Iron Brigade “Settlement Savior” Achievement Tips (Survival mode)

February 17th, 2012 by Tommy Gun

I just got the achievement for this (make it to wave 30 on Settlement); it was pretty tough! Thanks to rabies for the basic loadout/strategy.

You can do this solo, but I played with a friend of mine. The difficulty scales, but I figured with both of us being fairly good players this was the best bet. The beginning is the hardest — once you get some sniper turrets set up, you’ll be gaining tons of scrap and won’t have to run all over the place, so don’t worry if it feels like you’re getting slaughtered at the start. By wave 15 our green base had only a sliver of health left, but we made it!

Trench loadout:

At least one person should have:

Core: HoneyChurch IV with Sprint+ Legs
Weapon: Albert Sniper Rifle (Pierce+)
Emplacements: Dampening Generator, Repair Crane, Sniper Turret, Shredder Turret

My friend used a bigger Trench with heavy weapons. Use whatever you’re comfortable with. He had a collection pod. If you’re playing solo, you should probably swap the repair crane for the collection pod. I mostly stayed up near the green base, and my friend stayed down near orange. Because I had the sniper rifle, I was able to help him out from up there.


  • Start with all shredder turrets. They’re cheap, and at the beginning you need all the help you can get. More is better. Don’t waste scrap on other stuff yet (maybe a collection pod after a few waves).
  • Scrap disappears after a while, so grab it when you can, and eventually build collection pods.
  • Put emplacements on top of “trees.” I think you need to be on the lowest level for this to work (don’t be on a peninsula). Knobs shouldn’t be able to kill them this way, but watch for Burst Transmitters.
  • Build lots of sniper turrets once you start getting more scrap, and protect them from knobs with shredder turrets. Place some snipers at the end of the peninsulas, and up by the green decoy.
  • Focus all your fire on the Volt Dropper if you can! They do a lot of damage and ignore dampening generators, so you need to take them out as quickly as possible. Sniper turrets are what you need here, so I hope you’ve built a few by this point. When you fire at the Volt be sure to lead the target (aim a little in front of it when you fire).
  • Save the decoys for waves 25+ (as long as you can wait, basically).
  • Eventually build a repair crane somewhere in the middle, but not until you have plenty of scrap.
  • Turrets are dumb, so kill Jacobs first, as soon as you can.
  • If you’re using the Albert sniper rifle, try to line up multiple enemies when you can because of the pierce ability. If Jacobs are protecting an enemy, shoot through the enemy to hit the Jacobs; don’t wait for a clear shot.

We made it to wave 42 with this method, and would have gotten further if we had tried. After we got the achievement we relaxed and mostly let the turrets do the work, so eventually some enemies slipped by.

“Outland” is punishing, and not in the way you think.

November 11th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I beat Outland, and overall I really liked it (I’m a huge fan of Ikaruga). I almost gave up a few times, however, because some of the boss fights are frustrating. The main reason? No halfway checkpoints! Actually, that’s not even accurate, it’s that the checkpoints come before a long stretch of nothing for some inexplicable reason. It’s like putting a checkpoint before a cutscene. Let me show you.

There’s a spider boss, but when you start the section you have to run down a hallway, then complete a quick “hit two switches” section. It might be a little tricky the first time, but it’s no big deal.  After that the spider drops down, and you have to run through a bunch more stuff to get to the real fight. It takes a minute and a half to get there in this video, and he’s fast:

1:30 may not sound like a lot of time, but chances are it’s going to take you multiple tries to beat this boss.  You’re going to spend 1:30 just to get to the part where you die trying to figure out the patterns. It took me four or five tries, I don’t remember. It’s frustrating, more than it is actual wasted time, and it’s needless. Just add a checkpoint there!

Example two is the final boss in the game, so don’t watch the whole video if you don’t want to spoil it (watch the first 45 seconds).

Thirty seconds of climbing up a ladder, every time you restart! Then another 15 seconds for the fight to begin. Again, not a ton of actual time, but imagine climbing that ladder ten times. If they wanted that for dramatic effect, fine, show that the first time you load the game, but if you die or restart, have a temporary checkpoint at the top of the ladder!

I don’t mind if the game is hard. Hell, you can even make the game harder, just stop punishing me by making me replay these boring sections!

