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The Problem with Easy Achievements

One of the things I truly enjoy about the XBox 360, over the PS3, is achievements. While PS3 does have their trophies, they are not as integral to your gaming experience on the PS3. I’ve owned a PS3 for 8 months and really didn’t know what trophies were, to be honest – but after a few days of owning a 360, I knew precisely what achievements were… and I wanted more of them.

I will say I’m not a fan of all achievements. While a healthy ‘carrot on a stick’ achievement in a single player or multiplayer campaign will make me continue playing a game and pushing me to improve and grow, I am less of a fan of the start up the game, play for a minute or two and unlock an arbitrary 5pt achievement which will forever dirty my gamerscore.

While I understand that gamerscore is completely arbitrary and that the people who really care about it are not the same people I know, I still find these persistent micro scores a little annoying. And as I found out recently, you can delete a game with a 0 achievement score, you can’t remove one with 5 points. So while I do dislike achievements which are exceedingly difficult to obtain, achievements which happen too soon don’t feel earned. Really achievements should be actual achievements and not wrapped up in my learning the controls or figuring out the backstory of a character.

Of course these micro achievements do their job quite well in that I am now determined to beat those games I have smaller scores on, which I might not have continued playing otherwise. All I’m saying is, it makes me feel like less of a gamer when I see that puny little score in Viva Piñata and I realize its position in my “games I need to play before I die” list.

One day little Piñata, one day.

2 replies on “The Problem with Easy Achievements”

The achievements really do work well to drive continued gameplay. I'm currently working toward the 100% gameplay completion achievement in Red Dead Redemption single player. Without that achievement I might have moved on to more multiplayer instead.

Totally! I have really gotten addicted to Just Cause 2 and completing every mission to 100 percent for just that reason. Each little achievement unlocks more game and the achievements are really fun to obtain, although it does bear mentioning I've put in 20 hours and have completed 25% of the game. It's super addictive.

I'm a little bummed I bought Red Dead for PS3 because I do not have the same want to finish the game with all the trophies. Sure I could, but who would I brag to? Perhaps I should sell it and buy it again for 360? Meh that seems like a lot of work to have to restart the game for.

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