I’m an achievement addict…it’s what attracted me to Xbox 360 in the first place & I love the challenges of earning all of them in a game. It makes it feel all the more complete even if they aren’t always the most well-thought out of stuff.
There are plenty of bad achievements (Avatar: The Burning Earth’s can all be earned in the training section of the game), there are plenty of unreasonable achievements (Seriously 3.0 in Gears of War 3) & there are plenty of rock-hard achievements…these are my favourite of the 360 generation.
The criteria for inclusion had to be:
• I had to have earned the achievement.
• No achievements that were boosted could be included.
• It’s not just about difficulty.
• The achievement enhanced the game or made me a better player.
The first few are the ones that fell outside the top 10 & deserve an honourable mention.
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter
Coin-op Co-op – 15g
Complete the entire Coin-op cooperative game on normal or higher difficulty.
A pool of lives that depletes when all players die. Masses of monsters & instant death traps that whittle those lives down quickly. When all lives are used the game is over & all players have to start from the beginning.
When I did this I did it in a group of 4 & we got battered by the traps. The 2nd time we managed it but it was a close thing with only 1 player alive for some sections of levels before we collected additional lives to bring us back in.
Revenge Revisited – 60g
Complete story mode on hard difficulty.
Possibly one of the most difficult end bosses in any game I have ever played. Not just is this game so much tougher on hard the end boss has to be fought under a timer that I was short of by a few seconds on many an occasion.
When I did finally beat him it was after days of trying & with seconds to spare.
Dishonored DLC: Dunwall City Trials
By My Hand Alone – 50g
Get to wave 13 in Back Alley Brawl killing all combatants personally.
The entire DLC pack has some of the most challenging achievements I have ever experience but this one stands out as it relied as much on luck as your own skill. Enemy spawn points & their reaction to each other would make all the difference.
I’ve never felt so relived when I finally did this.
Rise of the Argonauts
Corona, Crown of Mastery – 100g
Complete the constellation Corona Borealis, proving yourself the ultimate hero.
A lengthy quest that involved you having to reach a huge list of requirements as you played through the game. Missing 1 would mean restarting the entire game again.
It only took me 3 tries…
Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad
Annna: Bonuses Complete – 80g
Saki: Bonuses Complete – 80g
Aya Bonuses Complete – 80g
Complete all bonuses for the relevant characters.
Some of the bonuses were attacks that were timed based with no prompts on screen. Practice over & over again to get the timing down, it was quite something.
10 – Slaughterhouse
Happy ending? – 20g
Re-assemble all of Jen’s photos.
Collectibles huh? We all love them…sort of (except for Crackdown & its comedy amounts) but they are often bore-ish affairs with little value to the overall content. Slaughterhouse breaks convention with its collectibles by having the player seek out bits of a torn photograph that when assembled reveal topless pictures of the protagonists girlfriend.
It makes finding that all important last piece something you want to do rather then just because you have too.
9 – Deadly Premonition
Collected All Trading Cards – 150g
Recovered all trading cards.
I love this achievement because to gain all the trading cards you will have to explore & go out of your way to find every card. It forces you to leave the main story & complete a number of run & interesting side-quests.
I’m such a fan of this game that anything that draws the player into an already well-build world is a winner in my eyes. It was the ‘helping Emily to cook’ series of quests that helped me care about her character more then anything.
8 – Batman: Arkham Asylum
Free flow Gold – 50g
Achieve 24 medals on combat challenges.
Sounds way easier then it is. This is an achievement that is notorious for its hair-pulling, controller smashing effect.
To get this you will have to master Batman’s moves like never before while also relying on some serious luck. Most of the challenge maps are tough but most players will have quit once they reached the map ‘shock and awe (extreme)’. Throw in everything that makes a free-flow combo difficult (knives/stun rods) & then add a timer. Seriously tough…
7 – Mass Effect 2
Insanity – 75g
Complete the game on Insanity difficulty.
The toughest of the Mass Effect insane difficulties thanks to Harbinger who would randomly take over the body of an enemy (normally a collector) & boost them back to full health & full shields. He might do that several times in a larger battle & it increased the difficulty ten-fold.
