Over the past few months, I have been regularly scanning over items in sentuamessage and online forums for the possibility of introducing achievements into original Xbox titles. There were a wealth of amazing games released for the console and I lost many a day to playing through these trying to unlock or complete as much of the game as possible. Having no programing background at all, I had no idea if this would even be possible, let alone how you would incorporate an unlocking system for game saves that you may already have.
Games like Tim Schafer's Psychonauts
is a prime example. Completely different from anything that had come before, or since for that matter, I played through this game twice and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. But what if I had been rewarded with an achievement for obtaining every single figment of imagination? Could you imagine the TA ratio on something like that?
Then of course there is Criterion's Black
. A superb shooter that was very modern warfare-esque and had some superb levels. How about an achievement for unlocking all of the silver weapons?
So here I was, staring at my 360's dashboard and pondering over downloading the two above games from Xbox originals... and you know what i asked myself?
"Is it really worth downloading them? After all I won't get any achievements or gamerscore."
And that was when it hit me: do we really play games for the experience of the game as an entity anymore, or is it all about those elusive achievements?
Since it's release in 1997, i have probably played through Final Fantasy VII
about 5 times, start to finish. Why? Because if you ask me, it is still the
greatest game to have ever graced any console or PC, period. From the relationship between Cloud and Sephiroth, the junctioning system, hunt for huge materia, the Highwind, chocobo racing, snow-boarding, full cast of great characters and compelling storyline it was truly an epic title. I have enjoyed playing it more than any other game I have ever owned. But you know what? Since I picked up my Xbox 360, I haven't played it once. And why?
Now I know this is going to be controversial being posted on a website that is dedicated to gamerscore and achievements, but are we really turning into a bunch of gamers who would rather sink 8 hours into My Horse and Me 2
for a quick 1000 GS than spend those same 8 hours really enjoying our gaming experience with a title we truly revel in the experience of? Now don't get me wrong, I have picked up Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth
for that exact reason, who hasn't, but are we all really okay with parting from great gameplay in our quest for gamerscore?
I suppose the only thing I am trying to say is, from one gamer to a bunch of others: boost all you want, whore all you want. I still do because I love the achievements coming in and truly feel like i have accomplished something when the elusive "pop" happens. But don't let that hunt take you away from the essence of why we are all here in the first place: because we love computer games and enjoy playing them for the experience.