Monday, April 20, 4020

achievement rant - edit


Moving on to the relevant topic at hand, whether achievements enhance or detract from the experience of the game. You made the case in your article that they detract from the experience. Well, my argument is that they only detract from the experience because you choose to be aware of them. Its user error, silly.

You dont like achievements? Turn off notifications in the Xbox 360 preferences. You will never get another pop up "20G Achievement Unlocked" again. Dont want other people on XBL "judging you" and looking at your achievement list? You can set your profile up so that all that information is private. Nobody has to know about your achievements, including you!

Its all very silly then to make such a big fuss over it. Achievements, and your enjoyment, hatred, or awareness of them, are entirely optional. If your immersion in Bioshock or Half Life 2 was compromised, Im very sorry to say but it was all your own fault.

Now on to your claim that achievements are "arbitrary" and "artificial" means of extending gameplay. First of all, the achievements are not arbitrary, thats a complete mischaracterization. Developers dont pull them out of a hat or have monkeys throw darts at a list, the developers actually sit down and make a concerted effort (in some cases more than others) to find tasks in the game that are challenging or interesting or fun, and then provide a digital token for completing such tasks. Some of the achievements certain developers have come up with are wildly interesting or insanely challenging. Some are totally pedestrian, such as "complete chapter 1." My point is that the achievements arent random, they are picked by the same people who made the game you are playing and enjoying so much, and they are made to extend and enhance that experience - not limit it.

Now Ill move on to your second point - that achievements are artificial and constrain the players own sense of accomplishment and creativity in completing tasks in the game, or discourage them from making their own special goals. There are many, many things in life that you receive a receipt for, a credit for, a degree for - and that piece of paper is something that people are proud of. Maybe its a college degree. Maybe its a certificate from a racing or cooking school. Have you ever gone into a Doctor's office and looked at all the papers on his wall? Was your first thought, "Wow, what an achievement whore?"

No, I didnt think so. You thought, "Wow thats impressive. I feel safe with him as my doctor; he knows what hes doing." Because those framed slips of paper represent real accomplishments, he didnt just half-read a few medical textbooks and then "internally" feel a sense of accomplishment that enabled him to practice medicine. No. There are objective criteria that he met that enable him to display those certificates on his wall and practice medicine. Achievements, to someone who clearly doesnt understand them, are a bit like that.

Trust me on this, because when I first heard about achievements I was completely skeptical. I wouldnt care about them (why would anybody?), they were pointless and didnt add anything to the game except something artificial (your point exactly).

Well, meeting a bunch of great people on Xbox Live and playing on my 360 almost everyday has brought me around on achievements to a place I consider healthy. First of all, I play games primarily to enjoy the games themselves and not to earn achievements or improve my gamerscore, although I have friends on my list that have certainly played games primarily for their gamerscore value, I dont think less of them for it. Some people take their gamerscore more seriously than others and that is their right as 360 owners. They have worked hard for all those achievements and deserve to be proud of them.

Secondly, I believe that achievements add a tremendous amount of value to games for those who enjoy trying to earn them. Although accomplishing a task such as staying off the sand in Half Life 2 might not be fun for everyone, it is quite challenging and those who completed it can and SHOULD feel an extra sense of accomplishment. Its not the type of achievement you can earn randomly, it requires a concerted effort on the part of the player to earn it, and in that regard it truly enhances the play experience and adds value to the title. Also, to hammer home my main point, this extra value is optional. You dont have to stay off the sand to beat the game. You stay off the sand to stay off the sand, its the same reason people climb Mt Everest: you do it because its there, and because its hard (or fun or silly or random, depending on the game and developer). Achievements really allow the personality of the developer to shine through, and in some cases they show ways of playing the game or completing certain sections you would not have thought of otherwise.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

404 Error - Page Not Found, Probably

We at Chronic's Crunchy Blog deeply apologize, but the page you have requested has probably been forgotten about, left in a ziplock in the freezer, or possibly inserted into a smoking device and incinerated. Fortunately, a large gentleman by the name of Abobo decided it would be awesome if he got together with all his buddies from the 8bit era and had a giant party here instead. A gamepad or an arcade stick is an absolute must, so grab Xpadder now: (password: unfedzombie).

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

IGN Gets It


"Burnout 3: Takedown is timeless in a way only the very best games get to be."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dead Island Meets Mirror's Edge?

(Skip to 4:50 for the action)

Dying Light wouldn't have caught my attention at all accept that I accidentally ran across some gameplay footage that showed free-running remarkably similar to Mirror's Edge (which I loved). It also appears that you only have the ability to melee enemies (no firepower) which is similar to Dead Island. Then, I came across this multiplayer blurb in the wiki:

"Online multiplayer has been announced for up to 4 players in the co-op mode... there will be challenges throughout the world for players to engage in for experience. Two challenges were showcased with one being a fight to kill as many zombies as possible and the other being a race to an airdrop."

What do you guys think? Any interest?

Side note: I will have GTA V on Xbox One soon and Sunset Overdrive is a LOT more fun than I expected.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Full Circle

I know we initially hated on Revenge for the ability to ram through traffic without consequence, but holy crap is this perfect for a 3 year-old monster. He went with the chronic mobile because apparently the color blue plus anything with flames equals awesome. Luckily he has not yet discovered the contents of its glovebox.

In all seriousness I forgot how much I love burnout. This is amazingly fun compared to any racers I've played since. With that said, we seriously need to get some games going for old times sake.

Update: The fact that they are playing this instead of Mariokart HAS to say something. Quick, someone send this pic to EA/Critereon!

Monday, May 26, 2014


Here's the most recent feature trailer. Most interesting to me, besides the introduction of some favorite and unique SF3 characters, is the online training mode. The retail game will cost $30/$40 (PC/Consoles) or you can just upgrade to Ultra for $15 if you already own any of the 16 versions of Super Street Fighter lol. Upgrade comes to consoles on June 3rd, while retail versions and all PC versions come August 8th.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Destiny Beta & USFIV

Since it's sometimes hard for me to catch you guys online, I'd like to use this blog (with Chronic's blessing) to ask if any of you are purchasing Destiny and, if so, for which platforms. If any of you are participating in the summer beta I would like to be able to join you. I do have an Xbox one (for now) and a 360, so those are my options.

Same goes for Ultra Street Fighter IV out in August. If you guys get it, I PROMISE to get on and play. Seriously. I play quite a bit offline - I could easily log on and play instead. I think you can buy it as a downloadable update to Arcade Edition, but I'm not sure. My vote would be for the PC version, but I will buy whichever version you guys get.

Let me know!

I hope you guys are all doing well. I just had child  #3 (WHAAA?!) and, even though it was no accident, I think I might cut off my unmentionables to make sure 3 doesn't turn into 4 :)

Oh, and Chronic, I just bought a new 23" IPS monitor with pivot just so I could run 'tate set-ups for shmups and thought you might appreciate it :) It makes them so much more fun. I will snap a real-time pic as I'm writing this just for the hell of it:

Sorry for the completely random blog post. Hope to hear from you guys! Ok, MD out!