Achievement Discussion - February - Putting the January Blues Behind Us
Written Monday, March 02, 2009 By Dan WebbView author's profile
So the January blues are now behind us and we’ve finally got plenty to talk about this month, although we always find something to say (some say too much). In fact, this month we’ve got too much to talk about and of course we can’t talk about everything, so we’re going to focus on the biggest lists that dropped in February and what you’ll be doing with your achievement hunting time in March.
Even Riddick can't raise a smile for 1,000 wins.
For us, Riddick is one of the worst lists we’ve seen in some time. Why you ask? Well, because it has some of the most ridiculous multiplayer achievements for a game that, let’s be honest, won’t be known for its multiplayer. Two that smack us in the face as being a complete opposite of what gamers want in a list are the 10,000 kills and the 1,000 wins achievements. Seriously, what is all that about? If you look at the whole list, those are just the worst of a bad bunch. Throw in some kill streak achievements, collection achievements and some pretty vague achievements, and you’ll see the list is as sour as one of those Jawbreakers you had when you were a kid. All this and we’ve still not even had the chance to see the 21 secret achievements *cringes*
Guitar Hero: Metallica doesn’t look anywhere near as hard or frustrating as Riddick, and in all honesty, judging by the revealed achievements (yes there are loads of secret achievements here) it could be a fairly easy list as far as Guitar Hero titles go. Is it me or have the Guitar Hero achievements got progressively easier since Guitar Hero 2? Trying to get more sales that way maybe? Who knows, but I do remember getting 250 points on Guitar Hero 2 was no easy task and this time, you’ll get at least that for completing the instrument careers. And that’s the minimum you’ll get. Chances are it’ll be more around the 300-500 mark depending on the difficulty level you play at and looking at the trophy list for the title on our sister site allows us to gauge the secret achievements, and well, they don’t look that much harder either. For us though, the Godfather II’s list is probably our favourite of the month because it seems to get the balance and variation right. Okay, it’s not really going to set the world alight in terms of originality but it’s still, a very solid list.
In terms of releases, March isn’t as jam packed as February is, although it does have its fair share of gems. Whilst the achievement list for Resident Evil 5 is unknown, the trophy list has been out for some time, so for all intents and purposes we’ll take a look at that. The list for Resident Evil 5 doesn’t look that bad but there seems to be a ton of wasted potential, especially when you consider that 20 of the 50 achievements are tied in to completing the game or its chapters. A closer look though and there seems to be way too much collecting as well with the list asking you to collect all the emblems, figurines, treasures and eggs dotted around the game. Not bad, but not ideal. If that doesn’t keep you that occupied for too long and you’re in North America, you could always try the life consuming Star Ocean: The Last Hope which according to our very own Pants Party is “insanely difficult.” To break it down a bit for you, half of the battle is getting the achievements tied to getting 100% of the battle trophies. Easy? Hell no. There is one battle trophy for fighting for 100 hours with a single character ... and this is just an example of one of the 900 battle trophies you'll need to get. Throw in some achievements for finding every chest, every weapon and completing every quest and you’re looking at an insane amount of hours. Most time consuming list ever apart from Final Fantasy? Computer says “most likely.”
It's ok Shiva ... Just one more collectible to go.
The other fairly big release of the month would be that of Tom Clancy’s HAWX and the list, despite the huge amount of multiplayer achieves could be fairly fun. The good thing with the multiplayer achievements here is that they aren’t too insane like Riddick’s 10,000 kills or 1,000 wins. Instead 25 team deathmatch wins and some 100-kill weapon achievements seem to make up the majority of the multiplayer achieves, although we did spot a play 100 team deathmatch games to taint it ever so slightly. Like Resident Evil 5 though, there are A LOT of game and mission completion achievements; one or two too many we feel. Other than that, a potentially enjoyable list. If that doesn’t take your fancy, you could be spending your time picking up what looks like a fairly easy 1,000 with the upcoming WWE Legends of Wrestlemania title or completing every last task of the heavy on the action, Wheelman title.
So, this month was quiet, so quiet that I didn’t get any suggestions from anyone but I presume that’s down to the new monthly timing and the facts gamers have the attention span of a shrivelled peanut. So what did I do? Bugged everyone ... staff, jackanape, twitter folk, jackanape, those 118 118 folks who promptly asked me what the hell I was talking about (I presumed they weren’t readers) and of course ... jackanape. Eventually, I managed to squeeze a few questions out to reflect on, one from the depths of my own mind and the other from ... you guessed it, jackanape.
jackanape asks “how can developers continually get away with using practically the same achievement list over multiple sequels? EA, Warriors Orochi, Viva Pinata. ANSWER ME THAT!!!!”
Okay Lee, no need to shout. It’s the same reason that developers continue to get away releasing the same games year in year out with only a few new features; Madden and PES for example. There are those that like to embrace the system and use it as another way to flaunt their creativeness (Lionhead, Valve); there are those that like to cash in on its addictiveness (Avatar); then there are those that like to try and get you playing a mode that normally you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot barge pole (The Darkness online *facepalm*) and then finally, there are those that can’t be bothered and just botch a list together at the last minute (Warriors Orochi). So like life, some will try, and others won’t and there isn’t much us or Microsoft can do about it ... well, we can boycott the games, but it’s not like many of us played Warriors Orochi anyway.
Moving swiftly on ... Dan Webb asked “what’s with the prevalence of secret achievements these days and do they serve a purpose especially in games like Guitar Hero?”
Well Dan, that’s a great question and I’m glad you asked that *sniggers* Last month seems to have been a little overkill with secret achievements and in all honesty, a lot of the time they weren’t needed. Yeah, we accept that secret achievements are a great way of keeping plot spoilers under wraps, but seriously, why would anyone want to keep the “create a new custom rocker” achievement a secret in Guitar Hero Metallica? It really does baffle me. I can picture the meeting now ... “oh, that custom rocker achievement ... we need to keep that a secret.” Our view on the subject is, yes for protecting spoilers of awesome unannounced weapons, scenarios, the plot, characters, etc; and no for anything else. Seriously, what’s the point otherwise? Kudos to anyone in the comments that can actually offer a good reason for them other than what I mentioned here. I mused this very point over my morning cup of tea this morning and couldn’t come up with anything.
So we come to the close of yet another jam packed Achievement Discussion and possibly the busiest month of the first half of the year is now behind us. So whether you’re knee deep in Star Ocean in March, preparing for a weekend session of Resident Evil 5 or still wading through the fight fest that is Street Fighter IV, there certainly isn’t a shortage of points out there. Before we move on to the best and worst of the month, a big congrats to two of our mods for passing the 200,000 mark this past month; Covertdog and Hayden. That’s some mighty fine point whoring there lads. Touché.
This month’s stellar achievement comes from the Resident Evil 5 trophy list (thus the lack of a point value) and is one we couldn’t really pass up. I mean, seriously, killing a Majini with an egg ... and a rotten one at that; this is the sort of achievements we want to see more of, except maybe with a better tile.
It was a close one this week but unfortunately for Starbreeze and Atari, they both come from the upcoming Riddick title. The winner (1,000 wins) and runner up (10,000 kills) were heads and shoulders above everyone else this month. I just can’t see the point of lumping obscene multiplayer achievements into a game that’s never going to live up to the other multiplayer options out there in the market at the moment. Maybe it’ll be the next Halo 3, or Call of Duty 4, but I seriously doubt it. If it is, I’ll eat my digital hat.