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Achievement Discussion - 24th June 08

Achievement Discussion - 24th June 08

Written Tuesday, June 24, 2008 By Dan Webb
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Another week, another discussion. First up, thanks for all the e-mails and messages that were sent during the week, there were some great talking points raised. I can’t discuss them all this week but will use many of them over the coming weeks. But still, keep them coming, the more the better. It also seems we slipped to a Tuesday this week, mostly because of the Alone in the Dark review taking up so much of my time, a game which in actuality is an easy 1000 for the achievement whores out there. But I’m back in business now, so here goes.


It was a fairly average week as far as the achievement lists go this week. There were a few pretty much unknown arcade game lists revealed and a few fairly inconspicuous retail games lists with the biggest one being the upcoming NCAA 09 title from EA, but still plenty of talking points.

First off, credit should be given to NCAA developer Tiburon this year because unlike other years, we’ve got a new, and improved list for their title, rather than a regurgitated list of the same crap with the odd readjustment. The mascot achievements do look fun indeed but (and this is a big but) they still feel the need to pimp out their achievements to advertisers like some cheap, two bit hooker. Are they not aware how tacky the product placement really is? Obviously not. I don’t know about anyone else, but playing NCAA on the Xbox 360 and unlocking some of the sponsored achievements is not going to make me slap on some newly purchased Old Spice and rush out and buy a Pontiac G8 to travel the globe.

As far as the XBL titles go this week, the only list that caught my eye was the Rocket Riot list, although I must admit, I literally know nothing about the game. All 12 of the achievements show some extra thinking in their names, although the list itself is void of originality.

Other points of interest this week include the terrible Zoids list. So not only is the game delayed, but to rub salt in the wound, the game has a horrible achievement list to boot. It resembles some of the earlier achievement lists that spawned when the achievement system was still in its infancy. There is no excuse whatsoever for that sort of thing now, even if the developer is making its debut on the system. Seriously guys, next time, if you really can’t be bothered to try, then give us permission and we’ll gladly show you how it’s done!
 
There also seems to be that little issue of this Wednesday’s arcade game, Ticket to Ride. It appears that the list has 250 achievement points and 15 achievements. Well, according to the rules, as stipulated by Microsoft, an Xbox Live Arcade title should only have 12 achievements totalling 200 points. This would indicate either, that the rules have changed and Microsoft failed to alert us or (and this is my guess) Playful Entertainment have already planned DLC before the game is released. If it is the latter then it should be right about now where we raise an eyebrow and show a little concern. If that is the case, then developers are planning downloadable content before the game is actually released meaning that in reality, additional content is sitting beside the coffee pot in the staff room waiting for the game to be released so then they can cash in on it at a later date. Shouldn’t time be spent working on the final game and not on future content considering the game hasn’t even been released!? Shouldn’t content that is clearly ready, be included in the final release? *sigh* I suppose they'll give the same old "we've planned the content but it wasn't ready in time for release" excuse, but who really believes that anymore?
 
Moving swiftly on, let’s take a peek at what points are available from the new releases this week.  If you were after some easy achievement points, then surely Alone in the Dark is the wise move for North America and The Bourne Conspiracy for all us Europeans. Want a challenge? Well then, head towards Battlefield: Bad Company with its 'multiplayer achievements a-plenty', combined with a whole plethora of ranks to earn and rise through. Looks like a toughie! With the week planned, we can head on over to your questions.
 
 

Forum-ite and site reviewer, Jackanape sent me an e-mail this week asking;

How come gaming magazines couldn’t care less about achievements – and whenever they have bothered to highlight our favourite pastime in the past they have always interviewed notorious cheaters (with the odd exception) as if it didn’t matter how they got their points. Do you think achievements aren’t appreciated by the masses or does the fact that a burgeoning site such as ours exists at all prove otherwise?

