Recently, I crossed into six years of having an Xbox console. Over those six years, I’ve managed to play about 244 games across the 360 and the One. It might seem like a big number, but that also includes games I haven’t touched but still have a copy of or games where I earned an achievement at any time. But pretty early on in my playing I got addicted to the achievement system.
For the uninitiated, achievements started with the launch of the Xbox 360, and are included in every Xbox-platform title. You can earn them for doing something as little as simply turning the machine on, or as difficult as earning every possible medal in the online portion of a game. Each of said achievements gives you gamerscore, a number that is used to boast about your completions to other players. Usually, the more difficult the achievement, the higher number it awards.
At this moment, according to TrueAchievements.com (a fantastic site by the way which is useful for news, community, and of course, for completing games or the achievements), my gamerscore is sitting at 96,107, with a completion percentage of 52.24. It’s to the point with the massive number of games and achievements I could earn, that to earn a single percentage point I would need to earn roughly 86 achievements. That’s typically the allotment from a game and a half… and let me tell you, that can be maddening. Especially with some of the achievements taking a large amount of time to complete. It can only lead to me having some games sit on a physical or digital shelf and simply be unplayed. How bad is it? In the last months I have played through Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for the first time. Or how among the titles that I have yet to play or complete include Half-Life 2, Blue Dragon, Resident Evil 4, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and I could truly go on. But the point is, I feel like I need to re-evaluate how I play games. There are still some that I will want to find all the collectibles in (Alan Wake in particular stands out, since most collectibles have a narrative purpose), but for the most part I believe I will just play what I want to.
As such, even if I am streaming, I believe I will be changing how I prioritize what I want to play. It’ll follow a very simple principle of what do I WANT to play over what do I want to complete? I thin this will lead to more of a “thinning of the herd” so to speak. It’s already reflected in my stream as I have recently begun playthroughs of both Ultimate DOOM and Shadow of Mordor. You can look at those streams here at YouTube Gaming.
Do you feel any kind of similar tug-of-war over how you play? Le the know in the comments and let’s talk it out!