Finishing up: GTA IV - shooting pigeons

My time playing GTA IV is slowly coming to an end - this time around at least.

I've finished the story, hunted down all the police Most Wanted, done the stunt jumps and stolen all of the necessary cars. All that remains (I think) is that most onerous of Grand Theft Auto tasks, the collection mission.

In this instance, it's to scour the 3 or 4 islands and shoot the 200 cunningly tucked away pigeons. While they do explode in a rather gratifying puff of feathers, this is perhaps the most grindy part of any GTA game. There may well be a plethora on online resources telling you exactly where the "flying rats" are but it's still a drag moving around the map from one to the next - unsure when you get to the next location whether you might have already popped one of the pigeons during the course of the game. (Unlikely for the most part - the stat showed that I'd only shot 18 or so by the end of story mode)

So why bother? Well, being an Xbox 360 game there is an achievement reward at the end of it, which ups the tally on my Gamer Score (essentially an online e-peen competition which shows just how 1337 you are) and it's one more step towards absolutely completing the game 100%.

Why is 100% important? I think ultimately it's about dominating the game - a strange relationship is developed between a player and a game during the course of play - it seduces, entertains, moves, teases and taunts you at various points and sitting on the stats screen is this tiny reminder that you haven't yet done everything possible to beat it (and perhaps also the hundreds of people who worked on the game). Only on reaching that 100% mark, it seems, have you truly won.

So a pigeon hunting I must go.

Fortunately, in the course of searching for an image to illustrate this post, I stumbled across a richer online guide to this task than the one I've been using.

Thanks to the awesome mattdean76 for the hours of effort put into your guide - which can be found at http://faqs.ign.com/articles/872/872599p1.html