Trophies, why do I even?

The title sort of speaks for itself. In other aspects of life, like when I used to play hockey, I never cared for trophies. I actually loathed going to the ceremonies. And it didn’t matter to me that I didn’t win MVP, or most goals scored, etc. I didn’t even play hockey like the rest of the team. I was in it for the contact, not the goals (what a shocking stereotype – a Canadian who plays hockey *gasp*). Even when my team won 1st place, or I made All-Star and we won that game – I didn’t care about a hunk of plastic or a cheap medal that said I accomplished something that others hadn’t. And yet, when I game, man do I love that ding!

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So, if I don’t care about the accomplishment per say, why am I level 21 and constantly struggling to get the platinum?

Let me preface the next 500 words by saying, I’m not one of those gamers who buys the easy platinum games just to get the trophies. You won’t find Hanna Montana on my trophy list…I generally will only go through the (often painstaking) effort to collect them all on a game I really enjoy playing.

Right now, for example, I’m playing through Dishonored: Definitive Edition. I played the original on PS3, loved it, decided to play it again on my PS4. Now, I already got the platinum the first time, and this time is proving to be just/if not more difficult because I made a couple of mistakes on my playthroughs that meant my two playthrough situation is now a four playthrough situation.

Now for the reason why. Why I do it, even when it turns out to be way more effort than it’s worth (case above).

Well the obvious answer is it definitely promotes a sense of accomplishment. In a time where most aspects of life don’t offer that, seeing that complete list, knowing that you put in the time and dedication to complete something (and complete it well) is a really fulfilling thing. The simplest thing I can juxtapose it to would be the futility of trying to keep the gaming section in order when I used to work for Bestbuy. Even if I got it to the point where I thought it was perfect – all it took was a day or two before it was torn asunder. And constantly working on it was Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Part of it may be that I have some OCD tendencies. There is just something really satisfying about seeing a completed list of trophies for a game. That 100%. That nice platinum. All of the (intended to be seen) artwork the developers produced for the trophy images. Mmmmmmmmmm. Seeing the games completed, knowing that I’ve done it all and never have to look back, and to some extent – more importantly, I can look at that list and not have to say “Oh, I just need that last trophy to finish” and have it eat away at me while I do other things. Yes, I have admitted I have a problem when it comes to gaming. If you read this regularly, you already know this.

Finally, I’ll say this: It can be really fun. Some trophies, I know I’ll never get. Games that requires 100 hours of online play (especially fighting games…I’m looking at you MK9!) will almost certainly remain blank. But those trophies that require you to learn the skills the game has to offer and then use them in an application that isn’t fundamental to the core game itself – fun. I also really like the trophies that reward you for exploring the game beyond the linear path. Because nearly 30 years of gaming has taught me there is always something around that corner or on that floor that you could otherwise skip.

So there you have it. A peak behind the curtain of The Ego and his eccentricities. Let me know why you do or not, in the comments.

– The Ego

 

Gamer/Collector

Is there ever a point where you think you’ll stop gaming? I have delved into the deepest pits, and fought treacherous odds to find someone to predict the future for me. And when I got there, and asked “Will I? Will I ever stop gaming?”, and shook the round, black prognosticator – it said “It doesn’t seem likely”.

I ask this question on the heels of a (small) decision I made recently. Now, I made the addendum – small – because in the scheme of things it was a rather small decision. Now, for me, it was footprints on the moon. Prepare yourselves, you may want to sit if you aren’t:

I opted out of buying a collector’s edition for a game I truly love…

Feel free to take a moment to catch your breath before you keep reading. You’re okay? Well, let’s continue:

Now I fancy myself a pretty hardcore gamer (despite time constraints) and more than that – I’m a collector. I have Funko Pop! figure, Marvel action figures and a bunch of random gaming memorabilia that I’ve accumulated from dozens of collector’s editions. I also don’t trade in my games to EB, or whomever. You can see how I feel about that here. So on top of all of the collectibles, I have my games.

But do we get to a point where we just end up buying games to put on the shelf? I know that I don’t have anywhere near the time I used to, but I still continue to buy games. To my credit, I have reigned in how many games I buy and when I buy them. Rather than just grabbing them all at release – a lot of them get put on the back burner till things slow down.

