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Achievement Unlocked
Posted on Wednesday, March 25 2009 @ 13:04:14 PST

(Taken from my blog @ )

Here I will do a brief look at both the achievement/gamerscore system for the XBox 360 (Box is what I'll be calling it) and the trophy/gamer level system for the PS3.

Achievements are sort of like a hobby inside of a hobby. Mostly, they are put there to encourage gamers to continue playing the game, with the sick, hidden meaning of trapping you--nay, forcing you to play the game more and more until you get that last freakin' achievement.

Some games implement them very well. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, one of the first games to have trophy support on the PS3, took it's skill point layout and converted it to trophies. This is also an excellent example of how trophies should be incorporated into a game; skill.

Most games you see have achievements for simply getting through each chapter of the story. This is a cheap and lazy use of the system, especially when not accompanied by the proper amount of skill achievements to make up for it. Achievements for getting through the entire story are alright, however.

Some games also achievements for reaching 100 level completion percentages, such as Kung Fu Panda. This is very 'in-the-middle', because it's both a good way to get players to keep playing the game, but usually forces them to keep playing until their manipulative brains are content. I am hardly an exception.

Now comparing PS3 trophies to Box achievements, I'd have to say I favor trophies. (This is one thing I like about Sony. Sure, you can say they steal ideas from everyone, but what you've then failed to notice is how much better they tend to make everything. Ex.: DualShock.) Earning trophies gain you experience, value-dependant on what level of trophy you got, and level-up your rank. Gamerscore only tallies up all of the point values from your achievements and displays them as one big number.

With trophies, you can see more clearly how skillful a player is. Since the trophies are categorized by difficulty (bronze, silver, gold and platinum,) you can tell if that player has been getting the harder achievements instead of just buying a lot of games and earning the easy ones.
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