Achievement Grinds – I Hate You!

I’m an Xbox gamer, an achievement whore, and I am also blighted by game related Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  So, when I find a game that I enjoy playing, I HAVE to get every single achievement going for it.  I’m the type of person who will spend hours upon hours trying to get Iron Man to fly through hoops (Lego Marvel I’m looking at you), and trying out new routes to get Sonic the Hedgehog to complete the Green Hill Zone in under a minute.  Okay I said I was a gamer, I didn’t say I’d grown up!  But what really does annoy me are the achievements that take months and months to complete.

Rayman Legends

These achievements may only be for a 30 Gamerscore but I HAVE to get them to officially say I’ve beaten the game.  Two main grinds come to mind at the moment: Rayman Legends on the One and Plants vs Zombies on the 360.  Both are amazing games, but both have that one niggling achievement that can’t be got through skill alone.

Rayman Legends

Let’s start with Rayman Legends.  You get to play as Rayman and his friends – cute little creatures that you unlock along the way.  The aim is to get enough Lums, and save all of the Teensies to complete each level.  It was super enjoyable – so enjoyable in fact that I spent weeks perfecting my skill to complete the Invaded Paintings.  When I had finally completed everything, I had one achievement left.  Enter the ‘Truly Awesome’ achievement.

To gain the ‘Truly Awesome’ achievement for a whopping 40 Gamerscore, and complete the game you need to earn 6000 points from cups.  Now you can get 4184 points from just playing through the game, but those remaining 1216 points need to be earned by playing the daily and weekly challenges.  A bronze cup nets you 1 point, a silver nets you 5, a gold nets you 10, and the elusive diamond nets you 50.  Can you see where I’m going with this?  I average a silver in every game, and get the odd gold here and there.  But by my reckoning, if I carry on doing this every single day, I’ll finally unlock the achievement in October!  OCTOBER!  It’s July now.

As of writing, only 1204 people have unlocked this achievement, and knowing Ubisoft they will take their servers down before the majority of people have managed to unlock it as well.  Yes, it was a free game with Xbox Live Gold, and yes I absolutely loved playing it, but did Ubisoft really need to make this achievement so hard?!  It’s not even hard, it’s just time consuming, and will take FOREVER to unlock.

Plants Vs Zombies

Ah Plants vs Zombies, a game that is so addictive it probably has its own 12 step program.  This was another free game for Gold members, and it took up a lot of my time.  You’d be surprised how fun it is to grow little rows of plants who will try and defend your home from hordes of zombies.

Plants vs Zombies

Anyway, this game was fun but it didn’t take me very long to play everything.  I completed Adventure Mode in a couple of days, and Survival Mode not long after.  I survived all the waves of zombie ferocity, and I unlocked all the plants in the game.  All that was left to do was grow the Tree of Wisdom to 100 feet and I’d be able to complete the game.  Except this Tree of Wisdom needs money, which means playing the same levels over and over again to earn enough money from dead zombies and pretty little white sunflowers to grow it to full height.  It may have been fun if there were more levels to unlock, but there weren’t, and as I didn’t find the game itself too taxing, I’m reluctant to even start going through everything 3 maybe 4 times to get enough money together to grow a tree.

This one does seem to be less of a grind than lovely old Rayman described above, as according to True Achievements around 30% of people who started the game have unlocked it.  But still, do I really want to spend so much time on a monotonous task just to complete a game?

I Realise It’s My Issue

Before you start giving me grief in the comments about how I could just not complete the games, I KNOW!  My best friend is also a gamer and she can easily pick up and put down a game and enjoy it just the same.  But I like the feeling of knowing I’ve completed something – something that isn’t as easy to finish as the Telltale Games series.  Plus, I’m super competitive so if one of my Live friends is also playing a game, I like comparing our scores and seeing where we stand against each other.

I’m not trying to moan, I just think there has to be a better way to unlock 30 Gamerscore than to expect people to spend 4-5 months earning cups.  When it’s skill based you have a much bigger sense of satisfaction than when you just have to do something every day for a month to unlock an achievement.  And I can back up what I’m saying – I have completed Lego Marvel on both the One and the 360 as well as strategic games like Tropico and the Pirates of the Caribbean (you get to play as Johnny Depp – know what I’m saying?).  I’m all up for honing my skills, so long as it’s not a monotonous grind that stops the game from being fun.

Any More Completionists Out There?

If you’re a completionist that spends their time looking for that last elusive achievement, let me know which ones you found most difficult.  I may not have played it, but I would love to hear some of your moans in the comments.  In the meantime, I’ll probably be here trying to stop the zombies from eating my brains.

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