Achievements are a strange thing. On one hand, they do absolutely nothing; but on the other hand, they are a trophy. They also have the potential to add countless hours of replayability to games that you might not have another go at otherwise.
While the notion of “achievements” started with Microsoft and the Xbox 360, Sony has recently added a similar system using the title “trophies”. Nintendo has spoken out against achievements and trophies saying that they do nothing but take the fun out of games and make it more about the objective.
Whether you are for or against achievements, it’s almost inevitable that you have at least gone out of your way to get at least one of them intentionally. If you’ve ever browsed through a list of a game’s achievements, then you know that each game has some easy ones and some very difficult ones. Then, of course, there are games that just take it way too far.
I’m not talking about difficult as in Guitar Hero: Van Halen’s “Born to Rock” achievement, where you not only have to accept and tolerate that Wolfgang Van Halen is the bassist in the game, but you have to play as him in his “classic” (see: fictional) form. I’m talking about the ones that make you want to tear your hair out and throw your plastic instrument across the room. These are the most difficult achievements to get in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band series.
10. Guitar Hero II – Champagne Room V.I.P.
Get 500,000 Points in a Song
While 500,000 might not seem like a whole lot by today’s scores, back in the days of Guitar Hero II, 500,000 was a huge total. It was only achievable on certain songs like “Free Bird”, “Killing in the Name”, “Fall of Pangea” or by flawlessly playing through the bonus song, “The X-Stream”. While it’s easy task to do, most people definitely prefer playing “The X-Stream” to get this achievement.
9. Guitar Hero III – The Inhuman Achievement
Complete “Through the Fire and Flames” on Expert
While most seasoned Guitar Hero players have this one, there’s no denying the intimidating task of completing “Through the Fire and Flames” for the first time. It gives you no time to warm-up whatsoever and just throws you right into the all-out finger assault with the incredibly quick intro. Even if you can make your way through the intro, you still have around seven and a half minutes of finger-cramping guitar playing to make your way through.
8. Guitar Hero Van Halen – Guitar God
5 Star All Van Halen Songs on Guitar Career (Expert)
The thing that sets this apart from all the other “5 Star Every Song in the Game” achievements is that in order to get this one, you’ll need to 5 star crazy songs like “Eruption” and “Spanish Fly” in addition to all of the other Van Halen tracks that are more than able to provide you with a challenge.
7. Guitar Hero III – Button Masher
Win 15 Consecutive Ranked Songs Online Using a Standard Controller
I know that early on in the Guitar Hero series, there was a large population of players that used standard controllers for gameplay instead of spending the money to get one of the guitar controllers. Times have changed, however. Back then, guitar controllers were pretty rare, but after Guitar Hero III was released, Guitar Hero was officially big in the mainstream and Neversoft eventually phased out the ability to use your standard controller to play. That is what makes this achievement so difficult. Not only will you have to familiarize yourself with how to play on the standard controller, but you will also have to go online and win 15 songs in a row; a feat that is difficult even when playing on your favorite plastic guitar.
6. Guitar Hero Smash Hits – Raining Notes
You Perfectly Played the “First Blood” Section of the Song “Raining Blood” as the Guitarist on Expert
Just because “Raining Blood” did not make it’s debut in Guitar Hero Smash Hits, it doesn’t mean it has gotten any easier. In fact, many people claim that the “First Blood” section (formerly known as the dreaded “Mosh 1” in Guitar Hero III) actually got more difficult with Guitar Hero Smash Hits. The notes come at you just as quickly, but this time, they are spread out a little differently, which gives players who are used to playing the Guitar Hero 3 version. While the rest of the song is arguably easier, the rest of the song doesn’t affect this achievement. This achievement remains elusive to many Guitar Hero veterans.
5. Guitar Hero III – The Long Road Ahead
Complete All Difficulties in Career, Buy Everything from the Store, and Complete 100 Online Matches
Sure, there are ways to glitch this achievement, but in order to earn this achievement legitimately, it not only requires you to be good enough to play through songs like “Raining Blood” and “One” on expert, it requires a massive amount of patience. For someone that is good enough to beat expert, playing through easy and medium can feel like it takes an eternity. Don’t forget that you’ll also need to 5 star all the songs on all difficulties in order to unlock the final guitars for purcahse in the store. Add to that the fact that you’ll be conmpeting in 100 online matches and the tendency this achievement has to not activate even after you’ve fulfilled the requirements, and you have a deceptively difficult achievement (given that you do not cheat for it).
4. Guitar Hero Smash Hits – You Play It Well
You Perfectly Played the “Lets Play!” Section in the song “Play With Me” on Expert as the Lead Guitarist
This achievement is definitely along the same lines as the “Raining Notes” section mentioned earlier in the article, but what makes this one that much harder is because the section in question is about 60% of the way through the song. While that wouldn’t be a problem if you could unlock this achievement in practice mode, you must full combo the section during an actual run. The section might be about the same difficulty as “First Blood” from “Raining Blood”, but when you have to get through the song and then hit the section perfectly after all that the song already puts you through, it pushes this achievement to the next level.
3. Rock Band Track Pack: Classic Rock – Just Another Band Out of Boston
Gold Star “Rock and Roll Band” by Boston with a Full Band
At first glance, “Just Another Band Out of Boston” doesn’t seem that daunting. While all instruments are moderately challenging, none are insurmountable. The problem comes with the nature of the disc itself. Since the game is an expansion disc for Rock Band, it does not feature online play, and in order to obtain a full-band gold-star, you need to surpass the full-band 5 star score by several thousand points with everyone on expert. That means you would not only have to be good enough to gold star the song at whatever your instrument is, but you would need to know three other people that are good enough to do the same on their own respective instruments.
2. Guitar Hero Smash Hits – Bloody Feet
You Completed the Song “Raining Blood” with 5 stars as the drummer on Expert +
“Raining Blood” makes another appearance on the list, this time from the perspective of the drummer. This achievement not only requires that you are good (ok, who are we kidding, this one requires that you’re GREAT) at “Raining Blood” on drums, but it means you have to 5 star arguably the hardest drum song in the series on the hardest setting. The amount of people that actually play expert + is so low compared to the amount of players due to the fact that the drum kits only come with pedal. The double-bass pattern is so relentless, and the drum chart so chaotic that even keeping a combo for a very short time is difficult. This achievement probably requires the most raw skill and practice than any other achievement on this list.
1. Rock Band 2 – The Bladder of Steel Award
Completed the Endless Setlist 2 without Pausing or Failing
This tops the list for one reason; the fact that attempting to get this achievement could actually cause you health problems. Guides have been created on how to obtain this achievement without risking your health. The fact of the matter is, you will be playing 84 straight songs without any type of break (aside from the 15 seconds or so in between each song). The task, in total, takes just over six hours. Six hours of straight gameplay with no pauses or failing outs can be strenuous on your bladder as well as your eyes. People with pre-existing headache, bladder or eye problems have been strongly discouraged to try to unlock this achievement.
In addition to the actual task of beating all songs without pausing or failing once, the achievement remains very elusive mainly because there are just so many things that can go wrong. Power outages, dying batteries in the controllers, a freezing Xbox, and problems with Xbox Live have all been known to play spoiler in obtaining this achievement. All that being said, the best way to go about getting this achievement is to plan ahead. For more tips on how to obtain this achievement safely, check out the guide mentioned above at ScoreHero.com.
What Did I Miss? What achievements have given you hell? Did any on this list pose no threat to you at all? Leave a comment here or reply to me @BPShea on Twitter!