Is There a Point to 100% Completion in Games?

-by Dylan DiBona

*Completion Spoiler for Zelda: Breath of the Wild*

A 100% completion rating is like the video game players way of saying “I was there”. It’s the best way to gain full knowledge about the games we love, it gives us hours of additional playtime, but what’s the point?

I’m subscribed to a popular YouTube channel run by a man name Jirard. Jirard dubs himself as The Completionist, and every week he reviews a game he has completed 100%. Jirard then is supposed to recommend the overall completion experience. The biggest downfall of the videos is that they basically just become standard reviews, and it’s not Jirard’s fault either, it’s the games.

Most of time when Jirard completes a game he says the following; “This game doesn’t really have much of a completion bonus, per se.” or just flat out “This game doesn’t have a completion bonus.” It struck me annoying that plenty of games (especially in an open world era) don’t feature proper rewards for the dedicated players who have sunk in hours of additional time to collect all of thevirtual knick-knacks.

Image result for banjo kazooie

Some games are made just to be completed.

There are games dubbed “collect-a-thons” like Banjo-Kazooie; they purposely give the player an overabundance of stuff to collect. Collect-a-thons are a guilty pleasure of mine, but most of the time they don’t even come close to giving a good reward. If a genre like that doesn’t give good rewards, what games do? Let’s take a more modern example.

Image result for breath of the wild

I spent 72 hours going after every shrine in the latest Zelda game. It was a blast, and the reward was actually cool. But the pain of completing the shrines is nothing when compared to the agony going after the 900 Korok seeds scattered around the world. By the time any player collects the 900 Korok seeds, they probably have tons of upgrades and have beaten the games story. What reward could be worth it at that point? Surely the prize must be outstanding right? Nope.

Players supposedly get “Hestu’s Gift” which oddly enough looks like a large gold piece of feces. Some have laughed it off, some haven’t and some have even called it a work of commentary from Nintendo.

If the latter is true, what could Nintendo be saying? Perhaps it that most completion bonus’ are not worth it. Maybe they’re making fun of us. Either way I don’t really appreciate it; instead of making commentary, why not start a new trend?

This brings me over to Sony’s trophy mechanic. Trophies are a form of (in-game?) collectible that players unlock for completing certain tasks. Getting all the trophies will unlock one final trophy called a platinum. Now for the longest time I thought trophies and their achievement counterparts were dumb; I don’t play games for trophies like some players, I just want to play them.

Then I heard two of my favorite podcast hosts explaining why they love trophies. They basically said that platinuming a game was a way of “leaving their mark on the game” and “showing people how much they liked it and appreciate the developers work.” I found it to be an odd way to show that sentiment at first, but after a while it made sense to me.

Sometimes when you platinum a game you get an exclusive theme to decorate your PS4, it’s a pretty cool concept because every time you boot up your system, you’ll see your reward. I believe it’s stuff like this that needs to be expanded on. Having both in and out-game rewards can be a powerful incentive to players. Modes like New-Game Plus should be held for completion bonuses, special costumes should be unlocked, filters, cheat-codes (RIP), and why not more themes for our consoles? Maybe platinum trophies could also give us avatars.

I get it; it’s the journey and not the destination. Maybe there’s no such thing as a worthwhile reward for spending countless hours into a video game beyond the point of necessity. You have to ask yourself, “why am I completing this game if it’s not fun?” Nonetheless, developers should still strive to reward players for their dedication, maybe we’ve been looking at the situation the wrong way.

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What do you guys think? Do developers give enough rewards for 100% completion? Are trophies and achievements stupid? Let me down below and I’ll try my best to reply. As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Is There a Point to 100% Completion in Games?

