Achievement Discussion - February - Putting the January Blues Behind Us

Achievement Discussion - February - Putting the January Blues Behind Us

Written Monday, March 02, 2009 By Dan Webb
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So the January blues are now behind us and we’ve finally got plenty to talk about this month, although we always find something to say (some say too much). In fact, this month we’ve got too much to talk about and of course we can’t talk about everything, so we’re going to focus on the biggest lists that dropped in February and what you’ll be doing with your achievement hunting time in March.

February saw us release no fewer than 19 new lists, some of which were fairly big games (no Hayden, High School Musical 3 is not a big game!) of which we’ll focus on Riddick, Guitar Hero: Metallica and The Godfather for part one of the feature.

Even Riddick can't raise a smile for 1,000 wins.
For us, Riddick is one of the worst lists we’ve seen in some time. Why you ask? Well, because it has some of the most ridiculous multiplayer achievements for a game that, let’s be honest, won’t be known for its multiplayer. Two that smack us in the face as being a complete opposite of what gamers want in a list are the 10,000 kills and the 1,000 wins achievements. Seriously, what is all that about? If you look at the whole list, those are just the worst of a bad bunch. Throw in some kill streak achievements, collection achievements and some pretty vague achievements, and you’ll see the list is as sour as one of those Jawbreakers you had when you were a kid. All this and we’ve still not even had the chance to see the 21 secret achievements *cringes*

Guitar Hero: Metallica
doesn’t look anywhere near as hard or frustrating as Riddick, and in all honesty, judging by the revealed achievements (yes there are loads of secret achievements here) it could be a fairly easy list as far as Guitar Hero titles go. Is it me or have the Guitar Hero achievements got progressively easier since Guitar Hero 2? Trying to get more sales that way maybe? Who knows, but I do remember getting 250 points on Guitar Hero 2 was no easy task and this time, you’ll get at least that for completing the instrument careers. And that’s the minimum you’ll get. Chances are it’ll be more around the 300-500 mark depending on the difficulty level you play at and looking at the trophy list for the title on our sister site allows us to gauge the secret achievements, and well, they don’t look that much harder either. For us though, the Godfather II’s list is probably our favourite of the month because it seems to get the balance and variation right. Okay, it’s not really going to set the world alight in terms of originality but it’s still, a very solid list.

It's ok Shiva ... Just one more collectible to go.
In terms of releases, March isn’t as jam packed as February is, although it does have its fair share of gems. Whilst the achievement list for Resident Evil 5 is unknown, the trophy list has been out for some time, so for all intents and purposes we’ll take a look at that. The list for Resident Evil 5 doesn’t look that bad but there seems to be a ton of wasted potential, especially when you consider that 20 of the 50 achievements are tied in to completing the game or its chapters. A closer look though and there seems to be way too much collecting as well with the list asking you to collect all the emblems, figurines, treasures and eggs dotted around the game. Not bad, but not ideal. If that doesn’t keep you that occupied for too long and you’re in North America, you could always try the life consuming Star Ocean: The Last Hope which according to our very own Pants Party is “insanely difficult.” To break it down a bit for you, half of the battle is getting the achievements tied to getting 100% of the battle trophies. Easy? Hell no. There is one battle trophy for fighting for 100 hours with a single character ... and this is just an example of one of the 900 battle trophies you'll need to get. Throw in some achievements for finding every chest, every weapon and completing every quest and you’re looking at an insane amount of hours. Most time consuming list ever apart from Final Fantasy? Computer says “most likely.”

The other fairly big release of the month would be that of Tom Clancy’s HAWX and the list, despite the huge amount of multiplayer achieves could be fairly fun. The good thing with the multiplayer achievements here is that they aren’t too insane like Riddick’s 10,000 kills or 1,000 wins. Instead 25 team deathmatch wins and some 100-kill weapon achievements seem to make up the majority of the multiplayer achieves, although we did spot a play 100 team deathmatch games to taint it ever so slightly. Like Resident Evil 5 though, there are A LOT of game and mission completion achievements; one or two too many we feel. Other than that, a potentially enjoyable list. If that doesn’t take your fancy, you could be spending your time picking up what looks like a fairly easy 1,000 with the upcoming WWE Legends of Wrestlemania title or completing every last task of the heavy on the action, Wheelman title.

