NCAA Football 13 – Read and React Trophy

What a joke of a luck Trophy. I hate it when developers put in nonsense Trophies, and the NCAA guys are really doing a job on us in consecutive years.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the Read and React trophy is total garbage BS. Using some tips in this thread, I willfully did the needful a few minutes ago!

This is a great tip. I used it this morning to get this stupid f’ing Trophy. Had my INT within the first 5 plays, but it was a fluke. I missed the ball, but because of the various edits, the receiver dropped the pass, and I caught it before it hit the ground for a nice Pick-6.

I kept squeezing that L2 reaction button for all it was worth (20 seconds is a lot of time) and on my way to the House I received the coveted ding.

Only Trophies I have left are some of the Heisman ones … so well on my way to Platinum goodness thanks to this tip!

If it helps anyone else, I uploaded the edited roster to my locker. One or two other teams may be jacked up, but for this Trophy you are playing with Texas Tech, so you should be good to go if you download my file.

One thing I did that was not mentioned in the original tip thread, was to lower the minimum speed threshold setting to 0, to help showcase J Man’s amazing speed (99 rated, all the other DBs and WRs were edited to 0).

I’m posting this reference for anyone else needlessly struggling with this Read and React Trophy crap. If you decide to follow this tip, hopefully my contribution of the pre-edited Texas Tech in my PSN jcalvert EA Sports NCAA Football locker will help ease your pain and suffering.


NCAA Football 12 – Platinum at Last

My 4th of July celebration activities included some quality time with Kate, a family trip to Buffalo Wild Wings, plenty of beer and a final go at earning the NCAA Football 12 Platinum.

To be honest I had all, but given up. The final 3-4 trophies just seemed to be too much trouble, but I hated seeing the game at 92 (or whatever) percent complete. Just a little higher …

In between delicious pints of Sweetwater 420 (the nectar of the gods) I spent some quality time in the NCAA Football 12 board looking for some advice, help, cheats; anything to get me over the hump.

I went with a 6 [my Platinum trophy difficulty rating]. For the most part, even with a Trophy guide, the game was fairly straight forward. In Your Crosshairs, Lock and Load, and Ironman (the one which requires you to score an offensive and defensive TD) were a total PITA to me.

I decided that I would finish off the game today. I sat it aside a while back because I was totally PO’ed over these trophies. Finally, decided to proclaim my Independence, and get the Platinum today. After trying to gimp the system with my 13 year old (Crosshairs and Lock and Load) I decided to do it own my own. Took a while, but finally pulled it off doing what others mentioned in various threads. Use a curl pattern and have your CB jump the route. Actually had to do it twice because I didn’t get a TD the first time.

Ironman actually came pretty easy today. I did the 7′ OLB/HB route, and got a defensive TD by stripping the ball on a punt. I gave up trying to block it, so started going for a strip, which actually worked. I thought I wasn’t going to get an offensive TD, but managed one with under a minute to play.

Ding – NCAA Football 12 Platinum goodness with less than a week to spare before I get to take on Herschel Walker’s records in NCAA Football 13. The demo was OK, and I know I will spend more time with Madden 13, but I can’t help myself …


MLB 12: The Show (Vita) – What about the gameplay?

Since I was sick much of the past week, I didn’t get any time to dive into MLB 12 (Vita or PS3). I did spend some time last night with the Home Run Derby mode; mostly just to get a feel for batting and of course to pick up the HR Trophies.

I was curious what others thought about the Vita version, so I headed over to Metacritic this morning. At the time of this article, only two reviews offered on Metacritic, which to me is somewhat of a surprise.