It’s a very noble point and an interesting topic of discussion. The whole achievement thing is a fairly new concept but is one that is rapidly growing.  The gaming industry is simply not used to a gimmick coming in and gaining such momentum, so quickly. Ten years ago, the gaming industry had games and that was it. You would assess a game on merits and put your cap on and leave for the night. Now, we have different console platforms with different unique features that add different levels to a game. So for instance, before someone purchases a game these days, the title is now rated on the game, its online capabilities, its unique features and whether the haters like it or not, the achievements.

Yes, I personally believe they have been accepted by the masses and we are living, breathing proof of that, but as always, there will be a percentage of the population that can’t grasp the concept of them and continue to criticise them and they are entitled to their own opinion. For years gamers have wanted tokens of appreciation for their gaming prowess and now we have them and the vast majority of gamers couldn't be happier. A good indication of their success is that they’re soon going multi-platform. As soon as the PSN 2.40 update hits, the achievement fever will spread to a new crowd which is a testament to their true power.
 
The lack of coverage is a tricky one though. Maybe journo’s think it’s a fad, maybe they are struggling to adjust to this new feature. I can’t be sure without asking them which, of course, I will attempt to over the coming weeks. But I truly believe that the whole interview  the “cheater” issue relates to a bit of journalistic ignorance. Maybe it was their attempt to open their arms to this new and loved feature without truly knowing the ins-and-outs and what makes the masses tick. A newcomer to the system would do exactly what they did and that was focus on the top of the leaderboard, thinking that it was the right way to tackle it. It's an easy enough oversight for anyone to make. But the next few years will only see the system pick up more steam. As more and more stellar titles are released, and more and more consoles sold, the bigger the following the system will have.

That’s about all I have time for. Before I go, last week, in my ignorance, I missed a few 100k milestones congratulations out, so congrats go to list ninja Krazie and review workhorse Jackanape for reaching the "becoming-not-so-elusive" 100,000 point club. Playing us out this week are The Beatles and “Let it Be”. As usual we end with the best and the worst of the week. 
 
 
 
It was close this week, the amusing Rocket Riot achievement nearly won it for me; Go Forth and Multiplay comes in at a close second. But the imagery in my head, of  a team of mascots playing American Football was too much for me to ignore, so congrats NCAA 09.
 

 Play a Mascot Game                                                                                         15

Play a Mascot Game with any mascot teams.

 

I wanted to give this to the whole of the Zoids list but there was one thing in the back of my mind that kept me from doing so and this little voice screamed... "PRODUCT PLACEMENT IS THE ROUTE OF ALL EVIL!!" I mean why would Pontiac even be interested in sponsoring an achievement anyway is beyond me. So commiserations go to NCAA 09, our first double winner.
 
 
Pontiac G8 4th Quarter Comeback                                                                30
 
Win a Play Now or Dynasty Mode game when down by 14 to start the 4th qtr. (Min Difficulty: Varsity)



 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 151
Comment #1 by Medaking
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 09:30:24 PM
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Ooooo


Forum Posts: 490
Comment #2 by Perfectionist66
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 09:32:23 PM
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Lol@Webb's hatred for product placement.


Forum Posts: 2058
Comment #3 by ThrawnOmega
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 09:32:57 PM
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Good read. Looking forward to seeing more of these.


Forum Posts: 23
Comment #4 by Farrell
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 10:02:24 PM
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keep them coming!


Forum Posts: 327
Comment #5 by Frostbite
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 10:03:14 PM
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Nice page, I love reading these....Look forward to the next one. BTW - I loved the NCAA list too, I can't belive that Tiburon would alctually have the smarts to change thier list. I mean they have the same achievement list for '07 and '08. Thankfully we have something ORIGINAL for '09. My favorite is the "Iced" achievement.


Forum Posts: 2988
Comment #6 by JC
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 10:04:44 PM
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Nice article Webb!

Me and Jackanape were discussing his topic too, like how last year X360 mag was interviewing Rance6, who was a gamesaver.


