Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Obsessing About Achievements

I can't believe I've gotten to this point, but I have to admit that I'm getting a little obsessed over achievements. I partly feel like this means the death of actually appreciating video games for what they do as an artistic piece of work in a burgeoning medium.

Now I'm thinking about playing absolute crap in order to pad my gamerscore. Am I the only one to do this? Studies show that I'm not (there aren't any official studies), but I can't help but feel a little lousy about it all. Why would I want to play the X-men III game? It's only got 16 achievements and it seems pretty easy to get 1000g on it. Why would I want to play Wanted: Weapons of Fate? A bunch of the achievements are glitched and its easy enough to run through the campaign once for the story achievements.

Honestly, if I was going to be obsessed about collecting something, this is an easy way to go. It also doesn't hurt that this kind of thing wouldn't cost me much, seeing as there are a ton of games that I can find used and for cheap that I honestly wouldn't even mind playing through.

Remember Crackdown? There's a sequel coming out for that game, and I played through the original on my roommate's 360 back in my freshman year of college. I could pick up that game for a mere $8 and still get a lot of enjoyment out of it, even though there are probably very few people available to play co-op with. While I might not freak out and try to get 1000g/1000g on that game, there's a fair amount of achievements available there for a second playthrough I can guarantee I'd enjoy.

While sometimes, I see the collecting Grand Theft Auto IV requires for achievements to be the equivalent of one of Bayonetta's torture chambers, there are plenty of games I'd be happy to play again for extra achievement points, like Mass Effect.

Now, I've been noticing a slight trend in making achievements a lot more... well, achievable. The first Assassin's Creed became a collectathon of monstrous proportions, and the game wasn't the best to start with. Despite that, I enjoyed Assassin's Creed II so much that I was hoping to have to work harder to get 1000g on the title. When the announcement of DLC rang out, I was hoping for some extra achievement points, looking forward to a little icon that had "1500g of 1500g" under it. Even Mass Effect 2 has toned down the level of achievement difficulty associated with the title.

Whatever happens, if you see me in a Gamestop eye-balling a used copy of Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End, please stop me. Don't let me walk out with a Pirates game. Just smack my hand and let it fall. The resulting crash will knock me to my senses and I'll promptly run out of the store with a gracious "Thanks" tossed over my shoulder.

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