Recently i've been feeling disillusioned with gaming and I think i've started to make sense of some things.
I joined this site a few years ago, as I loved the solutions and guide features as well as being able to find people who needed the same achievements so you could arrange to boost them.
I've been gaming for over 30 years now and i've come to the conclusion that I am definitely not compatible with achievements. Done well, they can add depth to a game and there are of course many that take real accomplishment.
The flip side of the coin is pointless achievements, badly thought out ones, glitched ones and those that whether you're a fan or not, demand far too much of your time to ruin a perfectly good game, and if you like to finish your games 100% you end up doing un-fun things.
Having to make or follow a plan, have a laptop handy or join boosting sessions, all seem like the opposite of fun and gaming to me, indeed more like project management or working from home.
But i'm old school, you used to just pop your cash or game in. The poor games you left, the good games you finished, the great games you explored every inch of and mastered. I used to be so much better at r-type and shooters than I am now. Every day I feel pangs of retro goodness nagging at me...like getting as far as a I can with one credit in King of Dragons, and seeing how far I can get in Ghouls and Ghosts without dying (which used to be all the way to the 4th boss).
I think I have been side tracked a bit by the stats tracking on this site as well.
Believe it or not, I couldn't care less about gamerscore (nice concept but poorly thought out), I did for a time care about completion percentage but realised how stupid this was, because if that was really important I could save so much time by just starting a new account, i'd lose a lot of games and history, but I would have a fresh start and no glitched or unobtainable games, and i'd get to play my favourites again, never a bad thing!
I've concluded that for myself the only two stats (should I continue down the meta-gaming route) that really matter are ratio and games completed. Though you could argue that they may be at odds with each other.
Truth is, I think all of this has somehow created gamer pressure. I don't want to be anxious about whether my game/achievement is going to glitch, and sometimes really hate joining a boosting session especially if i'm the "noob".
For me, stats and achievements aren't fun essentially. If you can play a game and not worry about the achievements, good for you. If you thrive on achievement based games, and actually enjoy the research side etc, again, more credit to you.
Of course it would be naive to assume that achievements are imagined with those who like to get them all in mind, but for games where you would just do everything anyway, why have them? And conversely, whether anyone will confess to it or not, some games have achievements for the tourists and collectors. Any player of Battlefield Bad Company 2 for example, will surely relate to how annoying it was to lose a game of rush because some was destroying their own teams m-com stations to get their demolitionist achievement.
I really love this site, and it's full of awesome people. Drmmmpie and Das Kuhnen were I think the first two people I boosted with and I still to this day feel indebted to Mr Kuhnen for the kindness in helping me with all 50 matches in Brutal Legend, when I had been struggling for days to just get a match let alone win them!
Not forgetting of course Monsieurs Skinstakovic and JJ Apocalypse, reliable, dependable and hardcore, without whom I would not have been able to finish many games.
Recent friends of course, Hotzoglou, Jordano and Nocturnal, all true gents and totally nice guys.
My direction now, as in what I really want to do, is try to step away from stats. If there is a way I can continue on this site to use the excellent gaming session feature to finish off a few games, that would be ideal, but I don't know if I can just turn off all the stats so I can't see them.
The second step is to finish MP in a few games, then try to avoid it as much as possible.
If after trying both these, I am still not enjoying gaming, then I will just quit completly and pursue my dream of owning an arcade machine. Sure, the games were quick, the graphics almost painful to look at now, but I loved them, and the days when i'd hit the arcades when I could, go home play my PC engine, Amiga and Megadrive and my brothers SNES, were definitely my happiest for gaming.
I don't care about my xbox 360 history, even though it's from 2005. It's not my full gaming history, and some of it just keeps coming back to haunt me anyway lol.
The used game market was big before but achievements have inflated it massively no doubt. Poor games have never had so much play.
A final point. Great games used to be ones you played and explored it all, maybe even played it again to find all the secrets, you kept it, and came back now and again even after completion. You didn't need your hand holding or a guide, you just did it your own way. In fact, you did it [ianyway!
On the previous xbox, for me these were games like Timesplitters (all!), Kingdom under fire, Gladius, Halo, Conker's bad fur day, serious sam and more.
If you have read this far, thanks for sticking with me and apologies for the post length. It's all about balance and finding what works and doesn't and what you enjoy.
I have been on a bit of an "easy game" spam recently. Truth is, most of these have been enjoying, not because of them being easy, but because there is far less time involved to finish them and I can then play something else.
I really hope in fact that you are finding more enjoyment than me, so do excuse my rantings and personal opinions, its just how I feel. I am entering grumpy old man territory lol (well maybe not quite but my two boys sure are giving me grey hairs!). If you actually found any of what I said interesting, great, but I really just wrote this to vent how I feel and make a plan to stick to.
Peace and happy gaming.
Best and worst games?
So just sitting hypnotized by the pretty colours on the dashboard...
What are you favourite and least favourite games, in terms of fun / frustration, glad you played / wish you hadn't played.
And which game has been the most annoying to get finished for you?
Favourite: Too Human
Least Favourite: Jumper
Hardest / longest time to finish so far: Halo 3