The implementation of achievements into games was an act of simple genius. Not only did it deliver a whole new dimension to the now essential social element of gaming but it also provided an added value to videogames, connecting them all in one big metagame that played out between your social circle and awarded bragging rights to the winner.
Even if we have no intention of investing hours into getting the full thousand points, that satisfying sound effect is to many of us what Pavolv’s ringing bell was to his poor dog and we’re still occasionally compelled to kill those extra guys in the corner, finish one more side mission or pick up that gnome and carry him through the rest of the level, almost just to hear that lovely noise.
When the developers get it right, achievements convince us to play and enjoy the game in a manner we otherwise never would, or simply increase the sense of accomplishment felt during story progression. When they don’t, they often become too easy, too difficult, too cheap or downright nonsensical. This is WhatCulture’s rundown – in no particular order – of some of the most memorable, both good and bad.
But what about yours? Are there any achievements you’ve felt compelled to get, are proud of completing or just thought were plain stupid? Let us know, we’d love to hear.
1. Braid – Speed Run
Complete a full speed run of the entire game, beating the challenge time.
This achievement encouraged people to play Braid in a completely different way. The first playthrough, not knowing any of the puzzles or story, exposes the game as a wonderfully taxing and compelling platformer, but going for a speed run brings into the fore a different type of gameplay which relies upon timing, accuracy and, of course, speed. Akin to the replaying all those old survivor horror games to unlock new weapons or costumes, the Braid speed run gives the game extra longevity by showing the player a different approach.
2. Soul Calibur IV – Start of a New Era
Welcome to the new world of SOUL CALIBUR!
Similar to the Lips achievement, this one is representative of all those inexplicably easy points that don’t see you achieving anything unless, in this particular case, you find it really difficult to sit through the opening credits of a videogame without pressing buttons. This does get a slight reprieve, however, as the rest of the achievements in Soul Calibur IV are so notoriously difficult that even these five free points are more than welcome.
3. Lost Odyssey – Big Dreamer
View all the episodes from A Thousand Years of Dreams.
Lost Odyssey was the reason I bought an Xbox 360. Unfortunately it never lived up to my expectations, but throughout the game were peppered a bunch of surprisingly well-written short stories which were significantly more gripping and affecting than the main story thread itself. This achievement is for collecting all of them and is something that made me remember the game a lot more fondly than if I had never attempted to seek them out or known about them.
4. Bulletstorm – Golden Idol
Perform every Single Player Skillshot in the game.
Probably the best thing about Bulletstorm was the skillshot system. It was crafted to make the player look as bad-ass as possible and often resulted in inadvertently goading you to walk out into clear danger because you’d killed enough bad guys in cool ways to think you were invincible. Celebrating the Skillshot system and giving the player another reason to try all of them out is a simple yet great idea for a bunch of points.
5. Star Ocean – Ultimate Battler
Obtain 100% of all battle trophies.
Star Ocean was a bad game. Not only was it a bad game, but I resent it for only giving me around 250 points on a single playthrough. Not only do I resent it for that, but I resent it for this achievement even existing. There are over 900 battle trophies in the game and the achievement offers only ten gamer points. No, thank you, Star Ocean.
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