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Checkpoint: Achievements & Trophies Edition

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I currently have 10, 080 Achievement points on Xbox Live! and I’m level 11 on the PlayStation Network.

Achievements and Trophies have become a requirement now and whether you like it or not, it’s propagating. Even games on platforms without global achievement systems have achievements of some kind.

Lately, I’ve been on a Trophy/Achievement hunt of sorts. I’ve revisited many of my favorite games of the past to unlock additional Trophies/Achievements in an attempt to thoroughly complete them. During this hunt, I’ve come to a number of realizations and thought I’d share them.

Bought For the Game, Not the Reward

I didn’t care for these virtual gold stars when these systems first launched and for the most part, I don’t. I will not buy or play a game solely for the Achievements or Trophies; it’s stupid. I have discovered, however, that I will continue playing or will revisit a game if it does have these rewards. I see them as a incentives to try new things and retread old ground.

The First Playthrough

I wish I could disable Trophy notifications for the first playthrough of any game. (I know I could toggle off system wide notifications, but that’s not ideal.) More often than not, a meaningful or atmosphere filled scene will be interrupted with the chime  and pop-up of a trophy/achievement. I wish more games would be allowed to do what Heavy Rain is doing with its delayed Trophy notifications.

They’ll Teach You New Tricks

The best Achievements/Trophies are those that teach new tricks. Whether it be rewarding a unique style of play or revealing mind blowing use of equipment, these are the kinds of Achievements/Trophies which I like the most.

Stay out of Multiplayer, Please

I believe multiplayer Achievements/Trophies have no business being included in multiplayer portions of games. But if they’re going to be included, they should not be like these abominations:

“Get 50 grenade kills.”
“Get 50 knife kills”

I hate these. I hate these because players will deviate from the normal play style in order to accomplish these goals. These bloody Achievements/Trophies do nothing, but disrupt the flow of a game. “Why are there so many grenades flying around?” “Why are there players running around with nothing, but a knife?” If there’s a reward for this kind of play, you can bet the farm that there will be fools doing these things for them.

If you want to include multiplayer rewards, then use them as incentives to try new things. Reward players for winning matches in Capture the Flag or attaining a rank. Don’t make them silly collectathons.

Get More Bang For Your Buck

At one point or another, I get addicted to checking off the list of Achievements/Trophies in a game and completing it thoroughly. This usually happens with great games. If you check my profile (on either platform), you’ll see a few 100% games. With this mindset, I’m finding that I’m getting more playtime per title. I suddenly spend twice or even triple the amount of time on a game. Better to spend more quality time on a great game than to pick up another mediocre one out of boredom.

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