Club Admiralty

v7.0 - moving along, a point increase at a time

Club Admiralty Blog

A blog about life in general, in as many languages as I can manage. Ενα ιστολόγιο περι ζωής, πολυγλωσσο - σε όσες γλωσσες εχω μεράκι να γράψω.

2020 Decade in Achievements

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 For the second year in a row, Microsoft didn't do an achievements year-in-review (boo😜), so I got an updated Decade In Review from TrueAchievements. It looks similar to what I posted last year (in fact I don't see anything for 2020... Looking at my TA for 2020 I see a lot of skewing toward older games (completed before 2020) and a big skew in January when I joined TA and all of my achievements were imported.  So, lots of junk data... Oh well, maybe 2021 will have better data ;-)



screencapture-trueachievements-decade-774466-2021-01-01-12_32_18
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Far Cry 6 trailer

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Another Ubisoft trailer, this time for Far Cry 6. I finished Far Cry 2 a while back, and went back to the original before I retired my Xbox 360.  I guess  I need to catch up with the games (probably after my dissertation is done).  Giancarlo Esposito makes for a good bad guy (at least in this trailer).



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Watchdogs Legion trailer

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Seems like it's video game announcement time, and even though I have quite a few unplayed games left, I am always looking toward what's coming up next!  Heck, I haven't even started Watchdogs 2 yet!    Anyway - Watchdogs Legion is coming out sometime this year and the cinematic trailer looks pretty good!  There's something very  "V for Vendetta" about this game.


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Assassin's Creed Rebellion | Endgame Reached

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One of the games that I've been playing periodically while watching TV, is Assassin's Creed Rebellion. The game is a mobile strategy RPG with all the regular fixings of a free-to-play game: a limited in-game currency that you use to play missions. The currency replenishes at fixed time intervals, or you can pay to get more of it ahead of the full replenishment time.

The game draws from the story of the Assassin’s Creed film which came out a few years ago. The game starts with Spanish assassins Aguilar and Maria in their quest to purge Spain of the Inquisition — which is run by the Templars, natch. To do so, you have set up a base in an abandoned building, build it up, recruit assassins, trick them out with gear that you craft (from raw goods that you collect from your missions), and proceed to work your way across Spain, running missions, gathering loot, and picking up stray Assassins to bolster their cause.




The game is fine, but I am getting rather bored with it.  All of Spain is cleared (as you can see above), but the rest of the world is still a mystery.  There is so much potential here to move into France, Italy, the Caribbean (perhaps to revisit Assassin's Creed Pirates), but the game is at a standstill.  You do have periodic special events where you get time-limited missions to collect other assassin DNA to add to your team, but other than having the bragging rights for having collected (and maxed out) that character, you don't really have much in the way of a new story.   It is a rather fun game, but it's starting to become repetitive:  enter a 3-day event, repeat missions ad nauseum, collect loot from replaying old missions, equip your characters with new gear - however, it feels like you're all dressed up and have nowhere to go with these characters.

Your thoughts?
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Double Dragon Neon | Tried

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When Double Dragon Neon came out on gamepass, I thought I'd give it a try. When I was a kid, I rather enjoyed playing double dragon on my monochrome Gameboy, and it always seemed like a fun game - even though I never think I beat the original.  Since it was practically free to try on my Xbox, I thought: why not?

On the surface the game seems like a nice reboot of the original.  Updated graphics, updated music, and some additional mechanics like "gleam" (short term powered attacks) that should, in theory, make the game more fun.  However, the game was rather disappointing in most aspects.

The story is almost non-existent.  It starts off with Marian, the damsel in distress, getting kidnapped, and Billy and Jimmy Lee are off to rescue her.  The original game, in the 80s, had some constraints which didn't allow for storytelling that answered the: why was this person kidnapped?  And why the heck is there a skull-looking-person in space perpetrating this, but for a game released in 2012 there should have been a little more care taken for the story.  Even if you approached this as just a beat-em-up there are still technical issues that prevent this game from being a reimagined brawler.