So, this month was quiet, so quiet that I didn’t get any suggestions from anyone but I presume that’s down to the new monthly timing and the facts gamers have the attention span of a shrivelled peanut. So what did I do? Bugged everyone ... staff, jackanape, twitter folk, jackanape, those 118 118 folks who promptly asked me what the hell I was talking about (I presumed they weren’t readers) and of course ... jackanape. Eventually, I managed to squeeze a few questions out to reflect on, one from the depths of my own mind and the other from ... you guessed it, jackanape.

jackanape asks “how can developers continually get away with using practically the same achievement list over multiple sequels? EA, Warriors Orochi, Viva Pinata. ANSWER ME THAT!!!!”

Okay Lee, no need to shout. It’s the same reason that developers continue to get away releasing the same games year in year out with only a few new features; Madden and PES for example. There are those that like to embrace the system and use it as another way to flaunt their creativeness (Lionhead, Valve); there are those that like to cash in on its addictiveness (Avatar); then there are those that like to try and get you playing a mode that normally you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole (The Darkness online *facepalm*) and then finally, there are those that can’t be bothered and just botch a list together at the last minute (Warriors Orochi). So like life, some will try, and others won’t and there isn’t much us or Microsoft can do about it ... well, we can boycott the games, but it’s not like many of us played Warriors Orochi anyway.

Moving swiftly on ... Dan Webb asked “what’s with the prevalence of secret achievements these days and do they serve a purpose especially in games like Guitar Hero?”

Well Dan, that’s a great question and I’m glad you asked that *sniggers* Last month seems to have been a little overkill with secret achievements and in all honesty, a lot of the time they weren’t needed. Yeah, we accept that secret achievements are a great way of keeping plot spoilers under wraps, but seriously, why would anyone want to keep the “create a new custom rocker” achievement a secret in Guitar Hero Metallica? It really does baffle me. I can picture the meeting now ... “oh, that custom rocker achievement ... we need to keep that a secret.” Our view on the subject is, yes for protecting spoilers of awesome unannounced weapons, scenarios, the plot, characters, etc; and no for anything else. Seriously, what’s the point otherwise? Kudos to anyone in the comments that can actually offer a good reason for them other than what I mentioned here. I mused this very point over my morning cup of tea this morning and couldn’t come up with anything.
So we come to the close of yet another jam packed Achievement Discussion and possibly the busiest month of the first half of the year is now behind us. So whether you’re knee deep in Star Ocean in March, preparing for a weekend session of Resident Evil 5 or still wading through the fight fest that is Street Fighter IV, there certainly isn’t a shortage of points out there. Before we move on to the best and worst of the month, a big congrats to two of our mods for passing the 200,000 mark this past month; Covertdog and Hayden. That’s some mighty fine point whoring there lads. Touché.

This month’s stellar achievement comes from the Resident Evil 5 trophy list (thus the lack of a point value) and is one we couldn’t really pass up. I mean, seriously, killing a Majini with an egg ... and a rotten one at that; this is the sort of achievements we want to see more of, except maybe with a better tile.


It was a close one this week but unfortunately for Starbreeze and Atari, they both come from the upcoming Riddick title. The winner (1,000 wins) and runner up (10,000 kills) were heads and shoulders above everyone else this month. I just can’t see the point of lumping obscene multiplayer achievements into a game that’s never going to live up to the other multiplayer options out there in the market at the moment. Maybe it’ll be the next Halo 3, or Call of Duty 4, but I seriously doubt it. If it is, I’ll eat my digital hat.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 1078
Comment #1 by WhineyRabbit
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 09:16:14 AM
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I do love reading these :)

Forum Posts: 45
Comment #2 by Davincie
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 09:27:09 AM
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Riddick will stil be an awesome game

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #3 by god_smack_er_69
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 09:29:35 AM
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Any game with vin diesel's face in it can't be good. The riddick series should have been done after pitch black because that was the only good movie.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #4 by DAZE1992
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 09:44:58 AM
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i was gona get riddick but now im not so sure

Forum Posts: 71
Comment #5 by ilRadd
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 09:50:17 AM
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That Dan guy always gets his mail answered...


Forum Posts: 430
Comment #6 by Dude Rain
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 10:16:24 AM
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Regarding Star Ocean,

The 100 hours in battle thing is just for one of the characters, not all 9.

Dunno which butt you pulled that one out of. :P

Forum Posts: 872
Comment #7 by DemonI81
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 10:52:10 AM
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Webb... I love you for this. You have no idea how happy it makes me to see someone saying the same stuff I am about the Riddick achievements. Notice no one's flaming you for it though... must be nice.

For those that think I've just been "hating on" Riddick... I was really looking forward to it. I was excited. My friends were telling me I was crazy and it'd be garbage, which I don't think is true. I think it'll be a good game. I knew they'd kill it with tons of MP achievements though.
In general it seems devs make these ridiculous MP achievements for games that have a short lived MP, in hopes of keeping the MP alive, when it shouldn't be. 90% of the time, this fails and no one get's the full 1000.

