Achievements that make you feel dirty, so very dirty...

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Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

It all started with a bet, as these things usually seem to do. Until a week ago, I had never cared too much about Xbox 360 achievements in the competitive sense. In the abstract, I’ve been a fan because they motivate me to get a lot more out of my games than I otherwise might. But I never quite understood why people looked at points like an arms race. After all, even a quick glance at Trueachievements.com makes it clear that people hack achievements, and find other ways to illegitimately bolster their score (Fallout 3 PC, anyone?). Then again, as gamers we do maintain an impeccable ability to make a competition out of ANYthing. I remember during the earliest days of Giant Bomb, people were gaming the Wiki submission points on pages to try and increase their “score” on the page. Yeesh…

Even though I have always enjoyed earning points (or trophies) in games, I never played games for the mere sake of getting them. But then the bet happened. I was at a bar with a good buddy of mine; we were talking about Duke Nukem Forever, and then he pulled up his phone and said “wow man, you’re finally about to catch me,” showing that I was about 200 points behind him, and that we were both less than a full game away from 70,000. The conversation continued until eventually we wagered on who could hit 70k fastest.

This could be a problem...

I figured I was a shoe-in to win. My friend had been an achievement booster since day one, and had played virtually every title with an easy 1000 gamerscore. I, on the other hand, never played an “easy achievement game” for the sake of the points, meaning that there was a veritable library of titles that would allow me a quick thousand, and theoretically an easy win. So, I did my research, looked up the simplest games on TrueAchievements, and went to Gamestop. I picked up “King Kong,” and developed a strategy. To make the whole thing more palatable (or worse maybe), I explained my situation to the store manager. In an amazing (and somewhat unique) display of assistance, she told me I could knock out the games, return them within seven days, and she’d be happy to help with the process. Perfect.

Five hours later, I finished “Peter Jackson’s King Kong,” or whatever the title of that thing is, and I felt dirty. I mean, dirty; after all, 5 hours should not result in 1000 points, yet it did. I think I would have been happier about it if the game wasn’t painfully terrible, but man, this wasn’t exactly Shadow of the Colossus, or even Duke Nukem. Still, I figured I had won the bet, so 50 bucks was worth my shame (I suppose that makes me a cheap whore? I dunno). Unfortunately, my stint with achievement-based prostitution didn’t pan out: my buddy managed to clear 70k in the same night, so the bet was a wash.

...Yes, definitely a problem

True to my plan, I returned the game to the store. However, instead of calling it a day, I decided to pick up “Gun” instead (which also has easy achievements) and go from there. So what happened? Did I finally succumb to the achievement arms race? Not really. No, somewhere, deep in the terribleness of King Kong, I realized I could experience some truly awful relics of past game design. Maybe, somewhere in the doldrums of summer releases, I could experience licensed games, kid-friendly titles, and older launch titles that I would never otherwise examine. Maybe I realized that by completing clunkers, I could have something to talk about. Hell, maybe there’s some unexpected gems in there.

So instead of showering off, I’m going to get dirty, really, really dirty. In the months before I enter law school, I’m going to play as many of these easy achievement games as I can, and write about them in some manner, starting with King Kong, and ending wherever. God help me, this is probably not a good idea, but there’s only one way to find out. right?

That said, has anyone else ever gone this route? Any recommendations for me along the way?

#1 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

It all started with a bet, as these things usually seem to do. Until a week ago, I had never cared too much about Xbox 360 achievements in the competitive sense. In the abstract, I’ve been a fan because they motivate me to get a lot more out of my games than I otherwise might. But I never quite understood why people looked at points like an arms race. After all, even a quick glance at Trueachievements.com makes it clear that people hack achievements, and find other ways to illegitimately bolster their score (Fallout 3 PC, anyone?). Then again, as gamers we do maintain an impeccable ability to make a competition out of ANYthing. I remember during the earliest days of Giant Bomb, people were gaming the Wiki submission points on pages to try and increase their “score” on the page. Yeesh…

Even though I have always enjoyed earning points (or trophies) in games, I never played games for the mere sake of getting them. But then the bet happened. I was at a bar with a good buddy of mine; we were talking about Duke Nukem Forever, and then he pulled up his phone and said “wow man, you’re finally about to catch me,” showing that I was about 200 points behind him, and that we were both less than a full game away from 70,000. The conversation continued until eventually we wagered on who could hit 70k fastest.

This could be a problem...

