Yesterday I got the last two achievements for “Dead Space” which were for beating the game on Impossible mode and also using only the basic pistol which is actually the best weapon in the game.
I’ve talked before about “points that don’t matter” and Xbox achievement points are definitely at the top of that list. I have a love/hate relationship with them because I love getting them but I hate that I love getting them. Achievement points are like drugs, a very potent experience that lasts a very short period of time, after which the only solution is getting more. At best, achievement points give you new ways to play a game you already like, and at worst they feel like a chore. The only games I’ve gotten nearly all the points for are games I really like such as Dead Space, Assassin’s Creed II & Brotherhood and Mass Effect 2. For other games, the pursuit just seems that much more pointless (no pun intended).
There’s a study going around about how video games can be addicting, and I think that in many ways games are going in that direction in more ways than one. There was a recent 60 Minutes feature about how modern day slot machines are more like casual video games which give the appearance of awards even when you’re not winning. Just think of Peggle or some of those games which have constant visual and auditory positive reinforcement.
I stayed up until 3:00 AM last night playing Game Dev Story which was recently released for Android. This is a game all about numbers much like old RPGs. It’s all about pressing buttons and seeing if your numbers go higher, and occasionally there’s a nice sound effect when they go higher. Extremely addicting and also structured to be very difficult to put down.
I think that should be the name of a new game genre “make numbers go higher.” I suppose RPGs can be classified that way, but maybe there should be a word used to describe it that’s nice and snappy.