Sunday, 20 December 2009

What's The Point in Certain Achievements

Now the title of this posting isn't very direct, there's many of achievements I don't see the point in (for my own personal reasons) yet I am still able to understand their reasoning (such as the developer wanting the gamer to visit all areas of the world when collecting flags in Assassin's Creed).

This "rant" is about one specific achievement that I am currently aiming towards getting, it's the 5 Hall of Famers achievement in Smackdown vs RAW 2009. I was just making myself a cup of tea 5 to 10 minutes ago and was thinking to myself what should I do now as it's getting late but still early for bed. Smackdown has been the game I've been focusing my energy in to recently and therefore it popped in to my head, knowing I have just one achievement left to go gives me a drive to continue plowing my way through it. So yeah I'm motivated to get it (and I will) yet it doesn't mean I enjoy my time, instead I just found myself thinking "why did they decide to put this achievement in the game?".

In order to get the achievement to unlock you need to go and enter in to the Hall of Fame, done by entering career mode and winning 6 belts by defeating 5+ opponents in your way. It needs to be noted that career mode is a shamble, a cheap and lame inclusion in to the game that I bet was rushed in last minute and not a single bit of polish thought to be included. It is so repetitive and because extremely tedious after a while. Think of it like this, doing Exhibition matches but limited to your 1 wrestler with poor stats and no sense of direction. Your aim is to beat people well by being a crowd pleaser and your star rating (rated out of 5) then combines with the other star rating results from other people contending for the belt your going for. Now when you have enough stars you can challenge to be number 1 contender and then once you've won you take on the champ for the championship. That's it. No cutscenes, no story telling, just plain old boring similar matches.

Now it's time to finish off explaining what's needed to get the achievement. I've stated you need to enter the Hall of Fame but what I didn't mention is that this needs to be done 5 times! Now managing to bore your way in to the Hall of Fame once is an accomplishment in itself, having to do this 5 times though settles the men from the boys. I love Jeff Hardy, I find his dare devil style a turn on (whoops....) and therefore for my third and current playthrough I have selected to pick him. Problem is I'm only about half way through my third playthrough and I'm bored already, there's a limit to how many times a Swantom Bomb looks cool. Unfortunately I am forced to gruel it out and get it done, opting for the table matches as they do seem the quickest way to get a game over and done with. I have to say I am SICK of hearing the commentators blab useless crap, a complete reverse from what they had to say in the Road to Wrestlemania game type which I happened to enjoy. The problem is it's so repetitive and only makes the repetition of the tedious same matches even worse, thankfully Windows Media Player and my large collection of music help to drown out my sorrows.

So where am I going with all of this? I just want to rant about how I don't see any need for this achievement to be in the game. To come to this conclusion I feel like I did to put my shoes in other people's perspectives, the first one that springs to mind being the game developer. Developers can spend numerous of year producing their game and therefore I can quite understand them putting achievements in that encourage the gamer to see everything that is on display (we're all sick of the tutorial achievements on Guitar Hero now right?). So I think about this in relation to THQ and their game but am unable to put 2 and 2 together. They may want us the gamer to check out career mode (all be how terrible it is), I get that, however it doesn't explain to us why we need to do it 5 times, isn't one playthrough enough? A developer could argue when confronted with this point that every playthrough is different and that's a valid point to make on games such as Fable and Dragon Age where your actions have consequences. But a wrestling game? Yeah it can work in a wrestling game (Road to Wrestlemania mode is fantastic) however not in the dull and boring career mode. Everything is the same and therefore repeated playthroughs offer nothing new to the gamer.

The other perspective I try to view is those of the dedicated obsessed and loving WWE fan. They are obviously going to be much more tolerant to playing through the mode and may well potentially enjoy it every time. How I feel is though that even nobody is going to prefer career mode over Road to Wrestlemania, even the die hard fans. Road to Wrestlemania has everything career mode wishes it had and is a hell of a lot of fun. If THQ were forced to put in an achievement for completing a game type 5 times why couldn't they have picked Road to Wrestlemania 5 times, me and other achievement whores still wouldn't have been pleased but the die hard WWE fans would probably be much more keen on the idea too.

This is getting pretty long and I've got a boosting session on NHL 08 starting in 10 minutes. I've said all that was on my mind and hopefully you would have read what I have had to say and taken it in. I'd like to think you'd all agree with me about how much a pain in the arse the achievement is however if you have any points in pro of the achievement which I failed to see then please feel free to let me know. Your comments and discussion are always valued. Thanks for reading.

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