I figured I was a shoe-in to win. My friend had been an achievement booster since day one, and had played virtually every title with an easy 1000 gamerscore. I, on the other hand, never played an “easy achievement game” for the sake of the points, meaning that there was a veritable library of titles that would allow me a quick thousand, and theoretically an easy win. So, I did my research, looked up the simplest games on TrueAchievements, and went to Gamestop. I picked up “King Kong,” and developed a strategy. To make the whole thing more palatable (or worse maybe), I explained my situation to the store manager. In an amazing (and somewhat unique) display of assistance, she told me I could knock out the games, return them within seven days, and she’d be happy to help with the process. Perfect.

Five hours later, I finished “Peter Jackson’s King Kong,” or whatever the title of that thing is, and I felt dirty. I mean, dirty; after all, 5 hours should not result in 1000 points, yet it did. I think I would have been happier about it if the game wasn’t painfully terrible, but man, this wasn’t exactly Shadow of the Colossus, or even Duke Nukem. Still, I figured I had won the bet, so 50 bucks was worth my shame (I suppose that makes me a cheap whore? I dunno). Unfortunately, my stint with achievement-based prostitution didn’t pan out: my buddy managed to clear 70k in the same night, so the bet was a wash.

...Yes, definitely a problem

True to my plan, I returned the game to the store. However, instead of calling it a day, I decided to pick up “Gun” instead (which also has easy achievements) and go from there. So what happened? Did I finally succumb to the achievement arms race? Not really. No, somewhere, deep in the terribleness of King Kong, I realized I could experience some truly awful relics of past game design. Maybe, somewhere in the doldrums of summer releases, I could experience licensed games, kid-friendly titles, and older launch titles that I would never otherwise examine. Maybe I realized that by completing clunkers, I could have something to talk about. Hell, maybe there’s some unexpected gems in there.

So instead of showering off, I’m going to get dirty, really, really dirty. In the months before I enter law school, I’m going to play as many of these easy achievement games as I can, and write about them in some manner, starting with King Kong, and ending wherever. God help me, this is probably not a good idea, but there’s only one way to find out. right?

That said, has anyone else ever gone this route? Any recommendations for me along the way?

#2 Posted by CLinendoll (79 posts) -

I actually liked Gun a lot. If you think about it as an up-res'ed XBox orginal game, and dont compare it to Red Dead, I think you'll get quite a bit of fun out of it.

#3 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I think the only game that has made me feel dirty (or at least the only one I can remember well enough) would be Custer's Revenge. Here's something reviewers won't tell you: the rape isn't automatic. That's right: you actively have to rape her. Granted, it probably isn't rape (who smiles during rape?), but still, you have to live with the fact that you played a game where you actively raped a woman tied up and stripped down.

#4 Posted by Yorick (235 posts) -

I don't understand why you would do that. You're just wasting your time playing shitty games and will look back on this and feel stupid.

#5 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

Did you know that there is an achievement in Duke Nukem Forever that requires nothing but that you pick up a piece of poo? Do you realize that the only self-respecting way to deal with that achievement is to NOT GET IT? Please don't do this. It's bad for your health.

#6 Posted by vidiot (2737 posts) -
@SonicFire said:

5 hours should not result in 1000 points, yet it did.

How about five minutes?
 
#7 Posted by laserbolts (5323 posts) -

I have dabbled into some pretty bad games for points there last year. My buddy was like 20000 points ahead of me and I bet I could catch up to him. Probably the worst thing I have ever done. Played through lost via domus, csi, avatar, Kung Fu panda, NHL 2k6, fight night 3, king kong, Lego batman, Lego indiana jones, and I also did a bunch of madden 06/07 achievements. Sat through summing through 30 years of franchise mode twice. Which takes about 3 hours each of just sitting there hitting a button whenever a trade pops up. I caughtupto him but i don't suggest anyone doing the same. Worst month of gaming in my life.

#8 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@Yorick said:

I don't understand why you would do that. You're just wasting your time playing shitty games and will look back on this and feel stupid.

Haha, me neither. It might be self-loathing or some kind of disease. I'm still pretty early in the game, but it's like any personal goal...hell, maybe I'll find a good game...

#9 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

Did you know that there is an achievement in Duke Nukem Forever that requires nothing but that you pick up a piece of poo? Do you realize that the only self-respecting way to deal with that achievement is to NOT GET IT? Please don't do this. It's bad for your health.

Oh, I'm not going to play DNF... I still have too much self-respect for that one. Or maybe it's that I respect women...yeah, probably that last bit. But DEF good advice man.

#10 Posted by Qodot (105 posts) -

$50 over 5 hours isn't much better than minimum wage.

#11 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@Qodot said:

$50 over 5 hours isn't much better than minimum wage.

yep, good thing these titles are costing me nothing, or close to nothing!