What was even more surprising, and honestly I’m not even sure why I am still surprised by this sort of thing, the reviews don’t even bother to tackle the gameplay aspects of a Vita version of MLB 12. Take this example from Cheat Code Central (CCC):

Most tellingly, many of the game’s presentation elements have been removed. While hitting a homerun provides the proper score increases, one does not actually see the players walk the bases. Transitions between pitches are quick, accomplished with fades, as is the case with each fielding play. Once there is, ostensibly, nothing more to be done by the defense, the game fades immediately back to the pitch/at-bat display. I hesitate to call this “lazy,” but it definitely takes away from the overall experience of the game, from the illusion that one is managing a baseball franchise, guiding a player from the double-A league up to the Majors, or running an exhibition match between the Yankees and the Red Sox to see who’s really on top in the Northeast. In the end, though, these elements of the games visuals and presentation, while disappointing, are hardly game-breaking or offensive.

To me, this is actually OK; I want a portable game of baseball to play faster. For that matter, I have been calling for faster playing baseball games, yet ones that still maintain simulation aspects, for years and years. Strangely enough, IGN actually agrees with me on this point; hell just got a little less warm.

Not that anyone really cares, but I do agree with the CCC reviewer about MLB 12 being somewhat intimidating for MLB The Show newbies. For some inexplicable reason, I actually set the game on the hardest mode, and it took me a while to figure out WTF I was doing, adjusted the game according, but I was already down 8-0 in the 1st inning. Ouch!

I really hate the Vita trend of not having a physical manual. MLB 12: The Show is certainly one game that warrants one just to provide some sort of cheat sheet on all the control options and what the various sliders actually do.

At any rate, I read the CCC review twice – not once does the subject of gameplay come up. Not that the IGN review offered a better approach. [sigh] I’m getting far too old for this sort of thing.


How Much For Two Hours?

So Journey will get critical acclaim and all the typical accolades that come with a fantastic independent title. Two hours? According to PlayStation Lifestyle, the majority of gamers will complete Journey in a single sitting.

Some will be disappointed by how quickly the game ends, but the two hours that mark your journey is the most incredible and unique you can possibly have on your PS3. Flower is often used as an example of how games are art, but Flower is a mere sketch compared to the oil painting that is Journey. With perfect music, gorgeous visuals and powerful single and multiplayer experiences, Journey is the PlayStation Network’s must own magnum opus.

I think I’m still excited about Journey, but with so many other games to be played, Journey will have to have a killer Trophy list or a serious PS+ discount. Based on other outlets saying two hours of gameplay, I doubt that Journey will be a Day One purchase if the price is over $9.99.


Lumines: Electronic Symphony – No Platinum Update

One of the producers at Q-Entertainment has come clean about the lack of a Platinum in Lumines (Vita).

I realize that a Platinum is desirable by a lot of game players, and am looking into whether we can add one, and how much work it would take. These things are never as simple as you might think, due to submission, testing, and certification processes, but I am checking into it. I would hope that you enjoy the game regardless, but I regret this oversight. If we are able to add a Platinum, I’ll be sure to update things here, on our Facebook page, and via Twitter. Thanks for understanding.

All in all it sounds like a totally honest mistake, however I think the Q-Entertainment should spend some time and capital to correct this mistake. It is not as if I would have been able to earn the Platinum, but as a matter of principle, this should be corrected via a patch.


Lumines Electronic Symphony – Platinum?

As a card carrying trophy whore, I have been watching the debate about Lumines Platinum status. Will it or will it not contain a Platinum?

According to James Mielke (Q Games Producer) the game does in fact have a platinum. Additionally he also makes reference to a platinum trophy on his twitter too. Despite the claims, it would seem that and many users online say otherwise.

I have Lumines on preorder, and even if it doesn’t contain a Platinum trophy, I’m sure I’ll enjoy Lumines immensely. The fire PSP Lumines was fantastic; the first Vita version looks to top it in every way.

Trophy support for the Vita will making gaming on the go that much more enjoyable.


Vita Countdown (Four More Sleeps)

February 15 is tumbling towards us quickly, along with the start of soccer practice for my nine year-old son (and yours truly co-coaching), Valentine’s Day, the newest Twisted Metal, and of course the Vita.

How are these all connected you may ask? Let’s take these in quick succession.