Add some sections where there just isn’t enough room to manoeuvre safely & you can expect to be restarting the checkpoint a fair few times.
Thankfully it is a satisfying finish once you do reach the end of the game & the whole suicide mission attempt feels all the more real.
6 – Afro Samurai
Completionist – 200g
Complete the game on both difficulties.
2 difficulties: normal & hard.
Hard is so tough that to attempt it without having played through normal at least once to improve your stats is akin to suicide. There are sections that just aren’t possible without improved abilities.
It’s not just the bosses that require practice & perfection, there are many normal enemy fights where precision & timing is everything. It is hugely challenging but hugely satisfying. The appeal in Afro Samurai is the precision slicing of body parts so combine this with the moment when you beat a particularly tough section & enjoy that feeling of success.
5 – Dante’s Inferno LDC: The Trials Of St. Lucia
It’s in the trial – 30g
Beat 25 different single player and 15 different two-player EA trials.
That there were only 25 single player & 15 2-player EA trials meant that you had to beat all of them. I don’t know if the intention had been to include more as time went on but it didn’t happen. This meant some of the more difficult ones had to played…
With a wide range of challenges mixing up the enemies & handicaps there was more then enough in the single player trials to involve a little hair-pulling but they were a piece of cake compared to the 2-player trials. Needing a good co-op partner was a draw-back (I had an excellent one) & some of the trials gave you combined lives.
It’s tough enough losing because you made a mistake but worse when it’s a mistake by your partner. Share in the failure & share in the success!
4 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Mile High Club – 20g
Sky dive to safety on veteran mode.
It makes me laugh how the COD haters of the world love to talk about how easy Mile High Club. If I had a penny for every time I’ve read some comment that goes something like this:
Lol….Mile High Club is sooooooo easy. I did it on my first go. It’s so easy that my little sister could do it. I don’t get why everyone makes out it’s such a big deal! Lol.
(note punctuation & spelling is good because I’ve written it).
The truth is that it is not easy & took me many tries perfecting my run. The first time I made it to the hostage I shot them. I was gobsmacked & heart-broken but I now know it is because I couldn’t handle the pressure.
I think I hold it in such high-esteem as an achievement because it was the first real rock-hard achievement I had earned on the Xbox 360.
3 – Dishonored
Ghost – 30g
Complete all missions after the prologue, alerting or killing no-one but the key targets.
When I first saw this achievement description all I could think was “how?”
That is the wonderful thing about Dishonored; you can actually finish the entire game without being spotted or killing a single person. Truly amazing…
I love this achievement so much because it forces you to play the game in a totally different way. No running & gunning…you had to wait patiently for the right moment to move, explore a level fully to find hidden entrances & work out ways to take your target out without resulting in killing.
A truly satisfying achievement to get at the end of the game.
2 – Dead Space 2
Hard to the Core – 50g
Complete the game on Hard Core setting.
The hardest difficulty where you are only allowed 2 saves throughout the game. Throw in moments where instant death is possible (the infamous eye-needle section) & this is easily one of the more nerve-shredding achievements to gain.
The most amazing thing about this achievement though was how it enhanced the survival horror element of the game to a level not seen elsewhere. I was on edge for so many sections of the game & let out the biggest sigh of relief once safely aboard the ship at the end.
I also didn’t use my saves as well as I could have so I ended up playing from Chapter 9 without a save left. Risky but it paid off in the end & I’m really pleased with this achievement.
1 – Dead Rising
7 Day Survivor – 20g
Survive for at least 7 days.
1 Dead Rising day = 2 hours of real time. 14 hours of continuous play where your health constantly decreases. Mall food doesn’t reappear & all survivors are now psychos that drop food as well.
My first attempt at this achievement ended in failure with less then an hour to go thanks to an internet disconnection. The 2nd time I ensured there would be no repeat. Knowing the malls, the safe areas & what psychos will spawn (when & where) is key. As the clock counts down the tension increases yet it never stops being exciting.
This is the reason why it is my favourite achievement.