Forum Posts: 14814
Comment #8 by Webb [STAFF]
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 10:55:24 AM
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@#6 - Fixed. Totally misread the convo with Pants :P

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #9 by perryh
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 11:16:41 AM
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Yeah i totally agree with what webb's said, those riddick achievements are completely pathetic and i personally think that instead of drawing people to the multiplayer, it can lead them away because it'll be so stupidly time consuming. Although they may have put a lot of effort into the multiplayer, i still think that is a bit extreme. I'll buy it for the single player campaign and the online will only be like QOS for me - a one off now and then. Shame really because it could have a good online community because most peoiple buying it will be fans of buchers bay and the movies, which means that they will be as geeky as me. Sigh.

Forum Posts: 955
Comment #10 by StolenKyle/
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 11:32:45 AM
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Please keep these coming I love em.

Forum Posts: 178
Comment #11 by FamousLastX
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 11:48:44 AM
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Guitar Hero 2 was not a tough list at all, besides Aerosmith, that's the title I have the most points on, and that's not even the Guitar Hero game i've put the most time and effort into

Forum Posts: 1759
Comment #12 by Da CRU Mughhh
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 11:49:18 AM
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Nice Job Webby =)

Forum Posts: 73
Comment #13 by mwallace31MUFC
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 12:26:10 PM
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i won't mind if 1000 wins or 10,000 kills were in CoD or Halo because they are games you can play for days

Forum Posts: 36
Comment #14 by eddie cheeseman
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 12:41:21 PM
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Good stuff guys, now just for another podcast.

Forum Posts: 176
Comment #15 by richardjanssen
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 12:50:11 PM
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i managed to read the entire article, which I don't do normally

Forum Posts: 1060
Comment #16 by Hitchman
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 01:26:53 PM
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Great job Webb! I agree with the list for Riddick being s little lame. I will however ne picking this up for the two full length campaigns that is comes with.

Forum Posts: 192
Comment #17 by hezeuschrist
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 01:33:51 PM
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Man, it's so disappointing to see that Riddick has such a terrible list. Escape from Butcher Bay was an awesome game and a really awful list can put me off a title entirely... find somewhere else to spend my time.

As for secret acheivements, I agree that the GHWT ones are mostly dumb, but leaving some achievements a secret for the more creative actions in games just encourages exploration. Yes, keep plot spoilers secret, but don't discount them for fun stuff like many of the achievements in Fable 2.

Forum Posts: 626
Comment #18 by INFERNOII
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:07:57 PM
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@ 13: Agreed.

Forum Posts: 88
Comment #19 by Im4evasmart
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:18:26 PM
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lol the pics have funny lines. Keep em up guys! they make us laugh!

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #20 by Valefor64
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:27:31 PM
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Ahh, #13. What you didn't realize is that they want you to play their game for days (the devs of Riddick, that is). They are proud of their game, they want people to play it and feel confident that even if a few players will eventually reach such an achievement, they made what they believe is a 'decent game'. Those people stayed around long enough to do so...says something about their game. The number of people that do get that achievement, however, will not be many - seeing as the game isn't a CoD or Halo...and why don't IW or Bungie do that sort of thing? because they don't need to drag people into their games, for achievements only. They focus on 'perfecting' their game play to their greatest ability and anyways, thousands of players will surpass 10,000 kills in any of those games very,

Forum Posts: 1929
Comment #21 by Hayden
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:28:49 PM
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Disneys sing it: High School musical 3 for GOTY I know MajiFro and Hammer will agree :D

Forum Posts: 8
Comment #22 by Valefor64
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:36:13 PM
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sorry for any grammatical errors in my post above, but I wanted to add that I loved the article, I read them every month and are a great idea! Thanks, Dan!

Forum Posts: 1282
Comment #23 by GrUnTxSKaTeR
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 02:40:34 PM
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Nice Job Webb! I look forward to these every month.

Forum Posts: 181
Comment #24 by PuttyGod
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 04:31:05 PM
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I LOVE Riddick, but it's so fuckin annoying that I'll have these asstacular achievements left there that I'll never get and always think about when I pop the game in.