Soccer practice will be Monday and Wednesday, meaning that I will not be sitting on my ass playing the Vita Wednesday night. That’s OK, said ass needs a workout.

Valentine’s Day will also see the release of Twisted Metal. Play it too much, and no needful for me. With the Vita arriving just a day later, I figured I better hook my wife up with something nice – can you say jewelry from Blue Nile? Some nice garnet earrings and matching pendent; Blue Nile is truly a best friend, always helping me out of those tough spots like new a Vita and a host of games showing up as bookends to V-Day.

Which does in fact bring us to the Vita. While the anticipation is building, one of my burning desires is that the Vita turns into a quality RPG producing machine, along the lines of the PSP, which was really underrated in this respect. Hopefully the next Atelier receives a U.S. localization effort.

It was confirmed earlier this week that long suffering U.S. Vita fans will not receive a UMD Passport offer, allowing PSP owners with large UMD libraries to quickly port their content to digital media for a modest price.

While the lack of a U.S. UMD Passport program is disappointing, I can accept that the Vita will not offer a means of being directly backwards compatible with PSP UMDs. I find it very disappointing that as of right now, the Vita is not compatible with PSOne titles.

I’m not sure why Sony would not at least attempt to flip a few bucks on a limited UMD Passport offering, which would obviously be restricted to the PSP titles available via the PSN store. There are so many ways that Sony could play this, and capitalize on PSP owners converting (upgrading) to the Vita, and their desire to have some of their favorite UMDs still accessible on the Vita.

My approach will be fairly simple. I’ll keep a few of my favorite PSP titles, flip a few more on eBay, and the rest will go to one of my PSP owning boys.

I’m sure there are all sorts of licensing issues to overcome, but if Sony could in Japan, there is reason to think that Sony could have managed some limited UMD Passport effort in the U.S. It is really too bad because this sort of short sightedness could cost Sony some much needed sales.

The Trophy whore in me loves that I can now (on Feb 15th at any rate) rack up trophies on the go. I can’t imagine spending much time with Little Deviants, except to get some trophy boosting, but since it is a throw in with my early release bundle thingy, boost I will.

Whew! That’s enough for early Saturday morning. Time for another cup of coffee; truly the nectar of the gods. Happy Saturday!


Weekend Workouts with Mel B

No workout today; heading to ATL to watch the Falcons beat down the Vikings.

In order to balance Trophy whoring and real life fitness objectives, I have decided it makes sense to do at least two workouts, instead of one longer routine. This should actually burn calories, keep things interesting, and get me to those complete 20 xyz routines that much quicker.

Hopefully I will be able to knock off a couple before Christmas.

Started the morning off with a 20 minutes Fitness burn of 159 calories, which was good enough to bump me to Level 65.

Tracing issues on some of the floor exercise probably prevented me from going higher. I normally get solid scores on the various pushups and crunches, but not so much during this 20 minute routine. I am going to chalk this up to the morning lighting in the room interfering with the camera’s tracking.

Next up was a 20 minutes Combat workout, which burned up another 136 calories. I’m a little disappointed that more calories were not burned, but that is OK, because I actually enjoy the Combat workouts. At least the ones that track correctly with the camera + Move.

This was another solid workout, good for a 5% boost to Level 80. My second 5% boots this week; in one day.

I started to do one more 15 minute quickie, but decided to call it off so I could watch the kickoff of the Georgia – Tech game. Go Dawgs!

As has been normal this week, I started with a 20 minute Fitness workout, which was good for 163 calories.

I followed up with a 15 minute Advance Cardio routine, which, while good for 103 calories, left me huffing and puffing. Talking about being out of shape!

