Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Achievement Sites

While Rachel and I continue our march through Assassin's Creed 2, I thought I'd take a little time to highlight two of my favorite Achievement sites on the web.

The first is It's a site that catalogs Achievements for every game in existence, including many games that haven't even been released yet. How they get their information so early, I'll never know. Maybe they have wiretaps in Microsoft's office or something.

In any case, this site is invaluable to Achievement hunters for several reasons, but by far the biggest is its active community. It is THE place where Achievement "enthusiasts" meet up to discuss strategies for obtaining tough awards, find fixes for Achievement glitches (an all too common issue), and make friends who are willing to work towards online awards. Rachel and I call this last group "fake friends", people on your Xbox 360 Friends list that you've never met in person, but who you've played games with online. Fake friends are particularly critical for getting the Achievements in older games for which the online community may have dried up years ago.

If you're ever confused about the requirements for a particular Achievement, or just stumped on how to accomplish it, head over to to find an answer. Between their guides, road maps, and forums, you'll almost surely find an answer.

The other site I use consistently is While the first site I listed concentrates on acquiring and cataloging Achievements, True Achievements is about the statistics around these awards. One thing they've done is to solve a long-standing issue with Achievements - that the points assigned to various awards don't accurately reflect the difficulty of obtaining it. Consider that two minutes of Avatar: Burning Earth yields the same 1000 points that one would obtain from 250+ hours of Infinite Undiscovery. When you think about it, that's not very fair. What these guys have done is created a system in which awards are analyzed based on their difficulty, a function of the ratio of the number of people to get the award to the total number of people who played the game. Then they assign a new value (True Achievement Score) by multiplying the original score by that ratio.

Confused? That's okay, the point is that it makes rare Achievements far more valuable than easy ones. It's not a perfect system, but it goes a long way to making Gamer Scores more fair. Best of all, it lets you track statistical measures like which of your Achievements are the most rare, what percentage of awards you've earned from the library of games you've played, and where you rank against all other Xbox 360 users out there. There's a mountain of data to muck about with if you're obsessed with Achievements like I am.

So if you're ever looking to become an Achievement hound, I recommend these two sites. They'll give you a nice boost down the path to a huge Gamer Score!

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