Saturday, August 18, 2012

Achievements vs. Trophies: A Personal Story

An unfortunate side affect of having the three main consoles we do, is that everyone chooses a side. That alone doesn't cause any harm though; it's when people try to say that their console is the best, and the rest suck. I will be the first to tell you that I have been on all four sides of this Console War, and by that I mean the Wii, Xbox 360, PS3, and the side that watches everyone else in disbelief at how stupid the bickering really is. I assure you that I will cover this in great detail sooner or later (I'm sure it will be easy to guess which series it would fall under), but today I want to talk about one of the stupidest arguments out there, and which side I chose.

My first current generation console was a Nintendo Wii. Yes, I know, but please refrain from leaving comments about what you might think was a bad decision. This was the first new console I had ever really owned; everything up to that point had been hand-me-downs from my older brother. I was so excited at the prospect of owning a Wii, and I was damn sure that everything sucked in comparison. I tell you this, not to give you an aspect of the Console War as a whole, but to give you a reference to where I was coming from once I had actually purchased both an Xbox 360 and PS3. I loved playing games on the Wii, and that was all I needed.
Nintendo added something like Achievements later...I think...sorry Nintendo.
Then I bought a 360, after spending a summer break at my cousin's house playing Halo 3 to death, and being shown Call of Duty 4 for the first time at a friends house. Those were the first two games I bought back on that fateful day in 2008, and boy was I blown away. I was getting new-fangled "Achievements" left and right,  and building up my puny gamerscore was all that mattered. CoD4 was the first, and one of the few, games I completed 100% (don't judge me). I loved getting that notification, that satisfaction knowing that someone was kind enough to program a response to me doing something I would normally take for granted, albeit most were for just completing a level. Once again, I was happy with playing my games on the 360, and I was damn sure everything else sucked. Until my birthday, 2011.

No caption needed.
I decided that, after seeing the new slim PS3, and the slew of new and awesome looking games on the system, I wanted to treat myself for being one year older. I bought the Killzone 3 PS3 combo for a nice deal, and I loved it. I had bought so many games that I had missed in the past; Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid 4, God of War, Killzone, Resistance, and the list goes on. I was aware of trophies by this point, but it wasn't the same. I guess that, since Sony had put less of a focus on the trophies as a part your online personality (at least it felt that way to me), I had more time to focus just on the games I was actually playing, which is something I feel like a lot of people miss. It made me look back at Achievements, and even though I still love them to death, it seemed like it had become an addiction for some people, who are lovingly referred to as "Achievement Whores".

They've got a nice shine to them, at least.
Trophies, for me, didn't have the same zing, but by that point, I had realized that none of it really mattered. A game shouldn't come down to silly online medals or points. Did you have fun playing it? Yes? Well that's awesome, and that should be the only thing that matters. Speaking of medals, if I was a billionaire, I would personally hand deliver medals that stated "I'm a fucking loser. Go Me!" to any of those fanboys whoever uttered anything along the lines of "Yo PS3 is dum as shit and Wii 2 Xbox all the way COD!!!" You know you've seen these comments and wanted to strangle them, too.

In the end, if the amount of Trophies or Achievements you have is all you are worried about, you are completely missing the point in my book.  Games are about having fun and enjoying the experience, not mass hoarding a bunch of non-existent points or pictures. But hey, maybe my book doesn't matter to you, but you are the one reading this.

Leave your comments, concerns, and suggestions for future topics in the comment section below, and as always, thanks for reading, stay tuned, and stay sweet! :)