Of all the Mel B fitness levels, Advance Cardio may be my lowest. Some of this is due to periodic tracking problems; the sometimes gets confused and does not seem to track the Move even when I think I am following Mel B 100%. The rest has to be attributed to my poor ‘real life’ fitness level. Working on it. Working on it …


Thanksgiving with Mel B

I got a burr in my butt and decided to break out Mel B yesterday. It has been a while; figured it was time to get off my lazy bum and get some exercise going in time to prevent catastrophic holiday weight gain. Or what I like to think of as exercising so I can eat and drink my way through Thanksgiving, Disney, three more Falcons tailgates, Christmas, and of course New Years.

I started off with a nice 20 minute Fitness 20 workout, good for 147 calories, which was good for a boots to Level 60. Fitness seems to be the hardest Mel B category for me to increase. Having a few tracking Move issues (too much sunlight) was detrimental to earning a higher score.

Before throwing some Thanksgiving ribs and burgers on the grill, I followed up with a quickie 15 minute Combat workout, good for 93 calories. Tracking issues did me in on at least one exercise, preventing me for earning a higher rating.

Today was my first time back with Mel B in weeks (months?), so I decided to go fairly easy. One 15 minute Fitness workout, which was good for 124 calories, followed by a 15 minute Step workout, which burned off another 116 calories.

Before I started, I weighed in at 174 lbs; the last weight Mel B had on record was 176 lbs, so I feel good that I am not a total nincompoop.

Future Days …
I’ll be at Disney this time next week, so my relationship with Mel B is going to be short lived; at least it will be start, stop, start, over the next 2-3 weeks.

I’m off my rocker, but I want to Trophy whore Mel B. I’m going after some of the repetition Trophies. I would like to earn some of the ‘Complete 20 xyz exercises’ Trophies before the end of 2011. Seems like a reasonable, yet healthy goal.


The Lord of the Rings: Aragon’s Quest

I picked up Aragon’s Quest a few weeks ago because it was under $20, and I am a sucker for discounted games. I was also interested in the Move support, but unfortunately the controls are on par with a Wii game, not something I have come to expect for Move support (i.e. Sports Champions).

There are plenty of other reviews out there, so I am not going to take a deep dive or anything. As a family game, is this fun? Sort of. As a Move game, is Aragon’s Quest worth a pick up? Nope; after a few hours of honest to goodness attempts to make things work, I abandon my Move and Navigation controllers in favor of the standard Dual Shock 3. If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, Aragon’s Quest has some entertainment value, but you may want to wait until the game hits the sub $15 mark.

For the most part, I enjoyed my time with the game, but as I moved into Trophy whoring, the game quickly became a chore. If you are going to go for a Platinum Trophy (I earned mine this morning, thus this post), you better follow a guide because the game can screw you over in a hurry, forcing an additional play-through.

jcalvert Trophy Card


Longest Easy Trophy Ever

I find it pretty amazing that it took EA so damn long to patch Madden so that we could finally earn the ‘This one is easy’ trophy.

Fixed issue where previous MUT fans could not earn the “This one is easy” achievement/trophy for creating their MUT team in Madden NFL 12.

Not sure what else to say other than about f’ing time this was corrected. The jaded gamer in me thinks that EA held back the patch for this one in order to wait until the season was at least half over, to less the impact of ‘completed’ games being thrown on the second hand market. I cannot think of any other excuse to wait so damn long to offer a fix.


F1 2011 – Marginal Improvements over F1 2010?

The early F1 2011 reviews are mostly positive, which is to be expected based on F1 2010 being well received.

It is interesting reading TheSixthAxis reviewer’s take on the game. Before the summary, the reviewer discusses new F1 technical ‘innovations’ that are included in F1 2011 (KERS and DRS), but also mentions that casual gamers are not likely to notice. I would go so far as to say that casual gamers should stay pretty away from this title and go after a more mainstream racer.

Now the tricky part – is F1 2011 worth picking up if you already own 2010? That’s a question that only the individual can really answer – there’s certainly a good, extensive and solid game here but then a good chunk of it is clearly based on last year’s code and visuals, even most of the menu interface remains the same. The improvements are all for the better – that’s for sure – but perhaps we’d have liked to have seen more of them. Anyone that bypassed 2010 and held out for this years can relax easy, though, this is probably the best Formula One game we’ve seen for years.

