Xbox 360 Achievement Whorage!
I have to admit, I used to be a fan of XBOX Live Achievements. Really. I was one of the early supporters for recording the milestones you’ve achieved during your conquests through videogamedom.
I remember the lunch time arguments about who had the high score in game a or b, or who had gotten all the Choas Emeralds in “Sonic the Hedgehog” or unlocked Super Sonic. Arguments usually went like this; Guy A, “Man the Rocket Launcher in “Resident Evil” was off the hook!” Guy B, “Yeah, and when you jumped off in the parachute and had to kill the Omega Tyrant - that was hot too!” Guy A. “Parachute? What parachute, there’s no Omega Tyrant” Guy B, “Uh Huh! You gotta do six back flips during the final boss battle!”
Obviously Guy B was lying about his supremacy. But with Achievements you could “PROVE” that you did what you said you did. In theory…
When Microsoft first announced achievements some fans thought. “Wow cool, I’m gonna rack up the most points and win cool stuff!” Well sorry buddies, MS has refused to add any “value” to these points, which seems like a great move, since we’ve all read about “Achievement Whores” who’ll rack up points on easy games just to get points. This is what brings me to the point of this article.
Leave it up to a lazy development team for not being creative enough to put together a life of challenges in their games that would require the player to show some sort of skill. If something is called an Achievement, it should have to be earned … based on merit. However, nowadays developers are giving you points just for sticking around past the title screen! I used to chalk it up as bait for players; think about it, if it was too hard to get past any point, most gamers would give up. So start them out with a lil something something, make them feel good about themselves, and then gradually up the ante.
BUT NOOOOOOOOOOOO out of a possible 1000 points for each title (MS has capped it) you’ll get 400 - 500 just for playing it through. I think this is just wrong. Back in the day when it took three maybe fours years for a sequel to come out, devs would sometimes go out of their way to add in little treasures that spurred re-playability, and if you were lucky, some kind of unlockable content. In this “next gen” that’s supposed to be harder to program for, we’re seeing quite a number of sequels, back on PS2 games dropped yearly!
My grievances with achievements came to light in a recent play through of Ubisoft’s new “Prince of Persia” where the devs demonstrated that they were on one end of the spectrum with their achievements, stupid. “Press LT to talk to Elika” - “Achievement Unlocked Where’s that Temple? Congratulations, you have talked to Elika.” Those 10 points were drastically different from the insanely hard ones in “Gears of War 2.” “Seriously 2.0 - Kill 100,000 enemies(any mode).” Really? 100,000 Enemies? Some people have too much time on their hands. Lost in the muck are the skill achievements like “Get 5 headshots in a row without reloading” or “Win 5 online games against higher ranked opponents.”
Obviously MS grabbed onto something innate in gamers - wanting to be good at the games they invest so much time in. Sony even followed suit with what would’ve been “Entitlements” (Which quite frankly is a better name for stuff given to you), but now reside as trophies for your “Home” (What’s that?). The devs have really dropped the ball in making them meaningful, granted they can’t ALL be, but I don’t want an “ACHIEVEMENT” for “CONGRATULATIONS YOU’VE STARTED YOUR ADVENTURE!” I mean come on! I bought the game, hopefully I would at least hit START!
What are your thoughts on the achievement/trophy systems… do they need fixing or you like them how they are? Also… how come I can’t see a big ass Leaderboard with who has the most achievements in the world? At least then there would be a ranking system.