This isn’t a PlayStation 3 versus Xbox 360 war post, it’s a question for gamers and if you’re a gamer, you don’t care what system you play on and just enjoy gaming. This is more to do with something I’ve had in my head for some time now and due to the relatively good success of the What Consists a ‘Limited Edition’ article, I figured I’d go with another off the top of my head feature.
When the next generation consoles launched back in 2005 not only brought us high-definition gaming in our homes, but also achievements, little rewards for doing certain stuff in the games we played and in some little way, gave a certain amount of satisfaction after a while as the notification popped up. Something called a Gamerscore was something to build upon, the achievement became more important the more it was worth as you would say piffle to the meaningless five and even a crazy three GS, you wanted the endorphin releasing 25, 75 and even 250 GS achievements.
Once you’d had gratification from your probably now RRoD’d machine of beauty, it was time to see what the PlayStation 3 had to offer, trophies were what Sony mustered up to give gamers a sense of progression, but the system was different. Where achievements didn’t particularly become more valuable the harder the difficulty was (although, that is the case in some games), trophies rank as bronze, silver, gold and even platinum with one major difference, there is no score that goes with them. Should that matter? Steam introduced PC achievements which mean absolutely nothing except for you performing a certain task within a game, you get no trophy or Gamerscore to go with it, but then again, Team Fortress 2 has over 350 achievements, overkill?
Trophies become more valuable the further you get into a game with the usual inevitable Platinum being a final reward for beating the game due to it being the most precious metal available in virtual trophy form. Don’t you think they’re somewhat meaningless though? Xbox 360 achievements not only have a count of how many of them you have accumulated over time, but also a Gamerscore for further bragging rights, the PlayStation 3 on the other hand has levels, but what do those levels represent? Well, you get points for each trophy you’re rewarded and those points build up to the stage where you gain a level, the only reason I can see for those levels is just how much of a seasoned gamer you are, but isn’t that what the Gamerscore is, too?
Steam didn’t want to feel left out of all this gamer rewarding malarkey that Microsoft and Sony were bogarting and since the only other way PC gamers were going to achieve glorification was through Game for Windows and that doesn’t really have the best of reputations in the PC gaming community. A major benefit of Steam offering achievements was that anyone could add them into their game, not just the major players of the industry, indie developers could offer a selection without being categorized as the lowest tier, unlike the console equivalent where indie games feel like, level 3 with Arcade/PSN being level 2 and Games on Demand/Full PSN Games being the cream of the crop.
The question is this; as a multiformat gamer, what do you consider more valuable, trophies or achievements (X360)?
I prefer the Xbox 360′s achievements, not because I’ve played that console the longest, but I like the idea of having a number. I don’t care much for the actual achievements, I just try to get that Gamerscore number higher, but in a way that doesn’t distract me from the game I’m playing. I’m not an achievement and/or Gamerscore whore, I’m more interested in getting the score higher to make it look … I dunno, more respectable? I have to admit that I don’t care for the PlayStation 3 trophies, I think they’re worthless and please, I’m not saying that to troll or flame any PS3 fanboys, in fact, if you’re a fanboy, please leave now.
I do get some satisfaction from being rewarded trophies, I’m like, “Ooh, a trophy!” in a non-sarcastic way and it’s the same with Steam achievements, but while it’s nice to receive recognition of my gaming ability from them, it doesn’t beat the feeling of that lovely big grey Achievement Unlocked bar popping up. That’s just my preference and opinion, you don’t have to agree with it and I know many don’t or won’t on principal, but it would be nice to know what others think!