January 4, 2009

Trophies Reflect Skill More than Achievements

MrWeymes Says: It was inevitable that gamers would compare Playstation 3 trophies to the Xbox 360's achievements. While it's true that both reward systems add a considerable amount of replayability to games, it's still unclear which is superior. The main thing that Xbox 360 fans can boast is that achievements are mandatory for every game available on the Xbox 360 and it has been that way since the launch of the system. It is a shame that the trophy system Sony implemented in many of its games were not available at launch and was not mandatory throughout most of 2008. Hopefully, trophy support becomes mandatory in 2009, so that gamers aren't torn between buying games based on whether or not they support trophies. Regardless of which was around longer, trophies and achievements are very similar, and are in direct competition for gamers attention. Here are the reasons why trophies should motivate more gamers to collect them all rather than collecting achievement points.

Almost everyone that owns an Xbox 360 wants to have a high gamer score to boast about. While it's obvious from a high gamer score that a person has a love for playing video games, it usually doesn't mean that this person is a particularly skilled gamer. Most gamers that have a high gamer score have simply played a lot of games. That person usually doesn't have a 1,000 out of 1,000 on any of their games. Perhaps this person only has an Xbox 360, or perhaps this person only buys multiplatform games for the Xbox 360. Whichever the case, it's clear that a gamer score doesn't say too much about a gamers skill. However, the trophy system for the Playstation 3 says a lot about the way a person plays a game, and their skill level. The trophy system can embarrass gamers accustomed to playing a ton of games on the Xbox 360 and only completing them once or halfway through. If you were to play every Playstation 3 game that supports trophies like this, you would probably gather a nice collection of the lowest trophy you can earn, which is a bronze trophy. 100 bronze trophies with no silver, gold, or platinum trophies to accompany them makes a gamer look a lot more amateurish than a gamer with a gamer score of 10,000 on the Xbox 360 with most of their games only having 300 out of 1000 points awarded. The reason for this is that when you pull up someone's personal information on the Playstation Network, you are not only shown the level of that person, and the number of trophies they possess, but the kind of trophies they've earned as well. This person may have more trophies than you, but because the majority of his are bronze, and the majority of yours are bronze and silver, you may be a higher level than him. It's obvious that the trophy system rewards skill with prestige more than the Xbox 360's achievement system. Yes, you can look over a persons games on Xbox Live to see how many points they've accumulated in each individual game, but it's not mandatory when looking at someone's profile. You are simply shown the gamer score itself. If it's high, you're impressed, if it's low, you're dismissive. Meanwhile, this person with the 3,000 gamer score may have 1,000 out of 1,000 on all of his three games, and is probably the guy out-killing you 5 to 1 in a match of Call of Duty 4 for example.

The achievement system of the Xbox 360 may be a better business decision, because it can make a gamer with average skill feel like a gaming god because of his tremendous gamer score, thus persuading him to buy more games to increase his score. However, gamers that want to flaunt their true skill in the faces of others cannot deny the draw of the trophy system on the Playstation 3. You can guffaw at a gamer’s 45 bronze trophies, while he ogles your much sought after platinum trophies. In conclusion, the trophy system is a much more effective way of showing off your gaming skill than the achievement system. Any person with a good amount of money can pad their gamer score, but it takes a lot of hard work and skill to earn those platinum trophies. This article is not meant to be insulting to Xbox 360 gamers, because there are many that complete their games fully to earn all 1,000 points. However, this accomplishment is often overlooked if their overall score is low. The trophy system motivates gamers to fully complete their games to earn more trophies, because most gamers do not want to look like a well-paid amateur with his or her not-so-impressive collection of bronze trophies.