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Games Entertainment

The Best Achievements 107

Like them or not, achievements have become a staple of modern gaming, giving players goals to strive for and a measuring stick with which they can compare themselves to random strangers on the internet. Eurogamer discusses why they've become so popular, and takes a look at some of the most entertaining examples. Quoting: "... we mock Achievement points because they spell out in large numbers what is so pathetic about video games. But we also celebrate them, because, when used in funny, creative or interesting ways, they also spell out what is so compelling and wonderful about video games. Because for every Achievement in which you have to do nothing more than play through a tutorial there's another that subverts convention, rewarding you for skipping it instead. For every fetch quest that has you collecting dogtags for the millionth time, there's another that makes you fight the baddy with your arms tied behind your back. And for every Achievement you earn in jest for pressing the start button, there's another that only rewards the single best player in the world."
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The Best Achievements

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  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @12:54AM (#27961847)

    No, you're the one who doesn't grasp the concept.

    The idea is to have EVERY game have tons of little achievements. People find them, accidentally, and then find themselves wanting to complete the set. It keeps them playing past the point where they might have otherwise stopped.

    Having more people playing your games improves your mind share, and attracts more developers. And it costs MS not one cent. They are giving away absolutely nothing, but because it's a limited amount of nothing, and you need to work to get that nothing, people eat it up.

    It's been a tremendous success, to the point that other companies are now mimicking it. Sony Skill Points? Who's ever heard of those?

  • by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @12:57AM (#27961869) Journal

    They could be really good, but so far they've mostly been nothing but flashy and uncreative.

  • Re:No, no.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by discord5 ( 798235 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @07:59AM (#27964311)

    proudly displayed my in-game hours (eagles scream!)

    The last time I got 10.0 Eagles Scream on Steam I was on leave and my vacation plans got canceled. Two weeks of spending most of my time either playing TF2 or flying a spaceship around in the X3 sequel (or is that expansion) messing about with the scripting interface (which I must say is an abominable horror).

    A friend of mine looked at my profile, pointed it out to me, and at that point I realized I had just wasted two weeks on gaming. It had been since my high school days since I had wasted that much time on videogames. For some reason it didn't quite bring the same satisfaction that it used to.

  • Re:What Can I Say? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:02AM (#27964335)

    Thank you for mentioning L4D. Because some of the achivments are actually diametrally CONTRARY to the main theme of the game: Teamwork.

    Examples? The one where you can only use pistols. How does this empower my team if I deliberately reduce my capability to fight? I become a liability for my team.

    No HP-kit or healing someone when you have less than 10 HP yourself. Same. To get this achivement, you have to play "stupid". You throw away a HP kit in both cases. In the first example, you pretty much become a pill hogger, depriving your team from this resource. In the latter, you are possibly wasting your HP kit (which you should definitly use at 10 HP or less) just to get that achivement.

    And so on.

    I don't say all achivements in L4D are braindead. Some are very, very intelligent. Though I wish they had put more emphasis on achivements that reward teamplay. How about one where you get an achivement for a few 1000 saves? Or where you can actually lose achivements again if you consistantly play like a selfish prick?

  • Re:Sort of (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:12AM (#27964401)

    In order:

    Diamonds, spades, hearts, clubs.

  • Re:What Can I Say? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrAngryForNoReason ( 711935 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:34AM (#27965249)

    I think the idea of achievements like the pistols only one is that everyone in the team goes for it at once. Thereby creating a new kind of mode. A bit like the WoW achievements where you have to complete a fight in a certain way that makes it more challenging.

  • by brkello ( 642429 ) on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:50AM (#27967801)
    Um, hate to break this to you. I have never heard anyone talk about Platinum Trophies either. I have a feeling that hardcore MS gamers talk about gamerscore and hardcore Sony gamers talk about platinum trophies. The rest of the us just play games to have fun and aren't involved in the stupid fanboy crap.

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.