Thursday, October 22, 2009

Borderlands Purchase Decision

A first person shooter game with character level up system, 4-player co-op, and dungeon-crawler loot mechanics? Count me in! I haven't paid much attention to Borderlands until a couple of days ago after I heard about its loot-crazed gameplay: For the longest time, the game's screenshots fooled me into thinking that it was just another generic first person shooter and we know there are too many of those out there. It's definitely going to be one of the new games that I will purchase soon. The game is available for the Personal Computer, the PlayStation 3, and the X-Box 360. After researching the comparisons, I am definitely getting this for the PC. It's $10 cheaper, has twice the frame rate and is the better looking than the console versions. The only drawback for the PC version - if you even want to call it that - is that it is not Live-enabled, which means that it will not feature the achievement system. Hmmm... A better performance and experience or meaningless gameplay tracker that creates phantom goals for players? Don't get me wrong. Achievements and trophies are "nice" but if a game is good, you don't really need those things to keep your interest in playing that game now do you? But if you think you do, perhaps you don't truly enjoy playing video games - that the action of playing them only serves as the symptom and not the cause. Scary thought.

Winner! That was easier than pressing the Staples "Easy" button.


Blake said...

That's one way to look at acquiring trophies/achievements. But for me, I enjoy doing the sometime random act of exploring the game even further and expanding the game play.

I never used to play games on hard or super hard. But I must say that some of the games I've played. I had a more enjoyable experience by going back and beating a game on its hardest settings. Such has Deadspace, Batman, Resistance.

I'm a completionist at heart. Which is probable due to my upbringing of my parents not getting me a new game till I finish the one that I got. So by the time I finish most of my games, I've practically done all there is to do in the game.

I was doing the "do everything" in a game long before achievements- trophies came out. So today to have a list of things that one can try to do, really adds alot of value to the game for me.

Its like shooting for a high score with your friends when arcades were popular. Instead now, its get random nonsense that extends the life of a game that otherwise could potential have been put back on the shelf days earlier.

Loner Gamer said...

Achievements and trophies have the potential to be something more when they actually reflect the gameplay inside a game. Example: locating the secrets within the game, unlocking characters, clearing stages, or hitting a high score. Most of them are a stretch though that become nothing but a desperate attempt to extend the longevity of a game. For example, doing a certain thing a certain number of times, clearing escalating difficulties when the scale of those difficulties are clearly unbalanced, or doing things that you would not naturally do while playing the game. The thing that really bothers me is that developers are now using them as a crutch to "trick" players into spending more time in a game instead of finding authentic ways to extend the life of a game. What you end up getting are sessions of game playing where you are not really playing the game if you really think about it.

Leaderboards on the other hand is what all games should have these days. I would never compare that to achieving a high achievement/trophy score though. What do you need to get a high score in a game? Skill and dedication. What do you need to get loads of achievements/trophies? Play lots and lots of games. That reminds me of this guy I met on X-Box Live. He went from around 1,000 achievement points to close to 50,000 in two months while he was out of work looking for a job. It's definitely one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life (the achievement whoring, not the unemployment bit). He was going through those games so fast, I thought his 360 would RROD - that happened soon afterwards. It's definitely slower to increase the trophy level on the PlayStation 3 but if you have enough amounts of games, you'll rank up sooner or later.

Don't you ever stop and wonder sometimes though if completing a random list of things on the achievement/trophy list really signify the completion of a game? Then again, we all have our own definition of what that truly entails. Like I said in this entry, achievements/trophies are definitely "nice" but they are the last thing I worry about when I play a game: As a matter of fact, most of the time I get startled whenever the pop up that indicates an unlocking of an achievement or a trophy suddenly appears on the screen... Especially when I have the volume on full blast. Now that upcoming feature for the X-Box 360 where you can unlock avatar items by playing a game is a completely different story...