Lately I’ve heard a lot of talk and done alot of thinking about gamerscore and completion rates on games. Of course, everyone is impressed by insanely high gamerscores, but is that as impressive as completing a game to a full 1000 gamer points? Or is it a combination of both which earns you the title of “hardcore”? Because let’s face it. Achievements, at least on the 360, have become a big part of gaming. Getting 5 points for kicking a chicken or starting a new adventure may be so easy it makes you feel dirty, but at the same time (for me anyway) they make me want to play harder to complete a game or play through  it on the hardest difficulty possible (which I’ll probably get my ass kicked doing so, but that just makes it more sweet when I beat it).

As for completion rates, I recently discovered how poor mine was when I signed up to TrueAchievements (sign up too, it’s full of stats and graphs, you’ll love it). Since then I’ve raised it a little to 44%. Mainly by playing through some old games again and trying to 1k them as much as possible, for example playing Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Fable 2 and yes, even Disney Sing It (which btw, I play because it is awesome and I am a huge High School Musical fan). I know plenty of people who don’t have a massive gamerscore.. but an incredible completion rate. It makes me crazy jealous to see the games some of my friends have completed. And not just any old game.. games like Call of Duty 4 and 5, Prototype, Resident Evil, and I’d say even Halo 3 is impressive (well I only have 40 points on it). I spent hours searching for flags and Templars all over the Holy Land on Assassin’s Creed and although it drove me mad.. I 1k’d it. Same with collecting 1001 light seeds on Prince of Persia. And don’t tell me about killing 53,595 zombies on Left 4 Dead. Although they’re tedious. They get you closer to that higher completion rate. Achievements are meant to be challenging, and that sweet ‘bling’ noise makes it all worth it.

Which brings me on to gamerscore. Mine has hit the 31,000 mark. Not too shabby? Yeah. But I went through that phase of playing games purely for points. Yes.. Avatar: The Last Airbender IS on my game list. And to be perfectly honest, I’m not ashamed of it. If developers are going to make a game which gives me 1000 points for hitting a few guys a couple of times, I won’t complain. They are legit achievements. I’m no glitcher. But I found out of those few games I played, a few drove me crazy.. I didn’t enjoy them, they were boring, etc, and more often than not I stopped playing them. Achievements aren’t worth wasting my life trying to play a badly controlled rat who can cook pasta.  But there were a few gems in there.. like Open Season (LOVED it, saw the movie, loved it more), Prey (it’s messed up, but who can say no to Blue Oyster Cult?) or Rayman Raving Rabbids (Rabbids, nuff said).

Like I said, I’ve been through this phase, but what really annoys me about the whole “achievement whore” thing is that when people see me playing games like Disney Sing It, CSI or even Lego Indy, they think it’s because I’m achievement hunting, and not because I genuinely enjoy these games. Which I do. I enjoyed CSI so much on the 360 I went out and bought it on the DS as well. I prefer playing these types of games to being mauled to death my mutant alien scary jumpy things! I could barely play King Kong because it terrified me! All those bugs made my skin crawl. Does this make me any less of a gamer because I don’t have crazy “hardcore” games on my game list?

Anyway, upon discovering my poor completion rate, I decided it was time to change my ways. Raising my completion rate has certainly improved my gamerscore of course. The two go hand in hand. And I can safely say I feel far more proud when I see a game where I’ve worked to get as many gamer points as I can than looking at my gamerscore and thinking what can I play to get me easy points? Having a 1k’d game is awesome. So is having a high gamerscore. On TrueAchievements I’m only ranked at about the 10,000 mark. And I’ve only 1k’d about nine games. Let’s be honest, neither are that awesome. And I’ve made plenty of lists of games which I plan on going through and completing. For example Call of Duty 2, 4 and 5, Tomb Raider Anniversary and Underworld (ahh the joys of collectibles), Fable 2, Left 4 Dead and Gears of War (sucks alot of those are multiplayer achievements). Well.. I better get cracking. Veteran doesn’t just complete itself.

On a side note.. don’t just play games for achievements. Games are fun. Don’t forget that!

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  1. urologiccheese says :

    Who doesnt get their ass kicked on hardcore games 😛 dead space.. final lvl.. ive just been killed around 20 times 🙂 still not finished!

  2. Fishman550 says :

    wouldn’t begin to know what my completion rate is lol, I love getting a full 1000 in games it’s just awesome!

  3. joerayw says :

    I don’t tend to go for 100% on gamerscore for each game, but there is the odd one I just couldn’t stop. Prey is an example, I loved that game, 100% on it in the first weekend of its release. Though I’m happy if I can just get to the credits these days!

    I do have an overcomplicated system for what I’m currently playing though, I wrote it down and everything!

    • Chantelle says :

      Yay for making game lists!! Wish I completed Prey. My rental period ran out before I got to finish it. Can’t find it cheap enough to justify playing it again after probablys a year since I last played it!

  4. joerayw says :

    Sonly a fiver these days! Its funny how Xbox achievements was the start of it all. Now we have Steam achievements, Sony Trophies and a lot of wii games have them within the games to but don’t add up an overall score. I recently finished Tak on the wii and the awards section is just like the achievments on Xbox!

    • Chantelle says :

      It’s getting to the stage now where we don’t game for fun.. we game for rewards. Which is good and bad. The 360 inspired it like crazy! We need a universal scoring system.. one for all consoles. That’d be interesting.

  5. joerayw says :

    I think multi cross online would be mint! Imagine that, Call Of Duty 7 online against PS3, 360 and PC owners! But point scoring, I don’t really mind, when I first got my Xbox it was something I become addicted to (my GS is testament to that) but I’ve mellowed out on it these days. I can see the appeal though, it is like the days of the arcade going for that high score against your friends!

    • Chantelle says :

      I always thought thats what it was missing. The amount of times I’ve played CoD5 on the Xbox whilst my dad has one the PC. It’s like.. why cant we kill each other! Would make the game, or any game so much more better. I’d bet they’d get more buyers too. However, it then kinda makes the need for seperate consoles slightly obsolete. Still an awesome idea.

  6. jmoore76 says :

    Great article. I agree with you, Games should be played for fun not points. I used to be concerned about my gamescore but now I don’t care. The acheivements do make me go back and play for points but only after I complete the game.

    • Chantelle says :

      Yeah I’ve got past that whole achievement whore thing. A lot of games I’ve been playing lately are to catch up on games with sequels coming out shortly. If the new game looks awesome, I don’t want to be behind on the story!

  7. IntelligentAl says :

    True, it does seem like nowadays I can’t play a game unless I know I’m going to get points for it. It also means I often end up playing games that aren’t fun just for points… Viva Pinata comes to mind…

    • Chantelle says :

      Tell you what.. next time I see you playing Viva Pinata I’ll punch you really hard. Then whenever you consider going on Viva Pinata, you’ll remember last time you did you get hit really hard and then you’ll never make the same mistake again.

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