Skyrim fan trailer

November 4th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

A friend of mine was the cinematographer on this, pretty cool:

More Fake GameStop Taglines

October 26th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

gamestop-preorderWhen I was writing how to fix GameStop, I had to find their tagline font so I could make the first “pre-order” image (above). Since I had it all set up, I figured I might as well make some more images. Feel free to use these on forums and other blogs.
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Rock Band: Expert Pro Drums 100% flawless scores

October 19th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

Here are some of the more notable 100%s I’ve gotten playing expert pro drums so far.  Most of them are FC’s (full combos, no overhits), especially if I’m high up on the leaderboard, but I don’t remember for sure.  I have tons more FCs, but I’m only posting the harder songs, or ones where I’m #1.

I play using my Yamaha DTXplorer (two cymbals and a hi-hat) with the MadCatz MIDI pro adapter. The only reason I’m not #1 on all the songs I FC’d is because some people “drum squeeze” to get more points, or because I didn’t use the optimal OD (overdrive) path. I don’t play songs multiple times in a row, so I never remember the path.

Some song notes:

This Ain’t a Scene: this was the second time I’ve played this song. It was really lucky, because the overdrive covered up a really long drumroll that I probably missed a few notes on, but it doesn’t count that. So I still ended up with 100%. A really poor overdrive path accounts for being so low on the leaderboard (I also may have overhit).

Young: Pretty surprised I was able to get this. It’s not that hard, I’m just really inconsistent with disco-beats.

Ring of Fire: the actual #1 on the leaderboard, no tie!

Half Crazy: I love this song!

I don’t think I’m playing Hitman: Blood Money correctly.

October 12th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I started playing Hitman: Blood Money, and so far every mission has ended like this:

Remember when you could use that strategy in every game?  I think I almost won here, just had to make a little more noise (damn silencers!):

There’s an achievement for 100% notoriety, so at some point I was killing everyone on purpose.

The fun of the game is using different disguises and finding clever ways to kill your targets. All of that is still great, but the controls really don’t hold up.  The aiming doesn’t feel like they did anything to compensate for the lack of precision of analog sticks, and the button layout is…strange.

During each mission you can buy “intel” which gives you hints about characters, secret entrances, etc. I feel like that stuff should have been included in the mission briefing, and then you could decide which strategy to use. Without it you have to run around trying to learn the map layout and where the targets will be, but maybe I’m just being impatient.  Blood Money definitely has me excited for the next Hitman game — as long as they keep all the stuff that makes this one fun, and update the controls.

How to Fix

October 5th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

GameStop - would you like to pre-order?

In my last post I exposed GameStop’s wish list lies. Now it’s time to fix, so let me outline my proposal step-by-step — but first, I’ll fix those stupid mismatching icons:

There. That took me five damn minutes, GameStop. I would be happy to send you those graphics if you’d like. Okay, so now to fix the real problems.  The cornerstone of any relationship is honesty, and we can improve that in a few ways: Read the rest of this entry »

HOT NEWS ITEM! GameStop’s Wish List lies

September 26th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I use wish lists on various sites to track prices on games, and one of those sites is GameStop, everyone’s favorite store to hate™. While adding a few games, I noticed they had a warning next to them:

First of all, couldn’t they spend $20 to have someone match the background color on that icon? Anyway, scrolling through the list, I noticed that every item had that warning. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, Amazon even lists the actual number in stock when it’s low (e.g., “Only 3 left in stock–order soon (more on the way).“). But it was pretty clear that GameStop was lying to me, as I definitely have some games on my list that are not rare or in high demand. To be absolutely sure, I added a bunch of other games to see if they’d all have that warning: Read the rest of this entry »

Double Fine’s “Trenched”: Things I’d like to see in Trenched 2 (now Iron Brigade)

July 7th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

I just finished Double Fine’s 3rd XBLA game, Trenched (update: now called Iron Brigade), and loved it. I got all the achievements, which means I got gold medals on every mission (“Volcano” was tough!), and I even leveled up every weapon just because I wanted to keep playing. I beat the game in about five hours, and spent another five on gold medals/leveling. I actually wish this had been a full retail game if it meant more missions and achievements. Still, there are a lot of things they could have done to extend the replay value of this game. Here’s what I’d like to see in an update/sequel:
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Rock Band 3 achievement progress: pro drum trainer!

April 11th, 2011 by Tommy Gun

Finally! I waited months for the MIDI adapter so I could use my Yamaha DTXplorer drumset, and then it took me a couple more months to figure out how to calibrate it properly for the game (guide coming soon!). I was able to complete most of the pro drum trainer without much trouble, but a few beats were really hard to do until I fixed my drums.