Adam thinks…For thrice

Dear Reader,

We at The Newb Review, are committed to bringing you the latest and greatest game related content possible. So look out for that, in the meantime though, why not continue reading the third installment in our “Adam Thinks…” series? We found this one washed ashore in a bottle, and it sees our friendly neighborhood idiot tackle the subject of achievements, trophies and the like.

What do you want? A medal or summat?

Humans are heinous, despite all of our blessings and accomplishments in life, we are never truly happy unless our achievement score is higher than the bothersome little mortals on the other end of the microphone. If you don’t get the last 10G or the only platinum trophy, your possessions, your house and even your love wont be deserved. Today fellow bipeds, I am going to talk about gamerscore, trophies and achievements, something that has been stewing in my wonderful mind for too long, and I don’t like stew, stew is horrible, it smells bad and takes too long to cook.

a picture of a bowl of stew

Stew....I don't like it.

Another meal I don’t digest easily is gamescore, it’s a steadily increasing plight, which has been laying waste to the ego’s of many a gamer for too long. In spite of previous efforts to loosen its grasp on our minds, the evil gamerscore’s grip is stronger than ever, and it’s easy to understand why.

People can become obsessed with getting every achievement a game has to offer, after all there are bragging rights at stake. When you’re talking to people from every continent around the world over the internet, that’s invaluable ammunition. You’re not just proving that you are better at shooting aliens or collecting flowers, you’re proving that the country you live in is better than the country they live in.

It’s Microsoft’s fault; Bill Gates is to blame. I can’t say I ever recall wanting to get achievements before the Xbox started its world amalgamation. Now it’s impossible to go anywhere without achieving something, forums, signatures, Facebook and most video game related websites too, it’s a conspiracy! But why has this taken off so well? After all, it’s not like we’re going to benefit from this in real life are we? NO!

picture of why achievements are pointless..

Pretty much sums it up really...

In fact some achievements are so hard to get that you actually have to rearrange your life in order to have a day when you can do nothing but kill zombies for eight hours straight. Take Wipeout HD on PS3 for example, it’s one of the most beautiful looking racing games you can buy on PSN. It has a great soundtrack and solid online multiplayer, but boy is it hard, incredibly hard; it’s harder than a grave diggers…heart. I personally logged many hours on that game trying over and over again to get one trophy, so much so in fact that I actually got a little depressed and angry because I just couldn’t do it. I even lashed out at the people brave enough to enter my padded cell, the only emotions I want videos games to promote in me are happy ones, not bad ones.

A more recent racing game known as Blur is a prime example. For starters, Blur rewards you with new cars, challenges and achievements almost constantly. This makes you feel like you are always doing better, always succeeding and generally purveying that you are better than everyone else right from the start. All of this promotes a false sense of opulence; a feeling that is short lived, especially after you take it online and get your ass handed to you.

screenshot of Blur

Don't play Blur, it lies to you! Just like the nurses do when they say my medication is jelly beans

However, if you’re a hardcore Nintendo fan, this isn’t a problem. In fact I want you to cast your mind back to when gamerscore didn’t exist, when Nintendo was king and Sonic was actually cool (OK, maybe that was going a bit too far but you know what I mean), remember how wonderful that time was?

Nintendo don’t have to introduce an achievement/trophy system into their games because the games they squeeze out of their magical money making machine are not exactly of a competitive nature. Their games require you to work together with friends rather than best your friends (with some exceptions). I like to think this induces a better gaming experience.

Nintendo do however reward their loyal fans in different ways. Rather than giving you points or trophies for completing in game achievements, every time you buy a Nintendo product you get “Star Points” instead. These points can be exchanged in the “Star Catalogue” for everything from desktop wallpaper, music and ringtones, to items like key-rings, calendars and t-shirts.

picture of Nintendo star catalogue

Nintendo Star Catalogue? I'm surprised Argos haven't sued already!

That’s what life should be like; we do well at work so we deserve a free t-shirt. Personally I would like a new thermos, but I’ll settle for stationary. Crayons are especially pleasing.

The real horror of it all though is that the day will come when achievements eventually make their way into our so-called reality. Everything you do, from changing your medication, to GBH, will earn you points. Our rep on the streets will become available to all of our enemies and Kinect will be systematically introduced into our CCTV systems.

When that day comes my friends, the world…will finally be in pieces.


Mon, July 19 2010 » Adam Thinks..., Articles

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