Weekend Hot Topic, part 2: Your proudest Achievement or Trophy

GameCentral readers discuss their greatest in-game achievements, from platinum-ing Dark Souls to Call Of Duty’s mile high club.

The subject for this week’s Hot Topic was suggested by reader Tom Meadows, who asked which in-game reward did you find the most satisfying to get and how long did it take you? How much do you care about achievements in general and what inspires you to go after the more difficult or time-consuming ones?

Although most people claimed not to obsess over achievements almost everyone seemed to make exceptions for games they particularly liked, often as a means to extend its running time to as long as possible.


Guilt and pride

I think I probably feel an equal amount of guilt as pride for getting some of my hardest achievements, purely because of the amount of time it took me and the feeling I could’ve been doing something more productive. But it’s a great feeling to get a Platinum and I’ve done it twice recently with NieR:Automata and Horizon Zero Dawn.

Sometimes achievements can seem forced but for these games they seemed to be a very organic part of the game. In Horizon I was exploring and trying to 100% everything anyway so going the extra mile and trying to get the Platinum just seemed like the logical extension of that.

And for NieR, I wanted to see all the endings anyway, since I loved the game and its story, so aiming for the Platinum as well became something I really wanted to do. Before this I can’t really remember the last time I cared that much about them, so I guess for me it really does have to be a game I love and one where it doesn’t seem too contrived.


Never forget

For me there’s two achievements that stand out from all the rest, even after all these years. The first is platinuming Dark Souls or any of the FromSoftware games. Or at least I assume they all work in a similar way. I’m not good enough to get them but greatly respect anyone that does.

The other one is the Mile High Club from Call Of Duty 4, but that one I did get. It took me almost a week of practice but I got it. And then I got it again when I played the remaster and was very pleased to find I still had the old reflexes. Heck, I practised so much for that that I doubt the muscle memory will ever go away.


Hard work

The one I’m most proud of is the Big Brass Balls Trophy from Bioshock 2. You get it for completing the whole game without using vita chambers, in other words without dying. I think you can get it on any difficulty, but I did it on hard and felt pretty good about myself when I finished it, I can tell you.

I’m not sure if the same Trophy is in the Bioshocks but I never did it if it was. A really underrated game the second one, I know it wasn’t by the original team but I thought it was at least as good and one of the best first person shooters of that generation.

Maybe it’s the memory of getting the Trophy that makes me think that, and all the hard work that went into it, but it’s probably a bit of both. Which to me proves that achievements are a good thing and not the nuisance some people try to paint them as.


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Final reward

For some reason the one I remember the mostly fondly was the original inFamous. It was one of the first ones I did but also I didn’t mean to original do it. I just started to see if I could get all the blast shards and then I released that was part of the Platinum.

Once I got into I decided I wanted to complete it and while it took a long time – and to be honest was a bit boring at times – the sense of accomplishment was great. I’ve since done the same with other games I’ve liked it’s always the same feeling. Just before the end you begin to question why you’re doing it and think you’ve wasted your time, or might not even end up doing it. Then you do and the feeling is great!


Well done to you

I always remember the Batman: Arkham games as having cool achievements. There are a lot that involved getting massive combos without getting hit, which is a cool way to test your mastery of the fighting, but whether you had to do a lot of them helped highlight obscure details in the map, that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. I appreciated that, and the little geeky nods to Bat-lore in the names.

I know some people that turn off Achievements entirely but I would never do that. Although I rarely go after them on purpose I like doing something clever in a game and then getting the little ping of a reward. It makes it seem like the game understands what you’re doing and is complementing you. I guess when artificial intelligence gets better that’s probably exactly what it’ll do but for now it’s just a neat little reward when you’ve done something hard.


Unfair race

I think the hardest one I ever got was Gold Plated for the Need For Speed reboot. It had some extremely strict requirements in terms of times and you basically had to race perfectly the whole time or there was no chance.

That was hard enough but because the game was online-only it could get very glitchy at times and didn’t always seems to register your wins straight. Unforgiveable for a racing game at the best of times, but especially when you’re doing an ultra-hard achievement. In retrospect I don’t know why I did it really, given how unfair it was, but I think in the end I just didn’t want to be beaten by the game.


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Survival horror

I have mentioned some of my favourite Achievements and Trophies over time but one which stood out as being the most difficult was not just about being good with quick reflexes or anything dexterous! This was more about keeping full concentration, to be able to keep sane over a long period of real time and to have fully planned out what you have to do in order to accomplish the Achievement.

The Xbox 360’s Dead Rising’s Seven Day Survivor Achievement was to me more of real survival moment! Trying to eat and manage bathroom requirements was real survival on top of the virtual one. I died about two days in from starvation and another time five days in from misjudged zombie dodging. The 14 hours of real-time needed for this achievement equalled around 28 hours of monitoring Frank with his ever-decreasing energy, food supplies, and the need to be finding the best safe places and weaponry.

Every game day equals two hours of real-world time so, as you can see, getting killed or dying from lack of food equals to a lot of wasted time. I took most of the weekend trying to get this, and when I eventually did I got Arthur’s boxer shorts for a bonus award. I remember being (myself, not Frank) drained and hungry and my eyes needing to be shut as a lack of sleep was part of the experience.

When I mentioned planning this whole venture out – I mean it. I researched the best food place locations and how to take out the main human psychos, as more supplies are gained then. And also places were I can leave Frank in a safe enough area, like an out-of-reach roof or behind a shop counter after clearing the undead out of the shop or store. Once I knew Frank was safe and food, energy, and protection was good then it was time for myself to do the bathroom requirements and grab food for myself.

It required patience and dedication and a will to survive, plus knowing how to make food last and combine food to give you the most energy possible. You could only survive the seven days if you had levelled up Frank to the maximum level in the normal game or otherwise it would be near impossible to survive on a limited health reserve.

It did leave a slight psychological effect on me, this Achievement. When I watch zombie movies and the Walking Dead series, I always think back to my very own personal survival of the zombie apocalypse and knowing the fear of nearly dying or just sheer panic and close shaves.

It was one of my best Achievements of all time and one which will stick with me, along with all the SoulsBorne games Trophies. Survival was never so much fun.


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