#12 Posted by Redbullet685 (6046 posts) -

I actually thought King Kong was a good game when it came out. I haven't played it since, but I kinda want to. Gun is also a pretty good game, but just like King Kong, I haven't played it since 2006.

#13 Posted by Bubbly (254 posts) -

I too played King Kong when it came out on the original Xbox, and was surprised that it was actually a good game.

#14 Posted by supermike6 (3565 posts) -

I remember playing King Kong on the PS2, but I might have just watched my brother watch instead of playing. I think there were dinosaurs. 
 
Oh, and playing bad video games is usually a bad time. Good luck you crazy mathematician.

#15 Posted by TheKeyboardDemon (824 posts) -

I have all of my game achievements linked to the site and was surprised that I actually had managed 2 A grade achievements, for test drive unlimited 2 and Half life 2. I have some games where I haven't even achieved enough to get graded. On GFWL/Xbox Live I have managed to gain 60 achievements and scored 720 points and on Steam I have earned 265 achievements. I seem to spend most of my time playing Battlefield Bad Company 2, which has in game achievements that don't seem to get recognised anywhere else and with other games, I've started playing them and either decided to get back to them later or a new release has come out and I've decided to get and play that instead.
 
I might just go back to playing some gfwl games to see if I can get my score over 1000, when I can be bothered, but as you can see achievements aren't really my thing, at least not at the moment, though I did go after getting the Half Life 2 achivements.

#16 Posted by Tordah (2480 posts) -

Hey, now. No need to badmouth Gun. That's a pretty good PS2-era game.

#17 Posted by TheKeyboardDemon (824 posts) -

I just said all that stuff about how I don't really play for achievements and then looked at Steam where getting specific achievements wins entries into Steam's Summer Camp Grand Prize Giveaway. I feel dirty now! lol.

#18 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@TheKeyboardDemon said:

I just said all that stuff about how I don't really play for achievements and then looked at Steam where getting specific achievements wins entries into Steam's Summer Camp Grand Prize Giveaway. I feel dirty now! lol.

Okay, that's pretty funny. I figure that either way it's totally cool; whatever helps people have fun, right? Though I might be insane for trying to have fun by playing things that are not fun, still...it's the thought that counts.

#19 Posted by Shuborno (938 posts) -

When my point total was lower I cared more about the Gamerscore. Now at 24k+, I just don't see the meaning in adding to that number.

Life's too short to play bad games.

I do still likely Achievements as goals in games though. I like the idea of getting as many Achievements in a game as possible, providing they're fair and fun. But adding to my score is an irrelevant thing.

#20 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -
@SonicFire: I agree, bad games should have achievements...and multiplayer games.
#21 Posted by MisterMouse (3554 posts) -

seems like a cool way to do some writing about this stuff. I look forward to more of these entries.

#22 Posted by Ali_D (142 posts) -

I'm really picky about what I play, so I can't really say I've played too many games I regretted.

Also, if you're looking for points, another cheevo hungry friend of mine is always playing movie licensed games. He said Rango was pretty decent.

#23 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@Ali_D:

Thanks, yeah, I fully plan on going with some movie licensed titles as I move along.

#24 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@pyromaster222:

Thanks...I'll try to write one as I finish every three or so titles.

#25 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Avatar.

#26 Posted by astonish (211 posts) -

I have scratched this itch before. You have a sweet deal if you can return the games, but otherwise the main problem with this is you start paying money for junk gaming when there are a great number of titles that are really good you could be playing.

#27 Posted by bkbroiler (1628 posts) -

I've always had a good time with achivements like you have, sometimes just finishing games because I wanted the achievements. However, the whole score is way too abstract for me. There's no way to finish it; there is no beating it.

I've always been more interested in getting 1000/1000 in as many games as I can, or as close to it as possible. Unfortunately, I'm really bad at it, so I haven't done it with that many games. However, getting 100% achievements is much more satisfying to me than just driving a number up. Part of the fun is the accomplishment, so I've never gone so far as to buy an easy game like King Kong or Avatar just to get an S-rank in it. Giant Bomb's achievement tracking certainly makes that more addicting, though, what with the quest to get 10 S-ranks and all....

#28 Edited by Moth_Pope (455 posts) -

To be fair, King Kong was among the launch games that didn't really know what to do with Achievements. I played and 100%'d King Kong as it came with the 360 when I bought it at launch... so I have the full 1000 but I don't feel bad about it. :p

Otherwise, I've never gone out of my way to buy an easy-to-unlock-all-the-achievements game.

#29 Edited by Milkman (16846 posts) -

I remember thinking that King Kong game was pretty good.