It seems like hit/collision detection is really a problem with this game (as it was with some game of that era on gameboys and NESs).  Unless you're lined up almost perfectly you can't score a hit, but it seems like your enemies don't always suffer from that impediment.  Furthermore, when you lose all your lives you restart the game from the beginning of that stage, which is mildly infuriating.   I really wanted to get through to see if there is a payoff for the story, but I only got to level 3 (a space station), out of a total of 10 levels.  This is when I decided to give up (maybe around 7 hours of gameplay in total).




I do like the art of the game, and I absolutely love the music (to the point where I'd buy the soundtrack), but the game itself is just not all that enjoyable. In the end, this game is really a 4/10 for me, and most of the points are for the music :-)

Gamerscore: 6/400
Achievements: 2/30

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Some more STO accolades

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I've been saving this post and keeping track of accolades I earned since the last time I posted about my accolade hunt in Star Trek Online.  Since a few of them are now collected - here is what I've earned. These are in the order I got them (2019-2020).


Time Bandit
This was one of the few Red Alert accolades I was missing.  To earn this one you need to save the entire cargo fleet from being destroyed by the Na'kuhl time travelers in the Na'kuhl Alert. I didn't play the Na'Kuhl red alert a lot when they first launched.  Then they were retired with new seasons coming out, and then red alerts went away altogether...so...I waited patiently for a red alert weekend to earn this one (around 2019 sometime).

Ice Ice Baby
This was a while back.  On Prior's World,  after you first enter the cave, activate a [Subspace Party Amplifier] just before you "Check on Lorca.".  Seeing as I never use the Party Amplifier (I never buy them, never have them, never use them), this seemed rather obscure.  I discovered this accolade in a list somewhere, so I tried it out.

Gingerbuddy
As you can tell, this is back from the Winter event around Christmas time.  To earn this you need to help 50 gingerbread people on the Winter Invasion map.  After 4 years I finally helped 50 gingerbread folk (and even now it took a lot of replays!)

A good day to rectify
This was part of the annual STO event a while back. To earn this you needed to show that your belief of "Good" aligns primarily with the Klingon Empire in mission Measure of Morality (Part 1)

Prime Selective
This was part of the annual STO event a while back. To earn this you needed to show that your belief of "Good" aligns primarily with the Federation in mission Measure of Morality (Part 1)

The Best Onfence
This was part of the annual STO event a while back. To earn this you needed to show that your belief of "Good" aligns primarily with neither the Federation nor the Klingon Empire in Measure of Morality (Part 1). This was the first one I got from this trio of accolades


Four score and seven kills ago
This was part of the annual STO event a while back. To get this accolade you needed to defeat 87 enemies alongside Abraham Lincoln in mission Measure of Morality (Part 2) - which took around 4-5 replays.

Atmospheric
In the Rhi Atmosphere shuttle mission there is a cave that you have to flu through to get this accolade.  While this TFO has been around since the introduction of the Romulan faction I never ventured far beyond the walkers that  I needed to take care of...so... now (with fewer people playing shuttle missions) it took a long time to queue up for this TFO to get this.  I guess it's better to get things when missions are fresh and many people play them.

Rebellious Elements

This accolade was a total surprise.  You earn it by taking out 100 "rebel" Klingons (I guess Klingons that don't align with the KDF). However, unlike other big bads in this game, there is ONLY GROUND ONE REBEL in the entire game...so you'd have to play the mission 100 times to get them.  Back when there was a foundry, the rebels weren't an option for creators to add to their missions, so you couldn't even farm them there!  Luckily, the Arena of Sompek gives you 7-10 rebels sometimes, and during the "No win scenario" period a few weeks ago there was also no cooldown, so on an off chance I got this accolade.  Only 900 more rebels to go in order to earn the top tier of this accolade...

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Review: Assassin's Creed: Revelations

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Assassin's Creed: Revelations Assassin's Creed: Revelations by Oliver Bowden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to the Ezio storyline (and it wrapped up the Altair line as well). It follows the events of the game with the same name, but I think the author adds some more details to fill out the story. I like that they've also added the events of the short film "embers" in this book, but again - lack of modern-day timeline is a big miss for me :-)

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Guacamelee 2 | Done

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I rather enjoyed the first Guacamelle, so since Guacamelee 2 was available on GamePass, I thought - why not?

