Achievements - The Good, The Bad & The Down Right Ugly

Achievements - The Good, The Bad & The Down Right Ugly

Written Monday, October 30, 2006 By Geoff White
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Right guys and girls, the first x360a Editorial has been added to the site. We think that this first editorial will give you a look on our views on Achievement Points, from a point of view that you might not expect from an Achievement site!

Once you have read the article, pop into he forums to discuss the article with other members, and see if people agree with you on the matter.

Click here to read the editorial.

So this is good for the games industry surely? They can now produce any game they want, and as long as they place 1000 Achievement points in the game, then people will play it. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the gaming industry is lying back and just selling games on the back of the points. They are pushing the barriers of gaming to new levels with the 360.

Marvel at the genious graphics displayed in Remedy's new game 

Anyone can see from the video footageof Alan Wake and Assassins Creed, that these games are truly next Gen, and what the 360 was built for. But do the developers get the full benefits of the extra sales generated by the Achievement Points? You would have thought so. All these people that want to get a high score- surely they must buy the games in order to get the points. But that will be a no. The people that are at the top of the leaderboards have no interest in the games that they play- they purely want the points, and they’re not willing to put the cash in.  There has been a huge increase in the amount of people using game rental services- such as Gamesfrenzy in the UK, and Gamefly in the US of A. So, while the games are being played, the revenue that should have been generated isn’t being put back into the industry. But that’s another story for another day.

So, back on topic. Not only are the Achievement Points encouraging people to play more and more games that they probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise i.e. Americans now playing FIFA, and British playing Madden. The points are also encouraging people to play a game till completion. No longer are people getting to a point in a game where it seems next to impossible to get (i.e. No Crash Victory achievement in Ridge Racer 6- which we’ll be coming back to in a bit anyway). Now people are so desperate to get the full 1000 Achievement points, that they will sit and do a race, or a level or whatever they need to over and over and over again, until they have that whole last important achievement. And they get a sense of pride for being able to put their hands in the air and say ‘I earned my 1000 Achievement points, and am 1 of only X amount to do this’. And Kudos to those who take pride, skill and dedication to go and get those hard points. I know the amount of time I had to put in to be the second to get the full 1000 in Football Manager- one of the few games where if you see someone with the full 1000, they did it themselves. This is going to bring us conveniently to the negative side of Achievement Points.

Like all good ideas- there are people that want to ruin it for others. There are always cheats in gambling, drugs in Athletics, Kevin Costner in films. Remove these and the worlds a better place. And as is the nature of the world, if there’s a list of people that have something- someone will want to be at the top of that list. So, we should have all realised that when MyGamerCard allowed people to see a list of the highest Achievement scores, that it was only a matter of time till this system got abused. And abused it has become. First of all it all started legitimately, with  ST The King leading the way. Then people realised that there were different games available on the Japanese console- so they ordered one of these. Not cheating you could say, and no-one could argue. So now people are playing games from 2 different continents in order to be able to boost their scores. Again, this could almost be seen as a good thing- getting notoriety for the Japanese games that the Western world don’t normally see, and increasing the number of RPG games that will be on the market.

Then, rolled into one, came the equivalent of Dancing with Wolves, the Postman, Waterworld, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. All sprinkled with some of The Bodyguard on top. There came a website where someone would work hard for an achievement, then put it on the net where everyone in the world could download it, then load it onto their 360, boot up and within a few minutes they will have unlocked the full 1000 achievement points. One of the most hotly traded games at the moment is Ridge Racer 6- people can get the whole game done in a matter of minutes, when someone that has done it properly will have invested hours, along with blood, sweat and tears. So bang, there goes the kudos from gaining 1000 points. Now I’m not saying that everyone uses gamesaves, but I would put money on everyone in the top 50 if not 100 do. The top of the leaderboard has basically become a joke, and is actually a league of cheaters. Some at least have the bottle to stand up and admit that they use the gamesaves, where as some deny all knowledge (despite the fact that they have been on this forum and admitted it – hey everyone, wave to DJ).

So basically, Microsoft created a Jekyll and Hyde monster with the Achievement Points. On the surface, they are a brilliant addition to the gaming world. They have made all of us play a game that we wouldn’t normally. Or stayed up that extra hour to get closer to the elusive 1000 online games, or 1000 headshots. And lets be honest, no one bought King Kong because its fun and you’re going to play it 20 times. So for the majority of people, Achievement Points are a fantastic idea.They will encourage you to get the most of the game that you have either bought or rented.

Even the dinosaurs look pissed to be involved in such a shoddy port!!

However, for people that take them seriously, they’re the Hyde side. They have gotten so pathetic and hooked on these Achievement points that they will cheat. Your not going to get paid for them, you’re not going to get a better quality of life for them- all your going to get it respect of your fellow cheaters and condemnation from the rest of the 360 community. These guys are like the Ferrari drivers of the world- yeah you’ve done well, and all the little kids will think that you’re cool. But the rest of the world looks at you, knows you’ve probably inherited money (i.e. not gotten it yourself) and got a lack of imagination.

I guess it all depends on which side of the fence that you fall on- whether you’re proud of what you achieve on your own, or whether you’re the kind of person that will just take credit for the work of others.

Remember people- gaming is fun, or at least it should be. Get the achievements that you want to, from the games that you want to. Achievement points are just a number next to your name in a database. Treat it as so and you will continue to enjoy gaming. Get obsessed with it and you’re facing a long challenge of cheating ahead.


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