Extra Life Update / Halo Nerd

I am getting very close to my 250,000 G milestone. My goal is to land on exactly 250K in November 2nd for the Extra Life Stream

Also, the Extra Life campaign is coming along swimmingly. Already nearing my initial goal of $500 and we’re just under 2 weeks till the big day.

And yes, I did just donate to myself to land on $343. Because I am a Halo nerd.


My reasonable gaming plan for the next few months

Extra Life 2019 is around the corner, my goal for the event is to hit 250,000 Gamerscore. Not a huge number by any stretch, as some Xbox gamers have over a million. But it’s a number nonetheless. And it’s bigger than yours.

Currently I’m at 241,770G, and Extra Life takes place on November 2nd, so I still need to get another 8K before then. And then try to magically land on the number “250K” on the day of.

Luckily there’s also lots of games coming out still, before the end of the year. So I have to think this through strategically.

Presently I’m wrapping up Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is my primary single-player game. I’ve been clearing some of the DLC stuff before wrapping the story campaign (because I find that if I finish the story, the chances of me going back in to complete extra stuff is unlikely , so this way I’m still in the game, but its not done yet). I should have this done by the weekend. (You’ve probably seen the in-game screen shots)

Gears 5 releases officially today. So I’ll start playing that campaign with Wayne this week. He’s gf free all week, and we both have Wednesday off. Should be fun.

After I finish Tomb Raider, I’m wanting to try something different, so I’ll be playing Celeste, which is a side-scrolling platformer indie darling that won game of the year. That’s only like 8-10 hours, right?

Remedy’s Control came out last week? I don’t know when I’ll have the time to pick this up and play it. Likely during a slow period. Not this year.

Also in September comes Borderlands 3 which I’ll be playing in Co-op with Patrick, and the next expansion for Destiny 2. On second thought, I’ll likely wait for a sale on the Destiny 2 expansion.

In October, Ghost Recon Breakpoint releases. This I’ll be playing in Co-op with Wayne, but considering I’m still waiting for him to get on The Division 2, not sure when / if we’ll get to this one.


This is starting to sound like a list of all the games I WONT be playing for the next few months. That’s not helping my gamerscore.

In October is the release of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order by Respawn (Creators of Titan Fall). I think after I wrap Celeste, this will be my next big single-player game. I could hold off on this and play through something in my backlog of games (we all know I have a few – Assassins Creed: Odyssey, PREY, and Wolfenstein Youngblood). I do have to be conscious of my game budget now, what with Cillian in daycare. But if I hold off on games, they just get added to the backlog, and its a never ending cycle.

Now this is a moot point, and not Extra-Life or achievement goal related, but wrapping up the year in November is Death Stranding, Need for Speed: Heat, and possibly Doom Eternal. Death Stranding is a for sure as I do like me my Kojima games, and this is his first since being ousted from Konami. I’ll have to clean my slate for that. Need for Speed Heat… since it’s an EA game, I’ll likely wait for a steep discount or for it to be free in the EA Vault. Doom Eternal, I will wait on. It took me 3 years to beat the 2016 edition (not that it was bad), and from the gameplay videos I’ve seen, I haven’t liked the changes they’ve made to the sequel. Maybe I’ll wait on Doom Eternal, find out if the changes are that bad, or if I’m just being picky.

Now hopefully I can play enough games to unlock 8K worth of achievements before November 2nd.


Gameplay Recap – Ghost Recon: Wildlands

There’s a couple things I still wish to accomplish with this Video Game blog.

One is to start to post more gameplay footage. When I’m playing in co-op with Illestrader, I am usually capturing our game sessions. These last a few hours at a time so obviously I won’t post all of it. But maybe small clips here and there. I haven’t yet decided way to do this yet though. Should I use Youtube as a storage space and have a dedicated channel there? or here and on Facebook?