This sequel picks up the story after the first one ends, and it's not just a rehash or reskin of the first one, but rather it adds a variety of new game mechanics, such as being able to launch yourself from different areas of the wall so you can hurl over dangers on the ground or reach new heights.  You also get a new skills-tree system that you can max out by purchasing new abilities that help you along the way.  Skills can now be purchased at any time without having to wait to reach one of those save points in order to do it.  You can still only buy costumes at those save points, but skills are accessible at any time you've got money to spend.  The annoying thing, when you start, is that you have none of your previous abilities when you start the game, and you need to re-acquire those...and it takes a long time.  I get that Juan has aged and he hasn't been the luchador for a while, but come on!



The story from Wikipedia:
The game begins with a simplified version of the first game's final confrontation with the world-rending Calaca, leading into the true ending where the luchador Juan successfully saves the life of El Presidente's Daughter, Lupita. Seven years later, the two are married and live with two children, with Juan having grown out of shape. Black clouds begin to appear in the village, followed by Juan's mentor Uay Chivo appearing to tell him the entire "Mexiverse" is in danger. He brings Juan through a portal to "The Darkest Timeline", where the source of the trouble is. In this timeline, Juan and Lupita were killed by Calaca, who was defeated by another luchador called Salvador. In the seven years since, Salvador has become corrupted by the power of his mask, and now wishes to collect three relics so he can access the Sacred Guacamole in the realm of El Otromundo and become all-powerful. However, by beginning to collect the relics, he has caused the timelines to destabilize, which will mean the end of all timelines if he is not stopped.

Juan is led to reunite with Tostada, the Guardian of the Mask, so he can be restored to fighting form. They begin to travel the world to stop Salvador and his underlings from collecting the relics, but ultimately fail, and Salvador successfully gets to the Sacred Guacamole. However, Juan eventually defeats him, which destroys Salvador's mask and results in his death. The timelines are restored and the Mexiverse is saved, but this prevents Juan from returning to his own timeline. Recalling an earlier conversation, where it's said that El Otromundo connects all the timelines together, he leaps back into El Otromundo before the way closes and looks out across the great many indistinguishable portals.

In the normal ending, Juan's family awaits his return for many years, before he eventually appears. In the true ending, attained if the player clears the Chicken Illuminati's crucible and meets the Holy Hen, Juan recalls her advice and removes his mask, immediately identifying the correct portal and returning to his family without delay.
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I ended up getting the normal ending for the game.  I didn't feel like going through all of the rigamarole to get the "good ending".  One thing that I didn't like about this game was the "twitchiness".  Once you unlocked the flip-into-the-mirror-dimension skills, it seems like many levels were about being able to not only navigate the maze, but concurrently switching and forth between the two dimensions, while also jumping and launching yourself from various wall-hangs.  I did master this enough to get to the end and finish the game, but it just was not fun...

What I loved about the game was the whole "mexiverse" and the DC Crisis in Multiverse feel to the game.  And, of course, all of the popular culture references that are just packed in this game.  Overall, I'd give this game an 8/10.


Some game stats from my run:

  • Playtime: 10h 05m
  • Gamerscore: 565/1340
  • Achievements: 24


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Klingon Concertina Festival | STO

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Another belated April Fool's joke.  The Artisanal Sonification System came back this year (I always look forward to it), and apparently this year many headliner NPCs were playing the concertina wherever you usually found them.  I did come across a download of all Artisanal Sonification System sounds, but I forgot to bookmark it...d'oh!  I would have liked to add those sounds as alert sounds on my phone ;-).  the Lore post from the site is copy/pasted after the image :-)


It’s a time of peace and understanding throughout the galaxy, where, thanks to the Khitomer Alliance, sharing of culture is at an all time high. Which is why it makes the most sense, right this minute, to bring a normally very small cultural festival to every corner of the galaxy! That’s right, music fans, the Klingon Concertina is going big time! We’ve sent concertinas to all of the major players in the Alliance, and they’ve been practicing for months for their big performance today. Experience the honor of traditional Klingon music wherever you go, starting at 9am PT today!