Forum Posts: 430
Comment #7 by Dude Rain
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 10:10:04 PM
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"If that is the case, then developers are planning downloadable content before the game is actually released meaning that in reality, additional content is sitting beside the coffee pot in the staff room waiting for the game to be released so then they can cash in on it at a later date."

I'm a bit concerned if you don't think more developers are guilty of this. Granted, they're a little more discreet about it, but I can assure you that it's being done regardless. This would explain why mediocre games are getting DLC, in spite of any lack of demand for them.


Forum Posts: 5149
Comment #8 by Parkerktm
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 @ 11:07:43 PM
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Once again, a steller achievement discussion. I'm really looking forward to see how this evolves over the course of the summer


Forum Posts: 590
Comment #9 by AlphaXGamerXDad
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 12:01:05 AM
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It's funny. Pontiac sponsors FREE Army of Two DLC that includes new achievements, and I think they're great. Then they go and barge in on my achievement pics, so they suck once more. Does this make me a hypocrite?


Forum Posts: 778
Comment #10 by roy1751
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 12:10:53 AM
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Magazines think achievs are beneath them. They're in denial, just the same as the web putting them all out of business as we speak. Since their days are numbered, who cares what they think.


Forum Posts: 2439
Comment #11 by kiwi18
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 01:40:03 AM
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Webb, I love reading your paragraphs. Such love for some and hate for others.


Forum Posts: 3700
Comment #12 by Lordvader178
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 06:13:29 AM
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Webb is the man. Love these disscusions, keep em comin Webby!!

I think product placement is wrong in games. GH3 has heaps of it, and nearly every sport game does. really, it's not neccassary. Just you play a basketball game, dosen't mean you have to buy proper shoes. Like webby said, just cause you buy NCAA 09, dosen't mean you should invest in a pontiac for no reason.


Forum Posts: 513
Comment #13 by Edable Giraffe
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 07:56:03 AM
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whats the big problem with product placement? it brought us 2 new campaign maps for AOT for free so im in favor of it


Forum Posts: 46
Comment #14 by Fawfy
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 07:58:21 AM
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The main reason gaming magazines and sites don't really talk about achievements is because they are playing on de-bugs. On which they do not have access to achievements but it does allow them to play games before they go gold and thus get a review out on time. Besides that, I think it's an space issue since most people would rather read about things like graphics and gameplay than achievements and if you only have one page to review a game, the decision is quick to make.


Forum Posts: 96
Comment #15 by DarkThom
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 09:19:56 AM
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Doesnt anybody agree with me, when I say that maybe they should do a Gaming magazine where by the take the time to talk to gamers about there scores and points? And and maybe discussing the games and points? Basically what I think im trying to say is a magazine version of this site??? And just a section of gamers us like our selves can talk to???

Well I think it sounds like a agood idea...


Forum Posts: 314
Comment #16 by AngrySalad
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 12:10:05 PM
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I think I've only seen one real review in Game Informer that mentioned a cool achievement. That was the Zombie Genocider for Dead Rising. This, coincidently, was what got me hooked on achievement-ing. Main stream gaming media definitely needs to focus more on the achievement aspect of these games in order to accurately portray the playability of reviewed titles.


Forum Posts: 282
Comment #17 by ZiM1021
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 01:24:59 PM
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Very interesting read. Nice job. :-)


Forum Posts: 5
Comment #18 by Dremvek
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 01:27:14 PM
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The fact Ticket to Ride has 250 right off the bat doesn't necessarily mean it's DLC related.

The achievement rules, as I understand them, is that retail games must provide 1000 points as part of the original game, and arcade games must provide 200. However, they can provide up to an additional 250 for retail games and 50 for arcade. These extra points can be just added to the game, added as free DLC, added as paid DLC, or added right off the bat.

These rules are to get rid of games like Tiger Woods 06 that don't have 1000. Crackdown started with 900, but actually with their free DLC, I think you can get up to 1,100.