The second thing is to discuss Achievements a little more. Or at least the ones I track. I’m sort of taking part in a self imposed race to 200,000 Gamerscore. Not a huge number by any means when you look at some professional gamers/hunters, but a personal pride and I am the leader among my local group of friends and followers. I’m at 179K right now and I hope to reach 200K by the time Extra-Life rolls around in November. I’m trying to line those up, to the day. And land exactly on 200K.

So I might start a weekly post about the race, and tracking specific hard-to-get achievements, or Rare achievements, now that Xbox has the Achievement overlay.

Anyways, here are some gameplay captures for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon® Wildlands:

Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (11)

Scoping the views

Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (10)

It’s not what you drive, its how you drive it.


Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (9)

Parking Like A Pro

Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (7)

Assassin’s Creed Future Soldier

Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (2)

Like Miami Vice

Tom Clancy_s Ghost Recon® Wildlands - Standard Edition (6)


Extra-Life 2016

And another Extra-Life 24 hour video game marathon is complete.

On November 5th, along side many many gamers across North America, I took part in my 3rd annual Extra-Life marathon to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Network. Starting at 8am and playing straight for 24 hours.

This year, Nichole an I decided to race each other in God of War to start the day. Me with my old fat PS3 (the backwards compatible model) and her with a 2nd hand PS2 we bought from the local retro video game store ($60 for the PS2, controller, and PS2). Everything started out fine, but as the morning, and day went on, the poor PS2 started to hang, freeze and drop any progress Nichole was making. This ended up ruining our race, as to be fair, I would pause and wait for her to catch up to where her game froze. By the end of the day, it became unplayable, and we needed to give up, and move on. I was able to finish the playthrough, and see Aries dead. With shaky hands, and a deep sigh of relief, I placed the controller down. I had defeated Aries for both of us.

Throughout the day and into the early morning hours I had a large handful of people stop by and hang out to play some games. We played some Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Halo Master Chief Collection, some Rocket League and Castle Crashers too.

The first year I participated, i was able to raise $450, which was well above my $200 goal. Year 2, my goal was $500, and I was able to push just under $700. This year I sent my sights high, with a lofty goal of $1000. Before game day itself, I had already surpassed my Year 2 total raised, which was amazing. By the end of the 24 hour, I had landed on exactly $1001.

I thank everyone that participated and hung out, donated, and sent their encouragements. The money goes to a good cause, and I am happy to participate every year, making sure the event gets more attention and participation. Our donated went to the BC Childrens Hospital, and this year, local gamers were able to raise $136,000 and counting. The event still goes till the end of the year for donation, but the big event, and my part, is done.

I’ll hopefully find some time to go through the footage and pull out some worth gameplay clips.


WHAT i’M PLAYING – Just Cause 3, Homefront The Revolution, and More

It’s been a little while since I’ve done a breakdown of what I’m currently grinding through…

Homefront: The Revolution

I pop into this game a couple hours a week just to continue the progress. Homefront has been a pretty tedious grind. There are some sections that rely on stealthy incursions, and because stealth is so inherently broken in this title, these sections are hard. You basically have to avoid all enemies entirely as any sort of takedowns or combat will most likely get you seen. Lately I’ve gone with the mindset of “perfection through repetition”. Attack this route, and if it doesn’t work, die, and try again from a different angle. I rarely use the limited health packs unless I successfully advance. Your health takes a hit so hard from the smallest attack and health packs can only be purchased from the bases at a price, or found. The guerrilla warfare mechanics works pretty well, unless the whole area is on alert from the Overwatch ships above, and then really, no matter where you run, you’ll find enemies.

Besides that, the ridiculous loading times, and game saving lags still irritate me, so I’ve been limited my play time. I’ll get through it sooner or later.

Just Cause 3

Another title that I’m putting little bits of time into when I can find them. My main issue with Just Cause games is their overall lack of narrative and direction. The main reason to stay is for the gameplay, I understand this, and appreciate it. But in cases like these, that alone doesn’t hold my attention for long. So far #3 has been the best one of the bunch in both departments, but I’m finding that I’m easily distracted by the challenged, and then don’t advance.

