Achievements: Why They Matter, and Why I Hope the Switch Has Them

When I was a kid, I remember sitting there and playing Super Star Wars on the Super Nintendo a lot. I loved that game so much. I didn’t have a plethora of games to play at the time so I would replay games multiple times. I recall playing on every difficulty including the painful Jedi difficulty. I remember getting so frustrated but refusing to give up. Eventually I did it. I beat the game on Jedi and when those credits rolled I knew I had done it. I was a Jedi Master.

Fast forward 7 years or so and I’m playing Final Fantasy 9. I decided that it was going to be the first Final Fantasy that I did everything on. EVERYTHING. And so I did. All weapons obtained, all abilities learned and I even beat Ozma. That was such a grind but I did it. I was so proud.

Here we are now, 15 years later, and I’m still proud of those moments. But as I retell these stories I think to myself, “What makes people believe that this is true? I can’t prove it.” Super Star Wars didn’t have save files, and I’ve long since lost my PS1 memory card with that FF9 save file. So all people can do is take me at my word. This very reason is why I love Trophies/achievements and think they are an incredibly relevant part of gaming today.

I know there is still the gamer out there who could care less about their achievement/trophy score. But in my mind it has become a necessity. Being able to brag to my friends that I spent the time to unlock every trophy and got that elusive platinum in Borderlands is such a wonderful feeling. People don’t just have to take me at my word anymore that I spent the time doing it, now I can show them. And let’s face it, as gamers we are a bunch of people that are proud of our accomplishments and should be able to show them off! I’m glad we can.

This brings me to my next point. Since the introduction of trophies on the PS3, trophy hunting has become an enjoyable pastime for me. I like trying to do those impossible tasks that only .2% of the others who have played it have accomplished. Bragging rights, baby. This sadly is something that Nintendo is sorely lacking. I will always play my first party Nintendo games, but if a game comes out on all platforms that I really want, odds are good I won’t pick Nintendo due to this one blaring fact, lack of an achievement system.

Many may say that’s not a good enough reason and that’s fine, I respect your opinion. But that extra bit of bragging rights makes a big difference to me. Now, Nintendo has flirted with achievements a bit. New Super Mario Bros U and Hyrule Warriors both had in-game achievements that you could earn. And Hyrule Warriors could even be posted on the Miiverse! It was a valiant attempt, but not enough. Not having a place to see what games your friends have played and compare your “progress” against them was a disappointment for me. One I hope that the Nintendo Switch fixes.

Whether the Switch has an achievement point system or not will not affect whether or not I get it. I’m getting one day one no matter what. But it will tip the scales back into Nintendo’s favor on multiplatform games again. Back on the GameCube/PS2, I always bought my multi platform games on GameCube. But that has changed. I would love for it to change back though.

Just think about it… You are playing Mario Switch and you play through that underwater level in record time. *Ding* Nintendo Medal unlocked! Or you are playing through Breath of the Wild and you find that last heart piece. *Ding* Nintendo medal unlocked. Now you can brag to all your friends that you put the time into your favorite game series and unlocked the hardest achievements.

With the Switch release not that far away I hope that we find out that they are adding an achievement system. In this day and age it almost feels like a necessity. Whatever the case may be I still can’t wait for the Switch. In the mean time I’ll just be over here trying to get that Final Fantasy 15 Platinum.

From as early as he can remember, Krispy has been a gamer. From the Super Mario Bros 3 on NES to Destiny on PS4 he has been running, jumping, and button smashing across worlds on most major consoles. A few of his favorite games are Super Metroid, Earthbound, and the Uncharted series.

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