Saturday, September 7, 2013

End-game achievements

Lego Batman 2 game tileMy Hero achievement picture

I finally finished my quest to achieve 100,000 Gamerscore, well ahead of my original goal of the end of the year and even ahead of my "stretch goal" of the next Xbox's launch. I had hoped to hit the score exactly, but I decided not to stress that and just get over the score. I have to admit, though, I didn't quite expect to leap-frog it by such a large margin — the achievement that put me over the line was "My Hero" from Lego Batman 2, a 50G achievement that took me from 99,975 to 100,025. I knew I was coming close, but I admit I wasn't paying that much attention; I was going for a 35G achievement that I only expected to help by rounding out the last digit in my score (although at that point, it, too, would have put me over the mark by 10G).

What I found very interesting is how the ending achievements in Lego Batman 2 are laid out. There are the fairly standard achievements for collecting all red bricks, all gold bricks, and all characters. There are also achievements for collecting groups of characters (all heroes, all villains, etc.), which usually means you end up popping two achievements at the very end (one character that completes their subgroup as well as completing the entire list). The interesting thing about this game, though, was that there is one character that requires collecting all of the gold bricks. I suppose it's possible that you could collect all the gold bricks before collecting characters, but most of the characters are picked up quite easily (even those that are locked up behind gold brick gates, since most have a much lower gold brick threshold to buy them). It just seemed like I was encouraged to pick up that character last, so the fact that the "Girl Power" achievement (for picking up the last female character) popped along with "Team Building" (for picking up the last overall character) seemed more of an inevitability than a coincidence.

Even odder, though, was the achievement that put me over 100,000G. There is an achievement for collecting all gold bricks, but part of that requires saving all of the citizens in peril, as each one itself unlocks a gold brick — not too far off from the groups of characters. But what I find curious is that this achievement that is a stepping stone to collecting all gold bricks is worth so much. Achievements for the different groups of characters are worth 20G, and the whole collection achievement is 50G. However, the achievement for collecting the gold bricks tied to citizens in peril is worth 50G, whereas the achievement for the full collection of gold bricks is only 35G.

The End achievement picture
I admit to having mixed feelings to these group achievements that, collectively, earn another achievement. It seems a little silly sometimes to have multiple achievements pop for basically doing one thing, but it is nice to have recognition of milestones along the way that collectively combine to something larger, instead of achievements that don't relate to each other in any way. I was almost disappointed when I found no achievements for collecting all vehicles, which I had to do in order to complete the last achievement for reaching 100% completion. Fortunately, in that case, collecting vehicles was also the last thing that I did, so having that action pop the 100% achievement was, in a way, its own reward.