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Achievement Unlocked: Destroy Immersion
by Christiaan Moleman on 11/22/11 08:20:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


So I'm playing Shadow of the Colossus in its new PS3 incarnation.

I reach the first colossus. I stab it in the heel, clamber up its leg, across its back and onto its head to deliver the killing blow. The colossus falls. Sad music plays...


"Throphy Unlocked! Valley Wanderer"

Why, Sony? Why?

If ANY game deserves to be free of the immersion-destroying abomination that is trophies/achievements it is this one.

The greatness of Ico and Colossus both lay in their minimalist elegance which could be felt in every aspect of the game. Interrupting it with a pop-up to let you know that "hey, you just made incremental progress!" is not only redundant, it completely destroys the atmosphere the game worked so hard to create.

Now while I would personally argue Trophies should never have been added in the first place I am aware that there are many who enjoy that kind of thing... so, all I'm asking is that Sony please add an option to PS3s to disable Trophy notifications, so that those who want to play without, can.

Xbox and Steam already have this option. Why doesn't PS3?

There is an option called "Do Not Display" in Notification Settings, but it only works for friends signing in and invites and such. Either make this option include ALL notifications, or create a separate one for trophies.

Your games deserve it.

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Christiaan Moleman
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Seems there's a feature request for this on the official site:

Sadly it's been down-voted by people who really like trophies but don't realize that with an on/off OPTION you can still leave them on if you prefer.

raigan burns
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Yeah, I *really* wish there was some way to opt out of trophies altogether so that they don't add 30sec of additional wait to the loading. What's the point of them anyway?! Surely playing the game itself should be rewarding intrinsically.

james sadler
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I would have to agree. I've never really understood the trophy idea. If the trophy is there for something the player does that is special I could see a reason for it, bragging rights, but most games put them in there for completing a level or whatnot is just stupid.

Terry Matthes
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It seems developers believe most gamers no matter their skill level want to brag. It's a tiny ego stroke just to find out you've done something... anything that someone else deemed noteworthy. It's really sad.

Achievements just don't live up to their name when you get them for accessing the options menu.

Brad Borne
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@Terry: I've been noticing lately, that online games have been replacing a skill number with generic experience points. Seems to be a downward spiral for the industry. Instead of letting me know where I stand in relation to someone's skill, I only know if they've put more or less time into the game than I have. Which, to me, really isn't something to brag about.

Brian Berndt
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I was dreading this exact thing ever since the ICO collection was announced. Unfortunately I can't see Sony ever doing anything about it. At least it only affects the first playthrough.

Adam Bishop
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The Xbox option isn't great either though. It turns off ALL notifications, so there's no option for people who still want to receive game invites and that sort of thing but don't want to see achievements.

Christiaan Moleman
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Steam is the same. An ALL notifications toggle is better than nothing, but it would of course be great to give players more specific options so they can configure their system as they prefer (separate toggles for invites, messages, joining and trophies/achievements).

I'm not arguing against the existence of trophies and achievements in general here (that's another much longer debate), just want an on/off switch for notifications.

I really can't imagine that would be much work to implement.