-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.
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.
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.
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.