We’ve also received word that Kurland himself is back on the promenade of Deep Space Nine, and he will have a very special item, today only!
From the dev blog.
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Crackdown 3 | Done

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I've been making my way through GamePass games lately. One of the benefits of the Coronavirus lockdown is that you get to use the time you would have used for commuting more productively.  For me, this means video games and reading.

Even though I own the other two Crackdown games, I didn't want to buy Crackdown 3, mainly on account of the bad reviews, and because the price (on sale) has not dipped beneath the max threshold for me - so GamePass it is. I finished this game around mid-March (I think).

So here is the story from Wikipedia:
Ten years after the events of Crackdown 2, a massive terrorist attack from an unknown source cuts electrical power around the entire world. The Agency is thrust back into action after the attack is traced to the city of New Providence, controlled by the mysterious but sinister corporation TerraNova, led by Elizbeth Niemand; New Providence is the only city that still has power. The player characters - super-powered Agents - are called into the field by Agency Director Charles Goodwin (Michael McConnohie) and led by Commander Isaiah Jaxon (Terry Crews) to drop into New Providence and dismantle Terra Nova any way they can. As Jaxon briefs the agents of their mission, their drop ship is attacked by TerraNova, resulting in the deaths of everyone on board.

Echo, a member of the New Providence rebel group known as the Militia, recovers the remains of one of the agents and regenerates them. Heavily outnumbered by TerraNova’s forces, Echo enlists the agent's help in fighting back by dismantling TerraNova's infrastructure - Logistics, Science, and Enforcement. As the agent fights TerraNova, they discover that the Science branch of TerraNova has been mining a mysterious green mineral called Chimera, which Goodwin deduces is responsible for the power outage - Chimera reportedly consumes electrical power. The agent also investigates the mysterious disappearance of many New Providence citizens, discovering they have been kidnapped by TerraNova in an attempt to brainwash and create an army of genetically enhanced super-soldiers. Audio logs found throughout the game allow the agent to learn the existence of an anonymous client who reportedly paid TerraNova to perform their

Eventually, the agent assaults Elizabeth Niemand's tower and ascends to the top, where they confront Niemand, who is piloting a massive Chimera-powered dragon mech; Neimand states her desire to use the Vitalis project to make herself immortal. The agent destroys the dragon mech, killing Niemand. In the aftermath, Goodwin offers Echo a position at the Agency, which she accepts. An agent's severed arm suspended in a Vitalis tank is then seen as the voice of the anonymous client addresses the agent, stating that the Agency is the next step in the evolution of Chimera.
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Storywise, I am glad that we didn't have to deal with streets filled with mutants again (as in Crackdown 2).  Also, storywise, some of the story's finer points seem to be relayed through audio recordings (ugh) that you have to find (double ugh), which doesn't allow the player to really get the full story unless they feel like playing in completionist mode.

The gameplay was fine.  If you've played the other two games, this game definitely feels the same. Collect orbs, gain power, go unlock bases and weapons.  While scaling high towers and vertical puzzles gives you that slight feeling of vertigo that makes the game exciting, it's also frustrating when you miss a ledge and you might respawn at the base of the puzzle if you don't recall yourself quickly enough.






At the end of the day, Crackdown 3 was a fun 12-hour game, but it's nothing to really write home about.  If you are a fan of Terry Crews and you like the Agency Director's abrasive humor, it's worthwhile playing this game, but if you're easily bored by repetitive gameplay, and are expecting something different compared to the previous two games, you can just skip this one. All things considered, I'd give this a 7/10.

My stats on this playthrough:

  • gamerscore: 435/1750
  • Achievements: 37
  • hours played: 11h 39m
  • Enemies killed: 2269
  • Hidden orbs found: 19
  • Agility Orbs collected:  229





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