Does there come a point where we lose the distinction of being a gamer, and become consumers? I mean, we’re always consumers. But there is definitely a difference between buying to have them, and buying to play them. If they’re all just going to end up on a shelf, at some point, this is you:

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And, while the thought of owning all of those games is somewhat appealing, it’s just unrealistic.

Having moved across the country recently, I was able to purge a bunch of my old gaming stuff that I had stored in the basement. So I won’t end up in this situation any time soon.

The other reason I ask this question is: once upon a time we used to get a couple of big releases a year. Now, especially at this time of year, we get 3-4 AAA releases per month for at least 3-4 months. And, the industry has really started upping it’s game release wise. The release landscape has significantly changed in the last few years. I remember, having worked on the development side of things, that September to April was a dead time of year. Now, major releases are springing up in March (2017 will see the Switch and probably a Mario or Mario Kart game to go with it) and last May we had Overwatch to name a few.

So if we all buy the way I have for a long time, there must come a point where we have more games than we can feasibly play. Unless, of course, you’re all living my dream where someone pays you to actually play video games (which is what people thought I did for a living when I was a tester…and trust me, that’s not the case).

So do you consider yourself a gamer still? Do you still buy all of the collector’s editions with all of their fantastic plastic crap? Sounds off in the comments, tweet me, whatever. I’m curious to know. You con contact me here, here or send an e-mail here: theegogames@gmail.com. Please follow and subscribe.

As always, if there is a topic you want me to cover, shoot me a message, tweet me, leave a comment below and I will happily write it up.

– The Ego

Better make a list

How does it even happen? Somehow I completely missed the fact that Dishonred – Definitive Edition is due out in less than a week. Maybe I’m slipping in my old age (30+ is old, right? I’m not wrong here?).

So here’s the question of the day: Do I keep it, knowing that I have it on my PS3, and all of the DLC that I haven’t even touched. Or, do I just pass (not so easily done), get around to it and finally finish it on my PS3?

I feel like buying it again – knowing I paid for DLC (which is annoying enough as is) and not finishing it will drive me crazy. I get hung up on weird stuff like this far too often.

At the same time: I have a hard time going back to my PS3 games. I don’t know what it is? Other than better graphics, and a more comfortable controller – there isn’t a whole lot of a difference. But whenever I go to play, and I get tired of waiting for a match to actually pair up in Evolve, I think: I should go play something else. Then, usually, I start getting a bit ADD with what I should play. I put something in I’ve played, or something that I’m nowhere near finished and then I get discouraged, turn off my console, put Netflix or Youtube on the TV, and just browse the web.

So I just endless flip back and forth between Evolve and Farcry.

The worst part of trying to make this decision, is probably that this is just one example of the problem. Every day I see the bright pink case of the DMC just sitting there, all seductive and all. Telling me: “Don’t feel bad about not finishing me on PS3…Just buy me again and I’m sure someone will buy your old copy”.

If I hadn’t of bought the DLC for the game, I don’t think this would be a question I’d even be asking. I would just buy it. But, the problem is, (aside from the money) it sets a bad precedent. Both for myself, and for the industry. I think we’re all a little too comfortable with the way DLC has worked for some time. Game of the year editions, definitive editions, etc have become the norm. When Borderlands 2 was out, and to a lesser extent the Pre-Sequel – I figured: Why bother? It’s a guarantee that they will release an edition, either the same price, or cheaper with everything on disc. And I haven’t been disappointed yet.

It’s probably something worth replaying regardless. Looking at it that way makes it an easier pill to swallow. But then I think about getting the trophies – ha. That’s at least two playthroughs. Can’t do it.

Even as I write this – the decision is getting clearer and clearer. It’s a fringe benefit to writing this blog. I don’t really have anyone who I can use as a sounding board. My wife will just tell me I don’t need another game. She’s right of course – to an extent. Can’t tell her that of course. None of my friends are real gamers and customers aren’t about to weigh in on the issue.

I know a lot of the time, I ask questions in this blog that are either rhetorical, or posed for (philosophical) effect. But this is one of those rare occasions where, writing down my problem, actually gave me a good idea of what I need to do.

I think at a later date, if I have the time, I will get it. For the time being – I think if I get the hankering to pick it up again, I’ll just force myself to work through that DLC of my own volition when I have the extra time to take care of it.

Wow, that feels good. Closure. It’s a nice change. I think we should do this more often…Did this just get weird? Yea, it really did.

– The Ego