I suck at games: Keeping your Cheevos in check

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Why am I tortured with this? I have a nice respectable Gamerscore. Why am I hanging around with these skeezy, nay, useless PS3 trophies? I cannot honestly say. I’ve got both consoles, yes, it’s ture … But I’ve also got a competitive streak in me a mile long.

But, I guess this ties me back to what the Monthly Musing is. I suck at being competitive.

For the longest time, I’ve worked on getting high rankings on games. For example, I’d hit  up the local Chuck E Cheese as a kid to play the Ninja Turtles machine to grab that sweet #1 spot so I can put my initials in there: A.S.S. (technically two of those initials could stand on my first name and last name.)

Oh the delightful glee I would’ve gladly felt as some child felt the hot shame of seeing a dirty word on a videogame machine as the manager has to come hastily reset the Ninja Turtles game to delete my score.

But I was constantly denied this glory. Time and time again, game after game I was struck down. My fat stupid hands vexed me with their inability to be the best I could want to be. I even got kicked out of the Nintendo World Championship in the first round.

How soul crushing would it be to you as a child to have someone tell you that you’re not allowed to play games competitively because you suck at them? I can tell you personally, it hurts a lot. Especially at the age of 11.

With the advent of the Internet and leaderboards, I suddenly felt this urge I hadn’t felt in forever to be competitive again. I got a quick smack in the face with the realization that I not only still suck at many games, that I will be forever shamed in many games I really enjoy.

Pictured: Probably me getting my ass handed to me, again, in online deathmatch

Now, I have discovered that I really excel at certain kinds of games and actually do pull rank on some.

Like my stupidly high rank on Galaga. Or my decent rankings on REZ, my fair to not horrible rankings as a vocalist in Rock Band, etc. There’s those rare bits. But, this gets back to my original point.

One aspect that I’ve found where I am competitive and able to stay abreast of my rank is Gamerscore and Trophies. Especially with Trophies. See, unlike Trophies, Gamerscore puts a number on you. And unless you actually start ripping through LOST, King Kong, Avatar, Madden 06 and a dozen other titles, you ain’t gonna be able to be very competitive in these parts. I wince when I look at my Gamerscore compared to that of my friends online. I see people in their 30,000’s and I wince and wonder where they get that much free time and cash to play that much. Seriously, 2.0 …

I find some solace in Trophies. Because the system is so new, I feel able to play “catch up” in a sense. Because there’s a Platinum Trophy, I can feel a finality in a game’s completion that I don’t really get when I hit that 1000/1000 mark. And this has led to some ridiculous lengths to get my trophy level raised. None of which have been entirely successful.

I’ve currently embroiled myself in a little tet-a-tet with a good friend of mine from college. He’s at a Level 8 at 56% and I’m a Level 8 at 63%. This in my mind means I’m winning. For now. And I had to Trophy boost with shit like Yakuza 3, my incoming copy of Katamari Damacy Tribute, my now FOURTH playthrough of BioShock on the PS3, etc.

I don’t know if he’s aware of our “game” or not, but I keep competitive at it. I have to. It’s about the only damn thing I’m good at.

So, in summation, if you see my name come up on the leaderboards and I’m ranked above you, you’re not really doing anything to bruise my ego if you mightily sweep down on me and wipe your ass with my meager score. But know this: I will go and get more Achievements or Trophies than you. And in my mind, I will win.