In the last three years I have gained approximately 80,000 achievement points.
I have a problem. I don’t want help though, thanks.
See the thing is for all the arguements about achievements cheapening a gaming experience or that some games shovel them around liberally I genuinely feel that it has enriched the whole experience of gaming, but at a slight cost, non-achievement based games now lack a certain motivational trait.
Sure I have played through Avatar and gotten a thousand points in less time than it would take for the Daily Express to think up three puns condemning something on the front page, and I have bought games solely for gamerscore in sales – mostly old sports games at ninety-eight pence a throw, but I really have no concerns about it. As far as I am concerned the games with easy achivements suddenly become a little more appealing than games that are fames for being shite and having tough ‘cheevs to boot.
With guides and cheat related DLC the world of gaming took a cannon shot in the balls and looked like it’s crediblity wouldn’t survive in my beady little eyes, but the advent of achievements – which for the ininitiated are blocked mostly when cheat codes are used – have set out new challenges outside of the standard gaming storyline. A linear six hour adventure game can often only require a single playthrough, but the right achievements can pull you back in for another run, the same is true of online achievements, they can condition players to behave a certain way, or educate a gamer on something they may not have noted. At the same time Easter Eggs hidden in games can suddenly be tied to an achievement ensuring that the dedicated get something cool in exchange for the effort – see Wolvering Origins for Portal, WoW and Lost Eggs.
Whole websites have sprung up to form communities of gamers in the hunt for those elusive ‘Secret’ achievements, and a secondary challenge begins as you race other gamers to be the first to discover a tile or description. I have been a member of the X360Achievements site for a while, and have contributed numerous tiles and descriptions to flesh out their comprehensive guides.
It’s sort of like Wikipedia, but without the factual innaccuracy.
But now I play PS3/DS/PSP titles and (trophies aside as they don’t have the same appealing noises and stats as ‘Cheevs) I find the experiences often less rewarding. I think the only Wii title I replayed often was Smash Bros Brawl, and that was to unlock rewards. Have I had my experience ruined? Or enriched to the point where I can see failings elsewhere?
What is your opinion of achievements? What makes for good, bad and excellent ones?