What's up everyone. At first I figured i'd post something in the manner of this rant on the forum. But seeing as how blogs seem to be the thing to do around here lately, I figured what the hell and i'll just make my first blog entry, which is aptly titled and rather straight to the point.
A few weeks ago, I had the thought of rather than buying a new game, i'd focus on what I already had. I never was huge into Gamescore, and while I had gotten the random trophy here and there, the Level system didn't truly seem any different to me. I began thinking on "What exactly drives my ambition to get Achievements?" I saw nothing. Rarely you'll get the occasional game such as Dead Rising that actually offers something as a bonus, coinciding with the unlock of a trophy, such as the below.
It's fantastic. I score a ridiculously tedious trophy, and I get rewarded for it. I have a purpose to do the achievement. Being someone who isn't influenced by Gamerscore, however, I don't have that to fuel my need to get more. I only am fueled by additional bonuses, like Dead Rising gave me. I then had somewhat of a falling out with Achievements. I found that I played my Xbox 360 games and enjoyed them, but I never tried anything that was particularly hard. Achievements began to blend. What difference did it make to me between the 10th achievement worth 15 gamerscore, and the 25th achievement that i'd actually have to work for that gave 20 gamerscore and nothing else? That new Extreme difficulty mode I just unlocked? I couldn't find myself to care enough to bother loading it a single time. There was no will! I had seen the story, there was no bonus at the end, no additional "congratulations".
Then came Trophies. For this case, i'll be using Resident Evil 5, my first game i've gotten to Platinum.
As I was playing through Resident Evil 5, I did so without the intention of going for the Platinum. I enjoyed my game experience as I always did. Then I noticed that little meter slowly filling further and further as I unlocked things on my first play through. I became curious and decided to inspect the list to find a strange additional achievement. The Platinum Trophy. As I continued my play through, slightly annoyed at having co-opted this entire game with my brother, only to have to do it again because of the on-again-off-again selection as to whether or not a developer wants to go through additional coding to offer a second player to play locally on their own account, such as I hear you can do with Little Big Planet. I continued through nevertheless.
I thought "Well, this will take me a week or two. But I think I can get it" I started going through it. And it was through this that I actually found difficulty in Resident Evil 5. My first play through was a bit of a wobbly effect, mostly the game was easy, the only real difficulty being not entirely sure how to defeat some creatures:
Once I got over that and began my quest for the Platinum, I found that actually playing the game on the hardest difficulty was satisfying. I actually found the game to be a challenge. I spent more time with it until I finally landed the platinum, and I felt a sense of satisfaction at seeing the trophy, not only appear - but also having a permanent small icon next to my trophy list. An easy way for anyone to see that I have at least enough skill in the game to accomplish a platinum trophy.
That led me to analysis as to why I felt satisfaction and an urge to finish the game to 100% of retail release trophies. And why I didn't have that same urge with Xbox 360 games. As I type this, I have a couple games on the 360 that I am extremely near "100%ing" yet I have no drive to complete it. "But why?" I thought. I found out over the following days that it's because of the same reason I started this blog. There's no reward. There's no congratulations. I feel this is one aspect that Sony greatly improved the Achievement system. Sure, they've claimed that we'll eventually get prizes for being platinum gamers, even a trophy room so we can show off our victories:
Where has the concept gone? Who is to know. I'm slightly disappointed it hasn't truly been spoken of since, but I don't feel it will be much more than a minor aesthetic value. What I prize most is simply the fact that I am acknowledged for having completed everything in a game, at least as far as retail is concerned. If you were to pop on and check out someones Street Fighter 4 trophy list, for example. And see that they have a platinum trophy there, you know that this is someone who is very likely going to be able to put up quite a fight.
This led to my eventual long shot and self set disappointment at E3. I was hoping, since my Xbox 360 library is much larger than my PS3's, that Microsoft would announce their equivalent of Platinum trophies. A small announcement, compared to many of the other things that would have been announced, but essential to sate my growing addiction. But I cannot express much in words how excited I would be to, say, turn on the Xbox 360. Whoosh goes the logo, out pops my avatar with an "Achievement" NXE theme. My avatar shows a symbol across his ID showcasing how many games i've 100%ed. Score an achievement or eight. Pop back to the NXE Dash at the end of the day to see a few icons drop down from the sky to join the growing pile in the background. Sky aflutter with the occasional symbol for a particular game i've maxed out. A shirt for my Avatar displaying my number of caps. A person can dream.
Suddenly it's no longer about "my gamerscore is bigger than yours". You can have 80,000 gamerscore (figuratively speaking), but still be a noob. But now, you'd have a way to actually gauge someone's true skill. Gamerscore does not reflect this. Nor can the PS3's Level system. Only a larger range system that covers even the most difficult achievements can be used to display someones prowess at a game.
I end this note on my frustration however. And that's if you're still with me, as I do have a tendency to ramble. I was working on the Grand Theft Auto 4 trophies. Having completed this game pre-trophy patch. There I was, a couple weeks in. And I suddenly received word that there is a slight. Slight possibility that the platinum trophy may take me months to gain.
That reason was simple. A bug occurred somewhere in the system. Hundreds of counts all over the place of people completing the requirements for online trophies of particular difficulty. Completing all modes of the multiplayer portion, as well as every map on both races (108 total races). Only to accomplish all this and find out "I didn't get it. Why didn't I get it?" Rockstar remains silent on the issue while all this seems to stem from slow implementation of the trophy system. Is it Rockstar's fault? Maybe. Is it Sony's fault? Maybe.
The only thing i'm sure of is that I want it. I've completed the requirements for it. And now i'm disappointed. Nevertheless, I will work and work at it until a solution is found. And when that day comes, I will jump for joy and giggle like a school girl. And likely as things will go, i'll move on to my next platinum trophy.
P.S. Microsoft. I'm lookin' at you, man. All I want is a congratulations at the end of that long tunnel. All I want is something to say "Oy, this guy cannot be doubted, he definitely knows how to play this game". Is it so much to ask? Is it? read