I dislike Achievements, Trophies, Awards, Stamps, and/or any other form of in-game pop-up that encourages my self esteem and ego. I have good reasons why, that’s why I’m writing a blog about it.
When Microsoft announced achievements for the Xbox 360, it sounded like a great idea, to me and to a whole lot of other people too. We were all hooked, and people are still hooked, except for me. Eventually, I discovered that achievements are just things to improve your “E-Penis” on Xbox Live and your friends. Sure, that element might sound good to people, but what I see in achievements is a list of things to do in a game so that you look good at playing them; in other words, it’s a long list of in game chores to do to “extend your experience in the game”. Or as I like to call it “Create content without actually making any content.”
Shortly after, Sony and Valve would implement this idea into their network. But to be brutally honest I couldn’t care less. To a degree, Sony’s PS3 Trophies can be considered worse than the XBox 360 Achievements. Purely because there are “Platinum” trophies, these can only be achieved once you earned every other trophy in said game; and this applies to every PS3 game with trophies, yes there are some older PS3 games that don’t have trophies, and there’s a bit of sport in the PlayStation 3 community of who can own the most platinum trophies.
Ironically though, the idea of achieving things in games isn’t something new. I can recall back to days playing on the SNES and N64 and trying to do my best to pretty much 100% the whole game. The one game I did this was in Yoshi’s Island. It’s one of the earliest games that I can think of, along side with Donkey Kong Country 2 and 3, where collectables in the game was a huge deal. In Yoshi’s Island you had to collect 5 flowers, 8 red coins (that were disguised as yellow coins) and 30 stars to fully 100% a level. Doing this on each level in a world would unlock an extra level, which you can collect all the flowers, stars and red coins to 100% that level too. When you did that, a star would appear on the title screen indicating that you’ve 100% completed that world of all it’s items including the extra level. Back then 100% completing a game was actually something, that and being younger we had the time to do it. But now I’m nearly thirty, own WAY… more games that I could possibly imagine, and have a full time job, the days of 100% completing games is kinda over. But at least you didn’t get a bloody pop-up telling you that you 100% completed the game, as if it was an assignment given to you by Nintendo where you could gloat about it on the internet!
Something that’s been annoying me recently are stupid ways that Achievements are put into things. Like in the image above! And no you’re no seeing things, that’s real! This is Driver Fusion, a piece of software you can download from steam to manage drivers on your Windows system. But wait… There’s Achievements for a piece of utility software!? Yeah, it’s ridiculous that a piece of driver management software would contain Steam Achievements in it. It boggles my mind why that’s even nessersary, even for the Achievement junkies as Steam Achievements don’t carry a score or a value to them unlike the Xbox 360 and PS3.
As I play through Dishonored on the PC, yes there are Steam Achievements. But I haven’t bothered to look at the list of possible achievements that I can earn. I know I’ve earned a few as they pop up every so often during the time I play it. But I can’t give two shits about them, and I don’t care if anyone else has more or less than me. I don’t need to gloat about something that I’ve done in a single player game, so there’s no real point in getting excited over being able to complete a level with no kills, or not being seen, because at the end of the day I prefer to keep games like this a personal experience where I can take my time without having any envious moments with players for who already got everything possibly done in the game. I’m too old for that now, and I just want to enjoy what I got right now without turning it into a chore!