Welcome to the ZTGD Reviewer Rodeo. Each week, we’ll grab on to the hottest issue, hold on for dear life, and wrassle it to the ground.
Achievement Unlocked! Whether you’re an Xbot or a proud member of the Sony Defense Force, that little sound notifying you of a new achievement or trophy is likely to put a smile on your face. This week, the ZTGameDomain review crew reflects on their favorite and least favorite achievements and trophies.
Drew “Frustrated Fury” Leachman
My favorite Trophy would have to be my Platinum I got in InFamous. For 3 months, I was obsessed with that game. I loved every part of it. It was one of the few open world sandbox games that I actually enjoyed. I played through the game 3 times. Getting the final blast shard was awesome. It took some time and dedication, but in the end, it was satisfying to know that I had completed that game fully.
My least favorite is an achievement I earned in Viking: Battle for Asgard. It’s called Viking Slaughterer. It was worth 12 achievement points. I never finished the game, so now and forever, I will have a score that is not a rounded up number from 5 or 10. It will be an 8 or 2 or something like that. It just irks me to this day.
John “Dubya” Whitehouse
In all honesty, I’m not one of those sorts of people who crave achievements and trophies (probably as I’m not that good at games, so my score is low!!). Saying that, there is something satisfying about seeing that little icon appear and hearing that familiar Ding (although, I really hate fake achievements; where you do something particularly difficult in a game and then hear that sound. Only to find out that it’s because a friend has come online and it wasn’t an achievement at all!!).
The achievement I got the most satisfaction in getting was the ‘Vault-Tec C.E.O’ from Fallout 3; Where you have to collect all 20 bobbleheads. It’s not brutally hard, but it takes a lot of searching about, sometimes in very dangerous areas. I was proud as punch when I got that!
As for my proudest trophy, it would have to be ‘Vitruvian Man'; unlocking all 20 parts of Subject 16’s video in Assassin’s Creed 2. That was bloody hard work; not just finding them, but also solving the puzzles to unlock them. Took me ages!
I truly believe that Microsoft created a monster when the introduced the achievement system (in a good way). Whether it be for bragging rights or to extend the longevity of a game, this way of keeping score has changed the way we play games, and it is something that will now never leave us.
Jeff “Scorched Angel” Borsick
I would have to say my favorite achievement is “Listener, Dark Brotherhood” from Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. This is honestly because of my obsession with that game and that was the best side quest story line for one of my favorite games. I am still on a quest to complete that game, as one of the final achievements, which is completing the thieves’ guild, still eludes me to this day because of a glitch. The fact that I spent over 100 hours in that game still speaks volumes of how good it is. The achievements for the game are easy yes, but it takes a very long time to get them all, and I had such a dedication to that game that it made getting all that I did worth it.
I have to agree with Drew on this one, the games that award achievements for anything other than in increments of five or ten. My least favorite achievement is “Shield” from Watchmen: The End is Nigh. It was the first achievement that made my total off balance, as it was worth only eight points. I wish game makers would stick to a plan of making it even with everyone else, as it is making my OCD go crazy.
Michael “Red Pen of Doom” Futter
Without a doubt, my favorite achievement has been “No One Left Behind” from Mass Effect 2. The conclusion of that game was one of the tensest gaming moments I ever experienced. Not only was the finale of the game extremely challenging, but the pressure of knowing that any member of your team could die because of a decision you make or, worse, one that you made ages ago in the game, made earning this one that much more special. I jumped out of my seat in excitement when I was finally in the clear and everyone was still with me.
My least favorite achievement played on my OCD tendencies, but in a different way than my compatriots. I have secured every single-player achievement or trophy in each Assassin’s Creed game. Yes. I found every single one of the flags in AC1. When I put the game down after beating it the first time, I had two left. It took me a couple of hours when I went to play through the game again to finally lay my hands on the missing flags. Seeing that last achievement register elicited both a sigh of relief and a middle finger at my TV. The worst part of the dang flags in AC1? They didn’t DO anything for you. Thankfully, Ubisoft fixed that for later games in the series.
Ken “Zero Tolerance” McKown
My most memorable Achievement I ever got was a tie. The first time I became addicted to these stupid points is when the system first launched. I was online playing Quake 4. The Achievement popped and I realized that I had just won a ranked game without ever being fragged. That is the definition of accomplishment and totally got me addicted to see what else I could earn to show off. Speaking of which, my other favorite is my 1000 points in Burnout Revenge. Some of the final races and crash junctions are so hard, that most people give up. In fact, Criterion actually has a plaque in their office with all the Gamertags that actually completed the game with 1000 points. I am proud to say mine resides there.
As for least proud, that is easy: Avatar. Literally, Justin rented the game from Gamefly and we both yanked 1000 points in the span of five minutes. That game is a joke and I wish I had never even bothered to put it in my system. I love Achievements and collecting them, but becoming obsessed with them to the point of earning ones that don’t even require effort, was a good sign that I needed to stop taking them as seriously. I still love to 1000 point a game; but I certainly don’t play crappy games anymore just to earn them.
That’s all for this edition of the ZTGD Reviewer Rodeo. Join us next week as we grab onto another bucking bronco of controversy and beat it into submission.
Got questions or comments? Drop ’em in the comment section below or hit us up via email. Suggestions for Reviewer Rodeo topics that you want our opinions on? Hit Mike up at firstname.lastname@example.org.