Achievements and Trophies have been on my mind as of late. As I try to extract more value from the games I currently have I find myself attracted to the illusive Platinum Trophies, however over time I have discovered much like you have as well likely, not all Trophies and Achievements are created equal. In fact, they can be some of the worst things in some pretty great games. Here are my personal five my hated Achievement and Trophy types.
The Hand-Me-Out achievements and trophies are the one that 96% of all players have. They’re literally the participation trophy of video games, sometimes as easy to achieve for clearing the tutorial mission. They are not bad per say, they’re just filler. An achievement a developer through in likely to fill out the roster.
The problem for myself is they sort of cheapen the thrill. If everyone gets it is it really an achievement at all? My answer is no. Honestly, the only fun I get out of these is checking what I did to actually make the pop up happen.
Examples: Walk X amount of distance, collect a single collectable.
The Make Work Achievement
These are all the rage in open world games and RPGs these days. You likely know them well if there is a game you have with 90% completion rate one of these are likely the last. The issue with them is they’re not hard, they are just time consuming often to an insane degree.
This almost always serves just to pad out the play time. An infamous example would be the Arkham series Riddler trophies. In a less annoying fashion this can also take the form of a useless activity in game you must do a certain amount of time to get the Trophy or Achievement. Basically the exact opposite of The Hand-Me-Out.
Examples: Riddler Trophies, seriously if you good “Riddler” trophies come up as the suggested next word...
I am an RPG, Action Game, and Anime Fighting game player. If that list says anything it likely tells you I dont play a lot of my favorite games with somebody else. For me gaming is solitary, I’ve given up crushing people in competitive StarCraft years ago. If a game requires me to go online to get an achievement, there is a 95% certainty I wont do it unless it is literally “go online”.
There are so many problems with these achievements and trophies its tough to know where to begin. The most notable being they can someday be unachieveable (see the next entry) if servers go down or the game dies. There is also the fact that with both online being pay walled by Microsoft and Sony on their respective consoles people who do not pay are locked-out entirely. Honestly, these just suck.
Examples: any achievement/trophy that requires online in a primarily single player experience.
The Unachievable “Achievement”
These are some of the worst things in gaming as there is nothing you can do about them. A game goes offline but has online achievements, well too bad. A game game gets bugged in an update but the bug is never fixed locking an achievement, too bad thats beyond you too. Achievements are meant to be recognition of the players skill and dedication when they are unattainable through no fault of our own, that leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
One of the worst examples of this I remember was in Digimon Cyber Sleuth. Which if you pre-ordered or got the game in the first 45 days you received a download code for Omnimon Zwart and its component Digimon (BlackAgumon ect. ect.) It was free so it was nice, however because Omnimon Zwart was considered part of the compendium, if you did not get these Digimon through the promotion you could not complete your compendium - which you guessed it a Trophy. I am still salty over that one.
The Masochist Achievement
These are the Achievements and Trophies that are so insane its not skill or guile that gets you them. It is your pure obsession with having the Platinum for this game that drives you. Some Japanese Role Playing Games are famous for this. Star Ocean IV for example has a Trophy/Achievement that requires you to have played the game three times (its a 100 hour game give or take) in ascending difficulty and one that requires you to have opened every chest in a single play through. Now here is the kicker with that one, the game has stages you cant return too - meaning if you do not get them the first try well that is 100 hours more...
The problems with these achievements is they do not feel much like achievement. They are more a reward for a grind as often the work is not that difficult, by the end you’ve done all the cool stuff. You’re just grinding out for the sake of the grind - the sake of that final Platinum. Honestly, these get kind of depressing when you think about it and I will admit I tried for it once, never again. Never again.
At the end the worst achievements and trophies are the ones that are no fun. They are the filler episodes of television, the sequel bait in films, the terrible character POVs of novels, they just kind of suck.
Also this is by no means an exhaustive list on the topic. Let me know what you think in the comments about terrible achievements or if you disagree with me entirely.
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