Gaming thoughts... 4/20/11

I recently posted some thoughts about how the internet and connectivity have affected gaming in general, and one of those bit items - for better or for worse - has been achievements. My first brush with them was with my Xbox 360, and I thought they were cool at the time. I'm competetive (most gamers I imagine are), so if I can have a bigger score than most of my friends, cool - right? Also, it gives you incentive to play a game through a second time and try to do things a bit differently than the prior time.

So basically, I loved them at first. Then, I went through a period where they almost sort of annoyed me. It was like the Developers were dangling achievements in front of you to get you to do things during the game you wouldn't normally do. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the activity is fun - but some games have achievements you can only complete by playing online (and if you're a 360 user without a gold account, that makes them frustratingly unattainable).

So I've gone back and forth on the whole trophies/achievements thing several times. I guess overall - I do prefer they be there. I have a fairly large gamerscore on my 360, and my PS3 trophy count is slowly trending upwards. I have a buddy who used to rent every last game he could get his hands on and would spend hours just trying to get the achievements. I've never gone that far myself. In fact one of my 360's is in my den, back here next to my desktop and it has no internet. I have a completely separate 360 account from my main Chalgyr one used on the 360 in my living room. I don't get 'credit' for beating all of the games I do, but I don't care really. Basically I look at achievements as something interesting, but not terribly important.

One side-trend I've seen of late is getting avatar items (this is more for the 360 than any other system) for accomplishing certain things in game (like I got some helmets for my avatar due to accomplishments in Halo: Reach, and for Limbo, and for Risk: Factions). Those are cool. I unlocked some gamer profile pics on my off-line 360 for doing certain things on Final Fantasy 13. Again, kind of neat, but is it a big deal?

I think it sometimes depends on the type of game too. Take Facebook games for example - you can often post specific accomplishments for others to see. As of this writing, I'm the highest person in Dragon Age Legends that I'm aware of. Several levels over anyone else in my friends' page. I might even be the highest in the whole game. I have to admit, if I get to level 40, and do so before anyone else, I'm looking forward to posting that for others to see - but it's not the sole reason I play - which is for enjoyment.

How about you? I know a lot of people really love gathering achievements, and some people feel like they are actually bad for gaming. Any opinions on it?
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4 comments :

  1. I don't mind them, but I also wish there was an option to keep them from popping up a message when you do one(this is how the PS3 is anyway).

    The getting extra items for your Avatar, I think is pretty interesting, and something that could be used a lot by developers. Again, it's something you get from the game, for another purpose perhaps...Nintendo could really try something like that with Miis.

    So again, I don't mind them, but then I don't really play many games and attempt to get them all, because they usually don't do anything for the game, or get me anything extra.

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  2. Yeah, they're the same way on the 360 as well. Big ol' button (like when your friends log on) that blinks and gives you the name of what you 'achieved' with a sound to boot.

    I know my son finds them occasionally annoying, because while he likes them, he doesn't like that a lot of games have online ones that he himself can't access due to not having a gold account (or me having a PS3 game that only allows one user to access the online content)

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  3. "(like when your friends log on)"

    Yea, I really wish there was an option on the PS3 to turn that "notice" off...when watching movies/shows on Netflix, I find it annoying sometimes.

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  4. I still like them. I just got past the 20,000 mark myself, but I do agree that they pop up during some of the worst times. Friend sign-ins are worse to me, especially during text, or when they cover a HUD. Especially a movie.

    I like the Avatar stuff a little more. I keep wishing Nintendo would do something like this. "Find Mii" is tantalizing, but you can't use the new duds outside of StreetPass, which vexes me.

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