Achievement Discussion - 16th June 08
Written Monday, June 16, 2008 By Dan WebbView author's profile
Welcome to the first in a new series of a weekly features we like to call “Achievement Discussion”. Those who know their way around the forums will realise it’s a long standing tradition to call the thread regarding discussion of achievements in each game forum, the “Achievement Discussion” thread. Yes, the staff were at their most creative when they came up with that. That being said, the point of discussion of this feature will be anything achievement related. So long as it has that magic "achievement" word in it, we’ll let it fly. We’ll start by looking in detail at the week’s achievement lists and we’ll also discuss any talking points that have cropped up in the achievement world during that week. Whether it be someone in the community hitting a substantial milestone or something like that, it all goes. I’m literally open to suggestions, so if you have any that you think would make a decent topic, fire me an e-mail (dan.webb [a] x360a.org). I’m not sure what day this will drop on a weekly basis yet, but we’ll keep going with it and see where it eventually falls. As is, we're leaning toward Sunday so then the weekend surfers can take a butchers and the Monday morning “Don’t want to be at work today” crew can take a peek while they have their morning coffees. Anyway, without further ado, we’ll get started.
Being as this is the first one, I wasn’t entirely sure where to start... I certainly wasn’t going to go back to December 05 and go through every list; by the time I was finished the next Xbox would have released!! So, I thought, we’ll roll back the clocks to a list that certainly took my attention just over a week ago, namely Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.
It seems to me as if this was a rushed set of achievements. The pictures are scatty and the achievements are fairly generic. "Complete this", "kill a 100 of this with this skill", and so on. No clever names, nor any fancy achievements either, but hey, you’ll be happy to know we’ll be searching the galaxy for every last little “Jedi holocron”. *sigh* Another developer that forces [Pun intended! Go me!] us to search every nook and cranny in yet another fetch quest masquerading as quality gameplay. All in all, a pretty disappointing list for a title that is surely going to rock. I suppose, to add insult to injury, the difficullty achievements will end up not stacking forcing players to play the game 4 times! Oh yes, developers STILL make that mistake. *shock horror*
Two lists that didn’t quite wow me this week were the Space Chimps and Supreme Commander lists. I hate to say it though, but with Brash creating and publishing Space Chimps and knowing the rep of their last game, Jumper, I didn't expect much. Take note, the lists do have their resemblances.
The list that did however please me this week was the Guitar Hero: Aerosmith one. Maybe the little jibe at the Guitar Hero 3 list in the Achievement Awards made an impact? Am I being cynical? Maybe, but we can all hope that the message gets across sometimes. Goodbye to those god-awful controller achievements and lefty flip achievements [well, unless they are one of the 16 secret achievements, then I’ll retract this praise at a later date]. Hell, they may have even stacked the achievements, or am I expecting a bit too much there? The point is though that the list certainly looks more enjoyable and workable for those who love the whole instrument genre.
To finish up this week’s focus, I’m going to discuss two lists, both covering the same event and will effectively be pretty much the same game. On the one hand, we have a great example of a what to do when creating achievements and on the other hand, we have an absolutely shocking list.
The Good: Beijing 2008
The Bad: Summer Athletics
The Beijing 2008 list looks to be fair whilst quite challenging, giving gamers something to aim for. It appears that the times and distances we'll be expected to beat for the achievements are close to the actual world record that's held in each event. Aaron Peirsol of the USA set the 100m backstroke world record on 27 March 2007 with a time of 52.98; the achievement asks that you get a time under 53.10 seconds. Another example is the 1500m long distance running achievement, which requires you to beat a time of 3 minute 26 seconds for it to be unlocked which is currently the world record as was set by Hicham El Guerrouj on 14 Jul 1998 in Rome, Italy. So all in all, the achievements require you to set new real-world records and the list shows a clear amount of skill, effort and research has been put in to it. Kudos to Eurocom and SEGA.
Now contrast that with Summer Athletics which require you to create a male and female character for a point each *yawn* Yes, I did say 1 point. Damn uneven achievement values again! The game has 8 individual 1 pointers which "reward" [I use that term loosely] gamers for false starts, getting a timeout [whatever that is] and knocking over 5 hurdles in a 110m metre race. Do I need to say anything else on that matter? It speaks for itself. The game has 4 100 point achievements which are rewarded for “original” things like maxing out your skills and winning all competitions.
In the battle of the two lists, I’m fairly sure it's quite easy to tell which one is the overall winner. We’ll be sending a cookie out to SEGA and Eurocom tomorrow while ordering dtp and 49 Games to go stand in the corner, to just think about what they’ve done. Naughty boys!
On a lighter note, in some community related news, I did notice Deathisland hit his 100,000 gamerscore this week [on the button as well], so congrats go out to Quebec’s number 2 gamerscore whore.
That’ll be it for this week, but to see us out, turn on a slow song [can I suggest “Everybody Hurts” by REM] and check out our favourite and most detested achievements of the week. Till next week.
I Don't Want to Miss a Thing 30
Earn a gold star rating on a song on Medium or harder difficulty (Local only)
Perfect achievement. Attainable with practice and available to the vast majority of people through hard work and commitment. Fantastically appropriate name as well. Top marks.
Knock over five hurdles in a 110m Hurdles race in single player.
Why, oh why, oh why? Not only is it a ridiculous point value to put on 1 achievement, but it's hardly an "achievement" in the classic sense of the word. Tut tut.