and I see achievements as a challenge straight from the developer saying, “I bet you can’t beat this on the highest difficulty!” or something along those lines. It’s also a competition against fellow gamers. I once had a competition with a cousin to see who could beat all of the expert levels first on an Xbox Live Arcade Game entitled N+ (I fully recommend it. It’s a fantastic game.). It was like a race, and I enjoyed every minute of it…