Hate-Box: Why I Hate LOVING Achievements

Matt Reynolds returns to spread the hate in all new Hate-Box. This time, the fabled “angry-man of gaming” is feeling conflicted; he HATES achievements, but explains there’s an “achievement whore” buried deep inside all of – with a relentless need to get that full 1000G for every game…

As it stands right now, I have around 100,400G on my Xbox 360 profile. The result is almost eight years of accumulated 360 gaming and achievement hunting. A paltry number compared to the top-tier of obsessive ‘cheevo’ whores; sure – but a pretty respectable number nonetheless. But let’s be clear here.

Love/Hate

I really HATE achievements.

That is to say, I LOVE them – but I hate them too because in a very real sense they have ruined games for me. Like so many others, I have developed a ruthless, obsessive streak that compels me to at the very least try to aim for the full 1000G on every game I play. It has become a nasty; all-consuming addiction with Microsoft as my pusher.

Achievements have become a big part of gaming - there are websites devoted to them.

Achievements have become a big part of gaming – there are websites devoted to them.

Achievement hunters have been turned into filthy beasts, scrabbling for easy Gs by playing the most sordid, poor quality games they can get their hands on. I know this shame all too well – I’ve played and completed Naughty Bear. Hunters also gather on internet forums to form ‘boosting’ parties that can hamper the enjoyment of players trying to play the game properly.

Having said that, some of the most enjoyable times I’ve had this generation came from boosting parties with a group of like-minded souls. Sitting up late at night with a group of guys playing Poker in Red Dead Redemption to a meticulously worked out set of rules that helped everyone bag the achievement was a total blast. Boosting can be great fun in its own right, if done properly in a way that doesn’t spoil others’ enjoyment of public matches.

Gotta Get Them All!

The side of achievements that I really hate is how they have fed into my obsessive compulsive tendencies to the point where I can never feel I’ve truly finished a game unless all the gamerscore is mine. In reality I only have the full 1000G on a handful of titles, leaving a large collection of ‘unfinished’ titles that drives me mad. Its like an itch I just can’t scratch. The absolute worst culprits in my collection are the games like the original Ghost Recon – where to gain one achievement you have to become number one on the world leaderboard. That is unobtainable to 99.9% of gamers. Other multiplayer games such as The Darkness have zero players left on their servers – and other games have long since had their servers shut down. This is why although multiplayer achievements can be great fun, they should be banned.

The popularity of achievements can be easily charted; there are countless memes featuring them on the 'net.

The popularity of achievements can be easily charted; there are countless memes featuring them on the ‘net.

I swore that once I hit 100,000G I would turn my achievement notifications off and never bother hunting them again. However, if anything its increased my resolve. I am currently going back through my entire collection attempting to bag every possible achievement I can. I just can’t stop.

A large part of me really hopes the next Xbox does away with achievements. The scary thing is; a larger part of me doesn’t.

– Matt Reynolds. Unlock an Achievement by following him on Twitter @thelostmoment

Have you become trapped in the hunt for those precious achievements on 360 or Steam and Trophies on PS3? Do you like them or loathe them? Let us know in the comments below, on Twitter @lowfatgaming or on our Facebook page.

2 comments on “Hate-Box: Why I Hate LOVING Achievements

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