#30 Posted by Bloodgraiv3 (2712 posts) -

I'll usually only shoot for achievments if they're on the way of getting the game. 
It's only until I really like the game ill play it again for the achievments. 
That's at least now, before I was a whore. 
#31 Posted by furion45086 (46 posts) -

Gun is actually a pretty good game. You should feel lucky to have played one of the best old west video games.

#32 Posted by Rudeboy217 (1769 posts) -

I remember when my I borrowed King Kong from a friend. Got the first 100 point achievement and then stopped playing.

#33 Posted by oldjack327 (134 posts) -

I actually went looking for King Kong for the gameplay, not the achievements. Michel Ancel (Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil) worked on that game, so I was excited to play it. I... really liked it, so I disagree that it should be a game people feel guilty for obtaining 1000 easy achievements on. 
 
So... yeah, if you think King Kong game is an absolute clunker... you've obviously never played a truly bad game. 
  
Anyway, on topic: 

My recommendation for easy achievements, Avatar. 
 
My recommendation for a truly bad game, James Cameron's Avatar. 
 
Do not confuse the two, James Cameron's Avatar does not have easy achievements, but it is truly horrible.

#34 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2382 posts) -

Sounds kind of interesting. And kind of terrifying.

#35 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@oldjack327:

Haha, thanks, but I'm going to be playing these terrible things and so much more. King Kong would definitely have been better it I had played it back in 05, but it got more than a little painful by the end. I'm looking forward to the worst of it, but I'd be lying to you if I said I hadn't already had some pleasant surprises. So far, I'm trying to go with ones that don't seem so bad, then I scrape the barrell

#36 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@furion45086 said:

Gun is actually a pretty good game. You should feel lucky to have played one of the best old west video games.

To be fair, there's not a lot of options in that subgenre, but Gun is a totally functional, popcorn kind of old west game. RDR? No, but is there fun to be had, sure.

#37 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I have played my share of easy achievement games like sports and avatar but so far I have not gotten as bad as playing girl games.  I also did play King Kong and it is a horrible game. 
#38 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

i remember enjoying king kong.  i wonder how it holds up in this day and age

#39 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG said:

i remember enjoying king kong. i wonder how it holds up in this day and age

Not well, not well at all. Full details later...

#40 Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw (6229 posts) -

@Yorick said:

I don't understand why you would do that. You're just wasting your time playing shitty games and will look back on this and feel stupid.

The best memories are usually made by doing stupid shit. So I'm with the OP on this one, and I personally am looking forward to reading about it. Kick some mediocre game ass, dude!

Moderator
#41 Posted by loopy_101 (287 posts) -

Terminator Salvation has some of the easiest achievements to earn, so long as you play it on hard mode, but it is a God-awful Gears clone at it's best.

#42 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@loopy_101 said:

Terminator Salvation has some of the easiest achievements to earn, so long as you play it on hard mode, but it is a God-awful Gears clone at it's best.

Yes, I already played through that one. Man, some of the most irritating 5 hours of my gaming life. Whew...

#43 Posted by craigbo180 (1739 posts) -

FIFA World Cup 06 and Fight Night Round 3 both have really easy achievements. All offline.

#44 Posted by Rawrz (590 posts) -

Cant say I play bad games to get achievements but I do tend to feel some sort of urge to get all the achievements I can from the games I do end up playing which tends to be a bad thing since collecting all those flags in Assassin's Creed was such a chore to do and all that playing with bots for the Perfect Dark Zero achievements was no fun at all.

#45 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@craigbo180 said:

FIFA World Cup 06 and Fight Night Round 3 both have really easy achievements. All offline.

Thanks, I never play sports games, so that may be a way to try something new...even though they're really, really old

#46 Edited by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Darksiders' "Ride for 100 miles"... :( It's not easy but I feel dirty for doing it.... Listened to a whole bombcast while doing it, I think :)

#47 Edited by Duffman (208 posts) -

You can nab all of the single player achievements in GRAW with the invincibility cheat on.  Remember doing that a while back, so I'm not 100% positive if it will still work.
 
Here's a link to all of the cheats.

#48 Posted by SonicFire (821 posts) -

@phrosnite:

Man, that's just hard work... I taped my controller and walked away, no shame in trying to be a completionist!

#49 Posted by Yodasdarkside (277 posts) -

A more recent game with fairly easy trophies is Cars 2. I picked it up for my kid to play, but I'm finding it strangely compelling. Seems like you get a trophy every fifteen minutes and there's very few that are a genuine chore, although 'Drive backwards for fifteen minutes' is doing my head in somewhat.

#50 Edited by mnzy (2914 posts) -
@phrosnite: @SonicFire:Used rubber band over here.

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