  1. I think completionists do it for the personal satisfaction. Sure there might be a reward but regardless, you complete things for the feeling you get inside as you approach the goal and then achieve it. There’s very little in terms of an external reward that would encourage non-completionists to grind that many hours into a game collecting odds and ends.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It helps if completing everything ties into the story. I 100% complete Majora’s Mask 3D last year by getting all the heart pieces and helping everyone. That felt almost necessary to me, because if you don’t complete it 100%, there are people who were never saved. So in that sense it was by far the most satisfying way to do it because you didn’t leave anyone hanging.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never platinum’d a game (although I’m close with Dragon Age:Origins), so I can’t speak from experience, but I think if a dev is going to put in so many goodies to unlock, or so many “mundane” tasks to fulfill over and above the story, yeah I think some sort of commendation is in order, for the time investment if nothing else. Having said that, I think that a lot of completionists do it for their own satisfaction, as Karandi above said.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that there should be some kind commendation for all that time investment. It’s disappointing to be given a meager reward for the effort you put in unless you’re a completionist who just does it for the satisfaction like Karandi said. It depends on the type of game though, look at the Grand Theft Auto seres for example, which the Devs seem to be good at giving impressive rewards for 100% completion. In GTA V when you get 100% the mission “The Last One” becomes available; where you have to find and hunt Bigfoot, which GTA players have waited for since the myth began 13 years ago in GTA: SA. The mission itself is fulfilling despite the fact that it’s later revealed a guy in a suit. And the path to getting 100% in Grand Theft Auto games is fun. Unfortunately, not all games go with that formula of effort+time investment= great rewards.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Right! It think some games are also more geared toward extra content like GTA… there is always more “things” that can be done. But in other games (say an RPG or JRPG), what can be added? The main quest is over, the huge boss is beaten, and then…? New fancy armor for your next playthrough? Who knows?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always had zero interest in earning platinum trophies. I would always take the time to 100% games back in my 20’s, but now the urge is rarely there as I have multiple hobbies I spread throughout the week. I always make an exception for Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games. Those are usually always fun to complete. I will admit though, that 900 seed one really turns me off from 100%ing Breath of the Wild whenever I get my Switch.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Huge Nintendo guy here! I agree about those three. I normally 100% Zelda games. I will go back and 100% Metroid because it gives you an awesome feeling finding all those hidden upgrades. Plus it’s a huge quality of life improvement having more missiles and energy tanks. Mario is tough to 100% normally but I plan on doing that for Mario Odyssey!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Huge Nintendo fan as well. I remember trying to 100% Tales of Symphonia many years ago. I came close, but in the end, it’s just not worth attempting IMO with everything you need to get all the titles and complete the monster and item books. I quit halfway through on my third playthrough.

        Like

      • Yeah, sometimes the requests are completely unreasonable and not fun to obtain.

        In games where you need to find “all the secrets” or something like it, I like when you can jump back into levels at any point and go secret hunting. Especially if you don’t have to complete the level to save your progress! Doom 2016 is a good example of secret and completionism done right.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ooh, this is an interesting topic and a really good question. I pride myself in the games that I’ve 100% completed, but I rarely bother with trophies unless they add a bit to the gameplay. The only games I’ve “platinumed” are Tearaway and Thomas Was Alone on the Vita, but that didn’t add too much time.

    I did _not_ platinum Rayman Legends because it was just ridiculous how much crap you needed to actually do.

    I think 100%ing a game is a satisfaction thing anyway. I plan on doing exactly what you did with Breath of the Wild. I have completed all four Divine Beasts, then I will find all the shrines, then kill Ganon. But screw collecting all of the Korok Seeds — 900? Come on! Once a task feels like an endless grind of busy work, count me out.

    Overall, if I 100% a game, I probably won’t ever play it again. In that sense, I consider it “tying up loose ends.” But it totally depends on the game, and how much work it will be. If it will be fun work, count me in, Otherwise, any% works for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d like to offer an alternate view, I personally love trophy-hunting. I have over 20 platinum trophy’s now, and im working on several more. It’s a badge of pride amongst my friends, and something a little more substantial to work on after a game is over.

    Now granted, not every game is worth going for the platinum. I personally need to connect with a game first, and its trophies need to be realistic and reasonable. Also, bonus points if its a platinum that is worthy of respect.

    For example, I have the platinum trophies in both Bloodborne and Ni-Oh, both of which require a high level of player-skill, dedication and training to achieve. And while it might seem silly to some, the camaraderie shared with other players earning these kind of trophy’s make it worthwhile to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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