DIRT Rally

Here’s a game I accidentally did dump a bucket load of time into over the weekend. I had a 4 hour Twitch stream going last Friday afternoon which was fun. And I think I’m slowly starting to get the hang of the game’s difficulty and car handling.

The campaign is broken up into tiers: Open, Clubman, Professional, etc, and it promotes the top 3 places at the end of each 6-day set. I’ve made it up to Professional, and have been able to purchase a few cars, and put in enough time to have them upgraded. So now I’ve decreased my rank back to Clubman to try again, and to try and get some first place wins. For the achievements of course. ;). The career also supports online races where you race against the online times of others. It hosts daily races, weekly, and monthly.


I picked up Inside during the Xbox Summer Game Sale (it wasn’t on sale, it just happened to be released that week) and beat it in one sitting (approx 4 hours) and 100%’d the achievements. I haven’t gone back yet to complete the other “meta” ending. But maybe one day. Or when I play through it again during my Extra Life Marathon (November).

The game was pretty incredible, and I’ll put up a review for it some time this month. The game is dark and ominous, and really gorgeous to look at and watch. It’s basically all black and white with little hints of colour. The subtle brilliant animations of the player’s character are a wonder to behold, and so technically perfect.

Play it if you get the chance.


Finally, after many months, I’m getting the opportunity to play through Halo 5 in co-op. The game is pretty impressive so far, but it does have it’s notable problems. The scale of the levels and visuals are both really impressive. With Halo 5, the 343 team implemented new technology that allows the game to run seamlessly at 60fps but has a texture optimization system that will adjust the resolution on the screen to ensure that in the larger areas with a lot going on, its still looks good, and plays smooth. I haven’t noticed any blatant drop in resolution or textures.

Gameplay is just as good as always, although it feels a bit like Call of Duty now, where you run into an area, fight waves of enemies, and then move to the next area only to fight more waves of enemies. A little bit repetitive and only broken up by a vehicle section. One of the downsides of the huge open maps I guess. They’ve lost out on the variations of small close quarter combat of past Halo’s, sneaky hallway gunplay, and sleeping grunts, as the maps keep getting bigger and more open.

Another gripe is the two teams. Spartan Locke has a fleshed out team, with Buck and a few others. Chief has 3 other Spartans of his own, but they have bland names and just masks on.

Song of the Deep

Lastly, when the Xbox Summer Games Sale was underway, I also picked up Song of the Deep, and Transformers (Which I haven’t tried yet). Song of the Deep and is an underwater submarine game. 2D platforming type game with a little bit of submarine-on-fish combat. It’s also developed by Insomniac Games, which initially drew me.

It’s quite a lengthy game for an indie-like title, and took me about 9 hours to complete, so I guess this would fit under the “what I’ve Played” category if I had one. Review section would be more appropriate. Its a game with a lot of little collectibles that earn you currency to upgrade your ship, and as you progress through the story, you unlock different abilities for your ship that allow you to progress further into the map, but also encourages you to go back and reveal some of those treasures that were once locked away.

The map is quite big and with not enough fast travel portals. All the hidden objects come in 3, so you’re forced to navigate the whole map quite often, unlocking new areas each time.

Its a thoughtful game with an easy story and a feel good ending. A nice little break from the norm.

On that note, I’m still in vacation mode for the better part of August, and then things should swing back around to the normal side. Added a few new drawings to the art section (Harley, Jessica Jones, and Rico from Just Cause 3) and will be working on more when I return.

Still plugging away at my long list of reviews, and I’m getting excited for some of the new games coming out (Dues Ex, ReCore, Forza Horizon 3, Mafia 3, Battlefield 1, Titanfall 2, Dishonored 2, Watch Dogs 2… to name a few haha). PAX WEST 2016 is around the corner in September, and then Extra Life 2016 (as mentioned above) is in November. That’s my year ahead.