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DryvBy avatar 8:29 PM on 08.29.2008  (server time)
Trophies/Achievements: The Best Next Gen Idea...Evar!

Excuse the nerd title, but I was thinking over a period of time over which version I'm getting of Mercenaries 2. The 360 version? The PC version? Or the PS3 version? Well, since only one supports the crack patch, and I'm of course referring to Achievements, I'm probably going to get this game on the 360. I don't understand Sony. They come out with a clever idea of how to rip achievements but do it better than the original (competition is what makes stuff better), then after how many months, there's 4 or 5 games that support it. Being a statistic junkie, I like having my Xbox Live/Windows Live achievement score well above most foes. I would be a lot higher if I was a completest, but I'm too lazy and bored with games to get 1000AP per game. Still, I wish developers would just release them for even crappy games just to watch the sales jump. Old Madden games even. From many reports, the patching process is really easy, especially with medals or in-game achievements already in play. Heck, just spend a week patching the game to have a bronze trophy just for beating the game. That's all I ask.

Proven fact: trophies sell games. Proof? The Uncharted sales after the game's release. Heck, I drove in my Guinness Draft jammies to the la trashville Wal-Mart and picked it up the same hour I hear the patch was released. I'll admit if if no one else can: I'm a sucker for unlockables, whatever the flavor! You know how many times I erased my Dreamcast memory card to re-unlock all the characters, stages, and colors for Marvel Vs. Capcom 2? At least a few dozen. So I think, honestly, it would be wise for Sony to push the market to release patches for their older games. It would boost their sales drastically. When I log on to the PlayStation blog, when any game is released, most of the common themes are "I'm not buying until trophies are released".

But why are they so great? Why do we care? I read a lot of people saying, "Achievements/Trophies are dumb. They just make them to sell games to suckers.". True. Very, very true. However, there's a flaw in that logic. Really, I get a lot of games that I have no idea what I've done in the game, and it's frustrating. I'm like a ton of people and never finish games unless they're glue-you-to-the-seat. But I usually go back and finish them later. I like to see what stuff I've already done in the game. It helps me remember crap. I also have brain damage. Achievements and trophies are more than just showboats for your online loser friends. They're fun because they're unlockable goodies. It's hard for me to play a game without achievements just because I love unlocking crap more than I do playing some games. They're also good because it's like a collection of things you've done in games. Plus, even on some websites, you are ranked according to achievements. So with the last subject, achievements/trophies are no different than a high score board, or a leaderboard. I compare some achievements/trophies with my real friends. It's always fun to just compare what you've done with what they've done. It's almost like comparing trading cards with an old buddy and being mad jealous over his John Elway rookie cards.

Other than that, some achievements are so freakin' impossible in theory that when someone gets them, you really are like "Wow, nice job.". I like achievements a lot and it's a huge deciding factor as to what console is going to get my money for that point. I have every console I can think of that's important. But when I'm spending $60 a game, my money is going to the game that has that one extra feature: that achievement or trophy. I prefer the Trophy system more, and I'll explain why. PlayStation Home sporting my trophies in my house is a really cool (very nerdy) idea. Everyone is kind of curious to see how Home is really going to play out. Is it going to work? Will it just be another empty promise? Since the PlayStation copied the achievement idea (in theory), I wish Microsoft would actually embrace a Home idea that sported a sort of "trophy" room.

As for Nintendo, I wish they'd read this. I can't even justify buying a game on your console unless it's a Nintendo mascot exclusive or something I liked when I was 12 or a teen, such as Harvest Moon. You need to get your act together. Your gimmick magic wand just doesn't cut it. I don't even know if my Wii works anymore. Horrible online support, worst friends list support, no freakin' achievement/trophy sysytem, and Gamecube graphics on my 42" just doesn't cut it. Get back in the park! The only reason you guys are up there is because old people think casual games make them gamers. And because Playboy and such made WiiFit sound fun (but it's not).

-dryvby, achievement unlocked!

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