I Think I Need To Join Trophy Whores Anonymous

My name is Richard, and I have a problem. When it comes to games, I am a completionist. If there is a nook left unexplored or some random item that needs to be collected, I feel compelled to spend hours getting the job done.

What's odd is I don't find it fun to do these things — I don't know if I have ever found them fun to do. Rather I feel that I need to do them just because they are there.

It wasn't like this when I started gaming. I'd play a game until I beat it and then move onto the next. It was simple.

But then, little by little, more and more "sidequests", "minigames" and "collectibles" entered the game worlds I visited — where often the promise of an extra ending was dangled in front of me as the ultimate goal. But it wasn't until the arrival of trophies and achievements that it really got bad for me.

Years ago I gave up on playing hard mode in games as it made them more stressful than fun (a blow to the old ego indeed). But trophies changed all that. Suddenly, there was a record for all the world to see "how much of a gamer" I really was. And while I never really felt the need to compare my "e-penis" to everyone else's, a quick glance at the trophy menu would often cause me to say, "Oh well, that trophy will only take an hour or two; so let's do it."

At first getting trophies was somewhat fun: They showed me cool things to do that I might had missed without the trophy incentive. But recently, they have become the work I have to do before I get to the part I really like: the story.

But over the holiday break, I took my first big step. I didn't master Assassins Creed III like I had the last three games in the series. Oh sure, I still wasted a few hours doing things I hated like collecting pages and feathers, and mapping the wilderness. But when the fun sidequests (read: building my homestead, playing pirate, and everything else even remotely story related) were finished, I beat the game and never looked back.

Of course, even then I spent more time sidequesting than I did on the main story — which made the game feel far more disjointed that it probably really was. However, I still feel I enjoyed the game far more than if I had spent numerous boredom-inducing hours hunting or crafting.

Then, last week I even managed to play Yakuza 5 without winning every taxi street race, mastering Virtua Fighter 2 in the game's arcade, and picking up every piece of trash to be found on the streets of Japan.

I don't know why I am this way. Maybe I am just a bit obsessive-compulsive. Maybe I just have too much of an ego for my own good and I refuse to let the game beat me despite its arbitrary, time-wasting goals. (It's probably the latter.) But the fact of the matter is I am ready to change. I am making it known now that I am done with useless sidequests and collectibles. Done for good.

My name is Richard and I am a recovering game completionist.


Comments

    i too am suffering from this it changed everything. It went from being having fun in a game and avoiding hte boring crap to i must complete this.

    And never bothering to replay games that couldnt earn trophies. The crazy thing is the only thing that can cure this is piracy and homebrew.

    The year we jailbroke our ps3's we gave up our trophies..... we could play any psx, ps2 and even psp game we had that we'd 'backed up' to play on our one system, suddenly it wasnt about trophie whoring it was about having fun again.

    Hell when you have all 300 of your snes games all on one and mates coming over theres no care about killing 300 enemies without taking a hit, no worrying about collecting 400 pieces of collectable crap that give you that last bronze trophy to unlock the platinum.

    Then sony cracks down and we think we still wanna play cod online with our mates so we wipe all this...... and go back to purchasing games because it wont take us 260 hours to unlock the platinum.

    And then it goes back to the only game your playing is COD, where you have some douchebag who only wants to knife kill you to unlock that challenge on elite.

    Crazy shit is at the end of the day trophies dont get you anything, most of us dont even get them to brag, its to tell ourselves we're not a **** gamer, we still have it, we finish what we start.

    My gaming habits haven't changed, not even with trophies and achievements. I've always played for fun. If I feel like doing a side quest, I'll do it for as long as it is fun, then I'll return to the main story. If I can't be bothered doing any extras, I won't. Trophies and achievements and whatnot are nice, but for me they're just an added bonus that I can take or leave. Although I can understand why people would go that extra mile and try to complete everything. With or without incentives like trophies, etc, a game just feels more complete when you've done everything.

    anyone have the aftertaste?

    Ill have to explain, you finish a game you loved it, you wanna keep playing it / finish off the trophies.

    We've all been there...... so you spend the next 14 hours over a few days completing it 100%, you have to change your style of play, do things you didnt wanna do, all to get that 100% and a lot of the time its repetitive. By the time you finally get to that 100%, you are sick and damn tired of the game, you never want to play it again.

    Far Cry 2 i'm looking at you, after clocking 7 hours collecting ALL the gems, you then realise you cant get the dumb multiplayer trophies, so for all eternity your locked at 91% never wanting to touch it again.

    Or the annoying game replay of a game that has no replay value, so within 24 hours of buying it you want to complete it to 100% as fast as possible so you can get your 100% of a game that you would have bought and shelved back in the old days, now seeing no replay ability its just a rush to 100% so you can swap it at EB or sell it on gumtree to get something else to satisfy you.

    Because you know if that thing sits in your collection its not going to look good, its just going to give you that horrible after taste.

    I blame Suikoden 2 for having made me like this. It was so awesome collecting characters and building the castle I do it for most games. Or did. Assassins' Creed 2 just became such a chore doing those sidequests it ruined the game. And ever since, I've revulsed at the thought of trophy-hunting

    I aim to get every trophy I can get and I still have fun while I am at it.

    I'll do the trophy thing if it is an enjoyable game and the trophies don't make me play in a way that I find tedious. For example - I did get all the trophies in Sound Shapes because despite being quite difficult, the Death Mode levels were just so awesome and also short. I also got all the trophies in Mass Effect 2 and 3 because I love the games so much I didn't mind replaying them several times in different ways and at different difficulties. I won't be getting all the trophies in Limbo or Braid because doing a run of the entirety of Limbo with 5 deaths or less is fairly long and also very easy to fail near the end, and doing speed runs is something I generally find distasteful.

    I'm too crap at most games to even believe I can get all the trophies...only time i've gotten 100% is Virtues Last Reward on Vita, because you get them all just by playing the game through completely. Even though I didn't do anything partiularly difficult, I felt some kind of strange satisfaction. Damn you trophies.

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