Are you an achievement hunter, or gatherer? - Warbuff Blog -
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Are you an achievement hunter, or gatherer?

Achievement Hunter, Achievement Whore, Achievement Farmer; choose what label you will, most of us personally know a someone that goes above and beyond when it comes to increasing their achievements. I never considered myself to be someone concerned with earning achievements; especially ones that require large time sinks or are outside my comfort zone for difficulty. But one game in particular has helped unveil another side of me I didn't fully acknowledge before.

Some gamers are like our friend Born4this. They purchase games they are excited to play and to the best of their ability try to earn 100% achievements. Going for a full 1000 gamerscore is just another reason to continue playing a game they already enjoy.

Other gamers specifically seek out titles they may not have otherwise been interested in. While they most certainly play games for fun, they are also very focused on increasing their gamerscore almost any way they can.

Turns out I share the qualities of both, and the determination of neither. I'll gladly continue playing a game I enjoy for the sheer purpose of raking in a few achievements. Notice I used the verb 'raking'.  Raking is a simple task in which the required effort is solely dependent on the quantity of crap that needs picking up. Just keep raking and eventually the yard will be clear of debris.

This is where Captain America: Super Soldier comes in.

Before I started a new campaign in Captain America, I glanced at the achievement list to see if any were tied to difficulty. I found that not only were the campaign achievements free of any difficulty restrictions, 45 out of 50 could be completed with one dedicated run through of the story. After 5 days and a 7.5 hour playthrough, I had earned 44.

Captain America: Super Soldier is a solid 7 game if ever there was one. "Simple Fun" is the wordage I used when describing my experience to DemonRagnarok (Chris Mrkvicka). Combat is accessible and fun but not deep. Traversal requires only 1 button press but, like combat, is cool as *** to watch.

While not every minute was a fun experience for me, all 7.5 hours were very simple. The 200+ collectibles in the game are literally just laying around everywhere. Since I wanted them all I searched every nook and cranny; including a cell-block environment with around a hundred tiny rooms! It was tedious and at times irritating, but I stuck with it because the required pieces for some achievements were literally strewn about the floor just waiting for my rake to scrape over.

I threw Cap's shield at over 500 explosive objects for a measly 15g. I probably added 2 hours to my playtime looking for files, briefcases, film reels, Prussian helmets, beer steins, little statues, ornaments, and ceramic eggs. *** EGGS! None of it ever felt like a task worthy of the Super Soldier known as Captain America. But when achievements are laid about the ground like fruit fallen from a tree, I couldn't resist taking the time to snatch them up.

I'm a long ways off from buying games for the sole purpose of padding my gamerscore. But already I'm scouring my list of unfinished games for more fallen fruit. Even if it means playing more solid 7 games like 2007's TMNT, I'm excited at the prospect of finally having a list of "completed" games. I'm okay settling for my role as a gatherer, knowing I'll never hunt the big game on mountain tops. This will be just 1 more bullet point on the list of reasons why I pick up the controller on a daily basis.

What about you? Be you hunter, or gatherer?

My first 100% completed Xbox 360 game (non arcade). Total play time < 9 hours.