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Power Member - Level 9
Any gamer that has or owned a PS3 or Xbox 360 is most likely very familiar with achievements or trophies. I also believe that with achievements Microsoft has introduced a rather large (if not essential to some gamers) addition to video games and how we play them or just the added replay for the dollar. Either way achievements and trophies have become largely popular and will continue long into the next generation. However, one company has not gotten with the "norm" and may never, but for an achievement/trophy addict Nintendo may have been just what I needed.
I picked up the Xbox 360 back at launch and although I was introduced to achievements back in 2005 I never really got into them until roughly 2007 or maybe even later. But once I got into the flow of them I quickly grew into the obsession of completing games by getting 1000/1000 achievements for each game that I owned. At the time I was still early into my twenties and I basically had all the time in the world to play the same game multiple times or play a certain multiplayer game for an ungodly amount of time. Without sounding too much like I had no life I still was able to maintain a job and a relationship, I still have no ideal how she put up with me but that's another story.
Anyways, I eventually picked myself up a PS3 and although the PS3 launched without trophy support by the time I picked up mine trophy support had already been implemented. Having been such an achievement junkie I completely grew obsessed with getting a platinum for each game and so I again was playing through campaigns multiple times and playing way too much multiplayer. Lets just say self control meant nothing to me and the joy of playing games and earning meaningless scores or trophies was my way of living...
Although I think achievements and trophies can be fun, especially when you just enjoy a game so much that they just give you more of a reason to play. But I also think they can be extremely unhealthy for games that you don't enjoy, but since you've already started the game you now are committed to completing this game no matter what. Than there's the drive to play online for a game that has terrible multiplayer and sometimes the worst community just for an achievement or trophy is just absurd. Another great example of unhealthy gaming is beating said game on it's hardest difficulty and I know I'm not the only one who has nearly had a brain aneurysm trying to complete such tasks(no fighting in the war room on veteran anybody) just to get that "Hey you beat the game on it's hardiest difficulty here's a cookie".
I have wasted way too much of my free time on attempting to complete or platinum a game and thanks to the launch of the Nintendo Wii U I think I may have finally become free of my attachment to such pointless needs. Upon getting my Wii U I had already been informed that the system was not going to be supporting any kind of achievement system and although I was a little worried at the time, I couldn't be more happy in the end. My first couple of Wii U games that I played left me with such a strange feeling that I haven't felt in a long time, that feeling was to be playing games just for fun again. Sure I had fun playing other games on my 360 or PS3, but the feeling of not having to kill 8,000 enemies with a spoon or beat the game on you will never win difficulty really had me at peace. I honestly think that it took a system without achievements or trophies to finally break my habit of the need to complete and I will never go back. Since than I have just been enjoying games with maybe only 1 play through on normal difficulty or if the online sucks I skip it and in the end I just play what I enjoy which also frees up way more time to play other great games.
On a side note I have recently sold my 360 and started a new PSN account to break myself off even further and although I have gotten a few platinums since than, they are nothing that I didn't enjoy getting or loose my cool to.
Finally, I do not want to end this blog without saying that I support achievement hunters or platinum achievers and I know that many are completely attached and truly enjoy the game of it all, but please do keep in mind that some trophies or achievements just aren't worth your time and health for that matter. Hopefully I haven't soured anyone's opinion and here's to freeing up more of my time to enjoy newer games, my lovely wife, and our soon to be born baby girl. Thanks for the read!