Forum Posts: 3854
Comment #25 by Bishop24
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 04:47:27 PM
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@ Hayden I will also agree with that. Played the game this past week and absolutely loved it. :P

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #26 by I Th3 Rock I
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 05:23:49 PM
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I wish i had Disneys sing it HSM3 *sigh*

Forum Posts: 110
Comment #27 by BoswellBum
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 05:36:57 PM
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Really? Guitar Hero 2's list was a lot easier that 3's was. In GH2 I'm only missing around 6 achievements, but I can only get ~600 points in GH3.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #28 by Trigger
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 05:55:33 PM
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Umm... the GH Games don't seem to have gotten easier over time becaue the GH2 list was an easy 900 while GH3 is a pain to get over 500.I have to disagree on that one Webb :P

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #29 by norbzzzzz
Monday, March 02, 2009 @ 06:03:05 PM
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For the secret achievements I think the only reason really would be to make people try everything on the game and not just stick to one game type like fifa 09.

Forum Posts: 1363
Comment #30 by Hammer 5O2
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 01:20:21 AM
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Disney Sing it HSM Edition?????? WTF's

Forum Posts: 121
Comment #31 by cool4joe
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 06:58:18 AM
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To think the Riddick achievements are hard is just pathetic, as soon as something isn't spoon-fed people start complaining about it. And regarding the GH achievements, 2 was BY FAR the easiest one (not counting Aerosmith) and then 3 would be the hardest.

Forum Posts: 2210
Comment #32 by Nightdragon
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 09:45:54 AM
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@Brown, he already stated in the article that noone sent him a single email or twitter asking a question. So he made one up himself...

Forum Posts: 137
Comment #33 by Honey Child 248
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 11:16:55 AM
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Yea these are pretty sweeeet! Nice work guys :)

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #34 by Barfo
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 12:43:15 PM
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For the Guitar Hero series i see the overuse of secret achievements as arising form a desire to have the public release of the game info going only through the PR department, and an overabundance of caution. If you take GHWT as the most recent example, and look at the list of secret achievements, they contain things like the names of some of the songs (score X on Y song), the names of some of the famous liscenced personalities in the game (play with ozzy, play with travis barker, etc), and some info on game features (create a custom drumkit, create a male/female rocker). Now in practice most of that was actually already revealed by Acti/RO's PR department before the achievements lists came out, however one might hypothesize that those achievements get designed far in advance of the relea

Forum Posts: 1147
Comment #35 by P1TTMAN
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 01:02:21 PM
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"Is it me or have the Guitar Hero achievements got progressively easier since Guitar Hero 2? ...I do remember getting 250 points on Guitar Hero 2 was no easy task"
Should read:
"Is it me or have the Guitar Hero achievements got progressively easier since Guitar Hero 3? ...I do remember getting 250 points on Guitar Hero 3 was no easy task"

My own gamertag:
GH2: 44 of 50 (820)
GH3: 33 of 59 (345)

In Guitar Hero 2 they want you to play by yourself or with one friend or brother. GH3 makes you find people online, go on winning streaks, and play through with a normal controller (wtf?)... I know I'm not saying anything new here; just saying.

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #36 by Barfo
Tuesday, March 03, 2009 @ 01:09:10 PM
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release date, and its their policy during design to mark anything that might possibly reveal any portion of 'controlled game assets or features' (regardless of whether to the average customer its anythign interesting or exciting) as secret by default, so that there will be perfect separation between the PR dept's sole discretion to reveal those features to the community, and make it impossible that such info could be revealed through the list itself going out on live, or in beta versions of the game, etc. Of course personalyl i think its massive overkill because most of those features arent really all taht amazing, but Acti/RO definitely has shown in the past an obsessive desire to really micromanage the PR side of things w.r.t. GH franchise.

Forum Posts: 101
Comment #37 by Laser Lag
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 @ 08:39:26 AM
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Really? Guitar Hero 2 was very easy to get achievements in while Guitar Hero 3 was insane. I think I barely got 200 in GH3.

Forum Posts: 349
Comment #38 by kizwiz
Wednesday, March 04, 2009 @ 11:51:42 AM
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Guitar Hero 2 was easy, and then it got harder, Aerosmith is the easiest but to get lots in World Tour youl need drums which I only have on PS3 :/

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #39 by silencer018
Thursday, March 05, 2009 @ 04:46:18 PM
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I agree with P1TTMAN and the rest, that GH2 was pretty easy compared to GH3. I managed to get 605G in GH3 and I have basically stopped playing since than lol. But, I am also getting frustratd with games coming out with more online achievements. I would much rather have a pretty close to impossible achievement in the solo play rather than online. Just my opinion.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #40 by GunnerBinx25
Saturday, March 07, 2009 @ 09:26:52 PM
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IMO, MP achievements shouldnt exist. i like it when games give you like 500gs for the story and the other 500gs for completing challenging (but not uber ridiculous) task. and fuck collectible achievements.

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