What Do Achievements Mean To You?

Achievement-Unlocked-TQ

After finding out yesterday that Microsoft is increasing the gamerscore points limit for their arcade games from 200 to 400, and the amount that can be unlocked up to 30, I started to ask myself the question, “What does this mean to me as a gamer?” To tell you the truth, this announcement really means nothing to me. Be hateful about that comment if you want, but in all honesty, other than bragging rights, I find it hard to have any sort of attachment to this aspect of online gaming whatsoever.  Still, people are obsessing over them every single day, and the concept alone has become a worldwide phenomenon that doesn’t seem to be losing steam at all.

What bothers me the most about the system as a whole is how it changes the idea on what it means to complete a game. Instead of enjoying an experience for the sheer simplicity of getting through the adventure, players are now starting to focus more on every little side mission, which in turn makes the hard work that people put into these titles seem like an afterthought. Who really cares if every single collectible is gathered or extra costume is unlocked? I certainly don’t. Apparently, becoming the almighty gatherer has become more important than having fun nowadays, but that’s just my opinion.

Does this mean that every single aspect of the idea is bad though? No. In many ways this setup has been a very useful tool for helping me figure out exactly what to do next in a game. The layout of something unlocking after a certain event has been completed does keep pacing issues in check, and may also help somebody out who hasn’t played this title in a while, and may be uncertain where to go from the last time they played. Still, save files have been doing this for years, so something like this wasn’t really necessary to begin with.

To sum everything up, my relationship with achievement points is kind of a mixed bag. There are just as many good aspects about them as there are bad, so saying that they are entirely a bad thing would be very difficult to do. In the end, though, the opinion of the community is what really matters, so let’s find out their thoughts on the subject. “What do achievements mean to you?”

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  • Blitzburns4

    I agree. Even I am starting to lose track of what it means to play, enjoy, and complete a game. Achievements have changed playing games in many ways, but I feel they really should have been multiplayer exclusive. When I finished a single game I now don’t feel that sense of accomplishment or satisfaction anymore…unless I got the achievement for it. Heck, even for games like Fallout I’d go back and play through it again and play on a side I didn’t actually agree with just for the achievement(s)… I think it has something to do with being a fan of a game. Personally, I want to be my favorite game’s #1 fan. It is hard to feel tht way unless I can fully say I did everything a developer made for the game. Bragging rights? Maybe. I myself am not too sure

  • MartinB105

    I like achievements to a certain extent; I’ve got several platinum trophies on my account.  I think it really depends on how you approach them.

    I always play through games the first time without regards to trophies, just to enjoy the experience.  Once I’ve finished the game, then I check the trophy list to see what I’ve missed in order to assess whether it’s worth my time to obtain the remaining trophies.  I only tend to go for those in games that I particularly enjoyed and aren’t too time confusing (e.g. Infamous, Uncharted).  If it looks like it’s going to take several more runs, weeks of grinding or hours of mindless searching for collectables, then I just don’t bother.

    One thing I like about trophies is that they often encourage me to play through on harder difficulty settings than I might otherwise do if there’s a gold trophy waiting for me at the end. 🙂

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