Free Points Inside

This is sort of a follow-up to my “Favorite Achievements” post.  Here’s a game where you can “earn” 1000 Achievement Points in twenty seconds of gameplay. This is easily the worst example of achievements on the 360. It’s easy to think that this was a conspiracy on the part of the designers to create something for achievement whore so they will buy or rent (and then force rental places to buy) the game. But I honestly know it must be less pernicious.

The developers were working on a licensed title awarded to the lowest bidder and had to throw something out there with minimal adjustment and flair. Microsoft requires at least five achievements in each 360, but they don’t require five different achievement hooks. So the producers saw they could fulfill the TCR by implementing one hook and reusing the code five times. It’s not that they are bad designers, they just didn’t or couldn’t care to do anything more. As such those achievements are the most inane and least satisfying achievements on the console. There is no “achievement” involved, per se. Without playing the game, I wonder where else they honored the letter of the law but not the spirit.

I’m three hours or so into Assassin’s Creed (simply excellent so far – GameSpy can eat one) and the specter of Mass Effect and Rock Band are on the horizon. Additionally, the roommate bought Super Mario Galaxy and the co-op waggling isn’t terribly un-fun. I still haven’t finished my time with Orange Box or completed Legendary on Halo 3 or finished Dementium or Prism on the DS. Next March or so, when I am all excited about whatever mediocre delayed game came out that month, I need to look back at this week and realize what a golden time it was.

1 Comment

  1. Miyamotoruinedmylife

    November 20, 2007 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t know how to feel about achievement points. I agree with your points in the blog. One thing that annoyed me in particular was a friend of mine had been addicted to FF 11 for the last three years. As a note he has a really competitive spirit. When he saw me surpass him in achievement points, coincidently he decided to completely abandon FF 11, and started playing games that had a beginning and an ending. We were going head to head racing back and forth over the last few months. Last weekend, he borrowed TMNT from a friend. It’s a mediocre game, sort of for those die-hard TMNT fans, that offers up 1000 gamer points in about five hours. Not as bad as Avatar, but the same premise.

    So, now he’s pushed far ahead. I was a little upset at first, and saw it as him giving up, but still winning. You know, like the fable of the hare and the tortoise, but the fable doing some catch 22 for the tortoise, and the hare still coming out ahead in the end. It’s really not that big of a deal, but was still frustrating nonetheless. It goes hand in hand in what you were saying about Avatar.

    I like the website. Some good reading.

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