Anyone who knows me, or at least has read the rest of this little bloggurb, is probably familiar with the XBox 360 and I, and how we're quite disinterested in each other. But just in case you didn't know, I'll start off with an example. I currently own 28 games released for last generation's systems. If I keep a game, it means I consider it something special. Of those 28 games, according to Gamespot*, 6 are Action Adventures, 5 are RPGs, 4 are 3D Platformers, 3 are 2D Platformers, 3 are Action RPGs, 2 are Strategy RPGs, 2 are Racers, 2 are First Person Shooters, and the last one is the lonely little Melee, a Fighting game. That's not the sort of list you'll see on an XBox. I mean, if you got a hold of any loyal 360 owner this very second and asked them to name the top 5 360 games that have been released so far, I'll bet you'd see Halo 3, Bioshock or Call of Duty 4 at the top. Quite probably all three in that top 5. That list would also contain a sports title. And sure, First Person Shooters and sports games are fine for some people. If they enjoy them, fantastic. But they're just not for me. And I guess that's why I get frustrated at times. 360 owners, or at least the obnoxious ones (which seems to be more often than not, I'm sorry to say,) give off the attitude that if you're not playing a 360 there must be something wrong with you. An attitude which puts me off the console even more, especially considering the lack of variety the console has. Viva Piñata, Blue Dragon, Beautiful Katamari and Castle Crashers. Those are the only 360 exclusives, on shelves or in the pipe, that have my interest in the slighest.
* Gamespot categorizes in a peculiar way. I had to change a few categories like Katamari, which was considered a puzzle game.
I'd like to take the opportunity to stress that I'm not against the XBox. You get on the internet and state an opinion and you get branded annoying buzz-word insults that I was sick of a year ago. So to reiterate: I'm not anti-XBox. What I am is generally anti-FPS (though I've been testing the water with Metroid Prime, hence the two FPSs in my last-gen list,) anti-sports game (if you want to play football, get some friends together and play it,) somewhat anti-Microsoft (insanely enormous company that is slowly eating the world. I'm typing this from a Mac.) Oh and most of all, anti- obnoxious online 12 year-olds, playing an M rated game for some reason, who all think they're King Sh*t. Yeah. Doesn't appeal to me. I know Nintendo gets a lot of flack for their absurdly complicated Friend Code system, but if it keeps those types away from my games, then fine. I'll type an overly lengthy string of numbers to play online in peace.
So the point I wanted to get at was this (oh the punnery!!): The 360 and I generally ignore each other these days. I'll keep a casual eye on game announcements for the system, because weirder things have happened. But generally it leaves me alone and I leave it alone. So while puttering around the blob of news they call Kotaku, I saw a post about how an upcoming game for the PS3 will have "entitlements". Similar to the 360's achievements. And it finally struck me. I don't know what these achievements are. I've cared so little that any time anyone talks about them, I just glaze over and move on.
Here's what I do know: You win them by playing games. They come in point format. You use them to claim a reward of some sort, but mostly it's a contest to see who's is bigger. Now I worked at a convenience store for a while, and I remember when Pepsi had Pepsi Points. And when you bought Pepsi, you got points which you could eventually redeem for t-shirts and ball caps and other crap that said PEPSI on it. Any of the good stuff like CD players were a trillion Pepsi points and your stomach would have rotted away before you even got it in the mail. I never knew anyone who cared enough about Pepsi to want to be a volunteer billboard-chest so much that they'd drink Pepsi for a month to get that opportunity. So Microsoft and their achievement points for the 360 don't seem terribly exciting to me. Yet they're popular.
Is it that the rewards are better than Pepsi's truck-fulla-suck? Is it that some people just like being able to prove with a definitive figure that they are superior to gamer X? Or is there a crucial piece of information about the achievement system that I don't know? If someone can answer me intelligently, I'd like to hear what you have to say.