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Trophies ruin video games

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Trophies ruin video games – there, I said it again. They’ve become synonymous with the world of PS3, discussed across whole swathes of internets, debated within an inch of their life, boasted about and with more FAQs written about them than the games themselves. But that’s not why trophies ruin gaming on PS3.

The reason I think trophies are the opposite of a godsend is because they make me feel bad about gaming – specifically, they make me feel bad about my gaming. Picture the scene: you’ve spent dozens of hours on something like Final Fantasy XIII – you’ve clocked the final chapter, vanquished the last boss and watched the wonderful* end sequence. You happen to check your trophy collection and there it is “47%”. Come again?

It’s a slap in the face, right there. All it is is a number, but it sits there, stares you out and mocks you when you look away in disgust. Disgust with yourself. “You think you’ve finished the game? HA. You don’t know the half of it.” It makes me sick in myself, and this is a Very Bad Thing.

I am well aware trophies aren’t mandatory and actually reward players for going above and beyond simply playing through a game once, but every time I finish an entire game and that number is below the 50 per cent mark I feel like a failure. I’ve finished the entire game, yet that number will sit there and mock me because I haven’t even managed to do half of the things it wants me to.

It manages to make me feel bad about completing a game, about enjoying myself and about feeling like I’ve actually done enough on the game to move on and enjoy something else. And it’s for this reason that trophies ruin gaming.

You could, unsurprisingly, apply this logic to the 360 as well, but this is a blog for a PlayStation mag so I would never do that (I would).

*It might not be wonderful, I don’t know. I haven’t finished it yet as I’m too busy trying to earn a few more trophies.




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  • Sab187

    I understand your argument, but it just the way you look at it.
    Trophies and Achievements don’t have to mean anything.

    I have friends on both “real” consoles that I compete with to see who will get what Trophy first or who has the most.

    I also have friends online that could give a rats arse about Trophies or Achievements. I am currently working on the “Epic Tier 3 Engineer” Trophy for Dead Space.

    I love playing video games. When I play a game for the first time I don’t even look at the list of Trophies. If I love the game play, I will go for all the Trophies/Achievements I can get. On the other hand, if I find the game lackluster, repetitive, or just plain boring I will put it back on the shelf and go to something I love.

  • dave

    ian. no. total bullploppy poo poo.

  • Liam

    I agree, i have found myself putting down a number of AAA titles just because i dont want a 64% trophy completion for that game. If you look at the pros as well as the cons i suppose you could argue that it helps a gamer get the most out of the game.

  • Seth C.

    I agree with Liam, i think trophies make you want to do all that there is in a game, i know back when i played the PS2 and original Xbox i played the gamed because they were fun, but once i beat it was pretty much done with it. but now i can get a little more out of a game since the trophies wants you to do everything and anything that the game can offer. E.X when i played Dead space, if it was back on the ps2 i would have played the game from start to finish, but i wouldn’t have challenged myself to go through the entire game using only the handgun, i would’ve used everything once beat and moved on.

  • Bounkass

    Turn of your display notification if they bother you so much… Or ask Sony to make an update so you can delete and turn them off. Simple.

  • Nick

    I know how we can all WIN, You: Just simply don’t look at your trophies, and, The Rest of the World: enjoy an awesome addition to gaming. Seriously though it’s a totally optional thing, you really don’t have to look at them, hell, you don’t even have to sync them. It’s a WIN WIN!

  • Rainbow_geisha

    yeah i agree about the trophies, but what annoys me the most is when i play a game and its one of the worst games i have ever played, no names naughty bear, and now i have just sat there with like 4% trophies and i cant do anything about it, thats the only thing that gripes me, sony should be able to let you delet your trophies you dont want.

  • john

    I play alot of games and i dont think i have 100% on any game and i dont see why anyone would want to get 100% on most games….For the most part alot of the extra stuff in games are extremely boring.Lets all go and shoot 100 pigeons in Liberty City…i dont think so!Play the game if you enjoy it.If you get bored,stop playing!

  • dannythedevil09

    the way i see it i agree thats one other reason they ruin gaming ints not about the game anymore its who has the most trophies and achievements and it bugs the hell out of me i have 1 platinum only because i wanted to finis the game (assassins creed 2) 100% and people who go above and beyond to finish some stupid tasks like finish the game on the hardest difficulty setting finding all of the secret items using only 1 weapon in3 hours GIVE ME A F*****G BREAK HONESTLY IT DOESNT MEAN ANYTHING IT DOESNT MAKE U BETTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE IT MAKES U SAD AND PROVES U HAVE NO LIFE BEYOND YOUR CONSOLE 🙁 sad face for all the people who like trophies and achievements!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RANT F*****G DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joey

    trophies and achievements dont ruin games cuz you cant get them all, however, that said, they do ruin games, why? cuz they ruin the experience of having fun playing, PLAYING, its not supposed to feel like a job, its a game…, it becomes more about completing a quota of stats to have things like player ranks, trophies, achievements, leveling, prestiging, leader-boards, milling, etc. they all ruin gameplay, cuz they all distract the player from the game itself, it is not that the author cant get all the trophies, its that this person wants to get any of them at all, they want to,cuz they want to distract themselves from the fact that without that stuff, the game they are playing has no replay value, cuz it sucks, which is a reflection of dev teams, not players, older games i could replay over and over just for fun, CUZ THEY WERE ACTUALLY FUN, trophies are a less useful version of an already annoying concept called unlocks, unlocks exist cuz some dev teams suck at making games re-playable so they try making it take longer to beat, whats worse, is the games that would ave replay value, are ruined by this crap too, some games take so long to unlock everything, that the sequel comes out before you get everything, and then no one plays the game anymore, so its like, why did i bother unlocking all this? what happened to gameshark and action replay…? or built in cheat codes, you know, FOR PEOPLE WITH LIVES that dont want to spend years trying to unlock everything in a game they wont play after they do, a good example for one issue is fable 3, it takes longer to level up all the weapons than it does to beat the story, if you have played it, you know that once you beat it(which takes about a day), there isnt anything to fight, in fact, there isn’t anything to do at all., so why level weapons up? why even buy it? just rent it for a day, another example, soul calibur 4, i unlocked everything, and now sc5 is out, and few are left on sc4, i would have preferred to spend my time in sc4 honing skills, not figuring out the quickest way to spam to unlock creation parts asap that i wont even use in special mode cuz its effected by what you wear, these things ruing gaming cuz its work, and games are supposed to be entertainment, not work.

  • James H

    Personally, I agree that trophies ruin games.

    Currently I am playing Infamous 1 ( a few years late, I know ) and I am aiming for 100%, which means two play-throughs ( one evil, one good ) which is fine because I do like to replay games that have different stories/endings based on if you are good or evil.

    However, the fun is getting sucked out of the game based on some of the other trophies. I feel like the game is more work than play when working for 100% achievement completion.

    I remember playing FF7 all the way through at least a dozen times, and at least one of those play-throughs took over 100 hours ( getting 255 all stats for all the playable characters ). In fact, I did several play-throughs of most of the Final Fantasy games up to 10 because they were FUN.

    The trophy/achievement systems in modern games take the fun out of most games – and that is bad.

  • gareth

    Having trophies makes me play until I complete the game, get all trophies but after getting the plat it make me not want to replay 🙁 where as before trophies I replayed games endlessly