As a patient gamer I have never really paid attention to achievements in games. Hell, I remember times when achievements were not even a thing (unless you count talking with a friend about what cool stuff you unlocked in FF7 or Diablo 2). However trophy system on PS3 was kind of turning point for me. I loved the sound of trophy popping up, loved idea of different trophy levels (bronze/silver/gold/platinum) and I started to pay more attention to achievements since then. Still I got platinum in only few games and it would always be like that: I play the game for story once -> I check how many trophies did I get -> I decide to cleanup trophies only if the game is still enjoyable after one play-through. Since then I played on many different platforms/launchers that have achievements (Steam, GOG, Xbox etc.) and while they give less satisfaction than trophy hunting on PlayStation I still sometimes cleanup achievements on other systems.
Anyway, I recently was thinking about how frustrating some games are, offering completely insane achievements that would probably killed my love for the game had I tried to get them. Notably I think of stuff like missable achievements that require another playthrough (bonus points if game does not have chapter select), grind based achievements, RNG based achievements, speedrun achievements or achievements with a risk of perma-death. On the other hand I love story-based achievements and I really respect game developers that choose to include only story-based achievements in their games to get 100% after finishing one play through.
I'm kind of torn, because I understand that some people like to be this 1% of players that achieved something super hard and it's cool to allow them to have this moment of triumph. At the same time it's a bit annoying that I can't realistically reach 100% in games that I absolutely love, because I would essentially be forcing myself to play the game to the point that would possibly ruin my enjoyment. First world problems, eh?
Some notable examples of patient gamer friendly and un-friendly achievements in games:
- Hollow Knight – one of my favorite games ever. Finished the game few times, found all collectables, reached most of the endings, even did 5 hour speed run. I can't bring myself to play steel soul mode and the pantheons (I really don't enjoy perma-death and boss rushes in games). I will settle on 90% achievements completion, my good memories about this game are more important than reaching 100%.
- Monster Hunter World – those miniature and giant crowns are one of the stupidest achievement ideas I've ever seen. Game would be much better with having just achievements per each large monster type. Or even something like killing hardest monsters solo (without co-op) that would be cool for most experienced player to show off on their profiles.
- Subnautica – I'm so glad that devs didn't do achievements like "scan every flora and fauna" or "acquire all blueprints". I loved the game and reaching 100% after finishing the story was like a cherry on top. It would be nice though it the game had some achievements forcing me to go out to more dangerous areas like Dunes biome
- Dark Souls 1 – I loved it so much that I got 100% even though it had one of the things that annoy me – missable achievements. Still the game was so enjoyable each play-through that it wasn't much of an issue for me. However the stressful fact that some NPCs appear only under certain conditions and you have essentially one shot to meet them in each NG cycle is so annoying. Playing without a guide is almost impossible in this one.
- Dark Souls 3 – same as DS1 but somehow even more annoying because of the Master of Rings trophy. I liked DS1 much more because it asked you to collect all those cool unique weapons from Boss's souls. And in DS3 looking for rings in NG+ was just like getting useless collectables.
- Control – very enjoyable achievement hunting. Loved the atmosphere of the game, finished the game once and I needed to cleanup missing trophies for only like 2 hours, which was very acceptable in my book.
- Telltale Games – achievements in those games make it clear – it's story heavy game that you play through only once to experience it. That's it. 100%. You can't miss anything, you don't have to make choices that you don't like to reach other endings etc.
What are your thoughts about achievements as patient gamers? Do you have some examples of cool/uncool achievements?
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