Ever feel you've changed as a gamer since the Xbox 360 came out? I remember getting cheats out of magazines and inputting the code into my GameShark then telling my friends about it. Now that felt like an achievement. When I beat a game, I never had to show proof to my pals that I actually beat it because they just took my word for it as I did with them. The online achievement system has changed the way I game over the past few years in good ways and as well as some "unhealthy gaming" ways.
When I got a new game as a kid (let's say for example Donkey Kong Country for the SNES) I had a goal - a driving passion to beat that game and play it again and again. Why doesn't this generation of games make me feel the same way? Is it the length of the gameplay, the complexity of of the story line, or possibly the free roam capability? The older games have warp secrets to get to the next level or world so you didn't have to plow through all those levels. This generation of games usually just give you the same option to play whichever part you wish to ... but it just isn't the same.
Here's the difference between earning PS3 vs 360 goals. Paying for online makes you feel more worth your time to show it off because you not only paid for the game itself, you get to flaunt it over XBL. With me, I feel as if the PS3's trophy system is too layered meaning 4 different types of trophies you can get for one goal?
Yay I beat a boss but since I didn't do it flawless I only get a silver trophy not a gold. Dude, Sony, I don't care weather I get a different type of trophy for beating the boss because I put in time to beat it and that's all I really want people to know. Ever hear "man I totally beat that boss in Demon's Souls last night and got gold for it." no you hear "man it felt great working my thumbs off to beat that final fight last night." When I get a new 360 game the first thing I do before starting the game is read through all the achievements so I know what to look for in the game. To be honest I have no idea where the list of Trophies are located on the PS3.
I hate to say this but I do in fact judge a game by how easy or fun the achievements are to work for. If I beat a game and only got 100 gamer points for it, I feel ripped off. Some of them out there give out way to many for multiplayer. It should be evened out. Games such as Bioshock, Darksiders, and Fable 2 were extremely satisfying playing through them working for the achievements I feel great getting for collectables and level completion. Steady drips of gamer point crack keep gamers coming back for more.
PC games are now getting in with the achievements scene. I played CS for 6+ years and Valve recently added achievements. If they tracked the kills, headshots, bomb defuses, and time played would I want that back then? I used to be a heavy WoW player for a few years and when achievements were implemented in a new expansion I thought genius! Kind of makes you wonder why Microsoft didn't trademark the name and own it, forcing everyone else to come up with their own version.
Achievements have tattooed a spot into my gaming brain. If I put time into a game I might as well have something to show for it. Thanks Microsoft!