That being said, Ticket to Ride Europe and 1910 are both different games/expansions to be purchased separately from the board game, so they're probably paid DLC here


Forum Posts: 245
Comment #19 by HxS F4T4L1TY
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 02:12:27 PM
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I agree with Edable Giraffe. I don't mind product placement if it's not too much...heck, I barely even notice it in GH III. Plus, if companies could get and use extra revenue to give us free stuff, or even possibly make games a bit cheaper on release, then more power to them. Again, though, if it's too much then it's just annoying. Obviously from above comments, "too much" varies from person to person, and that's okay. Can't win 'em all. lol


Forum Posts: 1
Comment #20 by Stu Woo
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 05:09:22 PM
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Without product placement, I wouldn't have the cool gamer pic from Dr. Pepper that I have! (the guy with the top-hat and monocle)

Product Placement = Top Hat & Monocle
Top Hat & Monocle = Cool

Therefore:
Product Placement = Cool

...it's simple math really.

Nice article by the way, I enjoy reading these.


Forum Posts: 15
Comment #21 by DogFromHell
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 05:27:16 PM
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Product Placement = EVIL

Hey if companies want to give us free stuff more power to them. But I do agree that product placement in Video games is kind of silly, I think the first game I had that really had it was SSX 3 (can anyone say Honda Pilot???)and the entire time I was like "WTF???" Its not good enough for advertisers to barrage us with commercials, newspaper and magazine ads, hell they even do commercials before a movie now (last thing I ever wanted to do was pay 14 bucks for a movie just to spend the first 30 minutes watching commercials for coke....). Now they have attacked our video games as well. I don't know about anyone else but if I want something I go buy it, I don't see or read a commercial and go hey I need one of those!!!

Advertising in games is not needed, how a


Forum Posts: 15
Comment #22 by DogFromHell
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 05:40:19 PM
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Advertising in games is not needed, how about filling the game with cool content and game play and focus less on product placement...

I keep having flashbacks of Waynes World for some reson...

Little, Yellow, Different.....


Forum Posts: 1686
Comment #23 by narcolepticshee
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 @ 08:24:00 PM
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Great article, am really enjoying these segments so kep them coming! Great design on the logo btw aswell!

Peace


Forum Posts: 97
Comment #24 by Damnation
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 07:56:11 AM
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Yes awesome read there Mr Webb thanks and keep'em comming. Also I agree with comment number#14 sounds like a smart answer to me


Forum Posts: 6129
Comment #25 by Crimson Ridley
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 09:05:28 AM
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Two magaiznes I read do talk about achievements quite alot actually, X360 and Xbox World in the UK. Yeah they still interview the gamesavers, but they mostly give free books like "How to incease your gamerscore by 20,000". It actually annoys me when I read a review and there is no mention of Achievements, I'm like "God damn it, wheres the Achievements, you expect me to buy this game when you arn't telling me what points I can get!". A little off topic - Does anyone think that Xbox 3 will still use them?


Forum Posts: 150
Comment #26 by eXtreme 1138
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 02:41:07 PM
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@ #25. Xbox 3 will defo have another achievement system (revamped or the same), unless Microsoft are idiots, of course.


Forum Posts: 156
Comment #27 by Lord Xanatos17
Thursday, June 26, 2008 @ 04:03:35 PM
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I'm glad i read this. I thought the Zoids game was going to be a 3rd person game, not a grid based one.


Forum Posts: 24
Comment #28 by xReapeRx55
Saturday, June 28, 2008 @ 05:56:06 AM
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Very good read.


Forum Posts: 535
Comment #29 by CaptainKicker
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 12:47:37 PM
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This is awesome


Forum Posts: 2
Comment #30 by omphteliba
Wednesday, October 15, 2008 @ 01:38:22 PM
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more, more, more.... i need to know what games to buy to push my whimpy gamescore ;)


Forum Posts: 21
Comment #31 by NOT NICE45
Tuesday, June 16, 2009 @ 08:25:02 AM
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whats easy games out there that could help my gamer score with no ridicules achievement?????


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #32 by indigofrosty
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 06:42:05 PM
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