So, I started off the week playing through Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, nabbing the "7 items per level" Achievements, any Jackanism treasure chests, and the automatic "Character's 2nd/3rd/4th move" Achievements that come with completing the given level. On top of that, I used a handy items guide to know where the Calypso pieces were located along with the other items. The actual game itself was more or less a breeze, or rather: a ride. The only part where I was sort of "stuck" was in Davy Jones' Locker when looking for 5 bottles around a tavern. Everything else was a cakewalk, savvy?
The one Achievement that may give people some trouble in this game is "Collect 100 Souls", though I tried to be as efficient as possible. While you can go back and play through a level in the "Extras" menu, and any souls that beat your score from the first go around is added to your total, there is a particular strategy you can adopt to make the ride a lot easier. So, of the 11 or so levels, 8 of them have the ability for Jack to collect souls, so if you divvy that up evenly, that means you want roughly 13 souls per level. That was a goal I shot for, keeping in mind you can only collect souls on the first level after you complete the game.
The one level that I "boosted" souls on was the last level, Maelstrom, in Davy Jones' organ room, where the Jackanism chest is. There is a mini-boss fight there where you have to fight some of Davy's crew, and if you don't defeat the ring leader, the other two enemies continue to respawn. If you kill the respawners with the suggested special move, there is a higher chance of a shrunken head drop. So, I'd grab the shrunken head, go behind the Jackanism chest, activate it, kill about 3-4 of them, lather rinse and repeat. Now, I'd go behind the chest because I want to keep my distance from enemies when activating, as the force of such a powerful ignition causes enemies to fall down dead, and not count towards your soul tally. The other place where I got another 5 or so souls in the level was when Beckett's crew was boarding the Black Pearl, and when all was said and done, I had a total of 92 souls, with the first level's Jackanism Chest and soul catching to be done.
So at Prison Fortress, after the game was complete, the Jackanism chest at the beginning of the level is conveniently surrounded by 3 shrunken heads. Now, there are two ways of tackling this: you can quickly unlock the chest, unlock your Achievement, restart the checkpoint, and grab the heads again for soul sucking swordplay, or you can do what I did, having 92 souls left. This was very convenient and coincidental, but the total number of prison guards in your first battle is eight. Since that rounds things off quite nicely, you can do the following for maximum efficiency: grab the heads, free the pirates, and let them open the prison gate for you. Once open, trigger the prison guards to come out, run back to the chest, activate it from as far away as you can, so you're closer to the guards. Then run back and Judo chop them with your blade, and hopefully you should get all 8. Then you can proceed through the level like it was Eragon, and get 150 Gamerscore after completing it.
In other Achievements acquired, or rather, not acquired, I played through The Darkness, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I started off on Hard, not only because that's the kind of gamer I am, but also to see if I couldn't grab both the Anti Hero and Legendary Dark Achievements upon completing the story. Well, I saw that I couldn't, which sucked. Upon completing the final objective and watching the cutscenes and credits roll, there was no Achievement awarded, which was discouraging. Apparently I'm not the only one who had this problem, so it looks like I'm going to have to create a new game to start from scratch on Normal, then continue through on Hard again. Fortunately, I have a memory unit, so I can still keep my progress on that for my other Achievements. I'll give you guys a full report next week on how that goes, along with the best way to tackle the Multiplayer Achievements.
Some cool "Achievements" that I unlocked that don't keep the streak alive happened this past week, and you may have heard about them at the end of this week's fancast, I got some cool mentions on Xbox Canada's "Jade Speak" for July as one of her "Great Canadian Gamer Top 10" as part of the Canada Day themed articles, which was pretty cool. as well as according to TriXie, my gamertag was the 23rd most viewed on Xbox.com, which is kinda scary on the one hand but really nice on the other.
So, that pretty much wraps up another week in whoring Achievements. To get a hold of me, you can send an email my way to david [at] xbox360fanboy [dot] com, with the subject line "Achievements 101", and give you feedback, suggestions and offerings of services. My MSN, that's both my primary Live ID and conveniently linked to my gamertag is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my AIM SN, which zourskittles was so kind in revealing to the public in last week's comments is "Knuckles Dawson", so you're welcome to contact me there too. Of course, you can always just send me a message on Live, too. So we'll see you next week with a more in depth look at The Darkness, with its single and multiplayer Achievements.