An improved AI, along with the addition of offline split screen and co-op Championship mode have me pretty excited.

Eurogamer has a remarkably similar take on the marginal year-over-year improvements in Codemasters F1 franchise.

Now comes the tricky third test; can it do enough to establish a yearly franchise, an exercise that’s normally the reserve of publishers with a little more clout?

F1 2011’s answer to that particular question is, sometimes, not too convincing. Some areas remain sparse and many of its improvements can be measured in tenths rather than seconds. Still, it’s a sport where every little detail counts, and the finite changes do undoubtedly make for a better game.

Now I just have to decide if I attempt to whore any of the many remaining Trophies in F1 2010, or if I call it a loss, flip it on eBay while the flipping still has marginal value, and see if I can stay focused on F1 2011. Last year I lost interest – really don’t know the reason why because I gushed about it during the first few weeks after it was released. At least I didn’t play F1 2010 half as much as Sony’s last F1 outing (Formula One: Championship Edition).


September Gaming Closeout

The ridiculousness continues. Next week (Sep 20) sees the release of F1 2011, while the following week (Sep 27) gives us FIFA 12, ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection, and Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, and Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland.

F1 2011
I’ll be honest; I love F1 games, but I didn’t really get enough out of 2010. No particular reason other than I suck or something. F1 2011 looks to be the perfect F1 gaming experience:

After watching the promo videos all these months I had the feeling that F1 2011 will be strictly for the hardcore, people who are gamers and who also follow F1 races every year. After playing a solid 2 hours with the preview build I believe that this game will only attract fans, resulting in to low accessibility.

Let’s hope that there are enough F1 fans who appreciate racing sims to support F1 2011 and continue to push the series forward.

One of the top sports franchises; the Madden development team could learn a thing or two from the FIFA guys. I cannot say enough good things about this series – tons of replay value; I played the snot out of FIFA 10 and to some extent FIFA 11. The newest yearly release should not be any different. Platinum be damned; I’ll never get it due to the various online requires.

Thanks to Amazon, this one comes with a nice $20 credit, some sort of MLS Fathead (for the kids) and of course release day delivery.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus Collection
I’ve written about this one a little over the last couple of months, so I am not going to go very deep here. I’ll just say that I have had this one on pre-order since Thanksgiving last year, so I am eagerly anticipating giving both of these classics a go.

Another Amazon release day arrival. I expect this one to go to the top of the play heap; let’s see if that actually happens.

Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny
In a weak moment, I pre-ordered this one site unseen. Mostly for the Move support, partly out of curiosity, and ultimately because I probably had one too many cold ones that night, which resulted in an Amazon clicking frenzy.

Tides of Destiny is coming out later this year in North America for the PlayStation 3 and Wii, which isn’t a combination of release platforms you see very often. I’m not complaining, especially when the PlayStation 3 version ends up looking this pretty. I can’t wait to buy this game, play it for a few hours, get bored, and move on to other things!

Replace bored with distracted and that will be me. Too many other gems in my gaming treasure trove waiting to be caressed and loved, and whored for Trophies.

Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland
Of course I had to get the ‘Premium’ version bundle complete with art book and CD soundtrack. This one has niche written all over it, but I expect Atelier Totori to be fun based on my typical enjoyment of quirky games and deep down love for JRPGs.

Unfortunately I’m usually constrained with limited clock cycles to burn on gaming, which means that I may not get around to this one for a while. I did promise myself (sort of) that I would attempt Atelier Totori’s predecessor first, Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland. Will it happen? That’s another article. Seriously, tackling a JRPG is an upcoming article.

The one thing nice about JRPGs, is that historically I have always been able to get my money back from any expensive collector’s edition should I decide to sell them down the road. For that matter, I can usually get my money back from regular editions. That is the beauty of niche gaming; of course you have to pre-order these games or you are the one paying a premium over MSRP.

Happy Saturday!