By Geekcore 0 Comments
I'm not writing to rant against achievements or trophies. I'm writing to say that I'm done trying to get all of them. Let's take a few steps back so I can fully explain myself.
Since I bought my Xbox 360, I've noticed that achievement points have slowly become more and more important to me. When I started playing 360 games, achievements were unimportant to say the least. They were merely random interruptions during a game. I was like, "what do they points even do?" And when I realized that they were not worth anything monetarily, I just ignored them.
But slowly as my gamerscore got larger, they became more of a focus when I played a game. Eventually, achievements replaced what I called "the ultimate game save." In short, if you are really into a game and maxing out your characters, the ultimate game save is the save file that has everything unlocked so that you could prove (to your 2 friends who actually care) that you had completed everything in a game. I have about four PSX memory cards and two PS2 memory cards filled with my end game saves. But with the invention of achievements, the ultimate game save is no longer needed. If I get 1000/1000 (or a platinum trophy), then the score is new medium through which I express my commitment and nerdy love of a game.
Sadly, this expression of love became more of an addiction. I found myself playing games I didn't really like to boost my overall score. Eventually the point became the points. I stayed away from games that had extremely hard achievements. I played games that had extremely easy achievements. I bought bad DLC so that I could keep a perfect score. I constantly resorted to YouTube walk throughs. While my addiction has not taken me down the Avatar: the Last Airbender path, I've spent a lot of time considering playing it for a quick 1000/1000.
During my first attempt to stop obsessing over meaningless points, I tried turning the notifications off. Needless to say, I missed the reward of accomplishing an event in a game. I missed the warm fuzzies that came with the notification that I destroyed 30 barriers with the biotic ability Warp. So I broke down and switch the notifications back on.
Eventually, meaning at this moment, I've concluded that I'm to not going to worry about achievements unless I genuinely care about the game. I don't want to quit because I like getting achievements. I like proving my love for Mass Effect 2 by beating the game on Insanity.I never would have attempted this unless there were an achievement for it. I'm done dropping 8 hours into a mediocre game that I don't really want to finish.
Like it or not, in-game achievements are here to stay. Most people really like them, and in many cases, they give players a reason to explore the cool but unimportant nooks of a videogame world. If it wasn't for achievements, then I wouldn't have done all the extra stuff in FF13, which I found to be much more engaging than the actual story. But for every fun achievement in a game like FF13, there is a grindy one that saps hours of my life that I will never get back.