Through a concoction of getting illnesses, a general sour mood due to frustrating news and little access to a computer with time and energy to blog I have found myself somewhat neglecting my blog. I don’t feel like I particularly owe anyone anything for following my blog, after all you are here for me and me hasn’t been present in fullest capacity. Either which way you wish to view it I want to write and the dry spell despite not being actual procrastination suffers form the similar issue of the longer you wait the harder it is to get to it. So let’s talk about long, arduous and difficult unlockables to get.
I was recently playing Mario Kart 8 and upon finding out about the golden parts you can acquire for every item type I decided it would be my quest to acquire a full golden set. The wheels were easy, the kart body was less so but still manageable. It was the acquisition of the dreaded golden glider that brought me to a wall. In order to unlock said glider you require a total of 10,000 coins, of which you can acquire 10 in any race maximum if you keep them all when crossing the finish line. Simple mathematics tells us that is a minimum of 1000 races to get that glider…..but being a part of a set I can’t just ignore it, it isn’t a ridiculous task just a time consuming one.
SImilarly, recently I have found myself playing Hyrule Warriors after my brother purchased it, only to find out via the Internet that a certain desirable requires every weapon of every rank. Okay, in context that means around perhaps 20 or so minimum battles, but there is the kicker. To get the opportunity to unlock these weapons you have to reach certain blocks on a map that are unlocked via doing adjacent blocks. You then must “Search” the map block using an item you win from battles, said items being plentiful at the start then thin out considerably to the point the last 10 weapons require mini chain quest approaches. Gotta get this item to unlock this square so I can get this item to unlock the square but I need a separate item entirely to even identify what item I need to use. Needless to say it is exhausting.
Oh of course I have a third example: Super Mario 3D World. I want to get all the stamps, they are the only tangible thing close to say an achievement in these games that carries with you outside the confines of each individual game. I get to the end, beat the final level and….. oh what is this? I need to beat every single stage with a character to get their stamp, the last 5 I need in the entire game? Oh you are funny sir, into the drawer you go. Bye! Enjoy the darkness, you cheeky little git! I’ll just go and play one of my other games that doesn’t ask I play an entire game through multiple times to wring the last few unlockables out of it.
With these games asking so much of me to get the small things I feel like the mild completionist inside me is getting kicked around. I won’t complete a game if it asks too much of me but I like getting everything I can out of what I pay for, I noticed that when I eat others food for example I am more likely to throw some away. Naturally of course when I buy my own food that crap is going down my gullet whether I feel sick or not. I’m all for motivation to go back for a game or try a harder mode, lord knows incentive to replay is what has brought me back to many of my longstanding favourite games. It does however seem to be getting out of hand, often trading off amazing achievements of skill for playing far beyond the point of enjoyment.
Odd that this topic sprung to mind with that whole Order 1886 debacle roaming around about video game length. I can tell you this though, bad meal or delicious meal a small portion just makes me hungrier, I’ve played plenty of short and enjoyable games but their saving grace is they are very replayable to the point of playing Spyro 1 on the Playstation more than 10 times, as well as the gameplay not relying upon a lack of knowledge. A good game feels like there could have been so much more to it more often than not so there is a lot of factors that go into how we might judge value for money, I know many can’t afford to splash all the time and need something to keep them going, especially with a homogenize pricing system for varying quality titles.
Finding the right balance of content and pacing is by no means a simple task, however making people throw hours into nothing for measly stamps and unlockables is not the right way. I do have a golden glider in Mario Kart 8 and I will get all the weapons in Hyrule Warriors, however I might have an addiction to the concept of 100% that makes me really wanna see a complete set, thus my love for the Monster Hunter franchise armour set collecting. By all design concepts it is very easy to do and not particularly attractive for many so one could argue perhaps the game was not intended for them. After all some games really are designed for people who love lots and lots and lots of stats and numbers. However such things used as cheap content rather than enticing rewards is not a beneficial practice for anyone.
Ah you know what? if I find interest to replay 3D World I’ll just do a run of different characters, yes I have a problem but dammit I can’t stand looking at those empty spots on a full stamp collection!
What games have you played with viciously long or difficult requirements for unlockables? Have you ever gone out of your way for something simply to know you just have it, despite its effective value? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.