With Google Stadia adding achievements to it’s streaming service, the Nintendo Switch is now the single holdout to not embrace the practice. That’s great since achievements are stupid anyway.
Put down the pitchforks and hear me out. There are plenty of reasons that achievements are completely worthless.
Starting off, it’s dumb when a game gives players achievements just for playing the game. I’m talking about those ones that are like “Yay! You just beat the tutorial!”
Is there really any gamer out there that’s happy to see an achievement show up when they complete the most basic aspect of a game? Do they really feel like they achieved anything?
I sure hope not.
My next major problem with achievements, and why it’s great that Nintendo Switch doesn’t have them, is they pull the player out of the game.
It’s absolutely horrible when a major event in the story is taking place and then that notification pops up on the screen. It can completely pull the player out of the moment and literally gets in the way.
This one is admittedly not too prevalent anymore, but I remember when it was common. No one liked it when they beat a boss and then this shows up right afterward during the following cutscene.
The problem is that some developers still keep achievements like this in their games, but at least I don’t see them on Nintendo Switch.
My final problem with achievements is that developers often use them for artificial padding, stretching out a game long past its lifespan.
There are plenty of games out there with stupid achievements that require ridiculous amounts of grinding to get. Just take a look at this trophy guide for Final Fantasy X to see what I mean.
The guide estimates that it will take between 90 and 120 hours to get all the trophies in the game. For comparison, the average time to beat the main story of the game is roughly 48 hours. That means players are spending a minimum of about another 40 hours just for some digital bragging rights.
There is no world in which this kind of behavior makes sense.
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t push players to waste extra hours in-game for a higher gamer-score or more trophies. It doesn’t pull players out of the game by interrupting key moments with notifications. Gamers aren’t rewarded for mediocrity on the console.
Instead, the console promotes playing and enjoying games, getting wrapped up in worlds and forgetting the troubles of the real one. That’s why Nintendo Switch lacks achievements, and it’s better for it.
Last modified: January 22, 2020 11:40 PM UTC